"My day is spent playing with my son, teaching massage students, and teaching parents infant massage," says Christopher Bakker, AMTA member and infant massage therapist. "This year I’m launching my first business for parents and children."
Read more about Chris's experience in infant massage, his new business and his involvement in the AMTA Massage Therapy Tour.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in massage therapy?
When my son Pierce was born in 2007, my wife and I decided that I would become a stay-at-home dad to help when her maternity leave ended. A physical therapist friend of ours was kind enough to show us infant massage in the recovery room when he was delivered, and Pierce has received a massage nearly every day of his life. The powerful benefits of massage therapy have been visible from the beginning. Every night he requests the techniques he likes, asks for changes in pressure and promptly falls asleep after five minutes. If what I’ve learned at Cortiva Institute Chicago School of Massage Therapy can help other parents and children, I’m all for it!
What is your current work environment like? What kind of clients do you work with?
My day is spent playing with my son, teaching massage students, and teaching parents infant massage. This year I’m launching my first business for parents and children called Parents Knead Babies. My clients for infant massage are both the parents and children. In turn, I have a business and work environment where I get to involve my son, meet other parents, trade parents tips and, in general, have a great time. That’s been pretty cool!
What do you enjoy most about your current position? What are the challenges?
The real flexibility of massage means I can schedule my own hours, grow my Parents Knead Babies business on my own terms and still have time for family. The challenge is staying flexible, being open to business opportunities while juggling childcare, and, at the same time, keeping balanced priorities on money and family life.
How has your involvement with AMTA impacted your career?
The AMTA and the Illinois Chapter have already given me back so much that I can not believe I ever considered another group for my liability insurance. AMTA is non-profit which helps me feel like my membership is already doing some good. However, I’d say mainly the face-to-face component has been great. There are so many professional and veteran massage therapists in AMTA. They are not afraid to help out, mentor me and refer new business to me (and vice versa!).
How did you get involved in the AMTA Massage Therapy Tour?
Well, I was asked in June if I could go to the Race for the Taste in July and support AMTA-IL members giving chair massage, I said sure! Later that week, I was asked if I would be interested in helping to promote massage at the NBC Plaza on Michigan in downtown Chicago. I said no problem! Both events were fun, well-supported and have helped to push massage therapy into a positive place for public awareness. That’s a win-win!
» Watch Chris on NBC Chicago's morning show letting viewers know where to look for a qualified massage therapist!
» Learn more about the AMTA Massage Therapy Tour.