"It was exhilarating to learn that the medical community is a big proponent of massage for lupus patients." says Satu Ferentz, AMTA member and volunteer. "Choosing massage therapy as a career felt like the most natural thing in the world."
Read more about Satu's career and experience working with the Lupus Foundation.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in massage therapy?
Choosing massage therapy as a career felt like the most natural thing in the world for me. Massage was a normal activity in my family for as long as I can remember. I thought that all families took care of each other that way. Perhaps it has something to do with my Finnish heritage. I did not think about doing massage as a profession at first, but after earning a Bachelor's of Arts in History, I realized that I wasn't interested in following that up at all. I decided to put my energy into something that I really loved, and realized that it was massage.
What is your current work environment like?
I am in private practice, sharing an office with a colleague in New York City. Having had a solo practice, it feels great to have another massage therapist around. We are very good friends and respect each other’s abilities. I enjoy having my own table in my own treatment room. Previously I have worked in health clubs, spas and chiropractic offices. I’ve also had a practice of mostly house calls.
Though I have worked with people of both sexes, today my clients are primarily women. They hail from all walks of life: working moms, professionals, musicians, office workers, dancers, college students and athletes.
What do you enjoy most about your career as a massage therapist?
Massage, for me, is a calling, my avocation. I’ve always had a sense of touch that seems to help people a great deal. I have found that working in massage is a great way to honor this gift. Over the years my touch and understanding continue to grow and develop.
How did you get involved with the Lupus Foundation?
I was at the AMTA New York Chapter's convention at Lake George a few years ago and met Samantha Paige-Graeber. She was at the table advocating community service. I personally feel that community service is a natural thing to do when one is able, so I signed up. Some months later I was part of the AMTA service team at a Lupus Wellness Day at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. We offered 15-minute chair massages; the appointments were filled up in minutes. What a great day!
That was my first encounter with people who are living with lupus. It really opened my eyes to the extent of suffering and daily challenges these patients face. It was also exhilerating to learn that the medical community is a big proponent of massage for lupus patients.
The next year, the idea to offer massages to Lupus patients on a sliding scale was raised. I agreed and now I am listed on the Lupus Foundation’s website Currently I am seeing a client every week who found me on the Lupus Foundation website. Her doctor is very enthusiastic about this and my client feels that massage helps her profoundly.
How has being an AMTA member impacted your career?
I am very glad to be aligned with a professional organization that gives so much to its members.I have found that more and more clients are coming to me through the Internet and it is great to have a free website. Having liability insurance gives me peace of mind, especially being in private practice. The gift certificates with the AMTA logo on them present a very professional look to my clients who purchase them. I am currently studying the Fascial Therapy course offered through the AMTA and am enjoying the material very much.