"I enjoy how being a self-employed massage therapist gives me the flexibility to recreate my career in small and large ways," says Lynn Kutz of Medically Sound Mobile Massage LLC. "Whatever my current passion is, my career in massage therapy can take me there." Read Lynn's story below.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in massage therapy?
What seems like another lifetime ago, I was a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy Reserve and attending college to be a physician's assistant. I took what was to be a short leave from school to get married and follow my Navy spouse on his final tour. At the time, I was frustrated with western medicine and especially military medicine. I knew there had to be another way.
One day a friend who owned a hair salon suggested I go to massage school. Massage was unheard of in my small town Wisconsin and I had never had one myself. However, I soon found myself interviewing schools and enrolling in Brenneke School of Massage in Seattle. I discovered that massage therapy was the branch of medicine that I wanted to practice—a form of medicine where I could take time to listen to my clients and address their concerns. I began looking for a building to open a medical massage practice. I have not looked back or regretted my decision!
What types of education have aided in your success?
I have to give credit to Heida Brenneke and her staff for giving me a wide angle lens to see that any modality of bodywork can be incorporated into my "massage tool bag." Entrepreneurial training helped me gain business research and business planning skills. Latin gave me a greater understanding of medical terminology. My Navy trainings gave me insight into chain of command (invaluable when dealing with large corporations) and hands-on work with a large variety of patients and conditions. Ballroom dancing gave me knowledge of movement and body mechanics. Fortran programming gave me patience when working with computers in my online marketing endeavors.
What do like most about your current work environment? What are some of the challenges?
My current work environment as a self-employed massage therapist is varied. I practice at a few special events amidst my regular contracts of corporate onsite massage and sessions at homes, hotels and nursing homes. I love the variety of locations and the diverse populations I get to serve.
My biggest challenge being sure not to put too many eggs in one basket. The majority of my house call clients and corporate contracts have been long term. By not relying on any one client for the majority of my income, I could still maintain a viable practice if I lost one large household or company. The second challenge is marketing for a small but steady flow of new clients.
What do you enjoy most about your career as a massage therapist?
I enjoy how being a self-employed massage therapist gives me the flexibility to recreate my career in small and large ways. I have worked in hospitals and aboard Navy ships, at corporations and backstage at concerts, at homes of millionaires and battered women's shelters, at medieval fairs and county fairs. Whatever my current passion is, my career in massage therapy can take me there.
How has being an AMTA member impacted your career?
Being an AMTA member has had tremendous impact on my career. I have made new friends who keep me inspired and even led me to new job opportunities. Participating on a sports massage team gave me skills and confidence to work with athletes and seek out events on my own.
Participating in government relations and education committees increased my speaking and negotiation skills, which is essential to making corporate contacts. And, of course, great education at awesome prices has allowed me to expand my hands on skills while minding my bottom line. A shout out to the Wisconsin Chapter for their education.
What advice do you offer new massage therapists?
Self-care is paramount to being in practice long-term. Learn good body mechanics. Take care of yourself. Set boundaries.
Join AMTA and take advantage of all it has to offer, more than just the best liability insurance in the industry. After nearly 20 years, I'm still discovering what the national level offers. Get involved in your chapter events and see where your experiences can take you!
» Read more about mobile massage in mtj