"I was downsized from my business analyst position and had the opportunity to figure out what I really 'wanted to be when I grew up," says Pat Collins, an AMTA volunteer and sole practitioner. Read Pat's story below.
How did you discover the massage therapy profession?
I was in a corporate job that was often stressful. I received massage occasionally and it crossed my mind what a nice, peaceful job the massage therapist had. I was downsized from my business analyst position in 2001, and I had the opportunity to figure out what I really “wanted to be when I grew up.” I started looking at massage schools, and never looked back!
What types of education have aided in your success?
My history as a business analyst prepared me to successfully run my own business. I’ve taken many classes over the years in many techniques and each one adds “tools to my toolbox” for helping clients. I am an admitted “groupie” of the International Alliance of Healthcare Educators and these are the tools that I use the most. The more I know, the more I know what I don’t know! I budget every month for continuing education, and I feel that taking classes makes me able to help my clients better and be a better therapist.
Describe your current work environment. What do you enjoy most?
My current work environment is a little, old formerly-residential house. I am a sole practitioner and rent my room to other therapists in my off hours. What I enjoy most is hearing a client say I feel better, getting a hug from an autistic child who is touch sensitive, and hearing from a podiatrist that a mutual elderly client is not going to need an amputation now that she’s getting massage therapy. Knowing that I’m making a difference in lives is why I love my job every day.
My biggest challenge is keeping balance in my life and making time for home, family, friends and myself.
How has being an AMTA member impacted your career?
The AMTA-NY Chapter offers excellent classes in the units as well as outstanding classes at our annual state convention. Being such a big believer in continuing education, this offers me a lot of opportunity! I believe that being an AMTA member gives me more credibility with my clients and the public, too.
AMTA friends have become a second family to me. There are so many benefits as an AMTA member, but the connections and friendships are what I value over everything!
» Find tools and resources on managing your own practice in AMTA's Career Guidance section.