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Where Do You Work? Running for Research

"Being a part of the Boston running community is so inspiring and keeps me moving toward my goal of finishing Boston strong and fundraising," says Kristen Lutz, who will be representing AMTA in the 2014 Boston Marathon. Read about Kristen's career and training strategy below.     

What led you to pursue a career in massage therapy?

After earning my master’s degree in clinical exercise physiology, I entered the corporate wellness industry. Having experienced the benefits of massage as a former athlete, I always appreciated work I received. Once the thought crossed my mind that I needed a change, I chose to attend Cortiva Boston after having a very enlightening conversation with former President, Dianne Polseno, which instantly motivated me to follow my instincts and enroll. I am so honored to say that she touched my life in that way.

What is your current work environment like?

I have the best of both worlds. I see clients at OMBE, an integrative health center in Boston and at Reebok World Headquarters just south of Boston. At OMBE, I work with other practitioners and at Reebok I work on my own. Both are wonderful in their own way. At OMBE, I’m surrounded with other like-minded practitioners who are true masters of their crafts–acupuncture, chiropractic, life coaching, naturopathy, nutrition, Rolfing, personal training, Pilates and yoga. It’s an environment that has helped me build my practice through referrals from practitioners or outside sources like doctors, midwifes, doulas and sports medicine professionals. We specialize in sports medicine and women’s health. At Reebok, I see employees during their work hours.  Employees are encouraged to be healthy and are given the time and facilities to do just that.

What do you enjoy most about your position?

I am surrounded by supportive practitioners across different disciplines and by amazing clients. It’s pretty great to know that people not only look forward to coming in for a session, but put it at the top of their to-do list. That inspires me to provide the best care for each client. I also have complete control over my schedule so it fits well with my lifestyle. This is so important, especially when I’m training for a marathon. It also allows me to travel, spend time with friends and family, and have lots of time with my husband and dog.

What are some of the challenges you face?

Making sure I don’t stretch myself too thin is key. As both practices have grown, so has the demand for my availability. I’ve learned it’s okay to maintain firm boundaries around appointment scheduling. The more I learn, the more I realize I have so much more to learn. So, another challenge I have is deciding on which continuing education classes to take. There are so many good ones out there! I focus on the clients I want to attract to my practice.

What specific experiences or educational pursuits have helped you to be successful?

Attending continuing education workshops and classes, especially at the AMTA New England Regional Conference (NERC), have contributed to further developing my skills. Volunteering at sporting events like the Dana Farber Boston Marathon athlete recovery area, the Pan Mass Challenge, and the New England Regional Crossfit games were great ways to meet other practitioners in the field and interact with a variety of athletes. I encourage all massage therapists to find areas that interest them and get out there!

How did you become involved in AMTA?

I joined AMTA in 2009 as a student because I wanted to be a part of a strong, member-driven organization. AMTA continues to play a vital role in upholding the professional requirements and standards to move our profession forward. Being a member of  AMTA, and specifically the Massachusetts (MA) Chapter, keeps me an active member of the field. I’ve been able to find various volunteer and continuing education opportunities. If you haven’t reached out to members of your AMTA chapter, I strongly encourage you to do so.

You're representing AMTA in the Boston Marathon on April 21! How's training going?

So great! I’m very excited to run Boston this year for The Massage Therapy Foundation Running for Research Charity Team. I was really happy to hear that the 2013 runners were invited to run this year. I have a vast network of family, friends and colleagues who have showed tremendous support. The Massage Therapy Foundation and the massage community have been wonderful. I truly believe it takes a village for endeavors like this and I have quite the village! My training runs are going great. I especially love my Saturday mornings as I take my run to the Newton Hills with hundreds of other runners.

Being a part of the Boston running community is so inspiring and keeps me moving toward my goal of finishing Boston strong and reaching my fundraising goal. If you’d like to help, please visit my CrowdRise donation page. Your contribution, however big or small, is appreciated!

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"As a professional member of AMTA, I have found comfort in knowing that all the effort I put into obtaining my massage certification is recognized and protected. AMTA standards validate the profession."

Kim K., AMTA member since 2003

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