Get to know AMTA Pennsylvania Chapter President Kim Kane-Santos and read about her eclectic work experience!
What drew you to massage therapy?
I didn’t aspire to become a massage therapist growing up. On a particular night, I was comforting my then distressed teenage daughter, Carissa (typical teenage woes) with a back massage. When she thanked me as I headed out of her room, something hit me over the head. Immediately, I said to myself, "this is what I want to do." Fourteen years later, here I am!
What types of education have aided in your success?
Call me a CE junkie. I’m always up for learning new techniques. Forever a student! Recently, I had the privilege of taking Chi Nei Tsang with Mary Ellen Derwis, who is teaching a workshop at Convention this year. Having an eclectic mix of tools to pick from allows for a successful practice.
Describe your current work environment.
My work environment is as broad as my education! Every day is different and chock full of massage adventures—from the gym to the spa to the retirement community to the chiropractor’s office to teaching a deep muscle massage course to new students.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
As the AMTA Pennsylvania Chapter president, I thoroughly enjoy working TOGETHER with the volunteers and members. I love that we are creating challenges.
What are the challenges?
Challenges are really opportunities. While balancing family responsibilities, my full-time massage therapy practice and this amazing volunteer position can certainly leave me longing for a magical hour to appear in my day, it also allows me to grow in each of those valuable arenas. I’m learning to balance it all as I move through this journey. You have to decide what is more important at that specific time and go in that direction. It helps that my children are older, supportive and not as demanding of my attention. It’s quite the adventure!
How has being an AMTA member impacted your career?
My first thought is that being an AMTA member has truly ‘broadened my horizons’ on many levels. When I joined twelve years ago, I had no idea the impact AMTA membership would have. I yearned for the networking, camaraderie and support. What I couldn’t imagine was the personal growth and true sense of family it has provided. There’s a little joke amongst my peers: when I first volunteered, I was concerned about a 20 minute drive to a meeting…Silly me! Now I travel all over the country to education workshops, conventions and meetings!
Secondly, AMTA keeps me informed on the latest happenings in the industry on local, state and national levels, which allows me to stay on top of the trends in this ever-changing profession.
Lastly, my clients know and recognize AMTA’s values as well. I’ve directed them to the Find a Massage Therapist locator service when they are traveling and have been happy with the results. That’s comforting for me.
As we say here in Pennsylvania, AMTA not only offers insurance it offers ASSURANCE! My AMTA membership is absolutely priceless!
What are you most looking forward to at the AMTA 2015 National Convention, August 19-22, in Pittsburgh?
Having attended the last 5 AMTA National Conventions, I can say that each one has been memorable in its own unique way.
Naturally, I’m looking forward to welcoming everyone to Pennsylvania!! And we are all super excited about our team host event on Friday night as well! Being all TOGETHER at opening session is always thrilling, so listening to Scott Hamilton speak is an added bonus! I’m anxious to see what happens in the House of Delegates this year and hear the results of the Massage Therapy Foundation’s Chapter Challenge.
What should attendees be sure to check out while in Pittsburgh?
The David L. Lawrence Convention Center itself is spectacular! It’s the first green convention center (the world’s first Gold LEED-certified convention center) and attendees won’t want to miss the breath taking views at our chapter's tailgate party on its roof top!
As a foodie, I like to eat my way around the city every time I visit. I recommend a walk to the Strip District (working up a hearty appetite) and hit up Primanti Brothers for their signature sandwich—no need to order fries, they are already IN the sandwich! You’ll want to leave some time to explore the many other shops and vendors in "the strip" too!
Looking for some high-top adventure? The Duquesne Incline scales Mt. Washington in restored cable cars that have been used by commuters since 1877. The views are magnificent! It’s a unique experience…as long as you’re not afraid of heights!
You don’t have to be from Pittsburgh to belong to Steeler Nation, so if you’re a fan, add a tour of the Heinz Field facility on the North Shore to the agenda. While you’re at it, pose for a selfie with Mister Rogers’ sculpture.
The Andy Warhol Museum still remains on my "things to-do in Pitt" list. With seven floors, it may have to wait until next time for me.
If you’re looking for a quainter side to Pittsburgh (although I think the entire city can be considered quaint), just five miles from downtown is the chic-hip Shadyside neighborhood. You will find fabulous restaurants and boutiques.
Did you know the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens has added one of earth's greenest buildings? You may want to check that out too!
The Pittsburgh culture has so much to offer! The architecture, the sports, the art, the history and that ‘pittsburghese’ language is a hoot, too. There really is so much to see and do! Oh, one last thing, be sure to hop the “T” (the subway under the river). It’s fun and free!
What sentence of advice would you offer to new massage therapists?
Simply to continue to invest in yourself and definitely...absolutely…positively… join AMTA!
I will leave you all with this: "If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person." - Mister Rogers
Register early for the AMTA 2015 National Convention for the best selection of classes!