"I find that my real passion comes in the effort to lead change in massage therapy’s place in health care," says Kevin Wade, massage therapist and educator. Read more about Kevin's background below.
Why massage therapy?
I was studying acting at the University of Illinois where I encountered the best teacher I have ever had, Robin McFarquhar. He was responsible for teaching the physical aspects of acting and used many bodywork, breathing and visualization techniques. I was introduced to massage therapy in this way and began receiving professional massage at that time from Doug Nelson in Champaign, Illinois. Robin and Doug unwittingly planted the seeds of pursuing massage as a career. About seven years after graduating, I began studying massage at the Chicago School of Massage under Bob King.
What is your current work environment like? Do you have a specialization?
I currently work as a Neurosomatic Therapist at the St. John-Clark Pain Treatment Center in Clearwater, Florida. Neurosomatic Therapy (NST) is the current evolution of Paul’s work and represents one of the most comprehensive clinical approaches to the treatment of soft tissue pain. I work alongside a team of eight LMT’s, all practicing NST and three corrective exercise specialists. I spend my treatment days helping patients with, severe chronic pain issues, injury recovery and optimal performance goals.
I am also an educator. Since 2006 I have been a continuing education instructor for Neurosomatic Educators, Inc., teaching a series of 10 seminars that compose a 190 hour certification in NST.
In 2012, Randy Clark and I opened the Center for Neurosomatic Studies (CNS), a 1278 hour Massage and Neurosomatic Therapy program. At CNS, I am the Campus Director and one of the lead instructors and am responsible for developing and delivering, what we believe to be, one of the most in-depth manual soft tissue therapy programs in the country. Taking my teaching skills from the seminar setting to the classroom setting has been one of the most challenging and fulfilling experiences I have had.
What do you enjoy most about your position?
I believe that most massage therapists enjoy the immediate reward of placing their hands on another person and helping to create relief, change and health in that person’s life. I share that feeling but I find that my real joy and passion comes in the effort to lead change in massage therapy’s place in the healthcare industry.
What are some of the challenges?
I am constantly educating patients, students and other health care professionals about what clinical massage therapy can accomplish. I think this probably presents one of the greatest challenges as well. Research in massage therapy, while growing rapidly, is in its infancy. Most physicians are unaware of the benefits available to their patients, and most potential patients don’t realize that massage can be more than just relaxation and may be the key to their wellness.
What is a typical day like?
It seems that there is no typical day for me! My week is split between treating, teaching and administrative work (you could probably throw in janitorial services, as well). On teaching days, I spend four hours with students and then switch over to the clinic and treat four-five patients in the afternoon. If I have a full day with patients, I usually see six-seven patients. I also serve in the rotation of student clinic supervisors for CNS. Needless to say, my work schedule as a therapist, educator and school owner keeps me hopping.
How has your AMTA membership impacted your career?
AMTA has been with me since the beginning. I started my membership as a student in 1999. I didn’t really realize then what an important part of any therapist’s career the AMTA is. I have found that the national scope of the mission of the AMTA has been a vital part in the development of the industry and has benefitted ALL massage therapists, whether they are members or not. As I have matured in my career, I find that I have become more involved with AMTA events and have stayed more connected to what is going on in the industry through the efforts of AMTA.
Advice for aspiring massage therapists?
Reflect on yourself and capture and embody your passion in your work.
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