Where Do You Work? Putting Clinical Thinking Skills to Work

Deborah Kimmet is not only a massage therapist, but is actively working to make the profession better through her work with scope-of-practice issues. How does she juggle broader issues while still taking care of clients? Read Deborah's story below.

Why the massage therapy profession?

I saw an advertisement for a local training that encouraged students to explore the body-mind connection of massage therapy. I’d never had a massage before, but I was intrigued. I signed up for a basic workshop and was hooked! The training ignited a desire to learn more about how the body worked and how I could use that knowledge to assist people in their healing process. As a result, I discovered a rewarding career.

What's your current work environment like?

I have a private practice and primarily assist those with chronic pain and injury issues. My sessions include postural assessment, hands-on (mainly neuromuscular therapy), and movement re-education that is designed to release muscular holding patterns, retrain the neuromuscular system, and provide a self-care program for clients.

I also own PMT Seminars, a continuing education company. After I found a way to blend movement re-education into my private practice, I developed the courses as an adjunct therapy that practitioners can easily incorporate into their own sessions.

What do you enjoy most about your position?

I enjoy the challenge that each day brings and, with it, the opportunity to hone clinical thinking skills. The health conditions we face are so diverse: a new mom figuring out how to hold her baby in a pain-free way, a throat cancer patient with swallowing issues, a violinist who changes his playing posture and finds that those adjustments improve his sound.

What is a typical day like for you?

I do a lot of context-switching…from seeing clients, to working on my seminar business, to studying, to keeping up with legislative and political issues in massage therapy.

How has AMTA impacted your career?

One of the key benefits that AMTA provides is the opportunity for therapists to gather, share ideas, network, and get quality, affordable continuing education. The annual AMTA National Convention is a great opportunity to connect with other therapists from across the country. I have met such a wonderful array of people and shared many experiences there. If you haven’t been to a National Convention, I highly recommend it!

Advice for aspiring massage therapists?

Get involved and be curious! Allow yourself to be curious and you won’t have a boring day as a therapist. Asking questions, using clinical reasoning skills, allowing yourself to say, “I don’t know, but let’s find the answers together” is a really productive way to allow that curiosity to lead you. In short, keep learning, keep exploring and use curiosity as a way to challenge yourself to be a better therapist.

Learn More:

Watch Deborah's tutorial: Anatomical + Muscular Hip Bone Imbalances

"AMTA has been a tremendous resource over the years."

Jenn S., AMTA member since 1994