AMTA member Lauren Jaekle is a massage therapist in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is one of the first therapists to complete the AMTA/NCBTMB Sports Massage Specialty Certificate Program.
How did she become interested in massage, how was her experience with the program and what would she like to do with her new certificate? Read our interview below.
What drew you to the massage therapy profession? How long have you been practicing?
My passion for massage therapy started at a young age. My younger sister Melissa was born prematurely and has a number of challenges. Our family was told to expect the worst, but, fortunately, we saw how physical therapy and massage helped her progress well beyond all expectations. I was amazed to witness how massage relaxed her muscles. It was obvious that, without this intervention, she would have remained tight and and would not have been able to walk or sit easily.
Massage therapy draws on my knowledge of anatomy and physiology and has expanded my skill set. I have a private massage business and also do a PTA job to augment my income and experience. In massage, I have worked in a variety of settings from a spa to a gym. My personal massage practice has focused on the competitive athletic community serving CrossFit athletes and weekend warriors.
I am very client and goal oriented which complements my talents as a massage therapist. I have been licensed as a massage therapist for five years and have been working as a massage therapist for three years.
Why did you decide to pursue the AMTA/NCBTMB Sports Massage Specialty Certificate?
I enjoy working with athletes. I love learning about sports. There is always something new to learn about the movements and muscles that are used during each individual sports and for the position of the athlete. I wanted to gain knowledge about massage in different sports settings to help my current clients.
I am looking forward to using my certificate to start offering sports massage at a variety of sporting events.
How was your experience with the AMTA/NCBTMB Sports Massage Specialty Certificate Program?
It was very informative about what to expect when working in a sports setting - from who oversees an athlete's recovery from an injury to what to expect at an event to the physiology of an athlete through the process of an event.
The hands-on workshop gave me several new ideas to bring back and incorporate into my practice. It was great to know that the instructors during the class are well known in the sports community and are able to give examples about what to expect during sports massage.
What do you enjoy most about your current position? What are the challenges?
I enjoy seeing the impact I have on my clients. I am able to give them relief from pain and stiffness through different techniques and stretches to prepare them for the their next workout session or competition.
I look forward to working out any trigger points that may be limiting range of motion and inhibiting improvement in my client's fitness. The biggest challenge I see is finding the opportunity to integrate sports massage into the sporting events I attend.
Describe some of the sports massage environments in which you've worked or the sports massage environment in which you would like to work.
I have worked in a gym where many of my clients lifted weights, did cardio or took aerobics classes. I had a variety of clients with trigger points and limited range of motion coming to see me for relief and to get back to what they enjoy at the gym. Right now, I have my own massage practice where I treat several CrossFit athletes.
I love having my own practice where I can set a schedule. Now that I have my AMTA/NCBTMB Sports Massage Specialty Cerificate, I can start promoting my new skills. My dream job is to work with professional cyclists.
How has AMTA impacted your career?
AMTA has allowed me to demonstrate my expertise and continuing education to the community. Additionally, it has helped me get my name out to the public and has allowed me to attract more clients. Maintaining my membership to AMTA has encouraged me to keep up to date on my education and has helped me to learn new skills that will help my clients.
Every day I seem to find new avenues to further my career in massage. I like that there are discounts for continuing education, supplies and an easy-to-use website that has answers for many questions that I need.
What advice would you offer other massage therapists looking to specialize in sports massage?
Working as a sports massage therapist, you need to decide which setting you want to work in (tip: download a free guide to working in sports massage). You will need to be able to assess clients quickly but thoroughly to design an effective sports massage plan to allow the athletic trainier and athlete to get the outcome they are looking for.
Enjoy what you do because it can be fast paced. The most important advice is to watch your own body mechanics to prevent injury. You are not any help to your clients when you are injured.
Related: Body Mechanics for the Massage Therapist | 2 Credit Hours
Why should someone consider the AMTA/NCBTMB Sports Massage Specialty Certificate Program?
Anyone who enjoys sports and working with athletes should consider taking the AMTA/NCBTMB Sports Massage Specialty Certificate Program.
The instructors that researched and collaborated to write the online classes and the hands-on workshop are well known in professional sports as massage therapists. You would be learning from the best of the sports massage therapists in the country.
Launch Your Sports Massage Career!
Whether you earn the full sports massage certificate or take individual courses, the AMTA/NCBTMB Sports Massage Specialty Certificate Program can help you reach your career goals while earning up to 30 credit hours.
If you have completed the CE courses, take the exam and earn your certificate!
Start the AMTA/NCBTMB Sports Massage Specialty Certificate Program »