David Lobenstine is a massage therapist from New York. In this interview, he shares how he got into the massage therapy profession, what he is doing now and why you should attend his self-care continuing education session on at the AMTA 2017 National Convention on September 15.
What drew you to the massage therapy profession? How long have you been practicing?
I am still not sure what drew me to the profession - a combination of things, I think. I have long been interested in the connections between mind and body and spirit, but I never thought that curiosity could actually be a career.
After college, I found a wonderful job in publishing, and then, five years later, I realized that I didn’t want to spend my life behind a desk. I started wondering if there was a concrete way that I could explore my interests.
After much searching, I realized that massage was that way – an incredibly practical means to address the incredibly ethereal aspects of our existence. The next year, I enrolled at the Swedish Institute in New York City. I have now been practicing massage therapy for about 13 years.
What is your current work setting like?
After working at endless spas and other places, I am lucky enough to be able to work exclusively for myself. I run my private practice, Full Breath Massage, out of Moving Body Resources, a yoga-dance-wellness space in the old Flower District in Manhattan. Moving Body Resources hosts an eclectic variety of classes and workshops and houses a polyglot group of practitioners that I feel very lucky to be a part of.
What do you enjoy most about your current position?
What is not to enjoy about my work? I have amazing, devoted clients who are interested in the work that we are doing together, and who are willing to go on these fabulous explorations of their bodies!
When I'm not massaging, I get to teach other massage therapists about how to use their own bodies more effectively as they engage with their own clients.
How has AMTA impacted your career?
From the time I was still in massage school, AMTA's presence made me aware of massage therapy as a profession. It is not just as a job that I could do, but as a career that I could have, and as a profession that I could be a part of.
I am especially grateful for Massage Therapy Journal, which has been a continual reminder over the course of my career of the importance of good journalism and scholarship in our field.
Why should massage therapists attend your session, "Pour, Don't Push," at the AMTA 2017 National Convention?
You should attend my session if you are ready to feel an easier way to use your body while you work. I find that we often get in our own way as we work – our desire to help our clients means that too often we burn out our bodies, not to mention hearts and minds, by working too hard. I believe that by using your breath and your body weight as your primary tools, you can work more effectively and with greater ease.
What are some self-care takeaways from your session that attendees won't read about in the session description?
- One of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves is to let go of our own judgment. We are so determined to do a good job that we tend to be very hard on ourselves. That judgment is useless – it doesn’t help the therapist, and it doesn’t help the client. By working with mindful awareness, we can help ourselves as we help our clients.
- One of the greatest gifts we can give to our clients is to not try to do so much. In “Pour, Don’t Push,” we discover that a massage session is often more effective – and feels better! – if you work slower rather than faster, and if you do fewer strokes rather than more.
- You are already a good therapist. You are already helping your clients. But if you pay as much attention to your own body as you do to your client’s body, your work will be easier and more effective and more enjoyable.
Attend David's Session at the AMTA 2017 National Convention!
Register by July 27 to Save Up to $89 Plus Be Entered to Win Tickets to Disneyland!
The AMTA 2017 National Convention is the largest and most prestigious conference in the massage therapy community, featuring inspiring speakers, continuing education, networking and the newest products at the Pasadena Convention Center.
When you register for the AMTA 2017 National Convention before the July 27 Early Bird Deadline, you can save up to $89 plus be entered to win one of two pairs of tickets to Disneyland. Learn more »
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