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Where Do You Work? Team MTF - Running for Research


Where Do You Work? Team MTF - Running for Research

The four Boston Marathon runners for the Massage Therapy Foundation team, Team MTF - Running for Research, are all AMTA members. They tell us more about themselves, their massage therapy practices and how they are preparing for the big event. 

Donate to support Team MTF »


Teresa Matthews is a practicing massage therapist for 21 years, President of NCBTMB and an active AMTA member. 

What drew you to massage therapy?

I remember going to a massage school student clinic as an athlete.  I've always been very in tune to my body and found myself telling the student therapist what I needed, such as more pressure in certain areas, or needing to be stretched a certain way.  Then I said to myself, "I should be doing this for other athletes." I have been practicing massage therapy for 21 years. 

What is your current work setting? 

I have a private practice. My work is what I refer to as Performance Massage, which uses Deep Tissue/Sports techniques with Stretching and ROM. The majority of my clients have literally been with me for 16 years.  When I am not working one on one with clients, I am teaching CE courses nationally.

What do you enjoy most about massage therapy? What are some challenges?

It's so rewarding when the client gets off your table and says, "I feel so good, I could play for the NFL right now".  Or when they text me the next day to say they have no pain for the first time.Like most of us, my challenge is being able to say no when I really don't have the time to fit a session in with my schedule, but manage to make the time for the client anyway! 

How has AMTA impacted your career? 

There are so many reasons why I am so grateful to AMTA! My first encounter with AMTA was at a state event. The local leaders made me feel like I was part of the family from the moment I met them.  The classes that I took there were of such quality from awesome educators.  That event (and the officers of the chapter) had me hooked! When I attended the National Convention, it just as welcoming, except so much larger!  I love the education offered in person and on-line. AMTA leaders, officers,  members and educators give the inspiration and spark needed to give a therapist the boost of energy to do what they love with a greater purpose!  To this day, I have AMTA members I can truly call my family!  I know I can call upon any of my AMTA family at any time, for any thing. 

When did you become a runner? 

I have always gone out for a 1 or 2 mile run a couple of times a week.  That has been my form of meditation.  Two years ago, I started running 5Ks with my daughter-in-law.  It was so different being around hundreds, sometimes thousands of people who enjoyed running.    We have run a 5K each month for the past two years!  The positive energy is so powerful at these events.  I just love it!

How is training going? 

I have been training for the past few months following a guide.  I had no idea how to train for a marathon.  I have had pain in my right TFL since I did a long hill run a few weeks ago.  This has given me an appreciation for athletes that play with pain.  I have also learned a lot about my own body.  This serious training has made me look at all aspects of what goes into an event of this magnitude. You can't just go out and run.  That is only part of it.  There is proper nutrition...and making sure you are getting enough nutrition, proper hydration, proper sleep, and proper self-care: massage, strength training and flexibility training.

What motivated you to sign up for this marathon and fundraising experience?  

I have been an athlete all my life and really enjoy competition...although I do like to challenge myself more than anything.  Also, I was excited to see an athletic event of such magnitude being offered by one of my professional organizations - how cool is that?  This is not only an opportunity to run in one of the world's biggest marathons, but I get to help my profession by raising money for research! One night, while teaching, I looked up and said, "We would not know this if it wasn't for research!"  I am so grateful to the Massage Therapy Foundation and all the education it has brought forth. The fundraising portion of this journey has been, and continues to be, incredible.  As I shared my story with people and asked for a donation, I made sure they knew the money was not coming to me, it goes directly to MTF for research.  It is amazing how my family, friends and colleagues generously gave because they know how passionate I am in giving massage one on one and teaching CEs for massage therapists.


Lindsay Bodkin is actively involved in the AMTA New York Chapter, chairs the Government Relations Committee and holds a seat on the Covnvetion Committee. She is also a proud AMTA National Delegate.  

Lindsay Bodkin

What drew you to massage therapy? How long have you been practicing? 

When I was 22, I was side-swiped by a tractor trailer. I lost use of my left arm and had severe cervical damage.  My physical therapist introduced me to CranioSacral Therapy.  That was honestly the first time I realized that we are not just a physical body. There were many layers that I needed to release in the mental, emotional, and spiritual fields in order to fully heal. That began my journey with the healing arts which eventually led me to massage school in New York  in order to pursue CranioSacral Therapy.  I have been practicing massage for just over two years, but have been practicing energy work for 13 years. I love blending the two together!

What is your current work setting?

My husband and I own a private practice in Upstate New York. I specialize in CranioSacral Therapy.  I enjoy incorporating cupping and energetic bodywork into my sessions as well.  I have also studied James Waslaski’s work for several years, and as the official massage therapists for our ECHL hockey team, I also include integrated manual therapy into my work. I love the blend of it all!

What do you enjoy most? What are some of the challenges?

I enjoy how much diversity we have in our field!  I love that depending on the client, and the session type, my day can be filled with a variety of modalities, which keeps my mind fresh as well as my love for the work.  My biggest challenge is not worrying about the client’s impression of the session.  I am well versed at trusting my intuition and giving the client what his/her body is asking for at the time, but I often worry of the client’s perception.  So, I have to practice very hard at letting that go.

How has AMTA impacted your career?

AMTA helps me to be a better professional as well as a better massage therapist.  I knew that when I graduated massage school, I wanted to become involved with our NY Chapter right away…and I did!  I was able to join the Convention Committee, and I am now the Volunteer Coordinator for the Committee.  I am also the Chair of the Government Relations Committee which, as a sociologist and past paralegal, helps fulfil a passion of mine.  This past August, I was honored to be a delegate at the AMTA National Convention in California.  I enjoy being a part of something that is bigger than myself, and  AMTA gives me that.

When did you become a runner?

Well, this is a funny question.  Am I a runner?  You know those people who run who look so graceful and pretty?  I am not one of them - I genuinely look like I’m dying!  I’ve been running for two years.  My first 5K was through a vineyard because the only thing that was going to get me to run was a glass of wine at the finish line! I can’t say I enjoy running, but it pushes me outside my comfort zone, and at this point in my life, I need that.

How is training going?

I’m dedicated.  I’ve put my heart and soul into this mission!  I do spin classes three times a week, strength training classes two times a week, see my personal trainer twice a week and run 3-5 times per week.  I’m really focusing on getting a strong foundation (core, glutes, legs) as well as the running part.  Plus, incorporating yoga, meditation and the infrared sauna is very important to me.  I’ve even added myself to our booking calendar so I can ensure I get my weekly Monday morning massage sessions (I owe my husband a lot!).

What motivated you to sign up for this marathon and fundraising experience?

There are so many different dimensions to the answer of this question. For example, I’m the mother of three boys, and my world involves catering to them.  While I am still devoted to them, I am devoted to myself also.  For the first time in my life, don’t feel bad or guilty about it.  In fact, even though this venture is extremely time consuming as well as physically and mentally exhausting, I’m teaching my boys first hand that self-care is so incredibly important.  Also, I realize that there are millions of runners who deserve to be at the Boston Marathon way more than I do.  I’m running for them.  I’m running for the people who are no longer with us.  I’m running for the people whose bodies can’t physically endure a marathon.  I’m not fast, but I’m grateful that my legs carry me.  I’m grateful to the Massage Therapy Foundation for all of the work they do regarding research in the field of massage therapy.  I’m grateful that they help validate the importance and significance that massage therapy has on a multitude of pathologies.  My husband recently had 18 inches of his colon removed.  Massage Therapy prior to and after the surgery has been profound for his healing process.  I’m running for him because when I think I can’t go any further, I think about the days when it was difficult for him to walk from the couch to the kitchen due to his pain. There’s a lot of motivation behind this insanity, and I’m sure I will recollect all of it on Heartbreak Hill at the Boston Marathon when I need that extra push!


Shadonne Harris is licensed massage therapist, business owner, running coach and avid runner. She is also an AMTA member in her home state of Maryland. 

Shadonne Harris

What drew you to massage therapy? How long have you been practicing?

 I’ve practicing massage therapy for 12 years. This is a third career change for me. Prior to massage therapy, I was a 17 year government worker with an accounting and IT background. I was seeking a more meaning and fullfilling career and stumbled upon massage therapy while on a cruise with my family 14 years ago. 

What is your current work setting?

I’m currently a partner of a wellness spa and massage therapy instructor. My specialty is medical massage with emphasis on neck and back pain. 

What do you enjoy most about massage therapy?

I enjoy providing massage therapy for rehabilitation and wellness to keep our bodies in optimal shape. 

How has AMTA impacted your career?

As a AMTA member, the education component has been major in allowing me to grow as a therapist. 

When did you become a runner?

I embarked upon running about 15 years ago in an effort to lose weight. And boy did I, but I also became a better person overall as running challenges me at every area of my life. 

How is training going? 

Training has been steady. It simply requires commitment and dedication. I anticipate distractions and/or interruptions and just have to plan accordingly. 

What motivated you to sign up for this marathon and fundraising experience?

As a massage therapy instructor, I recently became passionate about the research aspect on our career through the Massage Therapy Foundation and how it impacts us as therapists. Research is so vital to our progression in the massage therapy field, and I fully support the fundraising efforts 110%.


Desiree Bourgois van Oosting is a licensed massage therapist in Bismarck, ND and a 20-year member of  AMTA.  

Desiree Bourgois

What drew you to massage therapy? How long have you been practicing?

I have been passionate about prevention, health and wellness from a very young age.  We were raised in a home that practiced wellness and prevention, which included clean eating, chiropractic care, supplementing, and healing arts. Massage therapy was an easy fit. I've been in practice for 20 years.

What is your current work setting?

I own my own clinic and work in referral with chiropractors, clinics and various health practitioners. I see a wide range of clients, from athletes to small children. 

What do you enjoy most about massage therapy?

I love helping people move toward their healthiest potential.  I love being a part of a healthcare team that helps people feel well. A challenge for me is that I want everyone to be well, and it's hard to see people choose a lifestyle that is harmful to their well being. 

How has AMTA impacted your career?

I've been an AMTA member since 1997. It's great to have a professional organization behind our careers.  AMTA helped provide me with health insurance when I first became a member along with all the other professional help. I've enjoyed the online education.  Ive also been a member of our local chapter,  which has helped me grow in knowledge as well. Attending the national AMTA conventions is a phenomenal experience from networking amongst peers to a great line up of education and speakers. We are truly blessed to be a part of this AMTA family. 

When did you become a runner?

I ran in high school, but came to running again about 10 years ago.  I had a client who referred himself to my clinic before and after the Boston Marathon. His story of overcoming physical adversities and running his first Boston Marathon influenced me to buy a pair of running shoes the following day.  He will be running Boston this year too. I am grateful for his influence and the gift of running he shared with me 10 years ago. 

How is training going? 

Training is going well. I'm looking forward to feeling the 19 and 20 milers to see how my pace will be.  

What motivated you to sign up for this marathon and fundraising experience?

I’m celebrating my 20-year anniversary as an AMTA member, and I love the mission of lifting our profession through research and grants.  It’s a dream to run the Boston Marathon! This means so much to me! I would love to see many more of my fellow AMTA members running as well for health and wellness. I hope Team MTF can inspire more AMTA members to run!

Donate to support Team MTF »

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that I cannot believe I ever considered another group."

Chris B., AMTA member since 2012

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