The power of massage can be felt on physical, mental and emotional levels for both therapist and client. Just ask Carol Hoff.
Hoff, a September 2011 massage therapy graduate of the Minnesota School of Business-Plymouth, started her new career with SUNU Wellness Center in Minnetonka in February. While holistic healing and nutrition interested her since her first college tenure, tragic circumstances led her to the field.
Hoff’s son Matthew was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma (a form of bone cancer) in 2006. Shortly after his high school graduation, he started treatment.
“During that time he let me massage his feet,” Hoff said. “It was probably more therapeutic to me than him, but it gave both of us a lot of comfort. That was my first introduction to massage.”
According to Carol, in his final days in late 2008, Matthew received craniosacral massage from a hospice massage therapist that that provided him much relief. Sadly, he passed away in October.
That following spring, a referral from a fellow Plymouth alum at a graduation party started her journey in the massage field.
“Everything she spoke about, I was interested in,” Hoff said. “I forgot about [our talk] initially, but after our husbands went on a cabin trip together, I called her up and she told me MSB had registration going on and I should call and check it out.”
Less than a week later, Hoff was enrolled. The next two years brought classes, an internship at the Humphrey Cancer Center, a diploma and a strengthened passion for end-of-life and hospice care.
“I set [the internship] up so that I could go in and see the same clients weekly because I wanted to see if I could create a change in the outcome of their chemotherapy, whether it was a decrease in symptoms or a quicker recovery,” Hoff said.
Currently, Hoff uses deep tissue massage on a regular basis. However, she doesn’t play favorites as to which form, and which classes were her favorite.
“I can honestly tell you, the class that I was in was my favorite,” Hoff said. “I really did get to enjoy every class as I progressed through the program. I think I got a lot out of it because I put a lot into it.”
Hoff’s plans include continuing to learn and evolve as a therapist, while working towards her ultimate goal of working in the hospice care industry.
“My big picture is to get more exposure in working on different issues so that I can be more helpful and know exactly where pain and discomfort are coming from,” Hoff said. “And sometimes it’s just in listening too. I realize [massage] is not just in the hands. It’s in the heart.”