To celebrate the American Massage Therapy Association’s awareness week, Minnesota School of Business-Plymouth profiles employer DeAnn Larson and her business, Tree of Life Therapeutic Massage.In today’s economic climate, relationships and connections matter more than ever. Students in the massage therapy program at the Minnesota School of Business Plymouth campus have benefited immensely from local partner DeAnn Larson and Tree of Life Therapeutic Massage.
Similar to Minnesota School of Business, Larson opened her practice 10 years ago in various locations in Plymouth and Wayzata. After nine years in business, Larson and the university finally teamed up in June 2011.
“I have been a massage therapist for 11 years, and connecting with Regina [Hughes, massage program chair at Minnesota School of Business] was such a refreshing experience,” Larson said. “My favorite part of working with students is being able to connect the dots for them…giving another perspective and helping them learn, grow and be more excited about being in the industry.”
Tree of Life expanded in 2008, moving operations to its current location on Merrimac Lane in Plymouth. They specialize in the therapeutic aspect of massage, working with injury rehabilitation clients, several chiropractors, doctors and surgeons.
Since 2011, Larson has taken on three intern candidates and hired on two full time therapists from the massage therapy program at Minnesota School of Business’s Plymouth campus.
“Now that I’m more established, it has been a great experience to be able to teach and mentor students, to give advice and provide information [students] need to be successful in the long run,” Larson said.
The U.S. Department of Labor has projected a 19 percent increase in massage employment over the next six years. The current and future demand has some employers scrambling for therapists, but Larson advises current and prospective students to follow their hearts.
“Find out if there is a real passion for [massage]” she advised. “Find out what part of the industry they want to work in; it’s not easy but very rewarding.”