Massage therapy was never something Cindy Larson thought of as something that could be her career. But, after a visit to the massage therapy school at Minnesota School of Business, she started on the path to a career that would become her passion.
When she was young, Cindy’s dream job was a “tornado chaser.” Later she found out her worst two subjects, math and science, were the two subjects heavily needed to become one. Then Cindy thought she could become a nurse, since through elementary, middle school, and high school she was described as a mother figure. “Then I heard about blood draws as part of a nurse’s duty, and that steered me away from that career,” she said.
Cindy sought advice from people close to her, and that’s when she was introduced to the idea of massage therapy.
Cindy chose to attend Minnesota School of Business after conducting some research and attending an open house at the campus. “I enjoyed the comfortable atmosphere from the people who were there to greet the attendees,” recalled Cindy. “The environment felt welcoming, and I just felt at home while walking around and talking to everyone.”
She tells a story of her realization that she was meant to be a massage therapist. “I had my first hands-on class, Swedish Massage. There, I met a client who suffered from fibromyalgia. She explained that she liked a deep massage and that massage therapy helped with the pain. Being a fresh student, and not quite knowing much about fibromyalgia, I spoke with my professor about this, asked about pressure, how to make the client comfortable, etc. He explained to me that some fibromyalgia clients may say they prefer deep pressure, but I should not apply this because of the sensitivity and pain the client endures. Instead, the best option is very light effleurage/feather-like pressure.”
Cindy continued, “I performed the massage, and afterwards while walking the client to a conference room for a follow-up feedback form, the client broke down and started crying. I initially thought she was crying because of the performance of my massage, and that I was due for a huge complaint. Instead, she confessed that the massage was the best one she ever had, and she already felt better.
“After I left her at the conference room, I walked back to the classroom. I began sanitizing and cleaning the table like I was taught, when all of a sudden, I started crying and had no clue as to why hot tears began to stream down my face. I then excused myself from the classroom, secluding myself in an empty hallway. The professor came up to me and reassured me that my tears were not of sadness, but an epiphany that the client had affected me in the best way possible. I realized that I can help heal or relax any person in pain just by the touch of my hands. At that moment, I wiped my tears of passion, and from then on I knew that massage therapy is, and will always be my passion.”
Cindy credits her fulfilling educational experience to her instructors at Minnesota School of Business. “These teachers create an outstanding pathway for the student to explore the many modalities that are a part of massage therapy.”
Currently, Cindy works for Massage Retreat & Spa in Plymouth. She says she loves this job because she gets to extend her passion for massage therapy, and also works with other massage therapists who enjoy this passion as well. “The skin and massage therapists offer advice, humor, and the comfortable environment that anyone should be working in. They are ever so welcoming, outgoing, and want to see you succeed every day,” she said.
When asked what advice she’d give other students regarding finding their success, Cindy encourages fellow students to go above and beyond what goals may be in front of them. “Make sure you prove that you know what you know; you are the best at what you can achieve; and make sure every person you meet is met with kindness, respect, and common courtesy.” She added, “Whatever you do, you are you, and you can push yourself to show the world what you are born to do.”