Written by Stephanie Keydel, career services coordinator
Massage therapist Ana Saffrin, Minnesota School of Business Elk River’s Spring 2014 Graduate of the Quarter, radiates a positive energy so strong it’s almost palpable. Hearing her speak about her field of massage therapy, it’s no surprise that she chose a career that enables her to nurture and help heal people.
Ana began classes at MSB while still enrolled at Elk River High School. She credits her father with encouraging her pursuit of higher education, but was still uncertain about her path when the MSB-Elk River campus opened in 2009. Ana revealed that the addition of a college campus right in her community seemed like a sign. She began classes in our High School Advantage program, and quickly realized this was the right decision for her.
When asked why she cares about massage therapy, Ana explained, “I believe the body has an ability to heal itself,” and in terms of treatment, “the more natural the better.”
Ana divulged that she has certain clients who were staring surgery in the face when she persuaded them to try massage therapy. Massage is “the least invasive” way to heal certain health issues, Ana informed me, making it the safest alternative effort to prevent going under the knife. She states she has had several clients find great relief from her massage therapy and helped them successfully prevent the need for surgery by routine maintenance and care for their ailments.
Ana obtained her current position at Anoka Massage and Pain Therapy by networking with a classmate. Continuing education is crucial for massage therapists to maintain their skills and expand their repertoire of modalities, and she says a lot of important networking and sharing of information happens at continuing education events. One goal Ana and several of her colleagues have is to educate the general public about the benefits of massage. She says more doctors are finally realizing the benefits of massage, and that while some people still don’t take massage seriously as a form of healing, the number of believers has increased. Ana becomes enthusiastic while telling me that with a new client she always strives to “make their first massage the best experience possible” to ensure return visits.
Unusually poised for her age, Ana displays a deep sense of gratification with her life and explains she is more than content with her current situation. She enjoys having a supportive role in the practice. She says she will enjoy continuing to work and learn as much as she can at her current position, as she doesn’t believe the only definition of success is having your own salon or practice. For her, success is more about “what you find along the way” than the actual destination. Everyone here at MSB can’t wait to see Ana flourish in her field in the months to come.