Barry Hatfield is a licensed massage therapist (LMT) by the state of Ohio. I studied and performed my training at the Ohio College of Massotherapy in Akron. I am a lifetime area resident, and am married with three children. My family is very important to me, so if I’m not with you, I’m probably with them. Or maybe at the library.
Why did I become a Massage Therapist?
Many people ask me how I got into massage. Some want to know a little more about me as we work together. I suspect that others are curious since I don’t look like what they think a typical massage therapist looks like (I’m not a female or a big brawny guy named Sven or Otto).
I went to college and got a degree in Computer Science. I worked as a programmer and analyst for a few years. I worked on my skills and became pretty good. I was missing something though. One year during the company performance review I looked back on all my projects. They were all important at the time, but when I noticed what I had done for a whole year, I got a big dose of “so what”. These important, critical projects that needed done right away didn’t really impact much of anything, from customer service to profits.
During an economic downturn I was downsized along with many other people. It was time to make a choice. I needed to go back to school for either more computer training or get into something else.
As I was researching, I realized what I liked most about my work was when I knew my projects were helping people. That would have to be a part of whatever I was going to get into next. I also have a vein of curiosity. I like to become good at what I do, but after I do I can get bored without another challenge. I needed something that would keep my brain engaged and stimulated.
I looked into a number of things and narrowed it down to teaching or medical. I got involved with a school system and worked as a tutor. I really enjoyed the teaching part, especially seeing the light come on when a student understood what we were talking about, but didn’t think the whole educational system was for me. With my technology background, I looked into medical technology work. Again I found things I would be good at but wouldn’t have a direct impact on helping people.
Then I found massage.
Massage gives me the opportunity to help people quickly. I can observe the impact I have had on somebody who walked in the door in pain or under too much stress. In just an hour, they leave feeling so much better. I can see it in their posture, how they stand taller, that they don’t look so weighed down and troubled. They have been cared for and given a bit of hope that they can handle what is coming their way.
Massage also keeps my brain stimulated. I had no background in science or medicine, so I had a lot to learn about anatomy and physiology, bones, muscles, connections, and how the body works. I use my analytical skills to solve problems that people come in with. I try to help them identify the cause of the problem (often it’s a simple, innocent enough thing but done repetitively) and decide on how best to treat it. There are also numerous techniques to be learned and master, and better ways to help people. I learn from other massage therapists and continue to add new skills.
Why did I become a massage therapist? To help you. I love it and can’t imagine now my world without massage.
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I do other writing also.
I’ve written articles for ABMP’s Massage and Bodywork, which is a national magazine for the massage industry. These are written to other massage therapists but there are sections of both that you can find useful.
How to keep your joy for massage deals with maintaining or boosting your enthusiasm for your career. Answering common massage objections addresses the most prevalent questions or issues that people have about getting a massage.