Irene’s – Where do you work?
Sarah – Awaken Wellness in Columbia, MD
Irene’s – What are your specialties?
Sarah – Therapeutic Massage, Oncology, Prenatal, Reflexology, Swedish, Deep Tissue, Stretching.
Irene’s – What are your favorite modalities, or what techniques do you find most effective?
Sarah – My favorite techniques include listening to my clients talk about their concerns, and tailoring the massage around that. I’ve learned that a variety of shoulder and hip techniques in my toolbox are what the majority of people need. I’ve learned to not ignore the Serratus Anterior and Teres Minor.
Irene’s – What was your greatest success with a client?
Sarah – Just this week a gentleman came into the session saying, “I hurt all the time. My legs hurt from the time I wake up till the time I fall asleep.” He left saying, “Nothing hurts!” I’ll take that any day.
Irene’s – Where is the first place you worked?
Sarah – Yemen. Yes, Yemen. I was evacuated from Yemen when I came to school. I went back after a group of terrorists with two car bombs tried to blow up our Embassy. Needless to say, I had clients immediately and was appreciated for being trained and ready to go as soon as I got back. Let’s just say the stress level was high at that particular post.
Irene’s – To what do you attribute your success?
Sarah – As I mentioned above, listening to what my clients’ needs are. They drive the session. I often tell them, “It’s not my pressure, it’s yours.”
Irene’s – What is your favorite aspect of your career?
Sarah – Helping others with pain management and/or stress
relief. Providing a safe environment for people to say, “I need help with
Irene’s – What do you do for self-care?
Sarah – Definitely caring for my body. Hands, back, legs. I remember the Body Mechanics lessons, and if I feel I’m slipping into a lax position, I challenge myself to adjust – neck position, hip position, feet position, angle of pressure, etc.
Irene’s – What marketing do you feel has worked best?
Sarah – In 2 of my 4 placements, word of mouth has been the best due to
the small nature of the environment. In the other 2, the contract coordinator
was in charge of marketing as per the contract, but I found that visual media –
cards, brochures, print, Facebook, coming up in online searches – gets the ball
rolling, then word of mouth can take over. At Awaken Wellness, we follow up
every Introductory massage with a hand-written card mailed to their home. I
always give out 2 cards – “one for you, one for a friend.”
Irene’s – What do you feel the biggest mistake you’ve made, and how did you address it?
Sarah – I try to match my talking in a session to the client, however, a couple of times I feel I chatted too much. I began the next session saying, “I know we chatted a lot last time, today, I’m going to focus on treatment if that’s okay with
Irene’s – Do you have any advice for new therapists?
Sarah – Shoulders and hips. Know how to release medially rotated shoulders and protracted scapulae. Know how the pecs and scalenes are impacting and impacted. Know how the low back as affected by shortened hip-flexors and hamstrings. Know what a person’s occupation does to their body 8 hours a day, and what their hobbies (or lack thereof) do to them the other 8 hours. They might not know how (in what position) they sleep, but that’s the
third 8 hours, and it also impacts pain management.
Irene’s – What is the best way for clients to contact you?
Sarah – Awaken Wellness in Columbia, Maryland: 410-312-9922