Vitality//noun: the state of being strong and active
When I was 12, I completely jumped out of my comfort zone and went on a 3-week-long backpacking adventure with a small group of women through the beautiful Olympic Peninsula. It felt both exhilarating and terrifying having to navigate mile after mile through the extensive forests, while towing a giant hand-me-down backpack, stuffed to the brim with my few items and a bear canister for our food. Most days, it took e v e r y ounce of determination and focus to constantly push past any of my physical & mental limitations, so we could make it to our destination before sundown.
Then we’d wake up with the sun and do it all. over. again.
Looking back now, that month only illuminated the amount strength I wouldn’t have known existed in my adolescent frame. At the end of each day, after we finally made it to our “new home” for the night – AKA, our trusty tarp shelters tied down with rope, rocks, and fancy knots – everyone would be completely exhausted and aching from hours of hiking. I would often suggest we start a “massage train”. (You know, where everyone rubs everyone’s back but the lucky one in the front resting their arms.) To my astonishment, this group effort usually resulted in everyone begging me for individual back rubs, telling me that they were grateful to feel some relief and that I truly had “magic hands.”
I suppose that’s where my passion for massage therapy first ignited.
Flash Forward 5 Years later :
I had finished high school early and felt excited to pursue something that I could really enjoy. Attending a University wasn’t ever too appealing; and I knew I’d switch my majors a million times, being the indecisive human being that I am. After a little while of uncertainty, I knew that I was fond of the concept behind trade schools, or “fast-track” certifications, because it would allow me to spend less time and money in the long run, while obtaining certifications to get my career started quickly.
I scheduled a tour as soon as I found East West College here in Portland Oregon. I remember that day, walking through the clean halls, listening in on a variety of lectures, and seeing students put their new found skills to practice. I was able to ask any question that popped in my head, knowing that someone would help me find the answer. There was something about being in that environment that made me feel supported, excited, and like everything was finally coming together.
Before I could enroll into the 800 hour program, I had to wait a few months until I turned 18. In the Spring of 2013, I decided to take on a full schedule of night classes during my first of five terms, so I could maintain my day job as a sleep – deprived barista. The amount of incredible material and hands-on experience was staggering, but I was absolutely obsessed. There was such an ideal structure of sitting and studying the more scientific anatomy focused material, balanced with tons of hands on training. I lived and breathed my anatomy flash cards, taking them everywhere with me, while probably driving my friends crazy educating them of their “thyroid cartilage” when they referred to it as an “Adam’s apple”, or asking permission to palpate a particular muscle. I was determined to stay focused and graduate with flying colors, so that’s what I did in October, 2014.
I earned my license about a year ago, and started working as a LMT for the first time at a busy acupuncture clinic. I gained so many valuable skills and knowledge in the opportunity to help so many people and to see them as frequently as twice a week. There’s something so invaluable when it comes to working with an individual on a more regular basis. It’s great for them, gaining countless benefits from massage, including acceleration of natural healing properties within their body. It’s great for me, because I really have to ability to get to know their unique body and how it may respond best to a variety of techniques and modalities.
Safe to say, I am ecstatic to grow my business and clientele. Especially with the demands of today’s society and the stressors of everyday life on the rise, I want to do my best to help offset the negativity by providing an exceptional service guaranteed to relieve stress and tension levels, while giving your body and mind the quality rest you deserve. My ultimate dream in sharing my knowledge and skill set, is to bring each of my clients closer and closer to feeling better in their bodies, by improving their overall vitality and wellbeing through therapeutic massage. My wish for every body is an active lifestyle balanced between healthy movement and rest, performing at its optimum , and thriving with out pain or discomfort being a set back.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my first blog post! Subscribe to stay updated & educated on all things massage, anatomy, self care, and more!
-Jocelyn Teal, LMT