"I Love Making a Differnce in People's LIves"

MT serves those who have served

By Karrie Osborn
[ABMP Member Profile]

When Lindsey Zulewski first started marketing to military veterans, she had no idea how successful she would be in reaching these clients.

Today, nearly 20 percent of Zulewski’s weekly client base is made up of veterans who come to her for a variety of ailments—from old battle wounds to arthritis and the effects of aging bodies. Most are men who served in Vietnam or Korea, and she is grateful for each and every one of them. “They appreciate me, and I appreciate them.”
Zulewski, who opened her Trenton, Michigan, practice in 2012, decided to seek out this niche market after talking with her landlord, whose father was both a veteran and a massage therapist. He told his local Veterans Affairs (VA) facility about Zulewski and soon thereafter they contacted her to be a provider. “I was soliciting doctors in the area at the time, but never thought of the VA,” she says. Now, Zulewski gets 3–5 new clients every few months as a result of the relationship she’s built with the VA. “My veterans are some of my favorite clients.”
This was not the path Zulewski had originally mapped out. Her intention was to become a dental hygienist, but the program she wanted to enroll in was full and she would have had to wait a few months before starting classes. She instead decided to take a massage therapy course, thinking it would be something she could do on the side if she liked it. “Three weeks into the massage program, I threw dental hygiene out the window. I absolutely fell in love with massage.”
Zulewski says the gift of helping others is the most fulfilling aspect of what she does, and she’s forever grateful she couldn’t pursue her original career path. “No one looks forward to seeing their dental hygienist, but everyone loves seeing their massage therapist. It makes me feel good to make someone else feel good. And I love to make a difference in people’s lives.”
Her advice to others who want to help the nation’s veterans is to be patient. “Sometimes it can be challenging, especially if you have clients who suffer from PTSD [posttraumatic stress disorder]. Whether it’s PTSD or a physical ailment, understand that it’s not going to heal overnight. It takes a while to get the result you’re looking for. Be patient. Earn their trust. Listen to them. And stick with it. I’ve found it to be very much worth my while.”