Rebecca Smith

A Mind for Massage

By Brandon Twyford
[ABMP Member Profile]

Rebecca Smith says her knack for trivia recall is what helps her memorize and understand human anatomy. She may be right—she was recently a contestant on Jeopardy!, the gold standard of trivia competitions. “I’m an anatomy geek and love learning new things about the body all the time,” Smith says. “Every day, I am floored by how the body works, moves, compensates for restrictions, and exists in spite of what we do to it as human beings.”
Smith also has a painfully deep understanding of how the human body reacts to trauma and the process of recovering from that trauma. She suffered a severe injury to her right knee that resulted in 15 years of rehab, physical therapy, compensation patterns, and surgeries before finally having complete joint replacement surgery. Combine this firsthand experience with Smith’s encyclopedic knowledge of anatomy and it’s easy to see why she’s continually fascinated with the massage profession. “I have a tendency to look at things from a slightly different perspective, with a slightly different collection of information that lets me approach easing people’s bodies in a different way,” Smith says.
Smith didn’t always know she was destined for a career in massage. She used to work in the corporate world, mostly in banking and insurance. “I had a great boss who kept asking me a (dangerous) question: ‘What makes you happy?’” During a happy hour with friends one evening, Smith made a list of what she wanted out of a job that would make her happy: being able to focus on one thing at a time, being able to make a positive impact on people’s lives, having people be happy to see her, and being able to solve new problems on a regular basis. “Looking over the list, I realized I wanted to do what my massage therapist was doing! The rest is history.”
For the past three years, Smith has been practicing massage out of her own office at Flourish Pilates in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she is part of a team of therapists who perform a range of modalities. Smith says, “It has been really wonderful and rewarding to work in a creative environment with other women in complementary therapies.”