Tell us about a massage therapy instructor

who changed your life

[Speak Your Mind]

In 1990, I enrolled in owner Karen Carlson’s massage school in Glen Riddle, Pennsylvania. Karen’s program was as much about self-development as it was about learning to be a massage practitioner. I learned wonderfully effective massage techniques and to see this work as the beautiful, deep dance that it is. Karen gave me the caring push that I needed to embark on what has become a fulfilling career in helping many people create their own wellness. Although I have studied with many teachers since I became a massage practitioner, Karen’s voice is still the one I hear as I work.

Kathy Kyar

Des Moines, Iowa


Her name is Dolly Stavros, and she was a teaching assistant in Swedish massage at my college. Dolly knew much about technique, body mechanics, anatomy, and flow. But, more than anything, she showed me the practice of being present and the reality of transformation that comes through touch based in love. As I delve further into the clinical applications of bodywork, it always benefits my work in the deepest ways to be present and to come from love.

Paul Vachon

Kingsport, Tennessee


Scott Shaw’s plate is full. He is both a massage practitioner and a licensed counselor, and both of his practices are thriving. To students at Biloxi’s Virginia College, he is both inspiration and caring instructor. By the end of our first quarter (i.e., Fundamentals of Massage Therapy), Scott had given us a brief glimpse of deep tissue, myofascial release, neuromuscular therapy, and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation—and we could locate and release a trigger point! Not many first-quarter students can make the same brag.

Scott’s approach gave us a brief, sweet taste of the skills we will one day master when we, too, become skilled massage therapists.

Gary Addis

Biloxi, Mississippi


The most influential instructor I ever had was Dr. Valerie Chin. I was a scared and timid MT student attending my first hands-on course. I had no idea what I was doing, but she taught an amazing class. From teaching us how to properly frog-leg a client or massage blindfolded (because you never know when you’re going to need to use that technique … and I have had to), she was invaluable to my education, and to the profession as a whole. She continues to inspire me through her words of wisdom: “It’s always better to be told to back off the pressure, rather than to hear from a client, ‘Could you go a little deeper?’”

Lacey Chrisman

Roseville, California


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Upcoming Topics

What do you do to make your practice more environmentally friendly?

Deadline: June 15

Publication Date: September/October 2012


After a busy week of delivering hands-on work to your clients, what do you do to rejuvenate yourself?

Deadline: August 15

Publication Date: November/December 2012