As an English teacher by day and massage therapist by night, how do you balance your work and personal life?
It can be difficult working two jobs. I am always working toward balance by planning, prioritizing tasks and setting goals, then taking steps to achieve them. Above all, though, I make time for my family and friends.
What kind of massage is your favorite to receive? How often do you receive massage?
My favorite massage is a therapeutic deep tissue with an element of relaxation. I like to receive a massage every 3 to 4 weeks. It helps me remain active and gives me a positive outlook on life.
We know you’re an avid jazz fan. Who is your favorite Jazz artist and why?
Wow, I have many! One of my all-time favorites is tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins, a true artist and humanitarian. Sonny has taught me many lessons about life, including humility. At the pinnacle of his career, Sonny stopped recording and playing publicly for two years because of what he perceived as artistic limitations. During that time, he practiced daily on the Williamsburg Bridge in New York City to avoid disturbing neighbors. He also furthered his musical studies and began practicing yoga. When he returned to his career, critics and fans agreed that Sonny enriched his artistry. My takeaway: keep learning and improving your craft and be humble on your life’s journey.
What are your favorite modalities or techniques that you find most effective?
I use a variety of techniques and modalities during a massage to gain positive results, including lymphatic drainage, trigger point therapy, craniosacral therapy, myofascial release and muscle energy techniques. However, I find it’s a good practice to start and end with some relaxation techniques after doing more specific work.
If we asked your closest friends to describe you in three adjectives, what would they say?
My closest friends would describe me as caring, reliable, and conscientious.
What’s your favorite season of the year and why? What can you be found doing in your free time during it?
I enjoy all four seasons although winter is too long. However, during the summer I especially enjoy walking the dogs, hiking, bicycling, kayaking and traveling up north in Michigan.
What has been the most interesting thing/technique you have learned since studying massage?
I truly enjoy learning new techniques to help my clients. Since studying massage, my palpation or sense of touch skills have improved.
What was your experience the first time you received a massage?
A friend, a registered nurse, was studying massage and needed to have so many hours of practice to complete her course. So I volunteered to help. It was a wonderful massage. It helped me relax, and it relieved muscle tension. In one hour, I felt re-energized and 100% better!
You’re going to be stranded on a desert island. What are the three books you bring?
Books: I’ll give you four!
- Time and Again by Jack Finney
- Killshot by Elmore Leonard
- Papillon by Henri Charriere
- The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X with Alex Hailey
Tell us about a favorite memory with a client.
I’ll always remember a client who requested a lymphatic drainage massage after liposuction surgery and was suffering from severe edema in the abdomen and lower back, so much so, where she could not stand upright. It was very difficult because the swelling had hardened, but I steadily worked putting my training into action. Initially, I doubted that I made a positive effect on her condition. However, my client came out of the room; she smiled and gave me a hug, saying she felt much better and now could almost stand straight. It felt so gratifying to help someone in such pain and discomfort.
What is your ideal perfect setting to be in a totally relaxed state of mind?
The perfect setting for relaxation is a sunny, warm summer day with no clouds, a slight breeze on the beach at Suttons Bay or Northport, Michigan, while I read a book and look at the sail boats glide across the water.
What do you feel is the biggest mistake you've made, and how did you address it?
In general, I view mistakes or failures as lessons or opportunities to learn and grow. Specifically, when I started my career, I tried to do too many massages without taking time for self-care such as receiving massage. I love what I do, but it’s critical to strive for balance between work and self care.
Why is Dustin Palmer the best place in the area to book a massage?
At Dustin Palmer, we have a great team of well-trained therapists who truly care about your therapeutic needs and want to see you achieve your wellness goals whether it’s relaxation, pain reduction or better mobility. We see each client as a unique individual with specific needs.