In July, Becca Ernst, 24, was awarded Massage Warehouse's Ultimate Business Starter Package award after winning an essay contest. FutureLMT.com interviewed Ernst, who lives in Savannah, Georgia, and attends the International Spa Institute (isispaeducation.com) in Bluffton, South Carolina.
How did you decide massage was the right career for you?
A: [For] most of my life, I've had a really tough time dealing with anxiety. In 2012, I became interested in reiki through searching online [for] different ways of relaxing. Once I had my first reiki experience, that calmness and lightness I felt is what catapulted my interest [into] other healing modalities. I knew I was on the right path after my first one-hour massage at the Marriott Spa in Savannah. Before that, I knew I wanted to help others ease their discomforts through massage therapy, but until I had my first massage I had no idea how good one actually felt. My experience with the anxiety and the tension I've felt in my body [so] many days of my life has now become a way for me to understand the importance of relaxing.
What excites you most about your new career?
A: Growth is what excites me most. Not only in my own career path, but in the field as a whole. So much expansion has occurred in massage therapy over the last 10 years; I can't wait to see what new modalities and knowledge of the body will unfold with time.
What's the most important thing to consider when choosing a massage therapy school?
A: Passion. You want the school, instructors and the whole atmosphere to scream with passion. If there is passion about the work the school is doing, then everything else will fall into place. The school I attended was focused on nurturing students' enthusiasm for their work. I don't think a school or a massage therapist would go very far without that powerful quality.
What are your plans for growing your business?
A: Throughout my career I plan to learn as much as I can so I can provide my clients with the best service. I plan to have my own business within a couple of years. To grow clientele, I will take some classes to sharpen my marketing skills. I believe word-of-mouth goes a long way. I will work with clients' individual perspectives to help them create a plan that allows them to be in their bodies more comfortably through regular massage sessions, stretching routines and support for their optimum health. I want my clients to know they are cared for, and ultimately I want them to go through life feeling good. People can sense if you are just meeting them for a paycheck. If you have compassion for your clients and want the best for them, your business will surely grow big and strong.
What services do you plan to offer?
A: Eventually I plan to know more about myofascial release; it's a technique I'm very fascinated by. I will also put deep tissue, Swedish, bamboo and hot stone massage; reiki; and yoga into my practice.
How has winning Massage Warehouse's Ultimate Business Starter Package award helped you professionally?
Winning this award has given me the perfect tools I need to start my career. I love the Business Starter Package. The fleece padding gives an extra layer for comfort, which allows [clients] on the table to be that much more relaxed. I'm also really excited to use the massage chair at future events. With all the different kinds of lotions provided, I'm able to know which one works well with me for the best glide. I am very grateful to Massage Warehouse for giving me this award.
About the Award
The Ultimate Business Starter Package includes: NRG table; NRG carry case; NRG Grasshopper chair and carry case; Hold-All holster; NRG three-piece deluxe flannel sheet set; Sanctuary Protocols DVD; NRG Sporty table cart; NRG premium headrest; messenger bag; TheraPro Massage Gel (8 ounces); Massage FX Cream (4 ounces); NRG digital table warmer; Pedigenix Deodorizing Liquid Powder; Soma MultiPurpose Cream (8 ounces); Lotus Touch Organic Naturals Lotion (8 ounces); and 8-ounce plastic bottle and pump.