Student Spotlight: Stephanie Upton, MD
When I first interviewed Stephanie Upton back in June, 2013 and I glanced at her current profession and saw “physician” written down, I was a little taken aback. I mean, who would think that an MD would want to go to massage school, right? But, she did want to go to massage school to complete a dream she held close for many years.
I sat down with Steph this morning to reflect upon her career path and her future goals; and how massage therapy
will fit in her future. I am so thankful that Stephanie made the decision to join Bodymechanics School of Myotherapy & Massage and bring with her an enthusiasm to help that is contagious.
Steph describes that growing up; she was always interested in a massage career. Yet, somehow medical school and following the “medical career treadmill” got in the way of following her first passion. She describes being the second person in her family to go to college, and the first to obtain a graduate degree.
From there, her days were spent working in medicine. Many years passed and she found working in the western medical philosophy and her own personal views on health and wellness conflicting at times. She describes looking into ways that she could 1) work within the medical system in a different way that was more in line with her views and 2) looking at other opportunities to explore ways that she could be of help to people.
At the time, Stephanie was working at a local Urgent Care facility, and when she made the decision to leave, she decided to pursue Hospice medicine and was anticipating unemployment. She recognized that the opportunity to do massage therapy school would bring her closer to her something she always wanted to do.
Massage therapy had been something she hadn’t thought about since college. But, with the decision to leave urgent care, the timing worked out perfectly for her to join Bodymechanics School.
Steph describes that the “possibilities are wide open” now that she is close to completing school.
One thing that she describes is that massage therapy and her medical career compliment each other. She feels that she is more present in the moment with her patients. She is better able to allow things to happen and use touch as a way to facilitate that. Using touch as a way to communicate with her hospice patients especially when they can’t communicate verbally has become important already.
Together, Steph and I shared stories of our time with hospice patients and massage therapy – and both realize that the power of touch is a powerful tool to ease pain in ways that medication isn’t able to do. The ability to merge her two worlds to create her own path is still incredulous to Steph.
Attending Bodymechanics School has enhanced her understanding of chronic musculoskeletal issues and has been exactly what Steph wanted it to be. She says that she has thoroughly enjoyed massage school and would recommend this course to anyone in the medical profession who has similar goals.
We thank Steph for her contribution to our program and for enhancing the education of all around her. Best of luck in your future endeavors, Stephanie Upton, MD, LMP (to be).