Graduate Corner: Samantha Doyle
Samantha Doyle, LMP, became a licensed massage therapist in May, 2017. With graduation April 21, 2017 – getting licensed just 2 weeks after graduation was a true surprise. She was quickly up and running her own professional massage practice at Simply Hair in Rainier, Washington.
I had a moment to catch up with Samantha this afternoon and we were able to talk about what she’s up to today, what lessons she learned during her time at Bodymechanics School and about her future goals.
I had to start with asking Samantha about her biggest SUCCESS since graduation and she said it was realizing that she could do it – she could be her own boss! She loves controlling her own life and being a business owner. She loves the freedom she gained with her new career – setting her own schedule and being the primary decision maker of her corporation.
She also shared her excitement with helping a client with whiplash and how excited she was to realize that she had the skills necessary to help this person get increased range of motion and decreased pain after just three massage sessions. But cautions that there is a learning curve to understanding treatment and the billing side of injury cases. Samantha says “don’t be discouraged, and it’s okay to ask for help!” Just today, Samantha spent over an hour with Hayley Aldrich, LMP and school Campus Manager learning how to use billing software. Realizing that working with a small school – and that she could ask for help after graduating – was a big plus for Samantha.
Samantha is located in a hair salon in Rainier. She has discovered the pro’s and con’s to her location and is happy to share what she has learned.
There is an existing customer base to pull from at the hair salon. The staff at Simply Hair are very supportive and refer clients to Samantha often. Sam goes in as much as she is able and has gained clients by offering hand massages while they are getting their hair done.
The noise can be distracting – but a fan in the massage room has helped to cut down the noise. Also, there is hair “everywhere” with clients tracking it into the massage room.
Tips and Tricks
Samantha has massaged as many as eight clients in a week so far – her goal is to get to twenty in a week. But, the slow amp up is good as it allows Samantha time to get her body and her hands prepared for the heavier load (self-care is so very important.)
Sam offers a referral program for clients who send people her way. Right now, offering an extended massage is working best as it encourages re-booking with her.
Showing gratitude and appreciation towards her client base is something that is very important to Samantha. She also recommends being approachable – be real to your clients.
Showing up at the office every day that she is able is another important aspect of growing her business. Samantha goes in whether she has clients or not and will let the hair salon staff know if she’s unable to show up so that they can share with their customers.
Knowing what she knows now, what would she have done differently?
Samantha laughed at this question – saying “take more notes!”
On a more serious note, Samantha says that students should know that self-discovery and self-exploration are part of the package and that’s okay. You can’t help others without helping yourself first.
I do often laugh with students and say that we go to massage school and say we want to help others feel better – but really we are trying to figure out the aches and pains we deal with on a daily basis. Figuring out YOU is part of the deal with massage school. I do see so much personal and professional growth with every student and it is with great awe that we get to see the discovery happen.
Samantha encourages those entering school to take the time to learn – commit to learning. Understanding that you don’t have to be perfect on Day 1 is okay. No two massage therapists are the same – even with learning the same information at school. The process students go through to learn is both the same, yet different because we all bring our own filter to learn through. It’s ok to be different.
How well did Bodymechanics School prepare Samantha?
Samantha got emotional with this one. She loves that she is able to really help people who are in pain and that she can make a difference. She is grateful for Bodymechanics for teaching more than just the basics of massage. When I asked her about her emotions she expressed how she had a moment of self-doubt over the weekend – wondering if she had the tools necessary to help her whiplash client.
The emotions she showed me came from the gratitude she felt for her education after the client came in and had very little pain and near full range of motion.
The emotions are also part of a bigger reason.
Samantha felt she was called to go to massage school – and that everything lined up for her to go to Bodymechanics School. She lives to be of service to others – and loves to tailor treatments to meet the needs of clients within her professional scope of practice.
When Samantha started massage school, her mom was ill. Her desire to help people stems from wanting to help all people in a way that is very personal. The fact that Bodymechanics School offered her the training she needed, and the options to be there for her family as needed was the answer she needed to serve people.
When Samantha had her moment of self-doubt, she reached out to one of her classmates, Kim, who said to her:
You are smart enough
You are beautiful enough
You are strong enough
and that’s good enough
The bonds made during school will bolster you when you need it to. Samantha has had lunch with classmates and stays in contact as much as possible. School and friendships don’t end with graduation.
Final words of wisdom
Samantha says to those who are on the fence about massage school:
Make a difference in your life and in others lives and DO IT. Things will line up as needed. Realize that there will rarely be a perfect time to go to massage school. If it’s something you really want – don’t wait. Life is messy. Take time for you.
Thank you Samantha! I am so proud of you and I can’t wait to have you join the school as our next Teacher’s Assistant (and on to teaching massage school!)
With classes starting soon, we are ready to help you take your big leap into massage therapy. Give us a call and lets get you started!
Big hugs and congrats on your success
Shari Aldrich, LMP