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Creating Exceptional Massage Therapists

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Graduate Corner

Graduate Corner

Sara Sweesy, LMT

This month’s Graduate Corner spotlight is on Sara Sweesy, LMT.  Sara graduated from our Vancouver campus 2 years ago and has been steadily growing in her professional career ever since graduation.

When we decided to launch a Vancouver massage school in 2016, it was to help people like Sara realize their dreams of becoming a massage therapist who strives to help people in pain every day.

Campus Manager, Chad Knowlden and School Owner, Shari Aldrich, surprised Sara last week at work with a few gifts and lunch for the chiropractors office she works at, Opdahl Chiropractic Clinic in Battle Ground, WA.

Today I was VERY surpised at work with a visit from
Shari Aldrich the

Sara Sweesy, LMT

owner of Bodymechanics, where I went to
school and Chad Knowlden who was the main instructor I learned under.
They came in with food and presents and hugs, just to congratulate me as to how
wonderful I am doing in my career

Thank you guys so much!!! It was such an appreciated gesture.

Opdahl Chiropractic Clinic

While there, we met with Monique Opdahl, office manager as well as Dr. Opdahl and several other staff and chiropractors.  As the school owner, and someone who has tremendous pride in what we teach at Bodymechanics School, it was very rewarding to hear Monique call Sara a “master massage therapist” two years into her career.

One thing that Monique said to me that stood out, is how prepared Sara was at graduation to immediately step in and begin working on injured patients of their clinic.  In fact, she received a massage from a new graduate the week prior and said the same thing about her massage – and is ready to bring on one of our current students to perform an externship program at Opdahl’s Chiropractic Clinic.

Sara is excelling in working with a variety of clients – from whiplash, to low back pain, to shoulder pain.  I had the opportunity to speak with Sara recently when she came to the school for an evaluation of our current students.

She was thrilled to be working in a setting she loved, helping people feel better.  She had a smile from ear-to-ear when she shared her love for her massage career.

Bodymechanics School Professional Relationships

Bodymechanics School thrives off a dynamic relationship with many clinics and spas in the communities we serve.  One thing that we really appreciate is an office that is always ready to help our program when needed – whether for employment opportunities, classroom activities, vendor or employment fairs, or graduate panels.

Bodymechanics School - VancouverIt is not lost on me how well Opdahl’s Chiropractic Clinic works with our Vancouver campus.  They are always ready to show up and this makes our program stronger.  It helps our graduates succeed – whether they work for them or go a different direction.

While there, Chad asked Monique if they were able to participate in our upcoming school fair on June 15, 2019 from 10 am – 2 pm.  This relationship is one that we appreciate!

We are proud of Sara and her accomplishments.  Her dedication to her profession is inspiring.  We are your big cheerleaders!

Now enrolling for upcoming classes!

Evening classes run Monday – Thursday from 6 pm – 10 pm.
Morning classes run Tuesday – Friday from 9 am – 1 pm.
Weekend classes run 2-3 weekends per month from 9 am – 6 pm.

Call 360.260.7280 for more information on our 700-hour massage therapy program in Vancouver, Washington.

Call 360.350.0015 for more information on our 700-hour (or 600-hour weekend) massage therapy program in Tumwater, Washington.

Committed to your success-

Shari Aldrich, LMT
Bodymechanics School of Myotherapy & Massage

Graduate Corner: Tristyn Jay, LMT

This month's graduate corner spotlight is on Tristyn Jay, LMT. Tristyn graduated from Bodymechanics School in July, 2016.  Since graduation she's been pretty busy building her practice and getting real life experience in multiple settings.  We recently surprised her with a visit to see her office and see what she's been up to since graduation. While in school, Tristyn knew she'd be her own boss someday.  She says that even while she was working for someone, she didn't want to let that dream die.  She had a big smile on her face when she said she "did it!" Tristyn offers her clients different options for massage - such as relaxation, injury treatment, lomi lomi, and gua sha. She also does eyebrow threading. She is steadily growing her practice while allowing herself time to do some of her favorite activities - such as working out and hiking. Since she offers many services to her clients, she has found that a client will come in for one service and then learn about her other services and take advantage of them.  Word of mouth of her practice is growing and she is steadily growing each month. Her office is in Lacey at the Marston Center, and she shares it with one of her classmates, Faith Fischer.  Sharing expenses certainly helps them both get their practices off the ground. Last October, Tristyn was able to go to Thailand with a group of massage therapists to learn Thai Massage at the TMC School in Chiang Mai. This trip gave Tristyn the opportunity to learn Thai massage and visit many cultural spots in Thailand - such as Tiger Kingdom, Bangkok, an elephant sanctuary and spend time on the beach in Phuket. A review on her Facebook page says it all: I loved my experience at Tristyn’s shop ...
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Graduate Corner: Jennifer Foster-Hinman, LMT

Graduate Corner:  Jennifer Foster-Hinman, LMT Meet Jennifer Foster-Hinman, LMT - one of our most recent graduates from Bodymechanics School of Myotherapy & Massage.  Prior to massage school, Jennifer worked for 10 years at the Washington State Department of Health as an Emergency Preparedness Coordinator. Jennifer is a military spouse.  Prior to moving to Washington State, her family lived in Arizona for a few years and she worked as a substitute teacher and also a stay-at-home mom. Why Massage as a New Career? Massage was always something Jennifer wanted to do.  After college, she went the traditional career direction and then later as a stay-at-home mom.  After her husband became a wounded warrior, she saw the amount of pain he was in and she thought she could relieve some of that pain through massage. Massage for military veterans is becoming a routine part of the returning veterans care plan after service.  Bodymechanics School sees many veterans joining our school as a result of receiving massage services as part of their rehab.  We also see many spouses join our school to help relieve their spouses pain.  (Read more about military massage here https://www.massagemag.com/massage-military-veterans-44583/) Bodymechanics School Jennifer originally thought of going to a different massage school until she came in and met everyone at Bodymechanics School.  In her own words:   "I loved how this school was small and felt like they treated us all like family. They truly care about each student and want you to do well.  I am so glad I came here." During her time at the school, she learned advanced massage techniques which helped her take care of her husbands pain.  She also excelled in providing exceptional massage techniques to clients in our student  clinic - some of which followed her into her professional career. Jennifer applied to become ...
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Graduate Corner: Jennifer Brocx, LMT CH

Graduate Corner:  Jennifer Brocx, LMT CH This months  Graduate Corner spotlight is on Jennifer Brocx, LMT CH, who graduated from Bodymechanics School of Myotherapy & Massage in July, 2017 and is already gaining a reputation in Olympia as an injury treatment specialist in her private practice. I had the opportunity to meet up with Jennifer last week and got feedback on her professional career while I helped her with some SEO on her website.  We talked about her education at Bodymechanics School, what her private massage practice looks like today and her future goals. Making the decision to open your own business is a challenge for even the most seasoned massage therapist.  Choosing to start your career being your own boss shows tremendous fortitude.  Jennifer chose to open her own practice immediately after graduation and she's doing well. Read on for more information on Jennifer's professional career ...
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Graduate Corner: Samantha Doyle

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. Work Setting 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. PRO'S ...
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Graduate Corner: Hilary Olsen

Bodymechanics School graduate Hilary Olsen has had quite a journey over the past couple of years, leading up to finding her dream job in massage therapy.  I noticed last week a status update she posted on her Facebook page and instantly reached out asking Hilary to share her story. Hilary's Facebook post: I'll just put this right here for some self promotion. Injury treatment is my main squeeze in Massage Therapy. Shout out to Shari for being 'da bomb' at teaching me something valuable I can take everywhere I go. Helping reduce pain and increasing ROM 1 hour at a time!! Now from Hilary in her words - how she is doing now in massage therapy and how Bodymechanics School of Myotherapy & Massage set her up for success. =================================================================== Graduate Corner:  Hilary Olsen Let me tell you a story. First of all,  some cold hard facts about my career as a massage therapist.
  • One - I won't settle for anything less than what Im worth.
  • Two - I love what I do  - comparable to my family, and
As I was sitting here yesterday looking at my eleven W2's from 2016, I couldn't help but contemplate how I got here. I have my own place in Reno, Nevada. I am a single mother making a living as a massage therapist. What could be better?! I started my path in a healing field so that I could be a part of something greater everyday.  As a goldsmith for ten years I always felt like there was something missing.  Yes, I did custom pieces and repaired heirlooms.  I  probably even sized your sisters engagement ring. It was rewarding in some aspects. Mostly when the customer would come in, I could hear the joy ...
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Graduate Corner: Rhonda and Eric Stevens

Nearly 1 year ago, married couple Rhonda and Eric Stevens graduated from the weekend massage program at Bodymechanics School.  Attending massage school in a weekend program takes tremendous fortitude for almost all who enter.  The majority of weekend students tend to have full time jobs while attending massage school two to three weekends a month.  With both Rhonda and Eric going through the program together it allowed them to support each other, and bring their individual talents to the classroom in order to begin their future careers. Bodymechanics School offers advanced massage treatment education Rhonda initially found Bodymechanics School via a Google search and liked that our focus was on  injury treatment - that we weren't a "spa" program.   Our focus on posture and structure in relationship to chronic pain conditions was exactly what Rhonda was looking for in a massage program.  Rhonda has been a Physical Therapy Assistance since 2008 - first in Virginia, and moving to Washington in 2009.  Her experience at a physical therapy clinic in Virginia, where massage was widely used by the clinic set the stage for her interest in massage.  She was fortunate to work for a Physiatrist who believed in soft tissue work and she saw firsthand the benefits of soft tissue work in conjunction with physical therapy. Eric's path to massage therapy was slightly different.  He currently serves in the Army Reserves and while in school, he worked at a local cabinet shop.  He served as a medic in the army and for some time had been considering an industry helping people one he wanted to pursue.  He looked into nursing, but the year long wait list was overwhelming and the amount of student loans he would assume concerned him.  He was afraid he wouldn't be able to pay off the ...
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Graduate Corner: Jose Lozano, LMP

For Bodymechanics School graduate Jose "Joe" Lozano, LMP, working hard is nothing new.  You see, Joe has been active duty military for 20 years now.  He attended Bodymechanics School evening, graduating just over a year ago.  He attended night school at the end of a long day serving our country.  (Read how Bodymechanics accepts GI Bill payments for massage school in Tumwater.) Joe is often asked how he maintains his schedule.  Monday through Friday, Joe is awake at 4:00 am to get to his job on post managing the dining facility by 5:00 am.  He works a full shift on base, goes home to spend an hour with his wife and then heads to his second job at Hand & Stone Spa in Lacey where he works until 10:00 pm.  How does he do it?  In his words "training, perseverance, dedication and sacrifice."  Joe performs 20-25 massages a week at Hand and Stone (full time  for massage therapy is considered between 10-15 massages a week.)  Joe just celebrated his 1-year anniversary at Hand and Stone.  Don't worry - Joe does take weekends off to recharge! Joe believes his military service has prepared him for this life - training him to get up and GO at a moments notice.  He believes in and lives by the soldiers creed to always stand ready, to deploy at a moments notice. The Soldier's Creed I am an American Soldier. I am a Warrior and a member of a team. I serve the people of the United States and live the Army Values. I will always place the mission first. I will never accept defeat. I will never quit. I will never leave a fallen comrade. I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills. I always maintain my arms, ...
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Graduate Corner: Rachal Gustafson, RN, LMP

I asked Rachal Gustafson, RN, LMP to share her success story with us today so that you could see that, with hard work and dedication, it is possible to become successful just a few short months past graduation from Bodymechanics School of Myotherapy & Massage.  From my perspective, Rachal took her schooling very serious and was determined to succeed.  She followed every piece of advice she was given and practices the 4 Pillars of Success everyday:  Technique, Marketing, Communication and Critical Thinking Skills. Here is Rachal's Story My name is Rachal Gustafson I’m a Registered nurse as well as Licensed Massage Practitioner.  Many people have asked me what made me become a massage therapist since I was already an RN. Well,  while working as a nurse taking care of one of my patients I realized the power of massage for pain relief. I was caring for a patient who was recently placed on hospice.  My patient was very uncomfortable due to cancer with metastasis.  While administering very high doses of Morphine, I quickly realized that she would not admit how uncomfortable she was because it was my impression that she needed to take care of her family still and she didn’t want to be a burden.  I asked her if she would like me to massage her back in an attempt to bring her some relief, she sighed in relief and I began to rub her back.  Immediately I watched as she took a deep breath and sunk into the bed.  She began to relax and sink into a moment when  cancer wasn’t winning, a moment when she could feel at peace, and in this moment I realized massage was my calling.  I knew immediately that I needed to become a massage therapist so I could help other people feel this same way. I graduated in October ...
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Graduate Corner: Katie Fitch, LMP

For our Graduate Corner, I asked Katie Fitch, LMP to share her experience since graduating from Bodymechanics School in 2007.  Katie is a seasoned massage therapist and has worked in many states.  Today, Katie is the Kinesiology instructor at our Vancouver massage therapy school campus. Here is Katie's Story I decided to get into massage therapy after working as a medical assistant for 20+ years.  I realized that I wanted to be more proactive in healthcare rather than reactive.  I have always loved massage and went to a massage school in 1998 in California. It wasn't very good. They taught me basics about massage but when completed, I did not feel that it was enough education for me to have a sustainable practice. When I moved to Washington I found Bodymechanics School of Myotherapy and Massage. It was a more advanced massage therapy program so I enrolled and graduated from their (at the time) 900 hour massage program in 2007. Bodymechanics School prepared me to succeed. I was in a large class - around 30 students.  School instructors took their time with each student to make sure we understood what was being taught. I felt secure in my learning.  Additionally, school business classes prepared me so that I could go right into my own practice after graduation and feel confident with what I had learned. Since graduating in 2007, I have had my own practice for the most part.  My husband Andy and I have also moved around a lot since I graduated  so I've also worked for massage studios. I really prefer my own business but moving makes it difficult because you have to find new clients with each move. When living in Alaska for 5 years I was offered a great opportunity. I was asked by Alaska Missions to volunteer to do massage ...
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Graduate Corner: Derick Moody, PTA LMP

Today’s graduate spotlight is on Derick Moody, PTA LMP.  Derick has an interesting story on how he came to massage and how he came to Bodymechanics School.  He has fought tough and nail to get to where he is today and he is proof that determination pays off. Derick can remember wanting to become a massage therapist for a long time.  He chose to join the military and was deployed, thus putting his dream on hold for a long time.   He decided to become a Physical Therapy Assistant while in the military and enjoyed the schooling and the knowledge.  Yet, massage therapy was always in the back of his mind. Flash forward a few years and we see that Derick is working and has kids to support and it seems that his dream is getting pushed aside, rather than being realized. He describes a conversation with a friend, who told him words that changed his career path.  His friend said, “Stop talking about it, just go.”  Within a week, Derick was enrolled in Massage Connection in Tacoma and you would think he is finally going for his dream career.  Yet, another stumbling block got in the way when the school closed mid-way through his program. The owner of Massage Connection had called Bodymechanics School owner, Shari and let her know what was happening.  Several students from Massage Connection joined Bodymechanics and finished their schooling, thankful that they were able to join in existing classes, not start at the beginning and not have to start over paying full tuition. Two of Derick’s former classmates let him know about Bodymechanics School and he came down and met with Shari, and was excited to know that our school was primarily injury treatment focused as it blended well with his PTA background. Derick ...
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Graduate Corner: Kathleen Jardine, LMP

I worked long and hard to get where I am today. When I first started working I hated my jobs; bussing tables in a cafeteria, making beds in a resort, cooking meals in an institution. When I started working with people, teaching basic living skills to serious mentally ill adults, I realized that helping people was more than just a job, it was profound, meaningful work. I had a massage license back in those days – just a short 100 or so hour training in Swedish massage. I liked it. It seemed like a good way to “touch” people, but I didn’t stay with it. I got diverted for 25 or so years. I was still helping people, just in a different way. About 2 years ago I found myself in a position of needing a serious change in my career. I needed to find a different way to earn money.  My heart wasn’t in the mental health field “helping people” any longer. I still wanted to be able to help others. I thought massage would allow me to help people in a different way, it was something I experienced in the past, I liked it and I was good at it. It allows me to touch people in a way that helps them and gives me meaning. I decided to go back to massage school and get the required training necessary to restart my career. I looked around, I asked some people, and I was directed to Bodymechanics School of Myotherapy and Massage. I was told it’s a good school that I would get a good education. It offers advanced training in injury treatment and offers small class size so learning is focused on getting good technique and getting intimate yet formalized training.  I showed up, I practiced, I ...
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4 Questions, 4 Myths & the 4 Pillars of Success

Enjoy this FREE e-book where I will help you to understand the massage profession and answer questions, dispel myths and explain the Bodymechanics School.