Know Your Practitioner is your chance to become more familiar and comfortable with your massage practitioner. If you aren’t sure which of our talented practitioners would be best for you to come back to regularly, this is a great way to meet them and get to know who they are both personally and professionally. This is part 2 of a series of posts. Click here to read Part 1.
Amy Gunn has been a massage practitioner since 2000 and is one of our most experienced employees. She’s the co-founder of our clinic, and is as passionate about business as she is about massage. She’s built a loyal following over the years, so she can be hard to schedule on short notice, but her clients will tell you her massages are well worth the wait.
We sat down with her and asked her a few questions about her life, her work, and what makes her particular brand of massage unique.
Tell us a little something about your personal life. Hobbies, interests, family, friends, etc.
I’ve been married almost 11 years. We have a superhero-obsessed son who is 3 going on 18. He definitely keeps me busy when I’m not at work, and I love it.
I’m a little embarrassed by my number of different hobbies. I really love to write novels (nothing published yet), and knit (always have a project or two in the works) I’ve also dabbled in several different musical instruments. I used to be a decent cellist, but I sound pretty rusty now.
I also did martial arts for several years and really enjoyed it. Lately, I’ve been getting my aggression out at the gym running on a treadmill and doing strength training.
Tell us about your career in massage. How did you get started? What events lead to you working here?
I was actually getting ready to go back to school on scholarship for business marketing back in 1998-99 when I suddenly realized that I didn’t really love the things I was doing and couldn’t imagine doing them for the rest of my career (I mean seriously – I still can’t understand why people enjoy working at a desk all day long!).
I took a break from school instead, and I guess heard one too many commercials for a local massage program. I thought “Hey, I could do that…” Yeah, honestly–that was about all the thought I put into it at first.
I happened to live a few miles away from the Utah College of Massage Therapy, which had such a great program that many people regularly came from out of state, and even out of the country, to study there. I had some great teachers and learned a lot of different modalities, but especially loved my training in deep tissue and other treatment work.
After I graduated, I hung up my shingle with a massage room out of my home. I did that for a few years, and then moved to only outcall sessions for awhile.
Most of my early career, though, was spent doing additional work with hospice agencies, which was rewarding, but stressful. I drove a lot. By the time I left Utah in 2009 I had put over 120,000 miles on my 4 year-old car, and I was pretty burned out too.
I took a few years to go work for someone else at a local franchise. I actually enjoyed a lot of it: mostly the fact that I was working with a team of other LMPs for the first time in my life. But I missed being in the driver’s seat and feeling like I had control over the direction of the business. When I started working there, I’d actually thought that I was just winding down my massage career before doing something else completely. Instead, I found it got me excited to get back out on my own again, this time with even more knowledge under my belt.
I started my own practice called This Side of Paradise in early 2013 and initially just rented space from Kylee and her business, The Good Life Massage. We were technically completely separate businesses. But because we were sharing a single treatment room, we ended up making a lot of business decisions together.
This pretty naturally morphed into an official business merger a year later, though we had no idea that would happen when we first started sharing the space. It’s been awesome to see all the growth we’ve had in the past year since we merged.
What’s your favorite part of this job? What gets you excited to come to work?
I love working one on one with my clients. The most rewarding moments are when someone walks out of the treatment room with a completely different outlook on life because they finally found relief from something they thought was going to plague them forever.
What is it about your massage that keeps your clients coming back? What makes you stand out from the other GLM practitioners?
I enjoy giving serious treatment work, partly because the body is a puzzle and I’m trying to work out how to put it back together. I love a challenge! I can go deeper than many therapists do, but in a controlled way. Don’t ask me to go as deep as I can unless you know what you’re really asking for.
Pick a superpower: flying or turning invisible. Explain your answer.
I would probably have to pick flying. Which is maybe ridiculous considering that my ears hurt like crazy when I get on a plane.
We’re all about wellness here. What’s your favorite health habit? This can be something that you’re working on, have mastered, or just feel like our clients should be doing.
I’ve been into having vegetables with every meal lately. I’m not perfect at it, but I work at it. What I like about trying to live this habit is that it has challenged my creativity and sense of adventure.
I’ve gotten very good at sneaking spinach into things like protein shakes and pancakes–where my family and I get the benefit, but they don’t feel like they’re just eating rabbit food.
Finish this statement: I wish my clients knew …
… that I don’t judge their bodies nearly as harshly as they judge themselves. They may look in the mirror and see flabby this or saggy that–imperfections they see above all else.
To me, the human body is a sacred thing–a miracle of nature. And I think that, no matter how the bodies of real people measure up to the ideal body images that are in the media.
I honestly don’t remember those things my clients may hate most about their bodies. What really stays with me is who they are as a whole person. My hope with every massage is that my clients come away feeling more complete, more comfortable in their own skin–more in harmony with the world around them.
Click here to book a massage with Amy today!
As with everything on this blog, none of this information should be construed as medical advice or care. The employees of The Good Life Massage, including the writers of this blog, are not medical doctors. Consult with your physician before making any changes to improve your health.
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Tom Gunn is the official blogger and social media marketer for The Good Life Massage. You can follow him on twitter @tomgunnpoet.