Massage & Bodywork

JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2016

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DS 6 January February 2016 By Karrie Osborn ABMP Member Profile "It's Not Work" "If you enter this career with honest intent, with the purpose of doing all you can to help others, you will soar as a massage therapist." —Benn Perry, LMT Benn Perry has found his calling. After 43 years in a variety of careers helping people, Perry found the thing he loves to do most—helping people through massage. This Michigan-based therapist has always been the person willing to give others a back rub. After receiving one of Perry's back rubs in 2014, a friend emphatically told him he should consider massage as a career. Perry did. He enrolled in Irene's Myomassolgy Institute a month later and, as a result, says, "I'll never have to work another day in my life because I love what I do for a living!" For 22 years, Perry was the national director of a nonprofit organization that helped people get out of debt. He later consulted Michigan businesses during the post-2008 economic downturn, wrote four books and a screenplay, and even found himself lending credit advice on the Oprah Winfrey show in 1987. But it was when he became a massage therapist that Perry knew he had found his purpose. Today, this 61-year-old husband and father works primarily as a mobile massage therapist, bringing his massage to corporations and clients throughout the Detroit area. "It all starts with 'hands-on' for me," Perry says. "It was the reason I became involved in massage on a professional basis." He says he senses a spiritual strength almost instantly when he lays hands on a client. "It overtakes me and allows me to turn all my positive energy toward my client. People say I might be sapping myself of strength and emotional energy in the process, but I've given two- and three-hour massages, and, remarkably, upon their conclusion, I clearly have more energy, more physical strength in my hands, greater stamina coursing through my body, and a more fulfilled sense of knowing that this new path I've chosen is not only right, but the only one for me!" What's his best advice for new practitioners? "If you enter this career with honest intent, with the purpose of doing all you can to help others, you will soar as a massage therapist. Do not put money before caring and never place your hands on someone when you are in a bad mood or don't feel well physically. Learn as many different types of massage and energy work as is humanly possible; there is always room for knowledge inside your head." Perry, who himself mentors recent graduates, says new therapists should not be bashful about learning from others. Ask veteran MTs about how they've been successful and what works for them. "If they object because they look at you as competition, thank them and move on. Find someone as like-minded as you—someone who is in this line of work to help others. Those kinds of people will share everything they know with you and will be honored that you've sought their advice." For more about Benn Perry, visit his website at www.bennperry.com. Karrie Osborn is senior editor at ABMP. Benn Perry's business card reflects his "hands-on" philosophy. Perry says chair massage events are a great way to build your client list.

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