Massage & Bodywork

May/June 2009

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Page 137 of 147

spotlight on education—shonna dent BY KARRIE OSBORN ANSWERING THE DOOR Sometimes people find their calling. Sometimes their calling finds them. For massage therapist, esthetician, and educator Shonna Dent, her life's work knocked on her door, long before she looked through the peephole to see what was on the other side. The first knock came in high school "Continuing education can help you remember the reason you have chosen this profession." Shonna Dent, massage therapist and esthetician when Dent bought an aromatherapy book on a whim. She decided to write a report on the subject and went to a nearby field to pick flowers that resembled the pictures in her book. "I knew nothing about aromatherapy," the 32-year-old Dent says today. "I knew plants and flowers smelled good, but had no clue there could be a medicinal benefit from them or that there was a distillation process that occurred." She looks back at that experience with a smile, wondering how she must have looked as she showed her piles of crushed lavender and sage to her teen classmates. The second knock for Dent came when she purchased a massage book from a used bookstore for no particular reason. By now she was intrigued with alternative therapies. A few years later, she bought a pregnancy massage book because her best friend was pregnant and she wanted to learn more about techniques that might benefit her. "It wasn't until my friend received a gift certificate to receive a professional massage that I realized that someone could actually be a massage therapist, or that massage therapy was actually a profession that you could make money at," she says. Just 20 at the time, Dent recalls this as her "light bulb" moment. "I remember being so excited, and at that point I knew exactly where my future would be headed." 136 massage & bodywork may/june 2009

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