The following is the premier post in a series inspired by a massage therapist for massage therapists and the dreamers who are determined to be doers! Follow these amazing stories of RMTs in the community who have leveraged their careers to create incredible opportunities and pursue dreams thanks to the flexibility of a career in massage therapy.
Imagine pursuing a love of figure skating that leads straight to a place where dreams come true...Disney On Ice.
A few years into her massage therapy career, Helene Letourneau, RMT decided to audition for Disney on Ice and become a professional figure skater.
Do you dream of travel? What about getting paid to create magical experiences for captive audiences around the world? What about doing what you love every. single. day?
This dream became a reality for Helene Letourneau in 2014. She was steadily building her massage therapy practice in Ottawa, Ontario Canada and seized the opportunity to skate on tour with Disney on Ice “Passport to Adventure.”
YOU MAY AS WELL START NOW
Let’s remember that opportunities like this don’t always come around and what may seem like "bad timing"- may unravel into a perfect plan. Just be prepared, it doesn’t always happen on your timeline. As Helene experienced between applying for Disney on Ice in November 2013 she had to wait while being evaluated until she was invited to audition in February 2014 and finally on tour in August 2014.
YES, YOU CAN DO BOTH
Notice Helene didn’t quit massage therapy to pursue skating full time. No. Between applying, auditioning and touring Helene maintained a full massage therapy schedule. She made her decisions as needed and professionally let her colleagues and clients know her plans.
THANKS TO THE RIGHT TEAM
The freedom that Helene felt to pursue her skating career could only come from working with a supportive team and the right leadership. Helene fondly remembers discussing the opportunity with Jana Veltheim, founder of Align Massage Therapy, “Helene, do what you want” she encouraged. When Helene is back home in Ottawa, Helene is free to add herself to the schedule and see her regular clientele. In the meantime, Helene knows that her regular clients are well taken care of should they decide to see another therapist at Align. She was encouraged by her clients to pursue the opportunity to skate with Disney on Ice. Of course, they would miss her but, she would be crazy to pass up an opportunity to see the world and do what brings her joy- skating and performing!
WHAT WAS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART?
For Helene, she felt the process didn't feel like work. It’s a goal she wanted to achieve and she was excited about each step.
BECOMING A BETTER PERSON AND MASSAGE THERAPIST
The experience with Disney on Ice gave Helene a lot of personal growth development but, she also attributes her time with Disney on Ice to becoming a better therapist. “You really have to stay on top of things” she adds. How? She knows she needs to stay proactive to maintain a professional relationship with her clients. She has an email list and she keeps her clients updated seasonally on her Disney On Ice adventures. When she knows she will be on the Align schedule she will send an email, sometimes only a day in advance. Clients respond positively and she has a full schedule even on short notice. In fact, it’s the client who feels special that she thought of them first. She is, in turn, grateful for her full schedule. She has made strides in personal growth having been exposed to different types of people both on tour and in the audience. This has helped her develop patience and understanding with each new encounter.
FREEDOM AS A REGISTERED MASSAGE THERAPIST
Helene knows that no other job would have allowed her the freedom that a career as an RMT provides. The ability to help people wherever we are makes it easy to work anywhere. Helene praises the profession for allowing massage therapists to create a life that we want with unlimited potential. Networking with good people and finding connections within the profession is something she enjoys.
PROLONGING HER MASSAGE THERAPY CAREER
Skating full time with Disney on Ice has given her a break from massage therapy and she has been able to see a wide range of opportunities to blend massage therapy and the Disney on Ice community. “It’s Bringing two jobs I love together.” She excitedly describes the potential to provide short massage therapy contracts with Disney on Ice abroad. She knows she has worked hard to establish connections and build relationships along the way to make it possible to offer her services with Disney on Ice.
WHAT ARE HER DREAMS AFTER DISNEY ON ICE?
Spend time with family, spend time on her relationship, and expand her practice with Align. Helene also looks forward to continuing her massage therapy education to provide even more care to her clients in craniosacral therapy and visceral manipulation.
HER RESPONSE TO, "I WANT TO DO THAT!"
Helene says that no one comes to her with the same dream but, when they hear her story, they declare with wide eyes, “I really want to do that!” She is honest with them that it is tricky but, if you want it, you make it happen.
WHY ARE MASSAGE THERAPISTS NOT PURSUING PASSIONS?
Helene is blunt, “they are lazy.” (And I agree). They settle and dream but, not do. Most massage therapists have a single-minded life and they don’t see anything beyond massage therapy as a source of income or how they define themselves. It’s not hard to do [Insert amazing life changing opportunity here] AND your job. You need to seek out the information but, it is available. If massage therapists want to travel and use massage therapy as a source of income there are many worthwhile opportunities to check out such as cruise ships and sports teams. Massage therapists have an opportunity to create their own job description and every massage therapist should see themselves as an entrepreneur.
Helene completed her tour with Disney On Ice "Passport to Adventure" right here in Ottawa on December 23rd-26th, 2017.
See Helene for massage therapy at Align Massage Therapy.
Krista Dicks, RMT
A dream is a wish your heart makes. Written by Al Hoffman, David Pack, Jerry Livingston, Mack David • Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Walt Disney Music Company, Universal Music Publishing Group