Hello! My name is Shawna. I live in Oregon where a state license is required to become a Massage Therapist. I’ve been a part time LMT for nearly ten years – usually working 8-15 hours a week. I’ve recently closed down my business. But here are the best answers I could come up with… 

Have you ever massaged someone who you suspected had an eating disorder? 

If you thought someone was anorexic, would you say something to her? 
I’m not sure, but I doubt it. My job is to facilitate relaxation and a mentally healing environment. There are so many things that contribute to how a body looks such as medication, illness, stress levels etc. that it wouldn’t feel appropriate for me to make this judgment.

Do you pace yourself to the music, like, you know you're supposed to be moving from working on my left shoulder to my right at this moment because of that swell in the music?  
No, my music randomly rotates. It would be tedious listening to exactly the same music for every hour appointment.

Or because people have different areas you focus on because of pain or whatever, is every massage different so you look at a clock somewhere to keep yourself on time?  
Yes, actually. Every massage varies. Some people want more neck time, some want more shoulder time. Some areas need more time to relax the body, some areas need less time. I follow the clock loosely based on what each client requests and how each body is responding.

Have you ever seen something you thought might be a melanoma on someone's back, where they can't see it? 

Would you say something if you did? 

Have you ever felt a lump, like under somebody's arm? 
Lots of lumps – but none that were alarming.

What's the grossest thing you've ever seen on someone's body during a massage?
Icky feet.

As much as I ABHOR being naked in front of anyone, I am 100 percent sure that I am not the worst-looking person you have seen this week. I will take comfort in that. 

Do your hands EVER get chapped? I don't see how they could, because you have that oil all over them eight to 10 hours a day. 
It’s never been a problem for me.

When you call in sick, does another massage therapist cover your appointments, or do they to cancel your appointments? 
If a person works in a central office, such as a chiropractic office or a spa then there are usually people who can fill in. If a massage therapist has her own business usually she has to cancel and reschedule appointments.

Do you get finger cramps? 
That’s never been a problem for me.

Do you have to do strength exercises for your hands? 
I’ve gone through periods of time where I was very diligent in exercising my hands and forearms. And there are times when I haven’t been diligent.

What's the most awkward thing that's ever happened to you as a massage therapist? 
One of my close friends brought her husband in to receive a massage. When I knocked on the door to ask if he was on the table and covered by the sheet, I misunderstood his reply. And of course I walked in when he was NOT READY! I was MORTIFIED! EMBARRASSED! APOLOGETIC! TOTALLY DISTRESSED! Luckily he had kept his boxers on. My good friend was in the room with him and they were gracious and sweet and forgiving of this mistake. Gratefully, that hasn’t hampered our friendship or our professional relationship.

I know all of us want to give both Bethany and Shawna a big hand! I feel so much better now. Almost better than I do right after I have a massage. ALMOST.