Why I became a Massage Therapist


When I was little, a massage therapist was not the kind of profession I thought of doing. No, I wanted to work at an office and do administration work. I thought that it was the most awesome job you could ever have…LOL. So this dream came true and I did this for 18 years.

My Values

When I grew older and learned more about life, I saw that not everything is always the right path you choose for yourself. It did not make unhappy, but I found out that my values are more important in life than some recognition to get from a boss who always thinks he/she knows better. Or not even bother to give you a pat on your back or give you a compliment (what is that with bosses? Maybe a subject for a new post? Ha!)

Our Culture

Ok, where was I…. I grew up with massages, in our Indonesian culture, massage is a part of living and not only when having injuries or pain, but also when they are tired they get a massage. I remember when I was little, my brother and I  always walked on my father’s back. He loved it and for us it was normal. Later when I got older (walking on his back was not an option anymore hahaha), I always massaged my father’s neck and shoulders.

In those days I never learned how to massage I just did it, as everybody does it in our culture/ family. I did know what I felt so I always sort of knew what I was doing, but more in a natural way. When I worked at the office, I massaged many colleagues behind their desk. They were always like, how do you know where It hurts? Like I said, I just feel it. Even then I did not think about doing something with this profession. I had a steady job so why look for something else?

Fast forward…

I wanted a change. I always want to help others, give them time to relax and help them to ease their pain. We live in a stressful life, we need to take time for ourselves and especially time to relax for a moment. So I started my own practice (this was not built in a moment, but you can read this story in one of my other posts “New start at 40”).

Next, I wanted to get to my massage specializations. There are so many massage choices to choose from. What do you choose? Do you know what these massages do for you?  I will tell you a bit more about these massages, don’t worry, I will not get too deep in this matter. Just to make it a little easier to choose when you take a massage.

My massage specializations are:

Sports massage

Trigger Point massage

Foot Reflexology traditional and a special treatment – Foot Reflexology stress-burn-out

Relaxation massage

Cupping massage

Sports massage:

 This is the most common one in my practice, this is a strong tissue massage.  

A sports massage is not only, as the name suggests, meant for athletes. It is especially recommended for non-athletes because it has a relaxing effect on the entire body. Non-athletes can have the same reactions as athletes. This may be due, for example, to prolonged exposure to overload, incorrect posture or stress. This way all stress and tension flows away from the body. A sports massage is therefore particularly suitable for people with long-term accumulation of tension in body and mind.

Sports massage can be healing for everyone. If you have muscle pain due to incorrect movement in the back, neck or anywhere else in the body. After a one-off effort, such as a brisk walk, you may have stiff and sore muscles or if you have been a little too enthusiastic during exercise, a sports massage can help you recover, which is better than walking around with it.

This is massaging with the aim of giving the muscles that are the most heavily burdened a better blood circulation and stimulating extra metabolism. The muscles are therefore more resistant to great force that is exerted on them during exercise.


Trigger point massage:

I use this technique always in combination with sports massage.

A trigger point in a muscle can be described as a local contraction state (a permanent contraction). Due to this contraction, the blood circulation in the tissue of the muscle is greatly reduced. The most important characteristic of a trigger point is the derived pain, in other words, the pain that you experience has its source somewhere else in the body.

The muscle is surrounded by a fascia. The fascia is a sheath that provides protection and gives the muscle the ability to slide over the other muscles. This fascia now is probably the cause of the referred pain.

There are two different forms of Trigger Points:

Active TP – cause spontaneous pain with both rest and movement, you can exactly tell where you feel the pain.

Latent TP – here the pain only manifests itself during movement often after trauma. Often due to stiffness, a latent TP can evolve into an active TP due to overloading. You can prevent the latent TP’s from becoming active TP’s.

Both give a dysfunction, but only an active TP will cause spontaneous pain.

Foot reflexology traditional:

Foot reflex is a safe and effective treatment and cure. It energetically promotes the flow in our body and the elimination of waste, so that the natural balance can be restored.

Foot reflex massage is based on the idea that man is a unity of body and mind. When body and mind are in harmony, we experience this as health.

When the balance is disturbed, we speak of illness. Possible symptoms include headache, fatigue, back pain, digestive problems, and depression.

The basis of foot reflex therapy is the reflection of the total body on the feet. In other words: all organs, bones, nerves, and tissues in the body have a reflex area or reflex point on the feet. Foot reflex massage creates relaxation and thus helps to balance the harmony between body and mind.

This form of therapy supports and activates the self-healing capacity that is naturally present in everyone.

It creates overall relaxation and well-being

Ensures better blood circulation

Promotes the transport of waste to the excretory organs

Improves nerve and hormone functions

After this treatment, you feel so relaxed and you will sleep like a baby!


Cupping Massage:

I use this technique sometimes in combination with the sports massage.

In Eastern medicine, cupping is a frequently used suction technique that has been developed to draw toxins and muscle cramps from deeper body tissues to the skin surface. For example, cups are used to treat the energy pathways (meridians) and acupressure points of the body, thereby alleviating pains and combating all kinds of diseases. Cupping has an enormous depth effect and is especially effective in combating pain. Cupping is a form of acupuncture that focuses on the movement of energy, blood, and body fluids.

How does cupping work?

The trapped cups on the skin transport energy and blood to a place where the disruptive energy can leave the body through the pores. The body is first massaged in with massage oil, after which cups are placed in strategic places. Very strong blood flow occurs under the cups. The cups are moved over the body, which gives a very profound and powerful effect. Body cells use oxygen and release carbon dioxide. When body energy becomes blocked, a cell functions less well and the toxins accumulate. When we experience pain, this implies a blockage in the energy flow of the relevant part of the body. Toxins – in muscles and joints – are not always easily broken down by the body, which can cause further blockages and discomfort.

By using cupping techniques, the toxins can be brought to the skin surface so that it is much easier for the body to remove them.

Muscles and skin get a good blood circulation and are fed and stripped of waste. At the same time, the emotion associated with the pressure points is also ‘loosened’, this is resulting in total relaxation.

After a cupping massage, blue/red spots or streaks are often seen on the skin (depending on the strength of the vacuum). These will disappear after a few days. The disappearance of the discoloration is usually equal to the improvement of the complaints. 

In my practice 

I’m not a traditional therapist, meaning when you book a massage I always book the time and not the treatment. My clients know when they come in my practice they get the treatment for what they need at that moment. I mix things up and make my own combinations. No treatment is the same when you come in my practice. When my clients leave my practice relaxed and relieved, I did a good job and this is the BEST feeling I can get. I love my job. This is what makes ME HAPPY!

I recommend everybody to take a full body massage on a regular basis (every 6,8,10 weeks), just take care of your body and take time to relax.

You can better prevent than cure!

Hope you liked this post if you have a question or need more advice just sent me an email.

The first three get a FREE CONSULT!!

Are you in pain? Sore neck, shoulders, backpain, etc. Send me an email and I will give you a free consult by giving you self-massage techniques (Trigger points)exercises, if this is possible! That’s not all, I also keep in touch to see how your progress is going and to see if I have to change the treatment or just keep it.

All you have to do is:

Sent me an email and subscribe on my page and the first THREE get a free consult!!

~Choose To Be Happy~

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. NelegeSmith

    Love your post Shirley.I have even more respect for you doing this then before, you knew as a child that you loved massages, that you were good at them, and you could make others feel good too. Some of the massages you do I’ve never heard of. I hope one day to get the pleasure of one of your massages. You and I are not so different when I went to Esthetics school in 2011 I had no ideal what it was but doing the treatments on people made me feel good because they felt good. I love helping people as well. I’m so proud of all that you’ve accomplished in your life and practice. Keep up the great work you do.. much love Nelege

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