Interview with our Past Chapter President: Stephanie Wilson

What is your background story? How did you end up in the field of Massage Therapy?

I am a 1998 graduate of professional Massage Therapy and Advanced Program of 1100 hours. At that time the license requirement was only 500 hours, and in most states didn’t even require licensure. In 1999, I started In Balance Therapeutic Massage; now 17 years later we are still going strong and feel very successful. We are a full service massage and spa facility with salon services. Since I was a kid, 4 years of age, I always had a calling to serve other people I was told by a very high source I was going to service a lot of people in a way I never thought possible.

I was going to struggle with a lot of obstacles and years and years of sacrifice. I never understood what that meant until now at age 46. I won’t go into many of the details but I was a single parent at 19 and raised two beautiful children on my own with no or little help. My family was in Europe and I struggled to make ends meet, on top of that I was in very bad relationships and constantly trying to survive, but it taught me the greatest gift of all and that is to never give up and always cherish every moment that you have, even if its bad. I had so much fear. Instead of turning that fear inside, I turned it into something I knew something more about and that was succeeding against all obstacles never letting anything fail. At times it felt as ifm, I never had the chance but I knew God promise me something major in my life and I knew I would succeed I know without a doubt what I’m supposed to know so I pushed forward and entered new beginnings all the time..

My favorite saying is “courage is letting go of the familiar and knowing you’ll be ok”. My heart is always been compassionate and had an understanding for people in a way that was profound to help and assist them into their healing process so they can be the healer, after all we only assist in one’s healing. I can assure you that it was not easy, I had many obstacles as far as injuries, accidents, and life circumstances that weren’t in the play. I didn’t know which way to turn and what way to do but I kept pushing forward and then I let go and I let God take control. And although that it seems that it would be an easy thing to do, it was the hardest thing to allow. Those who are struggling remember never to let go of their passion. Always to know that at the end of the tunnel there is always light. I live my life that way.

It has been a blessing in my life to have been able to mentor so many people. I was asked one of the questions is what gives me drive the answer is that I never quit because I have the breath of life in me and I know that everyday is a new beginning and things miraculously will happen. I simply don’t want to give up because I would miss out on everything and anything that I learn.. to love, laugh, and grow everyday; and I cherish every moment on this earth to see all the people that I know .. I have been given an amazing life and I cherish all of it- I have a wonderful family that supports me and loves me. I had two great children, who are now grown. One is a model and one works here in Fargo. They are absolutely amazing in their own ways. They serve the higher power within them and they fly and soar with Eagles wing. I love my kids very much.
Their hard work and their dedication to life is awesome. It is very strong and I could not be more proud of them.

In 2012, I met Corey Ramsey and Sofia Ramsey and my life has never been the same. I feel complete. They rock my world every day and they show me what life is all about and happiness and living in the reality of today. We are very much into motocross racing and we spend most of our summers doing that. I started riding dirt bikes this year. I have to tell you, if you don’t have a hobby maybe you should find one because I feel as though I’m absolutely free when I’m on that course, the bike is so big and heavy and I can be thrown at a moment’s notice into another world I crashed and bruised my ribs I was lucky. But I realized, that everything we take for granted we should respect and that we should be very careful when doing crazy stuff. I turned 46 on October 8 this year and I have to say I’m young again. My plans for a bright future is just to be healthy, happy, and content. Nothing more, nothing less.

How would you describe your massage style?
Massage techniques for collaboration of 17 years experience. I’ve had many master teachers teach me their ways and I have always help and assisted others. My massage therapy profession relates to the experience that I have, there is not one modality I prefer over another. I use all the tools in my tool belt.

What changes or visions do you see or hope to see toward the future of our profession?
Professional Massage Therapy is alternative medicine. I think more people will turn to Massage Therapy for further assistance in the healing process. I believe the doctors in hospitals will utilize Massage Therapy more and more. Medicine will become more alternative therapist. I believe there will be an increase in the need for Massage Therapists. I see the professions growing leaps and bounds.

What struggles have you endured throughout your massage career and how did you overcome them?
As a massage therapist of 17 years it is my experience that you will face many obstacles one of the greatest obstacles therapists face is what we call burnout! burnout can happen repeatedly over the years of experience and on your journey of a massage therapist, the best way to conquer burnout is to go on a vacation. Stop doing as many massages as you were doing before. stop altogether for a period of time. Change direction in your massage therapy profession. If you suffering or facing obstacles and you don’t know what to do. Ask another massage therapist that has gone through it or one who can help you see what you can’t see. If you have or know any massage therapist call them and talk to them about what your experiences are and what you’re experiencing and let them guide you and be your mentor. We are all in the same profession to help assist those who need help in assisting themselves to healing and we all have the same goal compassion of the heart and to see our clients get better. So don’t be afraid pick up the phone and call another massage therapist. We are all servants in God’s big plan of life and we can help ease the pain for each other.

Who is one of your Massage Therapist ‘Idols’ and why?
Bob King was one of the best massage therapist today either Matt he was kind and compassionate and he was insincere he was a master of many things and he taught me the greatest gift of all he told me that life like oatmeal can be enhanced by adding ingredients I know that might not seem like it has much to do with massage therapy but in reality it has everything to do with life and the compassion one has to add ingredients to make their life better and they have more substance.

What is one piece of advice you would give to a struggling massage therapist?

If you find yourself struggling in the profession of massage therapy don’t get discouraged . Try to find a mentor or someone who was in the profession that you know, call them on the phone and talk to them. As massage therapist we are always willing to help those in need and just because you’re a massage therapist doesn’t mean you don’t have a need at times so before you give up reach out. .

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