Gavin_PortraitFor 25 years, Gavin Rowlandson (pictured) worked as an engineer, most recently at Aerospace Industries Association, a company that builds aircraft structures in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

But he knew there was something more for him.

“There was something missing in my life,” said Rowlandson, 50. “I wanted to connect with people.”

Rowlandson referred to the number of engineering job changes he made and said, “I was always looking for something more fulfilling.” But he could never find it. “Seeing my wife, Julie, massage from home, I got the idea that there was something else for me.”

On the pursuit of fulfillment, Rowlandson attended yoga classes and happiness workshops. He considered career options, including yoga and personal coaching—and massage, as his wife suggested.

Having considered her suggestion, Rowlandson attended an introduction night to explore a massage career. He said he was nervous because of his “male-dominated background in engineering.” But after working on each other’s hands during the introduction, he thought to himself, “I can do this.”

For part of his career transition, Rowlandson worked full-time as an engineer and attended massage training on weekends and weeknights. When he approached his company about working less to pursue his new career interest, Rowlandson said, “it was like I was declaring I wasn’t an engineer anymore and that I was choosing to follow my passion.”

Rowlandson grew the massage business at home to work with Julie full-time. “I use a very intuitive approach to get to the issues in the tissues,” said Rowlandson. “My engineering experience allows me to understand body mechanics and how the body works.”

Rowlandson said he and his wife use an intuitive approach to determine what each client needs at the time of her visit. This involves a combination of therapeutic and deep tissue techniques.

“While massaging from home, I had a lot of clients bringing big issues with them and letting go of their emotions in front of me,” said Rowlandson. “I’m naturally a caring person and wanted to find a way to help beyond massage.” This led him to pursue training in holistic coaching, which involves a holistic psychotherapy approach to help people dealing with stressful situations connect with themselves and the causes of issues. Rowlandson is now enrolled in the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching to prepare a for life-and-business coaching career.

“I have the freedom and space to enjoy and live life,” said Rowlandson about his career change. “I don’t have to go to work at the same time every day or face traffic to get my job.”

Despite his career expansion into holistic coaching, Rowlandson said, “I’ve been told [by clients] I’m not allowed to give up massage … I hope to continue massaging and incorporate my coaching skills as much as possible.”

Maegan Galas is MASSAGE Magazine’s marketing and editorial assistant.

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