PINELLAS PARK, Fla., Sept. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — With a name like Hippy Chick Massage, owner and operator Sharon Wattam-Nelson wants to clearly communicate her state of mind and business philosophy.

“I love meeting people and giving them a wonderful massage, but I’m especially proud when they get up from my table and say ‘that’s the best massage I ever had,'” says Wattam-Nelson. A 2011 graduate of Cortiva Institute-Florida School of Massage Therapy in Pinellas Park, Florida, Wattam-Nelson’s current career is far from the one she began in.

“I started as a front desk clerk at a local hotel and I loved interacting with guests. I gradually worked my way up to director of sales and then veered off into the accounting where I worked for 15 years before being ready to make a change,” she says.

That change came when she started her family and wanted to have a more flexible career that would allow her to spend more time with her family and chose massage therapy. She is quick to credit Cortiva and its instructors for encouraging her in her career choice and helping her develop her professional skills. “The instructors were amazing and taught me how to let my hands and fingers do the work,” said Wattam-Nelson.

Hippy Chick Massage originally began as a mobile business but she now has a location where she sees regular clients seeking professional massage therapy. “I love telling people that I’m a professional massage therapist. In fact, just the other day I walked up to a police officer and told him that he had some serious upper cross syndrome and needed a massage therapist. He laughed but took my card. I loved it!” she said.

About Cortiva Institute

Cortiva Institute is a community of massage therapy schools with 12 locations nationwide, offering full and part-time massage therapy instruction, continuing education courses, student clinics that are open to the public and career services for graduates. Cortiva schools take a holistic and integrated approach to ensure that graduates are prepared to work in clinics, hospitals, health clubs, spas, resorts, sports therapy clinics or start their own private practices. Visit for graduation and placement rates, tuition and loan amounts.