PINELLAS PARK, Fla., Sept. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — For Cortiva Institute graduate and licensed massage therapist Emily Wallace, a career in the challenging and rewarding field of professional massage therapy was always on her mind, even as an 18-year-old high school graduate.

“I always knew this was what I wanted to do, but as is sometimes the case with 18 year olds, a life busy with work and friends began to crowd my priorities,” said Wallace. In fact, her life became even busier by “expanding to marriage, children and a home,” she said. After 10 years during which she worked part time in sales, Wallace was determined to get her massage therapist career back on track. “I wanted to be part of something that mattered and make a difference in people’s lives. I wanted to have a hand in their wellness,” said Wallace.

Today, Wallace is working as a licensed massage therapist at Ideal Massage & Spa. “I love that the owner is also a Cortiva Institute graduate and that she offers training in additional techniques so we can develop a wide range of services for our clients,” she said. In addition to her job at Ideal Massage & Spa, Wallace has launched Palms of Peace- Massage Therapy, her own home massage therapy business. Wallace is quick to credit her Cortiva mentors for her success and satisfaction in her current career.

“Cortiva Institute–Florida allowed us to be individuals while preparing us to be professionals. Each instructor and staff member embraced our differences and worked with us individually to help us become skilled professionals. I took those lessons with me when I graduated and I try and treat each customer as an individual,” she said.

Wallace is grateful for her Cortiva training and happy to be in the massage therapy field. “My life has changed because seeing so many happy clients has really helped my confidence to blossom. I’m grateful everyday that I can pursue my passion, which is to help make people feel better and happier,” she said. “I discovered I have the gift of touch. And that’s a gift that everyone can use.”

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 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.