My first summer of work was at a local heli-skiing lodge that offered heli-hiking in the summertime. What an introduction to the profession! I’d ask my clients if they had any physical challenges, and I was constantly bowled over by what I heard—aches and pains, strains and sprains as well as old injuries, headaches, painful operation scars, broken backs, cerebellar ataxia, strokes, depression, polio and amputees. In two months of constant, intense work, I gave perhaps a handful of true relaxation massages. But I got to work in the most gorgeous setting possible, with wonderful mountain folk as my workmates. I was enthralled by it all, and I’m convinced my enthusiasm, more than my skills, seemed to help most of the people I saw.
That first summer, learning how I could help by diving headlong into the myriad troubles the human form can develop, cemented my choice of profession.