From Granite Stone Cutter to Professional Massage Therapist

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 Drug News
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SEATTLE, July 27 For Amy Axt Hanson, 2008 Cortiva Institute - Seattle School of Massage Therapy graduate, professional massage therapy is a far cry from her former job cutting granite for kitchens and bathrooms.

"The first day of school when everyone introduced themselves, I think I was the only person in the room who hadn't been massaging family members all her life," said Hanson. "I had only started thinking about massage just six months earlier. I chose Cortiva-Seattle because I wanted the most rigorous school in the area. I knew I'd be spending the same amount of time and money in any school, so I wanted the best education I could find," she said. In selecting Cortiva-Seattle, Hanson said she was impressed by the school's many board certifications and the quality of its teachers.

As a mother of two children in high school, Hanson had gone through a variety of jobs, in addition to granite cutting, before deciding on massage therapy. She had been a science and medical reporter in California, Boston, and at the popular children's science TV show, "Bill Nye the Science Guy." Hanson did some fiction writing while staying at home raising her children. "I finally gave that up, and got a job running a granite-cutting machine. It was my first hands-on job and it was exhausting. After two years, massage came on my radar and I realized that it had what I was looking for: hands-on work, lots of problem solving, and a warm room in the winter," she said.

Drawing on her background in science and writing, Hanson went on to win the Massage Therapy Foundation's national student case report contest in 2009 for work she did while a student at Cortiva-Seattle. "In a nutshell, I had worked with a client who was born with a medical condition which resulted in dwarfism. At the outset, she could only walk half a block before having to stop and rest; after 8 massages, she could walk 2 blocks. She had a lot of other lifestyle improvements, too, and the research I did for the case report revealed that a number of tests and body landmarks we take for granted in massage only apply to that subset of clients who are normal height or tall. Who knew?" said Hanson.

Currently Hanson has a private practice and is working part-time at a massage therapy clinic. She says both are a good fit and she is "unbelievably grateful" to have found the field of massage, "and such a great school to be trained."

About Cortiva Institute

Cortiva Institute is a community of Massage Therapy Schools with 11 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 our graduates are prepared to work in clinics, hospitals, health clubs, spas, resorts, sports therapy clinics or start their own private practices. Go to for more information.

SOURCE Cortiva Institute

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