Born: New York City
Current Residence: Manhattan
Volunteer Massage Therapist Since: November 2000
Professional Specialties: Swedish massage and Shiatsu; National Certification in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork since August 2000
Why did you focus on treating people with HIV? I was interested in treating clients seeking medical massage. And people with HIV turned out to be a good population to fit my natural style of massage.
What has been the impact of this volunteer experience to your life? I find it is a good way stop worrying about my own life and bring some peace to others in need. In addition, I have acquired client referrals to my private practice as well as several work-related projects.
What did you do prior to volunteering at GMHC? Until January 1999, I worked in the travel industry at Leading Hotels of the World. I knew that they would be downsizing and I would be laid off; so I made plans to attend Massage School. I received my Massage Therapist License in October of 2000. Shortly after, I started here.
You are also a wife, and a mother and volunteer at Mount Sinai Hospital. How do you balance volunteering and your life? I am a very organized and efficient person. I only volunteer 5 hours a week between GMHC and the hospital. It occupies my time while my husband is at work and my son is at school. The hours here are generally open hours from my private practice. Everything has its own time and place.
Can you tell me a client experience that totally moved and inspired me? Last month a client came in to see me. He knew exactly who I was. But to me he looked familiar only I could not quite figure out why I recognized him. He told me that he had seen me just once many years ago. However, he remembered me and that was why he had come back this time. I did not realize until after the massage (when I found my records) the visit he was talking about was 7 years ago. Things like that never cease to amaze me.
What do you do to relax and have fun? Personally, I go for massage once a month. Other leisure activities that I enjoy are: travel, horseback riding, modern dance and the occasional trip to the bowling alley.
If anyone outside of GMHC wanted a treatment from you, how can he or she find you? I am listed on the massage therapist directory of the Swedish Institute. Otherwise, they can call (212) 595-0722 or e-mail me at email@example.com.