Mary Piazza Graduated September 2013
Irene’s – Why did you choose massage therapy as a career?
Mary – After going through beauty school, I realized I connected more to the feeling of wanting to make people feel good on the inside rather than look good on the outside.
Irene’s – Where do you practice massage therapy?
Mary – I practice massage therapy in San Diego, California where I’ve been living for five and a half years!
Irene’s – What is the most rewarding part of your massage career?
Mary – There are many rewarding parts of my massage career, but I would say the most rewarding part is when I have a client leave after their session with very euphoric energy and a twinkle in their eye. I have a lot of my clientele express that my massage is “out of this world” or “magical” and that brings a big smile to my face.
Irene’s – Do you have a favorite memory from massage school?
Mary – So many favorite memories! I just loved walking into Irene’s. I felt at home. My favorite memories are definitely in Hands-on class. My teachers, classmates, and I got very close, like a family. That bond was very important to me because it always gave me confirmation that I was in the right place. I love bodywork and helping people through their healing journey and I have Irene’s to thank for that. The best decision I could have ever made in myself was going to Irene’s and meeting all the lovely people I’ve got to meet along the way.
Irene’s – What was the best class you took at Irene’s massage school?
Mary – I have to only pick one?! I truly loved them all. The one that may have surprised me the most on how much I was going to enjoy it would be Transforming Grief. I resonated so much with that class and it made me understand that we all have grief and we all deal with it differently. To open up that space and give a reflecting ear to someone to talk about it, you can really see a person shifting through their grief. It was beautiful.
Irene’s – What bodywork modalities or massage techniques do you find most effective?
Mary – I am a very “go with the energy of the body” type of bodyworker. I find that getting my clients in a relaxed state can really encourage muscle and spaces of the body to open up without resisting or fighting my way in. I believe simple, subtle movements like cranial work and reflexology can be very effective.
Irene’s – What was your greatest success with a massage client?
Mary – I would say my greatest success with a massage client was when this older woman came walking into the spa, about 4 years ago, because she saw the sign outside that said: “massage is available here”. She was traveling with some friends from Canada. We hit it off! She told me how she has traveled all over the world and gets massage everywhere she goes. After our session, when I went in to check on her, she embraced me. She said to me, “That was the greatest massage I’ve ever had and I’ve been to Sweden. You do it better than the Swedes” I swear I thought my heart was going to burst out of my chest. To this day, I still have the $20 tip she gave me because she told me to go to Sedona with it and I’ll know what to do with the money. Bless her heart!
Irene’s – Where is the first place you worked after you graduated from massage school?
Mary – I worked at a fertility clinic to massage parents who were going through the challenges of IVF and I also worked at Tricho’s Salon and Spa out in Novi.
Irene’s – What do you do for self-care to provide longevity for your massage career?
Mary – My self-care is very important as it should be for all bodyworkers/healers. I love yoga and exercise to keep my body strong. I also go down to the beach for sunset to meditate to release my emotional energy and when I had a bathtub I was doing a lot of soaking.
Irene’s – To what do you attribute your success as a massage therapist?
Mary – I have to say Irene’s! There’s really not a workday that goes by that I don’t have at least one thought about massage school or my classmates or all the teachings. Even Irene! I didn’t get to meet her, but I find myself calling to her for strength and I can feel her around.
Irene’s – What do you feel was the biggest mistake you made as a massage therapist and how did you address it?
Mary – I was giving a lot of discounts and freebies in the beginning when I moved out to California because I was desperate to bring business in. My coworker noticed and gave me strong advice to believe deeper in my work. That the right people will come and I don’t need to stretch myself thin for people who aren’t appreciating my quality work and paying for it.
Irene’s – Do you have any advice for new massage therapists?
Mary – Don’t sell yourself short! If you’re giving quality work and investing your all in the work then people will see it and pay you fully for your services. Especially family and friends! They are the ones that know all the hard work you put in so they should be respecting that and paying in full.
Irene’s – What is the best way for massage clients to contact you?
Mary – At the moment, my email, firstname.lastname@example.org, but I’m planning on making a website soon so stay tuned 🙂