Douglas Radtke

How I Became A Massage Therapist

For as long as I can remember, people have complimented me on rubbing necks, hands, shoulders and feet.  Ever since high school, becoming involved in the medical industry was intimidating with learning and pronouncing words that looked like they were over one inch long.

Later in life, a friend of mine and I liked to watch classic movies.  We would make buttered popcorn and share a yummy bottle of chardonnay.  She would always sit on the other side of the sofa and place her feet on my lap.  Instinctively, I would proceed to rub her feet, which she enjoyed very much.  The problem was, she would doze off and miss most, if not all, of the movie.  At this point, I didn’t know a tarsal from a carpal.  She encouraged me to look into massage therapy because I had such great hands, but being that I did not understand pronouncing words over one inch long, I said I was not interested in that field. 

One day, while driving, we passed a massage school in Racine, WI.  She suggested we stop by and check it out.  Reluctantly, I pulled in and we stopped and asked for a tour of the school.  As soon as I entered the school, I felt a relaxing feeling and could not quite understand why.  The tour that the owner gave was interesting, but I felt a bit of anxiety over all the medical information she explained I would have to learn. The school, unfortunately, didn’t meet my personal requirements, but we left with a better understanding of massage therapy.  The bonus was that I got away from learning those nasty medical terms.  I did not know it at the time, but the “massage seed” was planted.

Weeks later, I searched the internet for massage schools in my area.  Lakeside School of Massage Therapy in Milwaukee, WI was having an open house on my birthday.  KISMET!  Upon my arrival at Lakeside, a student offered a free chair massage.  It was great!  I met Dr. Ken, who was the instructor for the sciences.  I told him about my refusal to learn medical terminology.  He had a dry sense of humor about my issue, and we laughed about it, which made me feel like we were in harmony.  I cannot explain my impulse to register, but I did immediately.

After graduating two solid massage programs at Lakeside, I’m now pronouncing medical terminology over three inches long and not intimidated whatsoever.  I took to the massage industry and its medical understanding like a duck to water and never looked back.

My schooling introduced me to great opportunities and I’ve met a plethora of wonderful people along the way.  And most of all, the challenges I face every day in helping people feel better makes me humble that I have the ability to help heal the mind, body and spirit.

What My National Certification Means To Me

Massage therapy has come a long way in the last 10-15 years.  It’s impressive to see the strides in massage throughout different arenas like hospitals dealing with cancer patients, pain management clinics addressing back pain and headaches and the importance in sports medicine, just to name a few.  With this increasing recognition comes credibility.

In the allopathic medical arena as a whole, credibility can open doors to holistic practices offering solid and alternative treatments.  The research conducted these days in massage therapy shows the usefulness of alternative medicine to help those in need.  For myself, NCBTMB Certification tells my clients that I have the ability to discuss treatments with them and understand questions they may have regarding what’s ailing them. With this information, I am able to work with the client or refer to a qualified medical professional, if needed. We have pioneers like Tracy Walton and Whitney Lowe (to name a few) that pave the way for the value of therapeutic massage and its credibility.

As a Nationally Certified Therapeutic Massage & Bodyworker, I am proud to say that I successfully completed an accredited training program, passed the National Certification exam and committed to continuing education throughout my career.

My clients understand that my commitment to the massage profession is something that I take very seriously and the credential I’ve earned supports that nicely.  At any time needed, I can take part in the NCBTMB blog, look something up in the online library, join a webinar or attend any of the offered classes to further my education and the business tools are a valued resource in planning and growing my business.

I will always strive to raise the bar of excellence and certification in this and other medical profession states that with the credential. I am proud to be an NCBTMB Certified Massage Therapist.

Douglas Radtke, LMT, NCTMB

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