Spotlight: Mark W. Dixon, BCTMB
Please provide your full name, current location, and current job title.
My name is Mark W. Dixon and I currently reside in Huntington Beach, California. I recently retired with 32 years as a massage professional.
I currently serve as the Immediate Past Chairman of the California Massage Therapy Council, a California state mandated certification program for massage professionals. In this role, I serve on the Board of Directors.
Provide one fun fact about you.
I play the Ukulele and ride my bicycle at least 60 miles a week… No, not at the same time.
What are your hobbies?
I enjoy woodworking, gardening, and reading non-fiction—especially history and biography. I also thoroughly enjoy volunteer service.
How did you discover the massage therapy profession?
In 1983, I met two people who were on their way to massage school, and we became friends. Five years later when I experienced a life-threatening medical challenge that sparked some existential questions about whether I was doing something I loved—whether I would choose the career I currently had—the answer I got was a strong NO.
After considering a few things, with an abiding passion to do something that I could love, I ended up leaving a high-paying job, selling my house, clearing all my debt, and starting a 1,000-hour massage program from which I graduated in 1988.
How did you develop your passion?
I attended an AMTA-approved 1,000-hour course in Natural Therapeutics, soon after which I started a full-time job at a high-end fitness club in Orange County, CA. At 42, I had had several management positions in sales and marketing—none of which satisfied my need to connect with people in a satisfying way.
I was not disappointed and immediately believed I found my passion through being of service to others. Along the way, my massage career became a calling, and I developed my spiritual practice.
How has your massage career evolved?
After 20 years in corporate life, the best thing that can be said about that time is that it showed me what I did not want to do; though, I did learn useful skills of presentation and delivery of what it takes to attract and keep clients.
Following graduation from massage school, I had three jobs in chiropractic offices waiting for me and went to work immediately. Soon after, I went to work for a sports club and stayed there for nine years. I also started an on-site business, providing seated massage at major corporations.
Along the way, I served on three official Olympic Sports Massage Teams (1996 Atlanta; 2002 Salt Lake; 2004 Athens) and organized sports massage teams serving college teams that took us to championship bowl games.
During my 32-year massage career, I have volunteered continuously in leadership positions in every major industry non-profit. This has placed me in constant contact with highly competent leaders and colleagues.
In my current role, as a member of the Board of Directors of a non-profit that approves massage programs and certifies over 50,000 massage professionals in the state of California, I have the privilege of mentoring younger therapists as they start and develop their careers.
When did you first become NCBTMB Certified?
In 1992—the first year the NCETMB was given in Los Angeles.
Why did you elect to become NCBTMB Certified?
I believed that it would establish my professional credentials and lend credibility to my career.
Why have you maintained your NCBTMB Certification all these years?
Because I believe that Board Certification enhances my image.
What would you say to a fellow massage therapist contemplating Board Certification?
I would say that anything that enhances one’s professional image and nudges them toward continuing education may be helpful to career development.
How has your practice and/or employment been affected by COVID-19?
If I were still practicing, I would not be working since the shutdown. It is illegal, and it poses unwarranted risks. I would not return to work, regardless of the lifting of restrictions, until there was a vaccine proven to be 100% effective.
What would you suggest a fellow massage therapist do during this time to prepare for future success?
I would suggest taking quality continuing education from NCBTMB Approved Providers—as much as time and funds allow—and, if one is not currently Board Certified, to apply without delay.
To apply for Board Certification, click here.