Stacy Smith, LMT, BCTMB
How did you discover the massage therapy profession?
I was one of those people who thought of getting massages as a luxury—as something I did when I went on vacation. Even though I grew up and still live in Maryland, I’d never had a massage in Maryland.
Between 2007 and 2010, my husband and I had significant losses in our lives. His mom, dad, and my dad died, all within a span of about 16 months. During that time, I also lost my job after 18 years. You could say that we had been through the wringer and were pretty sad and overwhelmed.
In 2010, while on vacation (of course), I had a massage, nearly cried on the table—and couldn’t understand why. But afterward, when I got off the table, I felt amazing. I told my husband, who was getting his massage right after me, that I wanted to help other people feel this way. Six weeks later, I found myself in massage school.
How did you develop your passion into a career?
While in evening massage school, 45 minutes from where I lived, I also worked full time during the day. I knew it would only be a year, so when days were hard and I was tired, my mantra was “It’s a short-term sacrifice for a long-term goal.”
I met great people in class, several of whom I still keep in touch with. You really get to know your classmates, and even who wears boxers or briefs, granny panties or thongs.
After graduating, studying for the NCBTMB exam and then passing, I then went on to get my license in the State of Maryland.
How has your career evolved?
I originally was offered a part time job at a new location for a national massage chain. But knowing that I would still have to keep my full time J-O-B, I thought to myself, why would I work to build someone else’s business when I can work to build my own? Allgood Therapeutic Massage was born.
To get some more varied experience, I also worked at couple spas as I could. After four years of building my practice, I was finally able to leave my J-O-B and focus solely on massage therapy! I have also become licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Being in this profession has brought me into some situations I wouldn’t have otherwise found myself. I have worked in seated massage in offices, schools, ladies’ parties (one overlooking the Chesapeake Bay), and even an anthropomorphic fanatic convention (lay-term – furry con, or nerd convention). Yes, I had a person in costume as Goofy in my chair. You don’t see that every day!
I work with a couple developmentally disabled clients in their home, giving them therapeutic touch when others may shrink away. I love what I do!
What does Board Certification mean to you?
Being Board Certified means being trusted. Trust that I can develop more with new clients. Also, should I ever decide to move out of the State of Maryland, or to expand, getting licensed should be easier with the trust other states have with Board Certified therapists.
What does the future hold for you?
My plan is to enjoy being a massage therapist as long as I can. I would also love to share my experience and help others to love massage therapy as well, possibly by teaching in massage schools, or even teaching couples some simple massage techniques to use on each other or their kids.
How do you hope to see the massage therapy and bodywork profession evolve?
I first met a massage therapist in 1993. I thought that was interesting that she would do that, but didn’t think much about it. I don’t know what time of license, if any, she had to practice, but it was something I tucked in the back of my mind. Since then, I have seen the profession grow in more legitimacy and training. It’s starting to happen, and I’d like to see more people becoming aware of the benefits of massage therapy, and not something that’s just a luxury when you’re on vacation.