Conversation with Massage Therapy Instructor Kris Quinones

1. What made you want to become a massage therapist?
My love of anatomy and previous experience working in orthopedics. I enjoy working hands on with people and as a competitive athlete, I could relate to the aches, pains, and injuries so many were experiencing.

2. What is the most gratifying part of being a massage therapist?
Aside from the obvious benefits of providing comfort, nurturing touch, and pain relief, I enjoy the critical thinking it involves. Yoga & Ayurveda consider the hands an extension of the heart – and the heart as the home/seat of consciousness. So when I approach my work with clients, it’s far from a slap-dash application of oil and performing rote technique. I bring my whole heart, head, and clinical training with me. The appreciation and ‘a-ha’ moments I witness with clients as they form a more healthy relationship with their body is priceless.

3. What specialized type of training/practice do you incorporate into your massage practice?
As a yogi and massage therapist, I eventually came across the natural self-healing system of India: Ayurveda. My backpacking wanderlust landed me in the Motherland in 2009, where I began my advanced specialized training in Ayurvedic bodywork and treatments at the Jiva Institude for Vedic Sciences under the direction of Dr. Partap Chauhan. Further training as an Ayurvedic Health Counselor and Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist at the Kripalu Yoga Center in Stockbridge, MA was the lynch-pin for providing an integrative approach to health and wellbeing with clients, students, family and friends.

4. What is something valuable that you have learned in massage therapy school that continues to be an important part of your daily practice?
Anyone can be taught to perform a given massage technique. It’s the critical thinking, professional presence, and anatomical specificity that separates the proficient from the pro’s.

5. What is something unique about your approach to therapeutic massage and bodywork?
My advanced training in Ayurveda and knowledge of herbal formulas and preparations.

6. What would you say to a potential student of massage therapy?
Your ability to be successful in life will rely on your ability to be teachable and adaptable. The world is a changing place and clients are demanding a better quality of life for themselves. You should too.

7. What do you do in your wellness and self-care practices that you recommend to your students?
A 20+ year personal yoga & pranayama practice; self-massage w/ ball & foam rolling exercises, prioritizing nourishing food, noticing my thoughts, simplifying my life, and getting deep sound sleep. Oh, and I get a 90-min. massage myself every 2 weeks!

8. What is something about your life experience that impacts your role as a massage therapist and/or teacher?
My love of exchanging ideas and traditions from other cultures, with my down-to-earth approach and self discipline.

9. What is your favorite movie and why?
A childhood fave: The Never Ending Story. A fantasy piece about reading, travel, and finding the courage that lives deep within all of us.

10. Is there a quote that encompasses how you live your life daily?
“I am enough.” It took me a long time (and many hard-fought battles) to learn this one. And I still need reminding of it. It’s a life-long practice to stay connected to that.