EG: When did you know you wanted to become a massage therapist?
Sandy: In 1993 I had moved to California. I had always been interested in natural remedies and had studied aromatherapy and reflexology on my own. I had always respected the healing arts and wanted to become a part of it so I decided to go to massage therapy school. Shortly after graduating from massage school in California I became a teaching assistant there. I never imagined I would still be doing massage and teaching all of these years later. I love what I do.
EG: From the perspective of a massage therapy educator, what is the most important thing someone who wants to become a massage therapist should consider?
Sandy: Becoming a massage therapist requires compassion and empathy. Success as a massage therapist is a result of a sincere desire to be of service to others. There is an altruistic thread that ties massage therapists together whereby they want to make the world a better place by helping one person at a time—by assisting others in relaxation, helping relieve pain, or simply being there for another person to remind them they are not alone.
EG: What are the most valuable and unexpected lessons students of the EG Massage Therapy Program have shared with you after graduating?
1. That massage therapy extends far beyond helping people relax but can aid in the healing process of physical injury and emotional trauma.
2. Personal growth and developing a strong mind-body connection.
3. How the practice of self-acceptance, acceptance of others, and global awareness assists in personal and professional success.
4. Attaining more knowledge than expected in all areas of study: hands-on techniques, anatomy and physiology, business, etc.
EG: What is your favorite part of receiving massage?
Sandy: Being able to let go, not think of anything else, and let the healing process take over.
EG: Curve ball (think Groundhog Day, the movie): If you had to choose one song to wake up to every morning for the rest of your life what would it be?
Sandy: Three Little Birds by Bob Marley. When I listen to it, I think of warmth and sunshine—it brings me to my happy place.
Sandy Lever, LMT, has been a massage therapist for 25 years, an instructor of therapeutic massage for 10 years, and has taught at the Elizabeth Grady School since 2012. Sandy teaches Massage Technique and Theory and is the Elizabeth Grady School Massage Programs Director.