Meet the Wellness Professional: Erin Messier
Massage Therapist and Business Owner at Four Fine Hands Massage Therapy
Every week I highlight someone in the Upper Valley who falls under the title of "Wellness Professional" - trainers, nutritionists, therapists of all kinds (physical, psychological, massage), and creators of healthy products, to name just a few. I give them a list of the same 20 questions and they choose to answer as many of them however they'd like.
This week I'd like to introduce you to Erin Messier, LMT, Massage Therapist and Business owner at Four Fine Hands Massage Therapy, Norwich , VT
Bio: I have been practicing Massage Therapy for 19 years and in business for 16 years. Prior to studying massage therapy I received my Associates degree as a Physical Therapist Assistant.
What is your fitness/wellness philosophy?
My fitness/wellness philosophy is that one must take care of oneself first in order to care for others more effectively. As a Massage Therapist self care is a top priority. It provides me career longevity and greater understanding and compassion towards others.
How did you get to where you are now?
My interest in Massage Therapy was the result of a knee injury as a teenager. After surgery and extensive physical therapy, I learned the importance of exercise and bodywork to regain my strength and flexibility. It had such an impact on my life that I knew I wanted to expand that learning and share it with others.
Did you ever have any setbacks and how did you get past them?
There have been a few setbacks along the way. Those setbacks, although difficult at the time, have resulted in learning new strategies. For example: A couple of years ago I struggled with food intolerances which resulted in chronic hives. The symptoms were exacerbated with intense activity and eating certain healthy foods. I had to rework my entire diet and exercise routine. This was very difficult at first as I felt like I could no longer do any of the activities I loved or eat anything without breaking out into full body hives. It took some time but with a lot of research and trial and error I found I could do low intensity activities like gentle yoga, Pilates and walking. I also found a new passion for cooking foods I probably never would have tried before. It took about a year but my body healed and I have returned to my more intense activities and increased the variety of foods back into my diet.
What makes you unique in your field?
I think what makes me unique in my field is that rather than trying to “fix” a client’s pain with massage, I enjoy working with them to figure out what's causing it. I encourage them to take control of their pain by doing corrective exercises and stretches to enhance the effects of massage therapy. I encourage them to seek other health practitioners and personal trainers to complement the Therapeutic Massage.
What's you favorite place to eat out in the Upper Valley? What do you usually get?
Three Tomatoes, I love the fire roasted salmon!
What's something health and wellness related that you wish you'd known years ago?
I wish I had found yoga years ago. I love Bikram Yoga! It's life changing!
What's something you wish your clients/class participants knew? Or did? Or didn't do?
Something I wish my clients knew was to be patient with themselves. Many of my clients come to me with complaints of chronic pain that is intermittent over years. I see the frustration when they aren't “cured” after one visit. I would remind them that it took years for the problem to build up and it will take some time and persistence to make lasting changes. Also, I would remind them that once the pain is gone Massage Therapy is important as a maintenance Therapy. I often have clients come in and say they feel great and nothing hurts and then after the Massage comment that they didn't realize “how much they needed that” or “how tight their hamstrings were”. It really is a great way to get back into your body and take a look at what's going on and what still needs work.
If you could only have one piece of fitness/wellness equipment what would it be?
What are your passions outside of your field?
Bikram yoga, Les Mills Body Combat, travel, expanding my cooking skills!
Erin taking Les Mills Body Combat at The River Valley Club
What's your least favorite exercise? Your favorite?
Least favorite exercise: Burpees! Favorite: Lunges
Would you or your business like to be featured in"Meet the Wellness Professional"? Email Amy at RVCAmy at gmail dot com
Last Week's Interview - Eric Ellingson - Physical Therapist and Partner at BE Fit Physical Therapy
Next Week's Interview - Mike Smith - Owner & Founder of Titan Training Fit
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More about the author, Amy Fortier: A short interview