Today we’d like to introduce you to Hanna Shansky.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Hanna. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
A career as a Licensed Massage Therapist in the Boston area was something I never would have imagined choosing for myself, even though I previously assisted in a chiropractor’s office and had some exposure to bodywork. Like so many of us after graduating from college, I was floating in a transitional space filled with inspiration, motivation, and various seemingly related bits of knowledge.
Up until I made the decision to attend massage school, the constant in my life and education had always been music, and early on I became interested in the field of music therapy. I prepared myself for this vocation by studying humanities at Brandeis University (anthropology, psychology and musicology) which then led me to participate in a study abroad program halfway across the world!
Traveling to a foreign country, especially one so rich in authentic humanity, was a turning point in my life. In Ghana, West Africa, I studied the local culture through an expressive arts program filled with drumming and dancing, community building, and spiritual exploration. This trip taught me more about the power of healing through music than I could have ever imagined, and gave me a whole new set of eyes through which to see the world. Living in Ghana showed me an authentic perspective on health and healing; something that can’t be taught in books. I learned the power of community support, how music and rhythm and holds them together through crisis and challenge. After spending four months there, my entire self transformed as a result of all the physical activity, walking and traveling, learning and discovering. My connection between mind and body was strengthened, and my brain had changed from all the new experiences. I was wiser, more confident, and more connected to the world around me; I had literally been healed.
My cultural re-integration experience after that was difficult and continued for several years. I had to find a way to give to others that which I had so fortunately been given. I eventually determined through some research that attending massage school would be a good fit for me. It would satisfy my desire to be of service to others, and give me the opportunity to share both music and healing with people who genuinely need it. Providing individuals with the space to release and be supported was a chance for me to reconnect to the feeling I discovered in Ghana. Learning the art of massage and applying it to my life’s true passions for music and community support has been an incredibly empowering and transformational experience! Through becoming a therapist, I realized an avenue for myself to work independently, provide healing to others, and connect to life in a meaningful way. When people ask why I decided to become a licensed massage therapist, I can truly say that it was because massage therapy found me at just the right time.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Massage therapy is just one aspect of the healing arts. I feel I will always be learning more about the different kinds of healing modalities and helping individuals achieve wellness. It took several years of exploration before I found myself walking this path as a massage therapist, even traveling halfway across the world in an attempt to discover it! The four months that I spent in Ghana were among the most challenging of my life to date, but they prepared me to be an entrepreneur as a result of the the self-reliance, constant vigilance, and diligent communication required both abroad and as a business owner. I am still being shaped by challenges that force me to stretch beyond the boundaries of what I dreamed was possible for a career and a livelihood.
At one point, I remember being truly lost and feeling like I would never be able to make anything of myself. My college’s career center acted as valuable resource through an advisor who gave me poignant and helpful advice. I was struggling with the fact that my passions and strengths didn’t seem to line up with a career that existed in society, and feeling like I had poorly prepared myself for adulthood. The advisor reassured me that everyone finds themselves at this juncture eventually, where it is necessary to take a big leap and find ways in which we can engage our skills with the world around us. She helped me to realize that my passion can become my career. My life’s work and the things I’ve learned have value, which makes it all the more crucial for me to articulate what they are and share them with the world! This is how I would build my brand. Before this conversation, I felt completely uncertain about my path. Afterward I was rejuvenated, inspired and able to see so many new options ahead of me!
I always knew that I wanted to heal people through the power of music or through some other means, but had no idea how I would get there. I was somewhat lonely growing up, and became somewhat used to doing projects in solitude. I never felt like I had quite as many friends as everyone else. Though I was isolated times in my youth, I am certain that being self-directed from a young age is largely what fostered my independence as an adult, and more importantly, gave me a strong thirst to learn how to truly connect with others. This is the advice I would give to younger women who may still be looking for direction; don’t feel bad about what you don’t have, but know instead that self-perceived frailties can become your strength once you harness and direct them. Though realizing a career path is hard work, it’s also a hugely rewarding journey of self-discovery.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Hanna Shansky, Massage Therapist – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
My massage therapy work is rooted in the fascia. The fascial network is a flexible connective tissue matrix which runs throughout the entire body, providing a supportive yet movable casing for its deeper structures. Fascia responds to physical forces such as tension and movement, and also subtle things such as stress, level of hydration, and emotion. The fascia changes based how it is utilized, becoming either thicker or more fluid depending on its state of health. There are several distinct layers of fascia holding together everything in the body. The body’s fascial health has a huge effect on one’s movement through life and interaction with the world around them.
My skills are rooted in freeing fascial restrictions using a combination of several different modalities. My training in Orthopedic Massage helps me treat muscle and joint conditions with a precise knowledge of anatomy and the body’s biomechanics. I am also a practitioner of Cupping therapy and Cranio-Sacral Therapy, both of which are able to change various layers of the body’s fascia. Cupping therapy is a form of localized suction using glass or silicone cups placed over precise points of restriction. The suction created by the cups increases localized blood flow and stretches the tissue, increasing circulation throughout the whole body and creating better postural alignment. Cranio-Sacral therapy is a more subtle approach. Using light touch, gentle techniques are applied passively to release soft tissues in the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), which controls the function of every other system in the body.
Cultivating health is a holistic process, rather than something tangible that one can easily find. Chronic tension takes time and effort to address, just as it took time and effort to develop. My approach to massage therapy utilizes both firm pressure and informed, gentle touch — a combination which simultaneously eases the mind while freeing the muscular tissue. I see the body as a whole rather than in parts, and my primary goal in any massage session is to pinpoint any precise restrictions affecting overall alignment. My larger aim as a healer is to facilitate the achievement of well-being (a common journey to us all). I aim to equip my clients with the wellness tools to become more self-aware and to make positive changes in their body!
Massage therapy is a career path which both humbles and inspires me. It is a privilege and a joy to be doing this work, and I am grateful to connect with so many people along the way! The Boston area supports and facilitates my holistic approach to massage therapy due to its shared values of health, wellness, freedom, collaboration, creativity and community strength. It is a place where people come to learn and to heal, and I’m proud and humbled to be working in this wonderful city!
- 60 minute massage – $85
- 90 minute massage – $125
- On-site chair massage – $100/hour
- Address: 1318 Beacon St, Ste #10
Brookline, MA 02446
- Website: https://hannashanskylmt.abmp.com
- Email: Hanna.Shansky@yahoo.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hshanskylmt/
Adrian Feliciano | alphajulietfoxtrot.com