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Meet Katrina Shafer of Caring Touch Massage Therapy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Katrina Shafer.

Katrina, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Massage Therapy was a career change for me. I started off as an Accountant working in a CPA firm in New City, NY. I realize early on in my career that accounting was not my calling.

I did some soul searching and researching and stumbled across the massage therapy industry. I saw massage was changing lives by decreasing the pain people were in and reducing the amount of stress people had in their daily lives. I loved working with my hands, I was young and had no ties and figured it was the perfect time to make a change.

I found Bancroft School of Massage from a good friend. Her therapist had graduated from there and highly recommended the program. I interviewed and toured the school and loved it. Part of the entry requirement was to write about your massage therapy experience. Which at the time was ZERO!! Ha, imagine going to school for something you never had experienced? In the summer /fall of 1999 I got my first massage. Wrote about my experience, finished my application process and was accepted. I packed my bags and moved to Massachusetts.

I went to school part time, Wednesday evenings and all day Saturdays while working full time in the Interal Audit department at BJ’s Wholesale Club. I finished school in August of 2002 and started Caring Touch in November of the same year. In May of 2003, I left the Accounting industry and began working full time in the Massage Therapy industry.

Today my business is growing. I have added a contractor who specializes in Active Isolated Stretching and clinical massage. I am looking for a second therapist to join the team in September. These additions will allow me to grow Caring Touch into more of a Wellness community. I have become Certified as a Health, Wellness and life coach. And have become the CEO of my own skin care company as well. Helping people relax, reduce pain, feel confident in their skin and helping people live to their greatest potential brings me the greatest joy.

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?
I opened my door with no money to start a business. I relied heavily on my location, word of mouth and my chiropractor’s referrals. I gave free chair massages on the Natick Common during the Saturday Farmers Market, local coffee shops and in the wellness center that I started off at. Massage therapy in Natick, I found out was seasonal. The summers residents left for the Cape, the Islands and north to Maine, NH or VT. My first few summers I found odd jobs to make ends meet. I worked in restaurants, a pulmonary office, and retail stores. In the beginning, I worked 7days a week between 8am and 8pm.

I was not busy all the time but if someone called me on a Sunday afternoon, I would drop what I was doing and ran to my office. It is what you have to do to grow a business. It may have been challenging but I loved it. I had a vision, new what I was working toward, new it would be worth it when I got there. I loved my work and am passionate about helping people. That is my calling. I am so grateful for all my experiences the good and the bad, for they have really helped shape me into an outstanding massage therapist and business woman.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Caring Touch Massage Therapy – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Since the growth of my practice, answering what I do is easily described as I help people. I help them relax, reduce or manage pain, feel more confident in their skin and help them live to their greatest potential. These services really do run hand in hand. It starts with what people see in the mirror. Having great skin is just the surface, but it does stop there. It shifts to their lives, are they happy? are they active/moving? are they eating right? Are they happy at work, home and do they have hobbies they love? I help people realize they have a choice. I help them realize what they have control over, and if they are not happy with they have control over, they can control that and change that. Every else don’t worry about. This process and shift can be scary and stressful. Massage help them reduce the stress and helps with their wellbeing.

I work with many athletes: Triathletes, downhill ski racers, horseback riders and CrossFit athletes. As a CrossFit athlete myself, I have developed a niche in that world as a deep tissue specialist. I have a natural ability to blend deep tissue treatment with a deep relaxation session so the clients get the best of both worlds. Which many of my clients are looking for. I am proud of my business and the name I have made for myself in my community. I am proud I have been able to make a living with doing something I am so passionate about. I so grateful for my clients, that I love, that have supported and encouraged and referred friends and family to me. That says the most. When a client can refer a family or friend, that is the highest compliment one can receive.

I think what makes me stand out from the other therapist is my ability to listen to what the client wants and give it to them while being compassionate, understanding and empathic to their needs. I truly put my clients first. The time they spend in my office is all about them. And I would not want it any other way.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Ahhhh the future. This is a very exciting time for Caring Touch. I am embarking on 15 years in business in November. I am thrilled to say I do have plans for my practice including adding another therapist, networking with local yoga teachers and other mind body practitioners to develop a whole body wellness experience. In September, I am starting 14 day Jump start program, which is a cleanse to help jumpstart peoples journey into a healthier lifestyle. This program with be running 3 times a year September, January and May. I am officially certified as a Coach and super excited to start helping people live a healthier and more balance lifestyle. I offer a 90day program and work with changing behaviors. I offer supports and accountable to ensure enviable success.

And of my skin care company! I launched in November and is off and running. Rodan + Fields are the life changing skin products that help with Acne, Dullness and Dark Marks, Wrinkles and Firmness and Sensitive skin. We are currently the #1 Premium Skin company in north America with the products launching in Australia next year.

This is so awesome! From a client’s perspective, they getting everything they need in one spot from someone they know and trust.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Patrick Quinn-Paquet

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