Careers Of The Heart

Increasingly mainstream, massage therapy has become a widely accepted health care alternative. Just ask Leigh Lench, owner of Featherstones, Inc., in Kingston. “I do what I call ‘soul therapy’,” says Lench, whose specialty is prenatal and natural labor inducement massage. Clients come for what they think is just a relaxing body rub, but Lench, a nine-year veteran with a holistic approach, says most have a deeper motive: to be heard. “The body takes on emotional trauma and embeds it in a part of the physical body,” she says. “I help them pull it out, address it, release it, and all of a sudden the physical pain is gone.” Before every session, Lench set’s aside 15 minutes to talk with clients about what’s going on in their lives physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

To be a good therapist, Lench says, “you have to be physically strong, and you need to be an open, genuinely caring person.”

“You can make a great living doing massage therapy,” she adds. But for Lench, it’s not about the money. “Every day, I go home and think, ‘i’ve got the best job in the world.”

Training and Education. In Massachusetts, massage therapists must complete a minimum of 500 hours of practice, while taking courses in anatomy and physiology. Training can take from six months to two years to complete. Lench studied at the DoveStar Institute in Carver and is a member of Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (www.abmp.com) and the American Massage Therapy Association (www.amtamassage.org).

Originally published in Boston Sunday Globe