By Sam Green

Tucked into the far end of the CSU Rec lobby past a frosted glass door is a small room; dimmed lights and sprawling plants create a bubble that isolates from the chaos of campus. The massage facility is where Jonnie Lundberg, among two other certified massage therapists, hosts a number of clients each day. Some are looking for a small escape from a hectic week, others are hoping to use massage as a tool for mental or physical well-being.

The role of a certified massage therapist is to provide methods of healing that accommodate each of their needs. Jonnie, who has been practicing at the Rec since last April, cultivated her passion by analyzing what she values in the workplace in order to thrive. This meant finding a profession that allows the opportunity not only to work with people, but form relationships on a more personal and spiritual level — something that makes massage a unique art form. She decided to attend massage school at the Fort Collins Healing Arts Institute to attain certification.

The program was multidimensional,  entailing a 9 month, 600-hour commitment that taught a number of specific techniques, as well as anatomy and business classes. This came to fruition near the end with a student clinic where Jonnie was able to practice working with the public, accommodating to real clients.

For many in the field, massage therapy is a way to embody people-oriented values and can be fulfilling for those who desire to be a part of the growing and healing process of clients. Massage can certainly aid in releasing tension, but also can be vital in the healing of sports injuries and other areas of trauma in the body. That being said, every massage therapist has their specialties. Jonnie’s style of choice incorporates a variety of techniques including trigger point therapy and Swedish massage styles — a common type of massage used to release muscular tension.

“It’s in my nature to care for people and I
truly love the sense of fulfillment it gives me.”

The relationship-based nature of the profession can be one of the most rewarding aspects, but can also prove to be challenging. Often times there can be dissonance in giving a client what they are requesting in a session, while also tailoring to what will realistically benefit them.

“If a client comes in and wants focus work done on their back and neck from being hunched over a computer all day, I want to be able to do that for them but explain if we work more with some of the muscles in the front of the body, like the pectorals, they will see better results,” she explains.

Many first-time clients come into a session not knowing much about the different styles and techniques used on the body to achieve optimal results. In a limited time window, there needs to be a balance in making suggestions to the client, while ultimately giving them control in how the session flows. Being able to customize and adapt to each customer’s individual needs is a huge part of the job.

The passion and dedication Jonnie has in all aspects of her life parallel the energy she hopes to bring into her sessions. Aside from massage, she is a self-proclaimed movie buff who enjoys indie and horror genres, or any film that evokes introspection.

To give advice to those interested in pursuing a similar path, Jonnie suggests to go in with the right intentions and maintain confidence through the process. “With the proper education and guidance you will be prepared, so trust yourself to do well,” she says. “Never doubt yourself and the impact you can have on others.”