In this Alumni Spotlight we caught up with Krystal Taylor, Massage Therapist graduate who currently is employed by two businesses and runs her own home office.
What where you doing prior to enrollment? What made you enroll in school?
A about a year prior to enrollment my grandma passed away from liver cancer. She wasn't a big fan of traditional approaches to medicine but was super into holistic approaches. She used to massage my shoulders for me a lot growing up as well. She was definitely a big source of inspiration for me to pursue alternative and integrative medicine. After she passed, I just obsessively researched a bunch of different holistic health related paths and found one that was most likely to suit me, the massage therapy program at Great Lakes.
Where have you worked since you graduated and where do you currently work? What is your title?
I started working out of Erie Oriental Medicine's office right out of school as an independent contractor. Jeff helped get the ball rolling with what I wanted in my life as well as my outlook on life itself. From there, I transitioned to working at A Compassionate Hart Massage Therapy as an employee. I also have my own home office for my personal business, Emerald Hands where I do a lot more spiritual work. This past year I also started to work out of Nash Chiropractic twice a week. I am self-employed as well as employed by two awesome local businesses as a Massage Therapist and Reiki practitioner.
What types of things do you do there day to day?
At A Compassionate Hart Massage, I do a whole bunch of awesome things! I help Heather make sure everything runs smoothly around the office as well as perform various massages. I see clients who strictly want to relax as often as I see clients who have a lot of problems they want worked out. It usually goes back and forth from relaxation to more therapeutic almost every week.
When I'm at Nash Chiropractic, I assist Dr. Nash with strictly medical massage and assisted stretches on clients being seen for Chiropractic care. This can range from auto accident cases, to workman's comp cases, and anywhere in between.
At my home office, I perform a lot of more... spiritually based work on clients. From traditional massage to Thai massage to Reiki teachings to Native American teachings to other Eastern philosophies. I also utilize divination tools to help clients get not only a physical and spiritual healing, but an emotional and mental healing as well.
What do you like about your career?
There are two things that stand out the most about my career, first are the people I encounter every day. They are the most interesting clients with equally interesting cases. They help take me out of my comfort zone so I can grow as a more encompassing therapist. I used to get really anxious dealing with cases that seemed challenging, but now I have learned to embrace those challenges as well as where I am at in those moments as a Therapist myself.
The second is how flexible and ever expanding it can be! There are SO many different routes you can take as a massage therapist. You can never know it all, there's always more room for growth! This definitely helps you from getting bored with the same mundane tasks you'd find in other careers. Never any dull moments.
What did you like most about Great Lakes?
Attending Great Lakes was magical. The instructors and classmates I had were, in a way, my first sense of real community! We all learned from each other how to not only be awesome massage therapists, but also better people in the process. Great Lakes has a very loving and encompassing atmosphere as soon as you walk through the doors... I still feel super welcome into the building even though I graduated about 4 years ago.
What are your career goals for the future?
I would eventually like to open my own official business. I am in the process of saving money to take an herbalist course that teaches not only traditional Western herbalism, but traditional Chinese medicine and traditional ayurvedic medicine as well. From there I plan on going back to school to become a dietician. And from THERE get certified as a Holistic Health Coach. I want to be able to help people on many different levels than just the physical. It's been an interesting journey so far, and it's just going to get better from here!
What advice can you give current students and new graduates that can help them be successful?
Always do YOUR best. Make friends with your classmates and your teachers. Put forth the effort to start learning new things outside of the classroom. The key to success is being uniquely you and putting forth the effort not only into school work, but into your relationships as well - networking.
What do you like to do in your free time/any new happenings in your life you want to share?
I do a lot of "crazy" things in my free time. Less crazy involves a lot of introspective work, reading books, nature hikes, playing with plants as well as my animals (or animals in general). The more "crazy" involves taxidermy work, attending Native American ceremonies, and other crazy spiritual work that can't be accurately put into words.