A New York State and North Carolina Licensed Massage Therapist and entrepreneur, we’re sitting down this week with Joyce Gauthier of Respect Massage, aka The Sailing Massage Therapist.
She grew up in New Hartford, NY, and danced and sang her way through most of her early life. She has always loved performing and earned a BA in dance and theatre from Manhattanville College. Her early twenties were spent mostly on the road touring as a dancer or living in New York City performing comedic improv (and waitressing).
After meeting her soul mate, her direction in life shifted. Instead of performing, she longed for a career where she could help others and have the freedom to be her own boss. Massage therapy was a natural career choice since she loved receiving massage and learned how beneficial it was throughout her dance career. She earned her massage certification from the Center for Natural Wellness School of Massage Therapy in Albany, NY in 2010.
Joyce owned a successful medical massage practice in a chiropractic office for seven years before following her dream of traveling full time. Her current residence is Duchess, a 32′ sailing ketch, accompanied by her wonderful husband, Matthew, and a lazy shih tzu named Loki. Together, they travel the east coast and the Bahamas.
While traveling on her sailboat, Joyce found herself at another turning point. She strived to help others, but her traveling lifestyle stifled her ability to maintain a consistent massage practice. She also longed to branch out from the treatment room and support groups of people, instead of practicing one-on-one.
This is how The Sailing Massage Therapist came to fruition. It began as a way for Joyce to connect with other therapists and give them positive support through videos. Since February 2019, it has taken on a life of its own. Joyce now runs an ever-growing Facebook group, Massage Business with the Sailing Massage Therapist, provides continuing education courses for massage therapists, and is the founder of the Respect Massage Movement.
Joyce was contacted numerous times by massage therapists that were struggling with how to handle sexual solicitations in their practice, Joyce felt like she had to take action. Since there is no unifying resource for massage therapists when it comes to addressing this major issue, the movement was born.
Respect Massage is a way for educated, legitimate massage therapists to make it clear that they do not mix sex and massage. It is a way to take a firm and transparent stance that massage therapists invest time and money into getting an education and getting licensed, and there is zero-tolerance when it comes to sexual solicitations. Joyce strives to elevate the massage therapy profession through unifying massage therapists with the power of a strong, supportive, positive community, and education.
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