We were contacted by a member who was interested in doing something to recognize her mother, who will be turning 80 and who is also a very long-time AMTA member. We jumped at the chance to recognize and celebrate her life and career as a massage therapist. I mean, turning 80 and STILL massaging!?! That's amazing! I had the absolute pleasure to speak with Linda St. Laurent to get to know more about her mom. Grab a seat and enjoy this wonderful tribute to her mom, Jacqueline St. Laurent of Les Mains Therapy at 3 Converse Street, Palmer MA.
Q. What led your mom to seek a career in massage therapy?
A. Jacqueline St. Laurent was a mother of 7 children and a wife of 45 years. She kept books for my dad's building business for 45 years. She has a love and passion for horses as she was a very competitive equestrian for 30 years. Her 14 year old thoroughbred horse, Favor, had many issues so off she went to find clinics for Equine Massage Therapy for him. He was a pretty lucky horse back in the early 1990's. The results she saw in him from the therapy was just incredible and she was hooked from that moment on.
Q. What are her areas of expertise?
A. She attended Bancroft School of Massage therapy in Worcester, MA and became certified in 1995. My mom was always a overachiever so back in 1998 she went and studied with Tom Myers. She met him for the first time at her first AMTA-MA meeting for a introduction course. Of course, she attended his myofascial integration course and became certified in that work. She also heard about Aston Patterning levels at a training in Boston. Judith was from Lake Tahoe and would always be excited about Judith coming into Boston. She continued with her certification in Orthopedic Massage with Whitney Lowe in 2003. In 2015 she became certified in Myoskeletal Alignment Therapy - Level One. Eric Dalton, who she met 20 years ago at an AMTA convention, led the training and this certification was one of her many items on her bucket list. Mom is known for her KMI work, her assessment and education in function is incredible she has a eye like a eagle.
Q. What has it meant to you to be a witness to your mom's love of massage therapy and how has her career impacted you as a professional and her daughter?
A. Witnessing my mom's passion for life and how she lives life with a purpose has been unbelievable. She walks the talk, with rest, nutrients and exercise daily. When I speak with her clients they just can't say enough about how her body work sessions has given them a better quality of life. Hearing her clients calling her their angel is remarkable! It impact me so much that in 1999, I switched careers at the age of 40 and went to BSMT. I was inspired by seeing my mom love her work and hearing from her clients how much of a difference she and her work has made in their quality of life. How could I not be inspired? It really just made me want to excel too. Mom carved my pathway as I am also a licensed massage therapist, a KMI practitioner, and an Aston Patterning Practitioner. I have been blessed having my mom as my best friend and my mentor. What a journey this has been and still is! Being a practitioner of 15 years without my mom's bodywork sessions, I would not be able to do what I do today. My body remains very happy and healthy and we both work each other every other week.
Q. Can you share with us a prominent memory you have of your mom in relation to her being a massage therapist?
A. Fond memories would include going up to Maine to work with Tom Myers and taking part in advance KMI classes for a long weekend. Getting away with my mom, rooming together and being with our fellow classmates, all of which we've known for many years, is just so special. She would never let a question go by if she did not understand or see what Tom was saying. She always spoke up. At 4'11" mom is known to be a very strong and knowledgeable practitioner - a large presence in a small package. Just getting away for the same trainings, spending quality time growing our practices, and even packing our hybrid bikes for some rides, are my greatest memories of my mom. We always look forward to making more!
Q. How long do you think she will work with clients?
A. I know she has signed her lease for two more years until 2017. She has about 15 clients a week and will work 5 days a week. Many of these loyal clients have been with her for 15- 20 years too. I believe mom will work well into her 80's, without a doubt.