By Joan Hannant, Founder & CEO of The Soma Institute
The health and wellness field attracts a certain kind of person. For years, we’ve been hearing one theme from new students and applicants. It’s a simple desire, but a very powerful one. Our students want to help people feel better. Whether they’re interested in massage therapy or becoming a certified health and wellness coach, they all have this one thing in common. It’s what draws them in, what motivates them and, ultimately, what makes them great at their jobs.
This common thread and desire to make other people feel better has been obvious to us here at Soma for some time. It’s a part of what makes our jobs so rewarding - working with these amazing students. But, for a long time, I’ve struggled to put into words just how powerful that desire to help others is and how prevalent it is amongst our students. This common thread that unites people from so many diverse backgrounds and brings them together at The Soma Institute is amazing to witness every day. I’ve decided, I’d rather not try to explain it. I want to let our new applicants do that. What follows are their words, desires and stories.
“I love helping people, and I love sharing information that helps people transform their lives. I want a career that has meaning and purpose.”
“I am interested in massage therapy because I love to help people, and this is my way of giving back to my community. I want to open up my own business for the people that don’t have the insurance to get the proper care they need.”
“I really want to take on a career that will focus on helping others, whether it’s through relieving stress, physical pain or just overall improving their wellbeing.”
“Knowing how to help people relax and stay healthy is more important now during this pandemic! I want to help.”
Are you noticing a theme? Just look at the last 4 words of that last quote. “I want to help!” The passion of the students we work with never ceases to amaze me. These people are truly inspirational.
“I am interested in this career because I want to learn how to heal people who deal with pain on a daily basis like myself, and I want to make people feel better. I am a Navy veteran, and I also want to help other vets who suffer from PTSD as well.”
“I am interested in this career because I have a passion for helping others. I have worked as a nursing assistant for the past 8 years and would love to continue to contribute to the wellness of others in a clinical setting.”
For many of our students, a Soma education provides two things - the ability to make a career of helping others and the ability to provide for their own family.
“I always wanted to do massage therapy since I was a child. The schooling intimidated me. I feel now that I am older I should reach for my dreams to prove to myself and to my son what is possible.”
Many of our students also have a personal connection. They know what a difference massage has made in their life, so they want to pass that gift on to others.
“I work out 5 days a week at crossfit and put my body through a lot. I am also a mom to two boys and a paraprofessional who works with autistic kids. I get a massage once a week just to keep my body in the best shape I can. I know how much it has helped me, and I want to be able to help others.”
“My mom was in an accident a few years ago, I was always her “back healer,” as we called it, when she was in pain. She always told me that I was good with my hands and that I should think about looking into it as a career or a second career.”
The truly beautiful thing about a career in the health and wellness field is - you CAN have it all. You can help others and help yourself.
“I put off doing something for me for so long. I want to do something for me, something I have always wanted to pursue, because of how it makes others feel.”
This is the type of career so many people dream of, and for our graduates, it’s real. They come to The Soma Institute because they want something more. They are in search of a bigger purpose. We are humbled to be able to help our students on the journey, and in turn, play a role in helping so many people all over the country feel better.