What does a massage therapist have to do to be certified these days?
You need 500-plus hours of classroom and clinic hands-on time. You must pass a national licensing exam and, finally, a background check.
What’s the biggest misconception about what you do?
I’m not just a massage therapist; I’m also a trainer, and I try and blend both together. So it could be a combination of tissue work along with reinforcement patterns out in the gym. Everything is dictated by the assessment process and the plan of action recommended to the client.
Any favorite success stories?
I work with a young quadriplegic patient. We have been able to improve his range of motion, which, in turn, makes it easier to wheel himself around and has helped with his rehab therapy in being able to do more. Also, I worked with a ultra-runner who was having pain when running. After assessments, we were able to address some of her issues, and she was able to return to running without any pain.
What’s the most important topic in your field right now?
For me, its anything I can use to combine treatment and fitness. Once we get you out of pain, how do we keep you there? I want to be able to educate the client so they don't end up in the same situation.
What’s one exercise or stretch everybody should do every day to keep their body performing well?
Anything with a mini-band. It is such a simple tool—you can work the core and activate the glutes. It helps by creating tension on areas of need, reminding the brain what needs to be firing and when.
What do you like to do after a long day of fixing clients?
I like to read, work out and run. It helps to decompress.
What did you learn in the Marines that still applies?
Accountability. You have to take responsibility for your actions, and you have to hold others accountable for theirs. I don't mean this in a negative way. You just need to realize that every decision/action you take will affect someone somehow and to be prepared for that.
What’s the thing that inspires or motivates you most?
A client recently wrote a quote on our board: “A fed lion never hunts.” For some reason this has really stuck with me. To me it means you have to go out and get what you want and not wait for it to be given to you.
What’s the most important muscle in the body?
The glutes. If the glutes aren’t working the way they are supposed to, it creates problems with the rest of the body.
Best massage scene in a movie?
I haven’t seen it, but everyone keeps telling me about Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. It sounds inappropriate and NOTHING like what I do! But it sounds like I need to see it.
To schedule an appointment with Fernando, call (702) 558-2151.