The Story of Mobile Om: Part 2 - Another Door Opens
I believe in the old adage that when one door closes, another opens.
After leaving my career in dance and choreography, I read an article in Dance Magazine for a joint program between NYU and Bellevue Hospital that rehabilitated injured dancers by building up synergist muscles so they could continue taking class and perform. I was intrigued.
Previously, I had also seen a program about NYC Ballet, which included a brief segment with their resident physical therapist. I started to think a career as a physical therapist would be a good choice.
Since I was undergoing physical therapy from my auto accident, I spoke with my therapist. He was an instructor at a local university that happened to have been highly ranked in the field of physical therapy. What he said discouraged me yet resonated.
"Tony, the program receives hundreds of applications each year for its program. From that, only a handful of students may be accepted. "
He questioned my financial status and added, "Even if you were an academic scholar the program costs are very expensive and scholarships are not offered."
He continued, "Let me ask, knowing your personality as an overachiever; if you had a patient that suffered a stroke, and after 6-9 months of rehabilitation the only task they could perform was to lift an apple or a ball, would you feel complete with yourself?" My answer was….no.
Trying to make sense and find direction in my life, I became interested in the concepts of metaphysics and spiritual development. I was especially fascinated with the concept of vibrational and energy healing.
During one of my physical therapy sessions, I asked the doctor his stance on acupuncture. He presented me with a book on reflexology which one of his patients had given him. After reading it, it seemed too hocus-pocus for me (it would take many years later for me to understand the relationship of energy lines or meridians in the human body). During a subsequent physical therapy session, he used a technique called Myofascial-Release. I finally felt relief for the first time in months.
The therapist sensed my enthusiasm and, based on our previous conversations, asked if I had ever given thought of becoming a soft tissue specialist. I looked at him perplexed as I had no idea what soft tissue was—he then clarified and used its more familiar name…massage therapist. Embarrassed, I said no. In fact, I had never had a professional massage before.
My concept of massage was something the wealthy did while lavishing away at a luxury spa or the desperate did at a dark storefront in a bad section of town. I never realized the true healing benefits of massage.
He suggested that I do research, adding that with the rise of baby boomers coming of age and seeking healthier alternatives in life, more people are receiving them.
Massage was going mainstream.