Name: Donna Madison
Location: Massapequa Park, NY
Occupation: Licensed Massage Therapist, Adjunct Professor
Donna Madison grew up in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, with the Brooklyn Botanic Garden as her playground. “The library was my second home,” this braniac admits. “I was convinced by age seven that I wanted to be a doctor.” And not just any doctor…a brain surgeon!
Although she did go the route of working with the body, this naturally shy, spiritually grounded woman took a more global approach, becoming a Licensed Massage Therapist in the state of New York, one of the more difficult states to obtain a license to legally practice bodywork. But it wasn’t the quickest career path, as she first took on the hardest job of all: becoming a mother.
After raising her son, she decided she’d had enough of being a housewife, and embarked upon her new journey, with a goal of opening up her own storefront offering massage, with herself as the head therapist. School was a cinch, and she graduated with top honors and quickly obtained a job in the field. Not long after, she opened her own practice, A Higher Hand, that soon had a completely full appointment book. But it wasn’t enough.
“Last August a friend of mine asked me, “How come you’re not teaching? I see you as a teacher. You should teach,”’ she explains. “I put up all kinds of resistance which he ignored. He told me that he’d help me to organize my resume and prepare for my hands-on interview, which was harrowing but successful. I first set foot in a classroom as a Teacher’s Assistant in September 2013 and began lead-teaching the following term.”
These days she not only has a full roster of clients who seek her out, she has a pack of students who gain invaluable insight with her at the helm of the class. Her unshakable positivity is contagious, and it’s a good thing, since patience and a bright outlook are key components to keeping cool, both as a teacher and her own boss.
There is a very strong spiritual element to my treatments and I am grateful to be able to share it.
“Clients may reschedule, cancel, need to move an appointment up or down, ask to change an appointment from a half-hour to an hour, or 60 minutes to 90 minutes. Being available for clients as a massage therapist is really no different than a dentist or doctor who has office hours…except for the request of extending a treatment! I’m pretty sure no dentist ever received that request,” Donna smiles.
Although her mornings always start with walking her dog, meditation, and, of course, breakfast, the amount of clients and her schedule can vary, with some days being as light as two or three treatments, and some as busy as six. No matter how many or how few people she treats in a day, the reward is always the same.
“My favorite aspect is the opportunity complete strangers give me to help them feel better. I always experience a feeling of complete gratitude with each treatment, which is very uplifting to me. There is a very strong spiritual element to my treatments and I am grateful to be able to share it,” she says.
These days, the biggest challenge for Donna is just fitting in all of the things she adores. “Time management can be a struggle when it comes to doing everything. Treating, school, working out, family, having a personal life, enjoying quiet “me” time…maybe I should have taken up juggling,” she laughs. No doubt, she’d probably be good at it, as this LMT is obviously good with her hands!
For her warm smile and her ability to make her clients feel better through her skilled touch, we think Donna Madison is one Cool Girl!