When budget cuts cut short her career as an elementary school teacher, Kristi Haan had a chance to re-evaluate her life and make some tough decisions.
"When I found myself without a teaching position, I decided to take that opportunity to go back to school for something that I have always loved - massage therapy," said Haan. "The longer I work in the field, the more I find that I use my education background in a powerful way to impact the daily lives of my clients, such as explaining what is happening with a client's body, what massage can do to help those issues and what a client can do to help make changes."
Immediately after graduation from Cortiva Institute, Haan began performing massage therapy in Chicago at a chiropractic office and salon, continuing on to a position with a national massage chain. Just eight months after graduation, Haan made the decision to start her own practice, Therapeutic Massage by Kristi, located in Mokena, Ill.
"The experience I received from my former employers helped me become a more well-rounded massage therapist and business owner," she said. "Since I began my massage therapy career, I feel that all aspects of my life have finally come together. My decision to open my own practice has provided me with the opportunity to build my schedule around my children's schedules. I truly have the best of both worlds."
Haan said that working in the Cortiva Student Clinic was an excellent preparation for her first massage job.
"My first employer actually complimented me on being able to work with clients immediately with little or no need for training in those areas," she said.
The hands-on experience and knowledge she gained about anatomy, kinesiology, physiology and pathology were among the things that she said played a role in launching her career.
"The Cortiva instructors were amazing. I've taken a little bit from each instructor and melded it into the massage therapist that I am today," Haan said. "Their passion and dedication to the massage profession was truly inspiring. Their dedication to educating massage therapy students was unmatched."