Finding the path to success is different for everyone. Some may take the road less traveled, while others may stay on course. For Victor Gonzalez, a graduate of Swedish Institute’s Massage Therapy program, located in New York City, life took him in many directions before he ultimately discovered his passion for massage therapy. Today, Victor is a successful massage therapist, certified personal trainer, Reiki master, and a registered yoga instructor. If you’re looking to change your career path or are thinking about entering a massage therapy school, read on to learn about Victor’s inspiring story.
Victor’s Journey to Becoming a Massage Therapist
In high school, Victor studied accounting, played sports, and worked as a lifeguard during the summers. In his senior year, he enrolled in an emergency medical technician (EMT) program. He went on to become an EMT after graduation and worked in this field for six years. Having an affinity for the arts, Victor decided to switch careers and began working as an actor (studying the method style) while working as a bartender at night. “I was determined to explore all my passions at that time in my life, but I kept coming back to the health field,” Victor said. “I realized wellness was my direction.”
At 26 years old, Victor was in search for an entirely new career. He discovered Swedish Institute in 2004 and enrolled in the Massage Therapy program. “I loved the program and what it had to offer,” he stated. “I knew then that I found my niche.” Victor graduated in 2005 and within one month landed a job as a massage therapist. “Swedish Institute was instrumental in laying the foundation for my career as a massage therapist,” he said. “The curriculum gave me all the tools I needed to be successful in the field.”
His Star-studded Career
For the past 13 years, Victor has established a stellar reputation in his field. Since 2010, he has been freelancing as a massage therapist at a luxury hotel in New York City that caters to some of today’s hottest celebrities. “I’ve earned the trust and confidentiality of some of the biggest names in the industry,” Victor said. “I’ve had the honor of traveling with them worldwide as their personal massage therapist. It’s a privilege and a job I take very seriously.” Victor not only works as a personal massage therapist but has built his business of working on the outside through referrals. “My clients are like second family to me,” Victor said humbly. “My priority is to earn their trust, so I can help them feel their best.”
Over the years, Victor has fine-tuned his craft, building the skills and techniques to be an expert in his field. He took a course through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), where he received his credentials as a certified personal trainer (CPT) and became a Reiki master to enhance his massage approach and techniques. Victor recently added more credentials to his name by completing Swedish Institute’s 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training program. “No two massages are the same,” he stated. “Having the knowledge of Eastern and Western massage, and now yoga, that I all learned at Swedish Institute, along with my other techniques, allows me to blend all my skills to give each client the best experience possible.”
What it Takes
Victor says the secret to his success is really no secret at all. He believes – as with any successful relationship – it’s all about building confidence and trust. “My clients say I have magic hands that take them on a journey,” he explains. “It’s important that they feel comfortable and at ease with me.” When asked how he’s built that trust, Victor said one needs to showcase themselves in the best light to reveal a healthy, mindful, and knowledgeable persona.
How You Can Reach the Same Level of Success
It’s never too late to start a new career. The key is to believe in yourself and success will follow. “I never dreamed I would be where I am today,” Victor said. “Swedish Institute gave me the foundation and motivation I needed to find my niche as a massage therapist.” Victor is passionate about his career and says he loves going to work every day knowing he’s helping his clients. “It’s a two-way street,” said Victor. “My touch may bring relief to my clients, but their trust and faith in me brings me more than they’ll ever know. It’s beyond rewarding.”
Searching for a massage therapy school and want to learn more about our programs? Contact Swedish Institute today!