Shannon Risk, a fitness enthusiast with an extensive background in dance and an advocate for wellness, found her calling with a career in sports massage therapy. Risk attended National Holistic Institute and completed the Massage Therapy Training Program and the Advanced Neuromuscular Therapy Program in 2013. After graduating from massage school, Risk began her career at Sports Medicine Institute (SMI) where she’s had the opportunity to work with every kind of athlete, from world-class professionals to weekend joggers. The demand for sports massage therapists has gained in popularity among casual athletes in recent years, as it has long been considered an integral part of a well-rounded training regimen by professional athletes ranging from Olympic gold medalists to NBA stars.
At Sports Medicine Institute, Risk has had the opportunity to expand her skills while mastering her craft. She finds it rewarding to advance her career by learning techniques from different modalities including Active Release Technique (ART), Gua Sha, and Cranial Sacral Therapy. “I strive to be the best Neuromuscular Therapist and Health Educator I can for my clients. I do that by keeping up with new research findings and working on as many people as I can.”
Sports massage therapy is a fast-paced and fulfilling career path that is preferred by active individuals who want to positively impact an athlete’s performance. Research indicates that sports massage can reduce muscle tension, enhance athletic performance, and help prevent injuries. Risk explains, “The most rewarding part about providing sports massage for athletes is that I get the chance to assist rehabilitation, alleviate pain, and help reduce overall stress of my client. It’s incredible to be part of an athlete’s training program and to be able to assist them with achieving their goals. It’s the best feeling when they perform well and you know you helped them get there.”
Sports massage therapists can work in a variety of exciting settings, including professional competitions, healthcare or athletic facilities, in private practice or at sports medicine clinics. “What I love about working at SMI is that I continue to receive opportunities to grow and learn within my field. I feel confident interacting and educating clients of all different athletic backgrounds. Every so often I get the chance to travel with different sports teams, which is a super cool experience.”
Risk chose NHI for her massage therapy training because she found a place where she felt comfortable amongst like-minded people who shared her passion for massage therapy. “You don’t find that in many schools…and when you do, it’s truly special.” Risk also enjoyed the Audio, Visual and Kinesthetic teaching method used at NHI which is learning by hearing, seeing and doing. “Instead of listening to a lecture for hours on end, NHI provides multiple ways of displaying and relaying information so all types of learners can really absorb the information. The instructors really want you to succeed and they push you to be the best you can be.”
If you dream of being a professional sports massage therapist by helping athletes reach their full potential, you owe it to yourself to consider a career in massage therapy. Contact us to learn about how to get started in this exciting career path!