From Massage to Teaching

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Two years ago I had a psychic tell me “I see you teaching.”

My first thought, immediately, was “this woman is off her rocker crazy…”

I was a massage therapist, and have been since 2003. Aside from the apprenticeship I did for a year at my massage school after I graduated, well that was the extent of my teaching career and I knew that I wanted nothing to do with molding the minds of tomorrow on how to give a proper massage. Plus the whole fear of public speaking and being up in front of a group of people (I already have plans to elope just so I can skip that whole mess….I hope whoever I marry is cool with that).

Anyway, fast forward a year or so. If you read my previous post about how I discovered Yoga Tune Up® you know how much it helped me, and I had started to tell people that one day I was going to have a wellness center, but what kind of wellness would we offer? Well, who knew!

So I started taking classes, learning all the things, and as I started to think more about it, I started to think “well, why not teach?” After doing nothing but massage for over a decade, my body was getting tired. I had no plan B, and given my family longevity, I am probably going to live to be 120, but running your own business does NOT set you up for independent wealth and financial freedom. (Mr. Plan B that I was going to elope with is still lost in the woods trying to find me, so here we are.)

I’m not going to lie-it was a tricky shift! Putting my hands on people and finding the problems myself to educating people on how to find their own problems, and then fix them?! Say what!? And it was hard, trying not to trip all over my words, trying to get my point across and most importantly, trying to get them to do what I wanted them to do.

I recently taught a hip workshop and I had 15 people. My largest attendance to date (and I also realized that I don’t want to teach more than 15 people). And it was amazing. Seeing a room full of people taking responsibility and taking charge of their own self care made my heart swell. Seeing the testimonials come in after; “dude, I can squat now” and “I can’t believe how good I feel, it’s a miracle.” Hearing people react like that is why I do what I do.

I also taught a class recently that I only had one student for. It can be disappointing when you only have one person in class, but I learned that there is a reason why there was only that one person. Being able to help her after she had been searching for years for someone to teach her to move better in her body, and hearing from her after how much better she was already feeling, and giving her the tools to take care of herself and her pain-well, you can’t do that during a massage.

What I’m learning on my still very new journey of teaching is that it’s a journey. A journey that has allowed me to reach more people than me just being a massage therapist. A journey that is allowing me to venture out into another new business, my on-site wellness business, where I will be taking the mobility on the road and helping to free people from the clutches of their desks. The average lifespan of a massage therapist is 7 years and I’m well in over 13 years now, and I do know that at some point I’m going to need to take a big step back and I am so grateful for discovering Yoga Tune Up®, Jill Miller and the entire Tune Up Fitness family for what they have to offer, and what it allows me to offer everyone out there in the world that needs to learn how to move better in their body, especially when their budget doesn’t allow for regular massage therapy. However, I urge everyone to find a way to make it all work, you only get one body, so treat it right.

And to all of the massage therapists out there looking for something else…you need to treat your body right as well. Think about exploring your other options such as teaching. You never know when a psychic might be right about something!

Liked this article? Read Yoga Tune Up — Massage Therapy’s New Best Friend

Rebecca Tamm is a licensed massage therapist with over 13 years of experience as a bodyworker. A forever student and curious about the human body and how it functions, she is also a certified Primal Health Coach, certified LifeStretch instructor, Certified Roll Model Method® practitioner and a Yoga Tune Up® teacher. You can find her musings over at Michigan Massage and Wellness or on Facebook.

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Merci pour ce beau témoignage ! Je suis dans le même cas pour enseigner ! Cela va m’aide à passer à l’action !


Thank you for sharing your story. I am heading toward a shift in my career path. It is scary and exciting at the same time. Yoga Tune up and the Roll Model balls are in my future!


Thank you for your sharing Rebecca ! I can recognize myself when you say that your heart swell by seeing people taking care of themselves. I exactly want the same thing ! I want to help people take responsibility for their health and teaching them a way to do it easily with the kind of exercices and relaxation we can find in yoga tune up . Continue your great work !


Your post makes me think of all the people I’ve came accross who did a yoga teacher training without having the intention to teach and who ended up doing so anyway. It’s almost as if receiving so much from a practice, one feels drawn to share it with others, whether it’s within a professionnal or personnal context. I wish you the best on your teaching journey and may you continue to grow in your own self-discovery 🙂


Thank you for sharing your journey. Good luck!


Hi Rebecca, I am on a same boat right now. YTU Level 1 training a months ago and just finished RMM training 2 weeks ago. Becoming a massage therapist in 1998 was a most natural and very satisfying career change I had ever made in my life. But by somehow I became yoga instructor in 1994 by chance. Private massage practice complimented yoga teaching in many ways, but after I learned anatomy and physiology at massages school, I gradually lost interests in teaching yoga, because more I learnt about anatomy and physiology, I started questioning myself that teaching 10 ~… Read more »

Anne Marie

I think many of us can relate to the joys and terror of workshops with too many people or not a lot of people. I think I would like to be as accepting as you are about letting it turn out however it needs to turn out since you never know who you might be helping.

Lucy Beiler

Great post Rebecca.
YTU is one of my daily go to methods that enables me to look after this body of mine and to live an active and vibrant and pain free life. I too am starting a new career and teaching YTU is part of it. Your story is inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

Ashley Corlis

Sometimes it feels hard to do things we are pulled to do but you are doing your best and it seems to be working out for you just fine! Really interesting article about realizing your full potential.


Thank you Rebecca for sharing your journey so far. It is scary moving from what we are familiar with to something less familiar, especially when we have to make a living from it. I am glad that you see the positive in teaching to one person vs. a full class. I think this is the key to succeeding – who knows, that one person might go and tell 4 other friends how much you helped her!

Morgan Balavage

I try to leave all my bodywork clients with a tip on how to use balls to help them in between sessions. It’s such a valuable tool for self-healing!

cg ovalle

Thank You for your story, I to am a Massage Therapist and going more into the field of Sports Massage. I found Yoga Tune Up for I was looking for something different to teach my clients and teach other Massage Therapist to take care of their bodies. I am so glad YTU has changed your tomorrows, hoping for the same outcome. Thanks again

Holly Egan

Rebecca, you are very inspiring for me to know that self care can translate into sharing of experiences, strength and hope for others. I am truly in awe of the Yoga Tune Up Roll Method and how interest to explore our bodies can translate into a community of healers. Getting to know the body, is like setting off on a journey to experience the world with a brand new set of glasses. Having the opportunity to not only learn the anatomy of our bodies, but getting to know other people willing to share their knowledge is a priceless gift. I… Read more »

Callie Acuff

In addition to the huge YES! to this…. I want to ask what type/brand of clothing you’re wearing in the blue top and brown bottoms? Looks comfy & quality. 🙂


I can appreciate your journey. I taught yoga for many years and felt it was getting a little “stale” so I got licensed as a massage therapist and have been practicing for about a year. Yoga TuneUp is helping me get my creative juice back for teaching and I’m able to offer my massage clients tools they can use for self-care.

Lucas Perez

I believe it is the obligation of the trained to learn, master and train others. We all stand on the shoulders of those who preceded us, and through teaching we honor them into the future.

Lucas Perez

I’ve always believed its the obligation of the trained to train others.

Lucas Perez

I believe those of us who take the time to get trained or certified are obligated to improve upon what you learn then pass it along to the next interested person.

Lucas Perez

I believe if you take the time to be trained or certified to do something you have an obligation to improve upon what you learn in your own practices and then pass it along to someone else.


I never was one for public speaking. Even with both parents being teachers, I did not receive the gene for being comfortable in front of a group. However, after having taken the Level 1 certification course, I am so passionate and motivated about YTU, that I find myself wanting to teach now….


Thanks for sharing your story, I feel like I’m wading through similar waters. I found Yoga Tune Up four years ago and love it because of how much it helped me! I took the Level 1 training because I was interested in learning more about Jill’s amazing program (and the timing happened to be perfect) but was struggling to see myself in a teaching role. I’m starting to see it as a larger possibility and slowly finding ways to make it work for me, so maybe someday I’ll be able to teach a full class too. It’s good to remember… Read more »

Claire Miller

YESS! You go girl!!!!! YESSS!!! xoxo


Entertaining and relatable article! I have been a Shiatsu practitioner and understand how the body of a body worker can get tired. Also, as a yoga teacher, I relate to the 15 vs. 1 person in the class, and couldn’t agree more — there is always a reason. It’s great reading about your journey!

Bonnie Bloom

i have switched professional life numerous times (people always tell me I’m crazy to switch). its a great way to learn and serve and be really excited and not burnout about what you do. It is all very referential too. i bet you do great hands on assists!!