Exercise Grad Mixes Massage with Wellness Counseling

Rodiek with her partner

Kit Rodiek already had a fulfilling career as a massage therapist, but obtaining a degree in exercise science and wellness in 2009 helped her broaden her expertise. She now feels more confident treating injuries and counseling clients about lifestyle choices that impact health and wellness. Most importantly, she says the degree has opened the door to more career choices down the road. Read her interview below.

Briefly describe the work you do now.
I am almost in my 17th year at Mill Creek Massage Clinic practicing Swedish-relaxation and injury-treatment massage. Since graduating from Bastyr in 2009, I have found my degree in exercise science and wellness particularly useful when helping my clients recover from injuries and experience less pain (through simple changes to their lifestyles, including exercise, nutritional habits and mind/body awareness). I also was hired on as a licensed massage practitioner (LMP) and aide at Everett Physical Therapy and Sports Performance Center where I help patients with exercise programs and do soft-tissue work. Recently, I have done some work in sports massage; a few players from the Washington Stealth lacrosse team have become a familiar sight at the clinic since my boss became their athletic trainer. We also have some weekend warriors that come in for various sports injuries.

What is your background, and how did you find your way to Bastyr?
I grew up in the Northwest and raised my son here. I have been a licensed massage practitioner since 1993 and was introduced to Bastyr through former coworkers who were completing their naturopathic and acupuncture and Oriental medicine degrees while working as massage therapists. I was searching for something or somewhere to help me to broaden my scope of practice. Bastyr had everything I was looking for, and I worked hard to get my AA transfer degree from Everett Community College in order to attend Bastyr. I'm proud that I accomplished all of my academic and professional goals while raising my son.

How did you get into this career?
I had been working at a health club when I was in high school, and I worked alongside massage therapists. It was intriguing to me that this was an actual paying occupation that required schooling! I had always thought that physical therapy was my "dream job," but massage seemed more rewarding to me. Massage therapy has been my passion ever since.

What did you appreciate most about your degree program?
I liked the variety of classes I took to get my degree. Looking at the human body as more than just biology and anatomy, but also considering the nutritional, spiritual and emotional aspects, has allowed me to become a better caregiver. I believe I am now more capable of motivating my clients and educating them about creative and practical ways to become involved in their own wellness and healing processes.

What's next for you? Where would you like to place your energies?
I've always wanted to open my own wellness clinic. Right now my energies are focused on getting to a financial and emotional place where I can successfully accomplish this goal. In the future I hope to add teaching to my repertoire. I have always wanted to pass on the knowledge and passion I have for massage therapy.

How did your Bastyr degree prepare you for your career?
Bastyr helped me to broaden my scope of practice in massage therapy. My current job with the physical therapy clinic was a direct result of the internship I completed as a part of the Bastyr program. I am confident that in the future, when I have to retire from bodywork, I will be capable of continuing my work in the health and fitness industry through the connections and foundation that my degree from Bastyr has provided.