Putting a massage therapy career into motion - literally!
How NIMT Alumna Janet Renzetti is driven to help and heal.
We’ve all heard the saying, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” The proverbial phrase is meant to encourage optimism and a positive can-do attitude in the face of adversity or misfortune. For alumna Janet Renzetti, this phrase hits close to home when an unexpected tragedy shifted her world and drove her decision to switch careers, ultimately leading her to enrol at the Northern Institute of Massage Therapy (NIMT).
Hitting the highway…
The road to massage therapy was an organic, yet winding one for Janet. Having cared for others for many years — first as a care-worker, a Special Olympics coach, and finally as a foster parent — Janet decided to take a leap of faith in 2004 and followed her childhood dream of hitting the road to explore the landscape as a long-haul truck driver.
It was an exciting career. She was able to meet new people and see places she never thought she would. Yet, her dream was cut short in 2007 when a terrible accident caused a mild traumatic brain injury and multiple physical injuries. Her challenging, long recovery made navigating between appointments painful and oftentimes something she wanted to — and did — avoid. What was she to do next? After much contemplation, she decided to take the lemons life handed her to make lemonade. She decided to return to school to pursue massage therapy and apply her past experience as both a caregiver and professional driver to become a mobile massage therapist.
“My own experience and first-hand work with special needs individuals and athletes gave me a deeper understanding of how challenging mobility could be for many — a roadblock for getting to and from a massage appointment that would otherwise do wonders for rehabilitation. I wanted to change that,” says Janet.
So, she hit the books, did her research and decided that NIMT was the school for her. “I interviewed a few schools,” Janet notes, “but felt that NIMT was the best fit in terms of support and material. And at the time, I knew nothing about the Lensen Technique, yet it became a major bonus for me as my career took shape.”
Diploma from NIMT in hand, today, Janet is the proud owner of Silver Linings Massage and Wellness, a mobile massage service that is designed with medically-restricted individuals in mind. A ‘heart-centered' company, she and her team deeply care about their clients, their well-being and look for ways to improve their quality of life through massage therapy. The lemonade Janet brewed was sure tasting sweet.
A rest stop from the road
Janet’s natural gift of caring goes beyond the massage table. An avid volunteer, her contributions to her community embody another one of the core values at NIMT: giving back. Taking a page from her own book, Janet followed her lemony mantra — this time, to support athletes across Alberta by offering massage therapy.
“During the summer of 2018, I met a staff member for the 2019 Canada Winter Games and asked about opportunities for medical volunteers. He provided me with a contact. I applied and in no time was asked to come in for an interview.”
Her position was with the Medical Services team for the games, providing on-site or in-clinic support to the athletes. “The sports I was assigned to were table tennis and curling. On-site, I provided massage or first aid. For in-clinic support, I was brought in as a massage therapist.”
It was a fantastic experience that Janet was very grateful to have been part of.
“Meeting so many young athletes that we may see in future Olympics was amazing. I hope my small role in their lives made a difference.”
In addition, Janet applies her skills as a volunteer for the Central Alberta Relay for Life. “I am on the committee and also run the massage therapy tent.”
She’s also volunteered for the Diabetes Walk for the Cure, and to top it all off, she was also the Head Coach for Special Olympics Rhythmic Gymnastics!
The future is bright
Janet is thrilled to have switched careers and has found deep meaning in her work with Silver Linings and her volunteer work in the community. When asked, she recommends NIMT to anyone looking to become a massage therapist. “It’s a wonderful school with wonderful teachers. I have been recommending NIMT since my first year as a student!”
Seeing students like Janet graduate, seize incredible opportunities and become successful entrepreneurs and community participants is an amazing reward for the faculty at NIMT. Congratulations, Janet!
If you’re as inspired by Janet’s story as we are, consider a career in massage therapy!
Our next semester starts in September 2019!