My Massage Therapist Journey

Dedicated to helping others heal - their journeys reflecting mine.

Ben Ciccarone, LMT

10/31/20234 min read

Before the pandemic, my days were consumed by a relentless routine in an office where I served as an administrator. The sound of a hundred keyboards clacking continuously, the harshness of bright fluorescent lights, and the smell of stale coffee filled the air. But when the pandemic shifted my world into that of my home, my role remained unchanged. Hours felt like days as I was glued to my computer screen, blindly marching through each tedious task. The screen became my window to the outside world, one that I wasn't sure if I wanted to be part of anymore. Hours melted into days as I sat there, feeling like an insignificant cog in a vast corporate machine. My home no longer felt like a home; its walls seemed to close in around me, trapping me in a reality I no longer wanted to be a part of.

As I slumped over my laptop, an unwelcome ache in my lower back spread through my body like a slow-moving poison. After hours of typing away at documents and answering emails, my fingers were stiff and sore, and the tension held in my neck and shoulders was unbearable. The business reports that lay scattered on my desk felt insurmountable—every task seemed to merge into one, leaving me feeling helpless and hopeless. I felt as if I had been caged in my own body, tethered to this overpowering sense of inertia, yet still striving for something bigger and more meaningful.

The epiphany that I was not meant to be tethered to a desk came as an insidious ache that crept through my body. I felt trapped, not just in my makeshift workspace, but within my own body. Hours upon hours of sitting bred chronic pain and dysfunction, an unwelcome companion to the stress that weighed heavy on my shoulders. The stress of my job seeped deep into my muscles, and nothing I did seemed to bring relief or restore the balance lost. I was adrift in a sea of tasks that seemed inconsequential, my impact diluted in an ocean of spreadsheets and emails. It wasn't just my body that ached for change; my spirit yearned for purpose.

The pain had grown so intense that it felt like a physical presence, constantly hovering over me. Desperate for relief, I decided to try massage therapy. With hesitance and hope, I stepped into the therapist's office. The soothing music and subtle scents filled the air as the therapist placed her skilled hands on my body. She was able to locate my sore spots quickly, methodically kneading and stretching until the knots holding tension started to loosen. I could feel my energy shifting, the weight of my worries slowly dissipating away with each stroke of her hands. As she worked her magic on me, a sense of calmness and contentment spread throughout every part of me. When the session was finished, I walked out feeling completely renewed in body and spirit.

That first transformative experience lit a fire within me. I wanted—no, needed—to offer this same sanctuary to others. The desire to give back what I had received – relief, balance, and well-being – became my new vocation. I dived into research and discovered an exceptional massage therapy program in Harrisburg. It was more than an education; it was an awakening. The instructors, my peers—each interaction, each lesson was a thread in the new tapestry of my life.

I delved into the complexities of human physiology with zeal, each muscle and sinew a verse in the poetry of movement that I was learning to interpret. I'd taken a pilgrimage into the realm of massage therapy, graduating not just with knowledge but with a newfound sense of self.

Since embarking on this path in 2021, every hour of the Massage Therapy Program, every moment preparing for and passing the MBLEX examination, has been a step toward this new life I've crafted with my own hands.

By 2022, I was a Licensed Massage Therapist, my hands now instruments of change. I find myself in awe of the human body and its capacity for transformation.

My practice is a dance of techniques that mirror my life's journey – it flows, it grounds, it soothes. Swedish for tranquility, Neuromuscular for precision, Myofascial for release—each session tailored to the narrative of the body before me as I strive to be a conduit of transformation for others.

At the start of the massage session, I'm settling my hands onto the patient as I draw from my study and practice to bring out the best in them. Allowing my clients to enter a state of transformation is both a privilege and an honor.

I glide my hands across the body, exploring areas of tension and tenderness as I tap into a client’s story. I create space with long, flowing Swedish strokes; refine movements with Neuromuscular techniques; and reduce pain and tightness with Myofascial releases. With Therapeutic and Sports massage, I bring comfort to sore muscles, strengthening bodies while healing minds.

I look out over the horizon, the sun warming my skin as a slight breeze ruffles my hair. I can feel the sea of possibilities before me, and take in the hum of energy radiating all around. I'm no longer sitting behind a desk, dulled by its rigidity and structure. Instead, I am here - alive with the ebb and flow of life, dedicated to helping others find their own paths to healing; their journeys often becoming a reflection of mine.

Away from the massage table, my roots in Happy Valley call to me. The outdoors is my sanctuary, where I engage in exercise, yoga, and the simple joy of the melodies of nature. Each stanza an inspiration as my fingers fly across the piano keys. This balance of personal passions and professional purpose is what I had been seeking all along – a life where my actions resonate with the rhythm of my heart, where what I do truly matters.