We proudly introduce you to Kathy German, our Massage Program Director!
Kathy started her career with a Business Degree from Texas A&M University. After acquiring experience across various areas of business, including banking, consulting, and transportation, she was fortunate enough to experience a life-changing Reiki treatment. As Kathy describes it:
“My world opened up and I knew that I had to pursue a life path in healing of some sort. So in 2001, I began my career as a Massage Therapist specializing in SMRT (Spontaneous Muscle Release Technique). Within a year of graduating, I went on to complete my Reiki Master Training, completed a Doula training program, became certified with La Stone, and went on to become a Plant Spirit Medicine Healer.”
This amazing experience inspired Kathy to pursue a career in massage therapy which allowed her to move all over the United States and World, including time spent in Saudi Arabia and Canada. Her experience as a therapist includes private practice offering therapeutic massage and healing, working in ski-town spas, specializing in pregnancy massage, apprenticing as a student home-birth midwife, certifying as a Placenta Encapsulation Specialist, and serving as a Massage Instructor and Program Director running the IntelliTec Massage Therapy Program in Grand Junction, CO. Currently, she serves as the Massage Therapy Program Director at Avenue Five and continues to work as a Teaching Assistant for SMRT workshops available to therapists and practitioners around the country through four 24 hour continuing education courses.
Want to learn more about Avenue Five Institute’s Advanced Massage Program? Click here!
Want to know more about Kathy? Check out the below interview:
Q: Why do you love this industry?
Kathy: I love being able to help people feel better. Whether that is a massage to help with stress, relaxation, and a good night’s sleep or to help with major medical issues. I love that massage can be about slowing down and resting the mind to stay in tune with what is needed for the client, and on the other hand, that I can keep studying and learning new things every day. I also love that there are so many different directions and paths that you can take in massage therapy and other healing modalities and they all blend very well together.
Q: What advice would you give to someone considering a career in wellness?
Kathy: Do you like people? Do you like to help people? Do you feel called to offer a healing touch and connection through your hands? Are you interested in this path because of a heart calling or because people around you keep telling how amazing you are at massage? These are all important questions for anyone entering a career in wellness to consider. Our number one job is to help others and to never cause any harm. People trust us with their deepest vulnerabilities and we are here to hold a very healing and safe space for them to relax and find relief.
Q: What is it like serving as Massage Program Director at Avenue Five?
Kathy: I started working at Avenue Five Institute as a Massage Instructor on April 1st, 2016. If you were to ask me how my first day went, I would say, “well it was April Fools Day.” Hahahah. Just kidding. I absolutely love working here with amazing Instructors, staff, and our very attentive and talented students. Working at Avenue Five is like leaving home to go to work, but actually arriving at another place I consider home with tons and tons of family. I feel supported in what I bring to the table, honored for the path I’ve led and the passion that flows into my love of teaching, grateful for the deep friendships I’ve made with my fellow work mates, and deeply moved by the deep transformational growth and development of our amazing massage students and graduates. It is like seeing my own children (literally) go forth and be successful in the world. And I LOVE keeping in touch with each one of them and learning how they are doing, how I can help, and watching them grow. I hope to one day teach side by side with one or more of them, like I do with my teacher.
Q: What is your favorite massage term?
Kathy: Galea Aponeurotica. Enroll to find out more. 😀
Q: What is your favorite class to teach?
Kathy: Oh, that is a difficult question. I LOVE them all. I like teaching somebody their first moves in Swedish and how to begin to use massage techniques. It is really fun to look at them in their first week of school and say “Look, you are officially all student massage therapists…..you’re doing it!!!!” It happens right away…not 6 months later. But then, I have to remember how amazing it is to teach Anatomy and Physiology and watch as each person learns something new that they didn’t already know about the human body. It is like watching them learn about their own body and seeing a light go on. On the other hand, I can’t deny my passion for teaching special populations and all the cool modalities and ways of working with the elderly (usually my mother – everyone LOVES “Dortha”), doing baby massage on cute little babies of our massage students, learning the awe of doing a belly massage on a pregnant mama just as the baby kicks you to say hello. I have a deep (no pun intended) and profound appreciation for all of our advanced massage techniques. Since I have the authority and permission to teach an introduction to SMRT, it is my absolute joy to teach a little bit about this profound massage technique to our students. It is the only school in the country where students receive this introductory training. It is one of the modalities that I find our students asking more and more about. Wait, I didn’t mention Asian modalities yet. I love to get down to the nitty gritty of things. How does that make you feel? What is your favorite season? When was the last time that you laughed, really laughed? Hmmmm, that might say something about your Fire. Let’s trace some meridians, work on some acupressure points, and see how to help that energy move freely through the person to help with their healing process. But wait…I forgot to mention hydro and spa. Who doesn’t love a good salt scrub or body wrap. Yes, when you come to school, you get to get exfoliated, wrapped up, pampered, massaged and sometimes even stoned (HOT and COLD stones of course). Kinesiology: One of my favorite sayings is “Use your BIG words!” Thoracolumbar aponeurosis, erector spinae, serratus posterior superior…is it hypertonic, inflamed, adhered, ischemic? L > R? More superior or inferior, medial or lateral, superficial or deep, anterior or posterior? Yup…I like all of that talk. And good thing I do, because it becomes our common language during internship. If you hadn’t quite gotten it all under your belt before internship, there’s no way you’ll finish 120 hours of massage without speaking kinesiology fluently. I mean, 110 SOAP notes written in a very thorough massage detective way…it is the world’s best MBLEx review in itself. I have two important words for you…..Business Project. Enough said. Most people that research an employer during their business project receive a job offer. Most people that design their own business go on to be very successful independent LMTs. OKAY FINE…If I had to boil it down more, I’d highlight Asian and Internship. Asian modalities give me a chance to truly get to know each student and teach them some really deep profound healing aspects of bodywork. And Internship, well, that is where it all comes together. Everything they’ve learned is put together and these amazing massage clients dedicate themselves to the learning process of our students. I get a chance to work one on one with each student on their clients as we deepen their knowledge and massage experience. It is where the magic happens. In the end…none of this would be possible without our amazing team of outstanding massage professionals and instructors, Rick Pinette, Colette Williamson, Shane Melear and Kendra McKellar.
Q: What are your hobbies? What do you do when you’re not at work?
Kathy: For fun, I work more. 😀 I love what I do, so doing it comes with great ease. In addition to teaching continuing education classes in my spare time, I also offer SMRT Massage Sessions, Plant Spirit Medicine healing treatments, and Placenta Encapsulation to my clientele. I also volunteer as the Database Manager running an event and fundraising CRM for the international Sacred Fire Community. I’ve been involved with them since I started my study of Plant Spirit Medicine back in 2002. I love sitting around the fire, playing a djembe (drumming), having a good cigar, hanging out at Windy Point at Lake Travis, sitting on my back deck, going out to eat with my son (a recent Massage Graduate of Avenue Five), time with my family, and learning more about different massage and healing modalities. I’m a lifelong learner. I’d be lying if I didn’t mention that I’m an avid viewer of Netflix, HBO, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Some might say that I love TEQUILA. 😀 (You know who you are.)
Q: Can you leave us with a quote?
Kathy: “Anything I’ve ever done that ultimately was worthwhile… initially scared me to death.” – Betty Bender.