Hands On: Laura Ellerbe

One licensed massage therapist reveals how she went from, nearly downsized and depressed to feeling free and in control of  her future, by starting her own massage therapy practice.

Laura Ellerbe
Laura Ellerbe Owner of Healing Kneads Massage Lake Mary

Laura Ellerbe is a LMT and the proud owner of Healing Kneads Massage located in Lake Mary, Florida.

Colibri Healthcare, LLC (ECE): Thank you for taking the time to talk with me today.  Laura, how long have you been a Licensed Massage Therapist?

Laura Ellerbe (LE): Since 2012

ECE: Where do you typically practice?

LE: My Office

ECE: How many modalities do you work in?

LE: I specialize in Myofascial Release, it is also my preferred modality.

ECE: Describe your ideal client.

LE: My ideal client is someone who takes an active role in their health, and appreciates the value of the mind/body connection to their health.

ECE: What do you consider to be your biggest challenge as a Massage Therapist?healing kneads massage

LE: Sometimes people have the wrong idea of what massage therapy really is. I work hard when I am networking with other professionals, or with the public to elevate massage therapy in their eyes. I am passionate when I speak about massage, and I’d like more people to see the value of it.[vc_blockquote type=”type2″]It is awe-inspiring when you consider what massage can do: help people recover from life-changing accidents, help premature infants push through, help terminally ill people find peace, give caregivers a respite from their duties, help people relieve stress. I joke with friends that I’m a superhero, but really, what other profession can you help people in this way?[/vc_blockquote]

ECE: We agree!  Tell us about your journey to becoming a Massage Therapist and why you became one; what do you love about it?

LE: When I was younger, I massaged my parents, and I assumed all kids did the same. When my dad’s back was out, I walked on it. My parents and friends always commented that I had a good “touch”.

I never thought of massage as a career until I was in my 40s when I was going through a change in my career and life. Due to low enrollment at the high school where I had been teaching for several years, the principal had to make cuts. Because of my contract and my years as a teacher, they could not fire me, but were required to transfer me to a different location as long as I was teaching the subject I was qualified for.[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_blockquote type=”type2″]I was transferred to a lock down facility for high risk males. This basically is a detention center for juvenile delinquents.[/vc_blockquote][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]I tried my best to make a go of it, but I found that I was not suited for this type of environment. I became depressed and was unable to function very well. I went on medical leave for a few months. Eventually I left that position and found a position at a middle school the following school year. During that year, I still hadn’t returned to normal. I had difficulty concentrating still, and wasn’t happy about teaching anymore. I struggled that year, and during that summer, I decided to make a change. I wanted to change careers obviously, and I thought back to massage. I submitted my resignation to the school board, and started massage school that fall.

My only regret is that I didn’t do this sooner in my life. Before I started massage school, I had this vision of what I wanted to do: start Healing Kneads Massage. Now I’m helping people be the best they can be.[vc_blockquote type=”type2″]Each day I know I’m in the right place, doing exactly what I should be doing.[/vc_blockquote][vc_column_text]

ECE: You’ve been following your service heart, what an exciting journey!  What are some lessons you’ve learned on your journey?

LE: I know that every single body has the unique ability to heal itself. My job is not to heal others, but to help facilitate this process.

ECE: Is there anything you wish you would have known before you started?

LE: The importance of body mechanics! When I first started, I used my thumbs improperly and developed arthritis. Protect your hands, and use proper body mechanics!

ECE:  Sounds like a good idea for our next blog post! Do you have any advice for anyone considering entering into the business?

LE: Self-care is important so that you can take care of others. Eat right, exercise, nourish your soul, and make time to spend time with those you love and love you. You can only take clients as far as you are willing to go.


Laura Ellerbe is a LMT and the proud owner of Healing Kneads Massage located in Lake Mary, FL. Healing Kneads Massage is proud to provide a variety of massage therapy services including Swedish, Craniosacral, Deep Tissue, and Sports massages. Healing Kneads assures that your time at the massage studio will be the most rejuvenating, relaxing and refreshing time of your day.

To learn more about Laura’s practice, visit her website at: www.MassageTherapyLakeMary.com.  You can follow Healing  Kneads Massage on Facebook at www.facebook.com/healingkneadsorlando, or Tweet to her at www.twitter.com/healingkneadsor.[vc_tweetmeme type=”horizontal”]