Make a Difference in Someone's
life with Massage Therapy

By: Kristin Snellback
Special to the Oahu Island News

David Ho of Waipahu recently took a mid-life career turn and began training as a massage therapist. He began an internship with Massage Professionals, a full-service therapeutic clinic in Kailua with a desire to help others and six months of training. Ho continues to receive advanced massage training in the evenings and on weekends while completing his internship.

Intern massage therapists are unpaid, and as a critical part of their on- going training they provide massage therapy to the public at a special reduced rate. The valuable feedback from their clients plays an integral part in their overall training. Ho explained, “Even though we are well trained and very prepared prior to entering the clinic it was challenging in the beginning, this is the real world, real people with real challenges, not just my classmates. However, after a short time (at the clinic) I began to find my rhythm.”

Ho said he learned the value of building a trusting relationship with his clients. “A great percentage of my clients have returned for further sessions. I feel invested in offering comfort and assisting the healing process.”

In a typical School of Massage Therapy clinic there are several intern therapists at different stages of training and clinical experience. All interns are proficient in therapeutic massage, and many have begun to assist their clients in finding resolution for specific areas of discomfort. Often a client will discover a future massage therapist while they are in their internship, and they will then continue as a client once the student becomes licensed.

Ho credits his success in the clinic to his instructors. He believes they gave him the specifics he needed in class, and the opportunity to gain personal confidence as a therapist. “I was able to apply what I learned in class with my clients in the clinic. I saw the results immediately. The best part of giving a massage is seeing the happy faces after our session. It is very gratifying to be able to contribute,” said Ho.

Ho knows that it will soon be time for the next level – graduation and state boards. “As my time as an intern therapist is coming to an end I feel a little bit sad. I have so enjoyed sharing with the staff, my clients and fellow students. It has been a great opportunity to learn in this environment.”

Hawaii Healing Arts College, School of Massage Therapy and Massage Professionals are located in the Kailua Medical Arts Building. For more information call 266-2462 or visit