AMTA NJ Chapter Interview with Kristen Lutz
From the desk of Kristen Lutz, LCMT, MS... I had the pleasure of interviewing with the American Massage Therapy Association's (AMTA) New Jersey Chapter since I am part of the 2014 Boston Marathon's Massage Therapy Foundation Running for Research Team.
Here is the full article about my career and training for the most beloved and oldest marathon in the world!
Tell us about where you work and what you do.
I have seen hundreds of clients for many different ailments. I’ve learned that even though two clients may come in with similar symptoms or injuries, it may take different approaches to aid in their healing process. About 75% of the clients I see each week are returning for ongoing treatment and that is a reflection of the training I’ve received through various AMTA-sponsored workshops.
I enjoy working with active people, former or current athletes, and runners. I always find myself having a conversation with each client about posture, compensation patterns, appropriate form/technique and the impact of old injuries on their current ailment. That is where my background in exercise physiology and training in advanced orthopedic skills complement each other.
I typically see clients who seek relief for work related tension patterns and who seek orthopedic work. I enjoy working with active people, former or current athletes, and runners. I always find myself having a conversation with each client about posture, compensation patterns, appropriate form/technique and the impact of old injuries on their current ailment. That is where my background in exercise physiology and training in advanced orthopedic skills complement each other.
You previously ran the Boston Marathon. When and how was that?
I ran Boston in 2004 and I thought I was a ‘one and done’. It was the first road race I’d ever ran. Yes. I chose the Boston Marathon as my first road race. I must have been high on a Patriots Super Bowl three-peat and the impending break of an 86 year-old curse on the Red Sox. I was in my first year of grad school at Northeastern and the opportunity presented itself for me to get a bib. I have to say it was one of the best and my worst days of my life. I had over-trained, trained solo, became injured just 10 days before race day, and had to run in 85* temperatures. Despite those obstacles I finished…but not within my goal time. I felt beat up for weeks after and really wished my apartment wasn’t on the third floor of a building with no elevator. Can you see why I wanted nothing to do with marathons ever again? It was about two years ago that I started to get the itch to run Boston one more time; my road to redemption. Since 2004 I had run a handful of half marathons, in the U.S. and in Europe, so many 5Ks and 10Ks I lost count, and a Reach the Beach NH Relay. I knew how to train and knew so many integrative health practitioners who could help get me to that finish line in one piece. So I knew my time would come for one more shot. Ten years later, it did and here I am!
How did you feel the moment you received word that you were selected to be on the 2014 MTF “Running for Research” team?
I think Will Ferrell said it best in the movie Semi-Pro...“I’m so happy, I can’t even feel my arms!” I knew there was some ridiculous competition for the MTF charity team this year and it wasn’t going to be easy. I remember I was in between seeing clients that day. I looked at my phone and saw a missed call from a number I had not seen before and a voicemail. I knew the voting committee had to be making a decision soon. So when I saw that missed call and voicemail, I had an overwhelming feeling that I got it. I called Paul Slomski, Development Manager for the MTF, and he gave me the great news. I have to thank the AMTA MA Chapter and specifically our fearless leader, Mary White, for the support through the application process and for what lies ahead for fundraising.
Do you have any concerns or goals about/for the 2014 Boston Marathon?
I want to finish and finish strong. When I run a race, I tend to turn my headphones on and just go. If my husband runs the same race, he’ll always ask me things like, “Oh remember that hill?” or “Did you see that thing over by mile marker 7?”. My answer every time is a clueless, “No”. I just throw my ear buds in and get going. This will be so different. I want to enjoy and revel in Boston this year!
What inspires you?
It’s more like who inspires me. I feed off of the enthusiasm and determination of others. That is why I surround myself with great and positive people. I believe it truly takes a village to do many things in this world and I have quite the village; a supportive family, a husband who runs my long runs with me, a dog who sticks by me for the cold and snowy runs, friends who shower me with encouragement and colleagues who take care of my health and body when I need it most.
What advice would you give to a new massage therapist?
Ask questions. Whether it’s finding the right place to start your practice, finding the right products to use or asking questions at a continuing education class. Keep asking questions. The answers you get will only open up more possibilities and help you receive clarity in what you want out of your practice. Don’t let anyone make you feel inadequate or wrong for asking a question. That’s how we all learn and better ourselves.
What advice would you give to someone who would like to run a marathon?
Set up your support system. No matter whether your goal is to finish or to run your personal best, you will do so much better with the people you need around you. Look for a running group (or two) in your area, speak with sports medicine specialists to discuss how any old injuries may impact your training routine, have an expert looks at your nutrition, attend some running seminars, and most importantly, listen to your body. If you are physically or mentally exhausted, take the day off. Work on your breathing, stretch, meditate, or just do something for you that day. I'm so happy to work with such a professional and skilled group of practitioners at OMBE and I've seen most of them during my training.
Do you have anything additional you would like to share?
I’m very proud to be running the 2014 Boston Marathon as part of the Massage Therapy Foundation Running for Research Team. Think about something you were extremely proud to accomplish. What would it be like to feel that sense of accomplishment for 112 consecutive days? That’s what I have the privilege of experiencing as I train for Boston. I’d love for you to join me in that journey. You can donate through my Crowdrise charity page, send me a note onFacebook or Twitter, or join the thousands who will line the streets from Hopkinton to Boston on April 21st to cheer on Team MTF!
Kristen Lutz, LCMT, MS Licensed Massage Therapist
Kristen Lutz, a Board Certified Licensed Massage Therapist, is a graduate of Cortiva Institute - Boston (formerly Muscular Therapy Institute) in Watertown, MA. As a member of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) and Massachusetts Chapter of the AMTA, her work is centered upon supporting clients in achieving optimal health and well being through listening and understanding individual needs . She integrates various massage techniques into each personalized session. These techniques include Swedish (relaxation), deep tissue, sports massage, orthopedic massage, neuromuscular (trigger point) therapy, and myofascial release along with stretching, range of motion, and breath work. She is currently training to be certified in Advanced Orthopedic Massage. Having completed the Usui Method Reiki II Certification, clients can benefit from the integration of energy work and balancing along with massage therapy.
Clients benefit from Kristen's approach that each client is unique and no one treatment is alike. This customized approach leads to a more effective treatment. Kristen, a New England native, has been living in Boston for the past seven years. She graduated with a B.S. in Exercise and Sport Sciences from Colby-Sawyer College in New London, NH while playing collegiate women's volleyball. She continued with her education and graduated with a M.S. in Clinical Exercise Physiology from Northeastern University in Boston, MA and has worked in the health and wellness field as an exercise physiologist.