I met Shea Shulman, LMT, CMMP several years ago during one of our Medical Massage seminars in Florida. At the beginning we developed typical teacher-student relations, which eventually transformed in something more essential and important. Besides finishing SOMI’s Medical Massage Certification program and successfully practicing Medical Massage in her clinic in Sarasota, Shea went way further.

To my complete surprise after one of our seminars, she showed me a project she was work-ing on. To make MEDICAL MASSAGE PROTOCOLs even more user friendly for therapists she worked with, Shea accomplished the monumental work of arranging each protocol from the Medical Mas-sage Volume I textbook into a colored bullet point format and printed all of them on laminated dia-grams. Using these diagrams, she and therapists she worked with had immediate access to the info in the therapy room without having to use the textbook or Video Library. It immediately increased the effectiveness of the therapy since it cut time and made therapists’ work more efficient. We are indebted to Shea for her dedication to patients and therapists.

Dr. Ross Turchaninov, Editor in Chief

Here is our interview with



Shea Shulman, CMMP, LMT

JMS: Why did you decide to become a massage therapist?

Shea Shulman: My original plan was to go into Physical Therapy. However, I did not get accepted into school the first time I applied. I thought that if I went to massage school, it would increase my chances of acceptance. When I learned how much I could help people through massage, I knew that it was the right career choice for me.

JMS: You have a very successful massage practice in Sarasota, Florida. What is your business model?

Shea Shulman: My business partner and I have always believed that massage is not a luxury, but rather an important part of healthy living. This is what we convey to every person who walks through our door. Our business model includes affordable pricing to encourage frequent visits and a variety of services to meet different individual needs. But more importantly, our business focuses on the necessity of continuing education. The success of our practice is directly related to the fact that we have an incredible team of therapists who love to learn and believe in personal growth for the benefit of others.

JMS: What do you think about Medical Massage and how has it changed your practice?

Shea Shulman: Medical Massage has given me the ability to understand WHY a patient is in pain instead of relying on educated guesses. Through proper assessment and planned sessions, I am able to provide care that often fully resolves my patients’ issues. And when I am unable to provide full resolution (either because there is something I am missing or because there are other factors out of my control), I am still getting results that far exceed what I would have gotten prior to practicing Medical Massage. I feel that the concepts and tools provided by this training are essential for anyone practicing massage therapy who wants to help people in pain.
Additionally, practicing Medical Massage has given me the ability to earn more income than I have in the past. Not only did I raise my hourly rate, but I am consistently booked with Medical Massage patients. I would estimate that my income has increased by 30% annually since I started practicing Medical Massage.

JMS: What professional plans do you have for the future?

Shea Shulman: I have 3 goals for the future:
1. To continue to share what I have learned in Medical Massage with other massage therapists so that more people can benefit from this work.
2. To expand upon a program our practice already has in place that provides financial assistance to those who need Medical Massage or Lymphedema Therapy, but are unable to afford this critical care.
3. To educate other health care professionals about the role that massage therapy plays in the reha-bilitation and overall health of their patients.

JMS: What is your favorite type of bodywork?

Shea Shulman: Right now my favorite thing to do in a session is Trigger Point Therapy. I am always amazed at the amount of relief patients receive when trigger points are properly treated.

JMS: What is your advice to our readers?

Shea Shulman: If you have just started practicing Medical Massage, don’t get overwhelmed by trying to learn everything at once. Start with the concepts provided in the Medical Massage textbook and develop an understanding of where pain sensations developed by the brain originate and how to assess different conditions. Be okay with making mistakes. They are unavoidable and a part of the learning process (at least they have been for me). The likelihood is that you will see incredible results even from the beginning, so the accomplishments will keep your momentum going when you run into more difficult situations.

JMS: Thank you! Good luck in your work and we wish success to all your plans!

Category: Person of the Month