Body Mechanics Orthopedic Massage presents a profile on a face many of you already know, Veronica Sanabria! We sat down to learn more about her 16 years of massage experience and hear some stories she from before she joined Body Mechanics in 2019.
What is your clinical/career background and what drew you to medical massage?
Veronica – I was led to medical massage by a former employer. I worked with a sports medicine doctor who developed a unique practice. He incorporated multiple disciplines under one roof and blended them all to customize treatment for each individual patient. He didn’t try to address everyone’s issues one one blanket approach and I found that inspiring.
I followed that inspiration and learned many modalities of healing body work including ART (Active Release Therapy), deepened my understanding of sports massage, studied medical and pregnancy massage techniques and trigger point.
How long have you been practicing medical massage?
Veronica – I was originally licensed in Florida in 2000. I moved to New York and looked to expand my skill set and so I entered the Swedish Institute of massage when I got here. I graduated and got my New York massage license in 2004. I’ve been working ever since. I worked in different settings from spas, to chiropractor clinics to health centers in Fortune 500 office buildings. I shifted my focus to medical massage 6 years ago.
Can you share one experience that has greatly impacted your massage?
Veronica – It’s difficult to choose just one client that has impacted me. I remember in Florida I had a return client who I did facials and massage for. One day she broke down crying. She told me that no one takes care of her, except me. THAT really resonated with me. She was a physical education teacher, a volunteer, and her mother’s caretaker. She kept pouring out of her cup, and it was empty. I helped her feel seen, heard and cared for. I’ll never forget that. Being able to provide physical as well as emotional healing to my clients is a gift I am so proud to be able to give.
What is your best “Uh-oh!” story? A time you really messed something up with your body, that helped inform your medical massage technique.
Veronica – Years ago I had a treated a client who was seeking a massage with very deep pressure. Before getting on the table she demaned that it to raised to its highest level so she wouldn’t have to get up from a lower height. Because the table was so high I didn’t have the right angle to use my weight to help increase pressure. So I could only rely on the muscles in my arm and fingers to do all the work. After an hour of that I felt like I pulled a muscle in my shoulder and had back pain for almost a week! I know now that I shoul’ve explained why the table needed to be lowered and worked in a way that would be best for both the client and myself.
What are your favorite kinds of people to work on and why?
Veronica – I like people who challenge me. People who are suffering from a mystery pain or a chonric problem that they haven’t been able to adress in years. Going over their body and listening to their story using my skills to find and heal a problem they thought they would have to deal with forever gives me a real sense of accomplishment. I love weird injuries!
If you could try any sport or attend a special event what would it be?
Veronica – Soccer of hockey! I get a kick of adreline just watching either of these sports. I’d love to score the winning goal at the last second of a game.
What sets your medical massage apart from anyone else?
Veronica – What sets my work apart is my instinct. My senses engage completely while I work and I pick up on subtleties in my clients’ bodies and it informs my massage. Thanks to the doctor I worked for, I never go into a session thinking I have anything figured out or that there will be a simple fix, even if it is with a client I’ve seen many times before. I approach each appointment like it’s the first and focus on what body in front of me needs to heal as well as what the person needs.
Are there any oddball facts we do not know about you that you’d like to share?
Veronica – I love sci-fi novels and movies. Going to the movies on a hot summer day and enoying the AC and overpriced snacks is one of my favorite forms of self care.
Read up on our other massage therapists on our massage therapist profile page.