Meet Our Teachers: Gretchen Cole


The teachers at The Lauterstein-Conway Massage School have skill, experience, and a true passion for Massage Therapy. Let’s take a moment to get to know one of the 500 hour program instructors.

Q&A with Gretchen Cole

Q: When did you start your career in Massage Therapy?

A: I started at TLC in 1994, after having taken extension classes in a numerous alternative healing therapies including massage, in Seattle, WA.

Q: Why did you decide to become a Massage Therapist? 

A: I took the training because I was interested in feeling good, and in the information. I was intrigued with using the body itself as a ‘lens’ to understand healing. It wasn’t until classmates of mine in what was then the advanced training semester started talking about their wages that I thought “Why don’t I charge for what I’m doing, and earn a living that way, too?” So, I began taking private clients and taking jobs at massage establishments.

Q: What training and experience do you have in Massage Therapy? 

A: 550 hours of basic training from TLC, along with twenty years of continual private practice. Of course, I have taken myriad continuing education trainings through the years and have been introduced to Lymphatic Drainage, Reflexology, various orthopedic approaches, Zero Balancing, Zen Shiatsu, essential oil preparation and application, Cranio-Sacral work, Polarity therapy, Rosen technique, psych-K work, Ayurvedic massage, working with Bach Flower essences, and chakra work utilizing rocks and crystals. Current favorites to include in my working sessions are reflexology and the raindrop technique, b/c they both assist healing in so many different situations and on several different levels.

Q: What was your favorite aspect of Massage School? 

A: The magic wrought when you begin to trust yourself to listen, inside your own body.

Do you have a favorite modality? If so, what is it?

A: I’m a mixologist by nature – I enjoy drawing on ALL my experiences to see what might fit the totality of a client’s needs best, and mix and match these into the session. That’s really satisfying to me – I feel it’s kind of like fine art painting: even if you return to the same subject a different day, no two canvases will come out alike.

What is your approach to Massage Therapy?  

A: The Hippocratic Oath: “First, do no harm.” This has come to extend in many different directions as I’ve changed and matured through the years, learning about myself and learning about others. I feel it’s the right way to approach bodywork and humans.

What is your favorite color?

A: I’ve been in a huge Purple/Indigo/Violet phase lately.

What is your favorite food?

A: Bacon. My family jokes that we all have a “pork chakra” 🙂

What kind of movies do you like?

A: Comedies, mostly. BritComs, RomComs, SciFiComs… There is enough real scary drama in our world that I prefer to use movies to enhance the lighter side of life – to try to keep myself emotionally balanced in what I take in. The more serious things happen, the more I turn to laughter.

Q: Why do you think Massage Therapy is important?

A: Due to its sociological and cultural history, I have come to believe that our country does not educate its citizens enough about their own bodies. I believe since this body is the sole & primary vehicle moving our selves around every day that more knowledge is certainly beneficial. From small things like how to enhance wound healing and how scar tissue works to large things, like how our bodies interact/respond to chemical, brain and psychological issues. When I grew up in the 80’s, my dad taught me how to change the oil, tires and wiper blades on my car, basic maintenance that proved extremely helpful in my life -– I endeavor to give similar information about our bodies to my clients. My bit of “practical parenting”, if you will.

upcoming 500 hour Program schedules.