Meet Our Teachers: Kevin Graef

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 Kevin Graef

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

A: November of 2009

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

Kevin Graef headshotA: I was looking for a new path that allowed me to be creative, work less, and be outside in nature where I belong. In my early 20’s I had my first massage, and walking out to my car, my head felt weightless, like a ballon gently tethered to my shoulders, and I thought, “WOW! I must have felt really bad, because I feel REALLY GOOD!” So massage had opened a door to a different level of being.  I also studied a martial art that gave me an interest in chinese medicine and acupuncture. My career as an auto mechanic had recently begun, and while interesting and rewarding for many years, I realized that I was missing the daylight, stuck in a big metal building all day.

The sun would come up, and I would go to work. I would leave work as the sun went down. I did that for 13 years or so. I had intentions of trying acupuncture school, but I realized that the financial investment was greater than my interest. I wasn’t really sure if I would even truly enjoy working with people, but I wanted to find out. So I enrolled at TLC. Now I wake up with the sun, go to work when I choose, and help other people to see their bodies differently from the inside out.

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

A: I attended the TLC 500 hour program, as well as an Advanced Clinical Program at TLC (258 hours) which included Structural Integration, Shiatsu, and Zero Balancing. I’ve attended a number of workshops including: Marty Ryan’s ‘Love Your Guts’ seminar- abdominal/visceral massage, Multiple Deep Tissue workshops from Shane Melear, and Brian Utting, Foundations of Structural Integration with Ritchie Mintz. I am attuned to Reiki level 1 & 2.

Q: What was your favorite aspect of Massage School?

A: Tough question… so many good things. I  think that becoming a beginner again, as difficult as it was/is, has been an invaluable never ending lesson.

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

A: I love incorporating movement into massage, so body mobilization techniques are always in my massage. My current interest is in Rolfing and Structural Integration.

Q: What is your approach to Massage Therapy?

A: My approach is to find out, with the client, what their goals and needs are, while encouraging  a connection before the massage even begins by creating a space where they feel safe and understood. Once the massage begins, the approach is basically general to specific to general, whole to parts to whole. The general movements are intended to feel good, relax the client, and give me information about where to work more specifically. The specific movements or techniques are then chosen based on a number of elements, including: client’s preference of style or pressure, what tissues are involved, the cause of the soft tissue dysfunction or tension if known, client’s sensitivity, and whatever else presents itself in the moment. After addressing the tissue in a more specific manner, I return to more general movements to reintegrate the parts into the whole.

Q: What is your favorite color?

A: They are all amazing, and it changes for me, but I do really love the brilliant green of the feathers of the monk parakeets here in Austin.

Q: What is your favorite food?

A: Is coffee food? I love octopus and squid! Seafood, the fishier the better!

Q: What kind of movies do you like?

A: Guardians of the Galaxy just made itself a home next to Star Wars on my favorites list.

Q: Why do you think Massage Therapy is important?

A: Massage can shift peoples consciousness, as well as reduce the pain and suffering that may be making life hard. There is a ripple effect, to all the people they contact. Touching one person actually touches many people, whether it be massage or a casual interaction and a kind word. Massage lets me say the things i need to with my hands, that I feel in my heart.

upcoming 500 hour Program schedules.