October 23, 2020 | Spotlight

Spotlight: Sandy Henningsgaard, BCTMB

Please provide your full name, current location, and current job title.

My name is Sandy Henningsgaard. I currently work and reside in Sun City, AZ and am an advanced Certified Rolfer®.

Provide one fun fact about you.

I’m still working at 72+ years old!

What are your hobbies?

Clay Club, fairy houses, mosaics and gardening.

How did you discover the massage therapy profession?  What motivated you to pursue massage therapy as a career?

I was a critical care nurse employed at a private hospital in Panama City, Florida.  I had an “Ah – Ha” moment one day and realized that I was no more to the hospital than a paper towel.  “You can be replaced”. I began thinking about what else I could do with my life.  It took a few years, a journey cross country and a continuing ed class to cross paths with a Rolfer®.

How did you develop your passion?

I went through the Rolfing series in Reno, Nevada.  I was taking the extra science classes to get into Chiropractic school when my Rolfer suggested Rolfing school.  I walked through a mine field of self doubts and began the process of applying to the Rolf Institute.  I traveled to Boulder Colorado for the interview and decided to study in Munich, (West) Germany.  I completed that training in September of 1985.  I had the desire to go home to Minnesota to be near my aging parents.  I started practice there in late 1985.  I met my current husband early in that practice (he was a Psychologist). We married and he also did the Rolfing training shortly after that.  We built a practice together in Minneapolis at our home in Stillwater, MN.  We put those practices to rest in December of 2016 and thought we’d retire to Sun City, AZ.  We now have a doubles practice (or 4 handed work) in Sun City.  It has been a real gift to have a life partner who is also a Rolfer and concerned for everyone’s health!

How has your massage career evolved?

I was a critical care nurse, but had an interest in health.  I only took massage training to qualify for the Rolfing training.  About 10 years into my practice I became very interested in work on the nerves and took several classes in working with them.  I found that it was much easier to relieve pain and restrictions if I paid attention to the paths of the nerves and tried to free them in their stuck places.  Being able to relieve pain is a real gift for people.

When did you first become NCBTMB Certified?


Why did you elect to become NCBTMB Certified?

Those at the Rolf Institute who are more aware of what’s happening nationwide suggested working with the AMTA in our area to be sure that Rolfing was represented in case massage became regulated through state legislation – and that our practices (such as working on clients without a cover sheet) as Rolfers would not be made against the law.

Why have you maintained your NCBTMB Certification all these years?

I did not know if I would move to a state that required NCBTMB Certification – Arizona does, Minnesota does not.

How has NCBTMB elevated your career?  What doors did it open for you?

It’s a credibility issue.  Certification gives the public a statement that I am current on thinking in the field.  It made getting my Arizona Massage License a piece of cake.  Do you know that you will ever move?  Case closed.

What would you say to a fellow massage therapist contemplating Board Certification?

There is no reason NOT to be Board Certified.

How has your practice and/or employment been affected by COVID-19?

We stopped working on March 13. 2020.  We have only started working on one or two people.

If you are not working or unable to work during the pandemic, what are you doing during this time to prepare yourself for future work?

Like I said, we thought we would retire in 2017.  We have been reading everything we can about how COVID-19 is spread and trying to figure out the safest way to keep working a little bit.

What would you suggest a fellow massage therapist do during this time to prepare for future success?

This is a perfect time to study for anything.  I’m still learning about public health issues and how  not to catch this nasty bug.  My husband is way into learning about his favorite subject.  It’s important to keep your brain learning!

To apply for Board Certification, click here.

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