Dawn Morgan: Switching Careers for Your Health and Hers

June-4-NN-Dawn_MorganDawn Morgan had worked for many years as an accountant when she decided to try something new. Accounting involves a lot of sitting at a desk and the sitting was taking a toll physically on her. She needed something active, physical, with less computer time and more people time.

A self-described introvert, Morgan knew she would be better at a job with one-on-one interaction. “I was looking for something more relaxed,” she recalls. “I wanted to learn about the human body and the way it works.”

In 2012 Morgan graduated from the Wellness Massage Center and Institute in St. Albans. She passed her exams and opened a small massage therapy studio in Burlington while continuing to work as an accountant. After two years in Burlington she was ready to take the plunge to full-time therapy, opening Vitality Therapeutic Massage on Mechanicsville Road. Her regulars, even those living as far from Hinesburg as the North End of Burlington, happily followed her to the new location. Morgan helps explain the parameters of her practice with a Code of Ethics which is part of the paperwork for new clients.

Morgan enjoys the freedom of owning her own studio. “Being your own boss is very rewarding,” she said. “I think I spend more time talking to my clients than I would otherwise. I can also limit the number of clients I see during a day which keeps me physically healthy. It’s incredibly rewarding to see my clients week after week and see how they’re improving and to be intimately involved with that process and help them overcome pain and rehabilitate.” Although she doesn’t rule out the possibility of eventually doing some accounting on the side, right now Morgan is giving that career a break. “I really enjoy having the freedom to explore and grow my practice,” she said.

This is not the first time Morgan has abruptly changed her life. From 2004 to 2006, she and her husband worked for the Peace Corps in West Africa. On their return to Seattle they decided the city had gotten too big for them so they spent the summer travelling around the country to find a new place to call home. They were fairly certain that place would be in the Southwest until they reached Vermont. “On a road trip like that you spend two to three days in any given place,” Morgan said “but we kept adding days to our Vermont visit and decided to move here.” The couple purchased a home in Hinesburg, in part because they heard the town had a strong sense of community.

Morgan enjoys the different phases of her work as a massage therapist. “There’s a little bit of problem solving that goes on in the beginning,” she said “but once you start working with the client’s muscle structure you can zero in on what’s happening. Sometimes it’s something dramatic like a torn ligament or tendon. Other times, I can feel that a muscle is in spasm and we can work to calm that down. I can feel the muscle relax in my hand. It’s an interesting phenomena and it’s very rewarding to know that I helped.”