Madison College grad helps others stay healthy

May 9, 2014

From “Candice Gordinier: She helps others stay healthy” — Candice Gordinier, a licensed massage therapist, adheres to a healthy lifestyle, and believes that massage therapy is an important component to achieving health and wellness. Even as a child, she remembers encouraging others around her to stay healthy and in particular, to eat their fruits and vegetables.

She is just starting out in her career, having graduated from Madison College late last fall, but is looking forward to helping others obtain their health and wellness goals. She began her own business, Wellness by Massage, when the salon she was working at in Middleton recently shut down.

As fate would have it, around the time she found out the salon was closing, she received an e-mail from one of the doctors at Hellenbrand Rabideaux Chiropractic in Waunakee, who was seeking a massage therapist to work as an independent contractor at the clinic. She jumped at the opportunity, and is currently focusing on Swedish and deep tissue massages. She is also looking forward to learning more about how massages affect the spine and nervous system.

She is passionate about both the physical and mental benefits of massage therapy, whether it helps with circulation and back pain, or with depression and anxiety. She feels that it is a natural approach to healing the body, and can be a great alternative to surgery, she said.

“That’s what I love about it,” she said. And it can do wonders for stress too, she added.

When she first began giving massages, she worried she wouldn’t know how to fill the entire hour session or what particular sequence she should follow. But she quickly learned to “read the body,” she said, and once she was able to do that, the sessions just flowed naturally, and now she really enjoys when 90-minute sessions are booked.

Gordinier was born in Alaska, living there for a few years before relocating with her family to Middleton for her father, Daniel Burkeland’s business. He is currently the owner of Madison Carpets. She graduated from Middleton High School in 2004, and knew she wanted to work in the health care field in some capacity, so she attended Madison College and became a certified nursing assistant (CNA).

However, she realized that nursing was not for her and contemplated what type of career she may want to pursue. She had experienced a few good massages herself, and believed that it would be a field she would enjoy working in every day. So she took her first class at Madison College in 2010, and never looked back.

“I really feel like I made a good decision. I have never second-guessed it,” she said.

She started out by taking courses such as anatomy, physiology, pathology and kinesiology, before moving on to the massage classes. Upon graduation, she had to pass a licensing exam before she could start her career. She passed on the first try, and was very relieved, saying, “I cried I was so happy.”

Normally the program could be completed within 11 months if one were to attend full-time. However, during this time, she and her husband, Jeff, decided to start a family.

She believes that her family has helped lead her to a career involving health and wellness, as they like to take on the role of helping others. Her two sisters are CNA’s, as was her step-mother, and there are many nurses on her husband’s side of the family.

Gordinier is looking forward to learning more about different aspects of massage therapy through continuing education courses, including a posturology class over the summer. And she hopes to include other courses in the future that focus on hot stone, pregnancy and oncology massages.

For her part, she tries to lead as healthy of a lifestyle as possible, practicing yoga when she has the time, and eating organic foods to avoid pesticides and added hormones.

As for massage therapy, she believes that it can be a wonderful avenue for preventative care, no matter one’s age. From her perspective, getting a massage is not a luxury, but a very important part of health and wellness, and she is eager to pursue her career in earnest.




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