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Success Story: CG Funk

As a national leader and industry driver, CG Funk helped shape the massage therapy industry in the United States for over 20 years. CG holds a deep belief in the healing power of therapeutic touch and is a passionate mentor and supporter of massage therapist and esthetics careers.

In 2012, she was inducted into the Massage Therapy Hall of Fame and has since been honored with an industry Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013 and a Distinguished Partner Award from the Federation of State Massage Boards in 2015.

Recently, we spoke with CG about her extensive career in Spa and Wellness.

How did you get your start in the spa industry?
I entered the Spa and Wellness Industry as a massage therapist. I became interested in learning massage therapy after receiving my first amazing session from a Native American Healer when I was 21. It did take me several years to finally attend massage school, so I was an older graduate when I entered the profession. The first position I held was a massage therapist at a destination ski resort. I really took to the spa environment and worked full-time through three ski seasons before starting my own massage therapy business.

What roles have you held in the industry during your career?
My personal career path has included being a practicing massage therapist, massage therapy instructor, school curricula and program developer, CEU teacher, writer and presenter, corporate trainer, school administrator and holding executive leadership positions. I am a guest lecturer and presenter at industry conventions and am active in the licensing, regulation and legislative efforts in the United States massage therapy and cosmetology professions. I have had such a rich and diverse career in spa and wellness. Making the decision to attend massage therapy school changed my life in so many ways. Every journey starts with the first step. While we can’t see where the path will lead us in the beginning, taking that first step with passion and commitment will take us to places we had dreamt of. All I’ve been able to accomplish started with my decision to become a massage therapist.

What professional achievement are you most proud of and why?
I am honored to have cultivated such a rewarding career in Spa. I am most proud of the charitable opportunities that I have participated in. I believe in giving back and have volunteered within the spa and wellness sectors in several capacities. I currently serve as Commissioner for COMTA (Council of Massage Therapy Accreditation), I am Chair for the Careership Committee for the Global Wellness Institute and am a Judge for the World Spa Awards. Previously, I was a board member for Beauty Changes Lives and have lent my time and expertise in many regulatory and legislative efforts. I deeply believe in supporting research and have worked closely with The Touch Research Institute (TRI). Over the past several years, I have assisted TRI in raising donations to fund research projects focused on assessing efficacy of massage therapy for various diseases and disorders.

Is there someone in the industry who has had a profound impact on your career?
I was lucky to have a mentor very early on in my career. He was the founder of Utah College of Massage Therapy Family of Schools. He gave me opportunities that allowed me to grow and learn quickly. When I was feeling scared and inadequate he would say “That isn’t fear you are feeling, it’s excitement.” I always remember this when I’m nervous about a new adventure.

What is the best part of your work?
The best parts for me are the purpose and vision of the spa industry and the people that build this community. This industry is about helping people achieve a life of health, balance and happiness. And, whatever roles or positions we hold, that is exactly what we are doing everyday. I love being in a profession that is positive and healing and am constantly inspired by the people working in this industry. In my experience, spa and wellness folks are passionate, caring, giving, intelligent and beautiful - inside and out.

What one piece of advice would you give someone starting out in the spa and wellness industry?
If someone is being called to this career and work, my advice is to commit fully to this calling. Jump in with both feet. When I first graduated from massage therapy school, I made a promise to myself that I would pursue this career wholeheartedly. While the first few years were financially challenging, I stayed true to the path I had chosen. It wasn’t always easy and it wasn’t always fun. But when I look back now, all the challenges from the early days truly made me who I am today. Through those tough experiences, I developed the skills and knowledge that has allowed me to achieve greater success professionally and personally.

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Head of Active Health and Wellbeing

Your Trust Rochdale
Rochdale, UK
Salary: £44,625 - £49,969pa + pension + benefits