Knight has worked for Brighton Rehab in Raymond four months, but has three years' experience as a massage practitioner and a lifetime of exposure to the health industry.
“My mother and grandmother practiced nursing for years,” she explained.
Her involvement in massage therapy came in a round-about way. Her first interest, after high school, was interior architecture, taking her to the University of Arkansas. Not feeling challenged there, she happened to vacation in Oregon and found she liked it well enough to move there. After a year in a community college, to fill residency requirements, she completed her college education at the University of Oregon in journalism.
After college, Kailyn said, “all I wanted to do was explore and travel the world a little bit. I got a job right out of college and was able to save some money.” This enabled her to spend two years traveling, volunteering and working in Central America, starting in Guatemala and working south, through El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.
Her favorite memory from that time was working on a farm in Costa Rica. “I learned a lot about agriculture, permaculture, medicinal herbs, how to make tinctures and salves from the fruits of the trees. I learned a lot there. It was a great experience and also a very healing experience, too. We arose early and worked the land. We got our hands dirty every day.”
While in Panama, she also took up scuba diving, something she learned to love. “I earned my Open-Water Scuba Diver Certification there. It was the first time I had ever snorkeled or scuba dived. Once you get down into the ocean you realize there's a whole new world down there.”
It was her exposure to natural healing that led to her interest in massage therapy. Once back in the states, she studied for a year at Irene's Myomassology Institute near her hometown of Detroit, Mich. “The program requires 650 hours of education. Massage therapists study anatomy, physiology, pathology and kinesiology as well as hands-on techniques and modalities. After studying, I apprenticed for six months at Irene's Myomassology Institute and worked in a massage clinic outside of Detroit.”
Massage therapists must be licensed to practice.
In the State of Washington, she said, “500 hours of training and education is required from a board approved school to become a licensed massage practitioner. Also, massage therapists have to pass a board certified test from the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCTMB) or the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB). In addition, 24 hours of continuing education is required every two years. CPR certification is required.”
The stringent requirements prepare practitioners for a variety of types of massage: mysofascial release, muscle mechanics, Swedish massage, deep-tissue, prenatal, shiatsu, Thai massage, reflexology, polarity and more. But it's the benefits for patients that endears this practice to Knight.
“I love it!,” she said of her work. “There are so many benefits to massage therapy (and) I believe in its benefits.
“I explain to my clients, it's like taking care of your car, you go in every so often for oil change and spark plugs,” Knight added. “It's the same for your body, you need a little tune-up sometimes. It helps in range of motion, and the synovial fluid in your joints; it brings more oxygen nutrients to certain areas, which makes the healing faster. You're able to relax the body.”
It is in that relaxed state that healing works best and fastest, she said.
“My goal is to assist the body in healing itself,” Knight said. “The body is an amazing mechanism that is able to regenerate and heal itself. If we treat our bodies with proper nutrition, hydration, exercise and self-care, we will have a higher quality of living. I am here to assist that process with my clients. Massage therapy helps clients to relax, relieve pain and anxiety. When our bodies are relaxed, we heal better faster!”
Clients can also help themselves through a very simple practice of drinking plenty of water. “Hydration helps the body function at its best and heal at its best,” she explained. “Please, drink plenty of water before and after a massage session. Hydrated muscles are happy muscles.”
She carries her water bottle everywhere, refilling it with tap water. She likes the local stuff: “We have really good water in Raymond,” she said.
Besides her work with Brighton, Knight has her own business, currently under her personal name, through which she provides geriatric massage, elderly massage therapy and Swedish massage. “I have been traveling to people's homes in the area and doing geriatric massage in the home.”
Massage also is good for children, especially those with ADHD and digestive problems, Knight said. Although she hasn't had any children referred to her here, “I had a child client in the past with issues with digestion, colitis, inflammation of the colon,” she said. As with adults, children benefit from massage through relief of anxiety and general relaxation, she explained.
So how did she end up in Pacific County?
An opportunity for her partner, Matthew Berry, brought them to Raymond to work in Brighton's new speech therapy program. “He's a speech therapist. Brighton had an opening in its speech therapy fellowship program and also had an opening for a massage therapist, so it just worked out.”
Since moving here, they have come to love the area.
“I love the Willapa River and its wildlife,” Knight said. “ love the ocean and the beaches.”
Most of all, she enjoys her work.
“I love what it can do for clients,” Knight said. “The body is fascinating! We're always healing. You're doing yourself a favor by taking care of yourself, even if you don't have an injury. It's called preventative medicine.”
For more information about massage, check out her website, www.kailynknight.com.Knight can be reached at Brighton Rehabilitation, 223 Duryea, Raymond, phone 360-628-6356; or directly at 248-760-6272.