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Second Careers: Massage Therapist

Former cafeteria manager eased the pressure

spinner image Massage therapist Julie MacDonald massages a patient's upper back
Sam Comen

JULIE MACDONALD, 58 | $30,000 a year

"If your body says it’s time to change, listen."

spinner image Massage therapist Julie MacDonald massages a client's foot
Sam Comen

Home: Libby, Mont.  

Previous life: Cafeteria Manager

Why she did it: My old job was so stressful, my doctor told me I needed a change. I noticed a newspaper advertisement for massage therapy training, which was mostly online, plus workshops.

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How she succeeded: I planned to study and work full-time, but it turned out that working, training and traveling were too much. I quit my hospital job to focus on certification. It was the hardest decision of my life, but I’m convinced that it saved my life: I’ve lost 50 pounds, improved my health and reduced my medication.

What you need to know: If your body says it’s time to change, listen. My husband and I both wish I’d done this sooner.

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