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Healing hands: South Boston student finds her true calling

Southside Virginia Community College’s massage therapy program graduate Jamesse Hart has chosen a career path that allows her to heal with her hands instead of medicine.

Hart currently works as a full time massage therapist for The Blackberry Spa at the Berry Hill Resort in South Boston. In her position at The Blackberry Spa she does many different types of massages on customers from Swedish, to hot stone, to therapeutic massages.  

“Basically everything is about helping and healing,” said Hart.

Hart is a native of South Boston and always has enjoyed the art of massage.

Hart’s interest in the massage therapy field grew while she was taking prerequisites for the LPN program at SVCC.  She said she realized she wanted to help people in a different way, instead of shots and medication, so she decided to pursue the massage therapy program.

Hart chose to enroll in SVCC’s massage therapy program because it was close to home and convenient which allowed her to work while going to school.

As for advice to current students in the massage therapy program, Hart said, “Pay close attention because everything your teacher is telling you, you’re going to need it; and whenever you feel like you can’t find a job, don’t lose the faith because it will work out for you.”

Hart has aspirations of opening her own spa in the future.

Massage therapists can make $38,000-$52,000, on average, per year.  The need for massage therapists is growing.  Physical therapy offices are hiring therapists as well as chiropractors and hospitals.

Southside Virginia Community College’s Career Studies Certificate in Massage Therapy can be completed in a year, and classes are held at the Estes Community Center in Chase City.  Twenty-two credits are needed to complete the program in the following courses:  musculoskeletal structure and function, concepts of personal and community health, introduction to massage, Therapeutic Massage I, II and III, first aid and CPR and a business elective.

The instructor for SVCC’s massage therapy program is Karen Frazier who has three years of professional spa experience and more than 16 years of private practice massage experience.  

“Our program is customized for both those who wish to practice professionally and those seeking knowledge for self-care,” said Frazier. 

Anyone interested in SVCC’s massage therapy program can contact Rebecca Laben at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   or 434-736-2214.