Maureen Clancy was originally interested in being a physical therapist.
But that option was limiting in combination with her other interests, so she switched to physical education and taught for a number of years in the Chicago area and in Paraguay. After returning from that experience, she was introduced to massage.
“I was asked to be part of a discernment program for others going to foreign missions. While there, I pulled a muscle in my shoulder and went for a massage,” she said. “For the rest of the program, the therapist there trained me in massage. When I returned to Chicago, I began a practice as there was no certification or licensure required. Later, when I wanted insurance, I needed more training and went to school to be certified.”
Clancy taught for 13 years in the Chicago area as well as for shorter times in Paraguay and Hungary. In 1990, she began working at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston and completed her master’s and a certification program in Spiritual Direction. She then was in private practice for about six years, and from 2003 to 2006 she worked as administration mostly in health care.
Since 2006, Clancy has taught massage at three different locations as well as developed a private practice and subcontracting. She works from home, at a retirement community and at a fitness center, and she teaches in the Massage Therapy program at College of DuPage.
“Massage therapy is a very special vocation,” she said. “A therapist assists the client’s healing process on many levels. A gifted therapist reads the tissue, releases the tightness and brings the client to homeostasis. To assist the development of a student in this profession is a privilege, and their success is a celebration of the student and the growth of the profession. It is a joy to welcome students into the profession.
“I hope my students take away from class a love for the profession, as well as the development of high skills and ethical standards in their practice. I also hope they develop a continued love of learning as they become a skilled practitioner.”
Clancy finds her own inspiration in a friend who recently died at the age of 106.
“Anne started a home for the homeless in her late 70s and in her late 80s began a rehabilitation house for women with addictions, which continues today,” she said. “In her 90s she studied spiritual direction. She could quote chapters of books by Hawkins and other authors on environmental and spiritual issues. Anne was never too old to give her opinion or work for social justice. She is one of the people who touches my heart and inspires my life.”