I feel brilliant now’ – From truck driver to masseur

‘I was 101 kilos, had lower back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain and was emotionally down,’ says Emmet Khan. ‘When you are tired from work, had very little sleep, the last thing you want to do is exercise. So then what happens? You get fat. You eat bad food, you don’t meal-prep, and you don’t drink enough water. All the toxins stay in your body and then you get bigger and bigger.’

This is the story that Emmet Khan shared after following a weekend massage course, as part of the weekend massage program. As it inspired me, I decided to write it down to inspire others.

Truck driving

‘I am driving since I am 18 years old. First vans, then trucks. I am mostly 8 hours a day driving and pulling pallets because I drive big trucks with freights. Look, this is how I got out of the truck after a working day,’ Emmet says while walking like an old man, slowly, bending forward with a hand on his lower back to hold the pain. ‘I am now 36 years old and know that this is not what I want. So, I decided to get out of the driver’s seat and I quit my job.’

I quit my job

He pauses, smiles and continues. ‘It took me a long time to really take the step. My girlfriend told me to find something else. I first went to the gym. But I got tired and then I started to smoke again, start to eat a lot and my emotions went down. I tried physiotherapy for a long time, but it helped only for a little bit. I got stretches to do at home, but every time the pain got back.

Finally, I went to a sports therapist. I felt really good. He really worked in my tissues, improving blood circulation in my body and worked on my hip, because that is also a big problem. He inspired me. I thought I want to do what he does!’ states Emmet in his brisk Irish accent.


‘This therapist told me he studied traditional Thai massage in ITM Chiang Mai, Thailand, but I wanted to be a bit closer. I live in Dublin and he told me you can also study closer, so he told me to check ITM Thai Hand Amsterdam. I started to read the website and the stories really inspired me.

Then I tried one massage at the school together with my girlfriend and after a lot of reading stories, I then registered for the weekend Acupressure Massage Therapy program level 1. And I fly one weekend a month from Dublin here to Amsterdam to follow the lessons. It is okay, it is just 5 weekends, so I don’t need to take off from work.

Feeling brilliant

You know, after a weekend like this, learning massage for 5 hours a day, I feel brilliant. I come home on a high. I travel back today and in a few hours I come home on a high, I tell the girlfriend everything I learned and I want to practice the massage on her and on the plane the way home I will already get another good idea.

Not thinking about problems

When I massage I am using my body, I am active. Not only is it good for the client to get a massage, but it is also good for me because I am stretching myself because I am moving myself as well while I am giving you the massage. And yes I also got the massage from the other students during the class. It makes you feel good. Because you are releasing endorphins in the body, isn’t it.

And here inside the school, during the class, I am not thinking about any of my problems. It is like I go to the gym I am concentrating whether it is running, is it lifting weights, is it class exercises, whatever… my mind is free. When I come here my mind is free, I don’t think about my problems for five hours that I study here a day. And it is good. I come out and I am fresh again. That is good for my emotions. And that is good for my mentality and I can think for bigger things then because my brain is fresh.’

Not always like this

This has not always been like that Emmet admits. ‘Emotionally I can get down and it stops you from everything, if you let it take control of yourself you will not come out of it for a couple of months. That is me personally, from my experience.’

Positive thinking

I tell him I admire his honesty and how easily he talks about difficult moments in his life. He answers happily: ‘Well then it changed. When I got this massage of this sports therapist, it was great. My pains were gone. And I started to train with this personal trainer in the gym. And he got me down to 90 kilos and now I am 84 kilos. I still need to lose a bit. I eat healthier, quit the cigarettes.

Now I know I stay like this. Because now, I am focused. I stopped everything and focus on positive thinking. And when I read your stories, or stories like yours or others like my sports therapist who put stories up as well, when I read other people’s paragraphs it influences me to think positive I think.

Prevent anybody from feeling like the way I felt

Now, I will quit my job in a couple of weeks and get out of the driving seat, because that is my biggest problem, I need to stand more, do exercise. Well, I do now exercise, I train. I need to have time to do what I want to do, which is proceeding in the massage career that I learned now with you.

And by doing that I am going into small personal trainer’s gym, which I have been going into myself for two years and I am going to offer people the massage that I learned of you two. I want to not only do massage and stretching, but I really want to prevent anybody from feeling like the way I felt from driving all day.

No clue about massage

And other people I know work in offices, they have the same problem, they sit in the chair all day. But they have no clue about massage. All they know is let’s go to a hotel. Let’s pay ninety euros and go to the Jacuzzi and sauna and have this person laying me down on a bed with a towel and put hot stones on. That is very soft.

You need to get into the tissue, loosen the whole tissue up. Stretch the tissue. This is what I learned now here in the school. Stretch the tissue and the ligaments, the tendons and go deep and get the blood circulation throughout the body. That is what I want to do for myself that is what I need.

Massage number 1 

But I see that other people need this as well. Not a lot of people have the information in Ireland about the benefits of massage. But it is getting there I believe, people nowadays are taking more care of themselves, they want to stop go and party and want to look after the body. I think massage will be the number 1 preventer of injuries.

And when I get massage I feel enjoyment, I feel relaxed, I want the customer to feel the same I feel. So I am excited to go back to Dublin and start to work as a masseur’, he finishes his story while walking out of the school to get the tram to the airport and fly back to Dublin, with his Thai Foot Reflexology Certificate in the pocket. Just before sharing his story he passed the exam of one of the courses of the massage program.

Thanks Emmet for sharing your story!

To everyone… Create a healthy and happy day!

Nicole & Manel

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