We had the good fortune of connecting with Suzy Albanese and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Suzy, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I never thought I’d be someone who started a business. I’m someone who enjoys working on a team and collaborating with others. I also can’t say I’d call myself a natural-born leader. The thought of starting my own business was daunting, to say the least. Like many of us, however, the pandemic made me take a step back and evaluate my life and my career path. I was working as an occupational therapist at a reputable neurological outpatient clinic. I loved what I did, and the people I served. But, when I decided to make a bold move across the country from New Jersey to Arizona, I felt compelled to make a career change, too.

At one point during the pandemic, I was furloughed from my job. This left me eager to find something meaningful with which to fill my time. I began a yoga teacher training course and became enveloped in the practice. During this time, I also started incorporating functional movement training into some of my more traditional yoga practice. I became obsessed with the combination. The benefits of both practices for the mind, body, and spirit made my OT heart sing! I knew I wanted to share this with others.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
To be honest, I haven’t been in my professional career for very long. I graduated from Seton Hall University’s School of Health and Medical Sciences in 2018 with a master of science in occupational therapy degree. The therapy world looked a lot different than my professors had described. It was hard to find a job, no less a full-time job with fair pay and benefits. I jumped around a bit, looking for the right fit in terms of practice setting and company culture. Once I found a position I really loved, it was hard to turn away after a few years to start something of my own. But I knew I had a vision that just couldn’t be executed in a traditional, corporate healthcare setting.

I think one thing that sets me apart from others is my ability to care. It may sound like this is a given as a healthcare worker, but many systems have led to vast burnout in healthcare, lending itself to an unavoidable lack of empathy. I too, noticed this in myself, and identified it as one of the reasons I needed a change. I didn’t want to let a system rid me of one of my greatest professional strengths. I now get to work with individuals one-on-one and treat them how I’d want my family to be treated. I’m not limited by what insurance will cover, or what a company wants me to bill for. I now can cultivate an environment that promotes comfort, healing, and growth, and I’m so excited about that.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I have to say, I’m a newbie myself, and have a revolving list on my notes app on my phone of all the cool spots I want to check out in Phoenix. I’m in the East Valley, so I definitely have a handful of favorites in the area- Bergie’s Coffee, Mythical coffee, Desert Monks, to name a few.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This is a tough one, as I truly feel many interactions and relationships have led me to the point I’m at today. I want to thank my close friends, former OT and PT colleagues, and my husband for their support in my dream. It can feel silly to talk about your dreams to people because at the time, that’s all they are. It’s easy for people to shut you down when they don’t know what you’re capable of. But these people believed in my vision before I even trusted myself.

On the flip side, I also want to give a shout out to the people who made my journey difficult. The ones who didn’t mentor when they could have; or the ones who didn’t want to work as a team. These people continue to remind me of what not to become as I continue to learn and grow in my path. Kindness will always win.

Website: healinghandsyogaandwellness.com

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/suzy-albanese-otr-l-49878a162/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SuzyHealingHands

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