From the age of 11, Laura Kaminsky knew she was called to healing.
Kaminsky, freshman psychology major from Houston, comes from a family she says has “strong hands,” and a grandfather whose massage therapy skills were said to have cured headaches.
“It’s kind of the only thing I was born good at – it was a gift to have it,” Kaminsky says. “People always start asking you, ‘Well, what do you want to be?’ I knew I wanted to be a massage therapist.”
From an early age, Kaminsky had given back massages to friends and family, but her mother helped her realize the extent of her talents.
“One day, I was giving her a massage, and my mom just told me, ‘You’re blessed to do this. What you do is a blessing,’ and it just went from there,” she says.
Kaminsky, a California native, says a Christian college was the only option for her, which is why she ended up at ACU. Kaminsky says this is where many of her dreams began to fall into place.
“I had been scared to tell my dad – I’m an athlete, so to say I wanted to do something so ‘froofy,’ I was afraid he was going to ask me why I wanted to do that,” Kaminsky says.
Instead, she says, her father listened to her plans, including her decision to get a business degree rather than immediately attend massage therapy school. Though she expected his support, his response exceeded her expectations.
“He told me he would pay for my higher education, that he wanted me to have that,” she says. “My dad’s very supportive of his girls. He wanted me to have that degree.”
After that, Kaminsky says she worked diligently to learn how to become a licensed therapist.
“I talked to a woman at an Abilene school of massage to learn what classes I’d need to take, and she gave me a list,” Kaminsky says, laughing as she pulls out a handwritten list from her desk. “She was really prepared.”
Her goal, Kaminsky says, is to open a Christian massage therapy parlor, where her gift will be used for ministry as well as business. Ideally, she plans to begin training for her license her junior year, allowing her finish both her undergraduate and massage therapy degrees concurrently.
To achieve this, Kaminsky says, she keeps to a pretty strict lifestyle.
“I don’t go out and party – I don’t, because I want to be a mom someday,” she says. “I do it because I want to tell my kids that it is possible.”
In the meantime, however, Kaminsky is practicing her gifts for free for anyone who needs some prayerful relaxation.
Her dorm room functions as a welcoming pink and white oasis with “Free Massages” written neatly on the door. Inside, a soft lamp and soothing music offer a quiet setting.
One student, Amanda Buchanan, senior psychology major from Lubbock, took advantage of Kaminsky’s offer.
Buchanan said stress and sleeping badly had caused back pain and sent her searching for relief.
After their initial contact, Buchanan went to Kaminsky’s dorm, where she said Kaminsky did something that made quite an impression.
“She asked me if I had any prayer requests, and she prayed with me over those prayer requests before she began,” Buchanan says. “That spoke volumes to me about her faith.”
Kaminsky says prayer is something she uses throughout the massage process, praying not only over students’ requests but also over specific parts of the body that hurt or need healing.
The half-hour massage, Buchanan says, was similar to a past professional massage, and she notes Kaminsky made an effort to create a comparable atmosphere.
Afterward, Buchanan says, her back pain went away, leading her to recommend a friend who suffered chronic back problems.
“She was very, very sweet,” Buchanan says. “She doesn’t charge anything – she wants to practice. She wants to have people to work on.”
Kaminsky continues to offer free massages and studies any type of massage a student requests before her appointments. Her skills range from basic to specialty massages, which target specific problem areas.
Kaminsky says her years as an athlete prepared her for clients with sports injuries, as well. From middle to high school, Kaminsky says she played every sport available and hopes to play intramural volleyball. She was also a cheerleader and a dancer, which gives her an understanding not only of the muscles athletes use, but also the best ways to help relieve their aches and pains.
At this point, Kaminsky offers massages only for girls, because working from her dorm does not allow for a broad clientele. However, she says she enjoys meeting people through her work, and she hopes she can continue to use it to minister to others.
“Healing doesn’t need to be a religion,” she said. “I just keep my religion in the healing that I do.”
1 Corinthians 12:12 is Kaminsky’s “theme” verse.
“The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ,” Kaminsky says, quoting from memory. “Being an athlete, I was always on a team, and with this, well, it takes more than one person to heal. It takes two – I’m just his tool.”