Car accident prompts career in massage therapy

Melissa Kasella will graduate in September

By Tina SnellStaff Writer

Melissa Kasella, a life-long resident of Buckman, has three children. She is also a successful cosmetologist. Recently she returned to school to become a massage therapist.

Kasella did an about face in her career choices for a variety of reasons.

Melissa Kasella
Melissa Kasella

“I wanted to go back to school to do something that would make a difference in people’s lives. I wanted to do more than work in a spa setting,” she said. “I also wanted to show my children that they can do anything if they put their mind to it. Hard work pays off.”

Kasella has been doing hair for 14 years and said she loves it.

“While I helped people look good, now I make them feel good, too,” she said.

Changing careers at this time in Kasella’s life goes back a few years.

At the age of 16, while driving home from work late at night, Kasella fell asleep and rolled her car five times. Luckily, others saw the accident and called 911 immediately. The outcome could have been very different if she had been on a lonely stretch of road.

“I was clinically dead at the scene of the accident,” she said. “I broke the passenger window of the car with my face and flew out. People tell me I was lucky to not have been wearing my seat belt for the car was crushed.”

Kasella had a sprained left ankle, a dislocated right hip, a fractured pelvis and bruised kidneys. She also punctured both lungs, bruised her heart, broke all her ribs and sprained a finger and her right wrist. On top of all that, she broke her humerus, collar bone and shoulder blade.

Kasella is lucky to be alive.

“After being in a coma for several days, in the hospital for two weeks and then home and in bed for two weeks, I had to learn how to walk again,” she said. “It was a life-changing event.”

Before the accident, she thought she wanted to become a physical therapist, but she later didn’t think she had the strength.

“My physical therapist was my inspiration,” she said. “I wish I could remember his name and thank him.”

Kasella said bodies are both amazing and fascinating.

“With just a little help, our bodies are able to revert back to ‘normal,’” she said.

Kasella had also thought about entering the medical field, but knew there was a better way to help others than through drugs.

Massage therapy has become Kasella’s new passion. She attends the Minnesota School of Business in St. Cloud and will have her associate’s degree in applied science for massage therapy in September.

After learning first hand what therapy was able to do for her body, Kasella would like to be able to offer that to others. She said that sports massage interests her the most.

“Massage is able to help with sleep patterns by easing tensions and reducing pain receptors,” Kasella said. “It can help with chronic pain by relieving the pressure that creates the discomfort. Deep pressure abdominal massage is able to help with digestion, colitis and Crohn’s disease.”

She said headaches can be reduced through massage by relaxing the muscles in the neck and shoulders. Also, the immune system is boosted by breaking down toxins that cause inflamation.

“I love helping others; making them feel better for another day, another week. It’s so rewarding,” she said.

Kasella now works part-time with chiropractor Dustin Emblom at Allied Chiropractic in St. Cloud. He is the son of the late Steve and Nettie Emblom. When she graduates, she will be working there full-time.

Kasella’s children are Brent, 13, Ellie, 8, and Abby, 7. She said that working two jobs and going to school has been a challenge, but she has a great support system.

“It’s like I said, I am showing my children that hard work does pay off in the end,” she said.

For more information, contact Kasella and Allied Chiropractic at (320) 251-6422.

  • newpolitiq7

    What a lovely story of a beautifully-evolved career. But, please don’t let any takeaway from this story be to NOT wear seat belts!: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says:”Most crash fatalities result from the force of impact or from being thrown from the vehicle, not from being trapped. All studies show you are much more likely to survive a crash if you are buckled in. Ejected occupants are four times as likely to be killed as those who remain inside.”