Paul Marren, 45, is a Certified Massage Therapist specializing in neuromuscular massage, advanced orthopedic massage, and cranio-sacral therapies. These approaches seek to relieve physical tension by manually palpating and manipulating muscles, tendons, and ligaments. He uses a variety of techniques ranging from direct to more subtle interaction with the structures and systems of the body. The oldest of nine children, Mr. Marren grew up on Chicago’s near north side in an Irish-American Catholic household infused ideas of social justice and the importance of serving others. A number of his siblings have in fact chosen care-giving, service related professions such as teaching, nursing, and counseling. Before coming in his mid-thirties to massage therapy as a career, Mr. Marren , who holds an MBA, worked in the corporate financial world for just under a decade as an employee of Continental Bank. There, he says, he had no actual contact with the people he was supposedly serving. As a self-employed massage therapist hiring out his services, Mr. Marren , married and father of two, admits that he will never make as much money as he did in the corporate world. Nor will his work ever be as lucrative as such other health professions as medicine or surgery. Mr. Marren, however, embraces the fact that his work allows him to spend an average of one to two hours with his clients and give them a kind of attention and focused care that a medical career would not easily allow.
A version of this audio portrait aired on (the now sadly defunct) Weekend America.