Joining clients on their path to wellness in Bemidji

It’s never too late to start a new career. At least that’s how Polly Merhar, CNMT, BCTMB ‘21— a graduate of the massage therapy program—feels.   

Polly, originally from Duluth, is a long-term resident of Bemidji, where she opened Trail Ready Massage in early 2022 at the age of 58. Before pursuing massage therapy, Polly owned and ran a restaurant with her husband, and had a successful career in business administration. Like it did for many people, the pandemic caused her to rethink. She needed something different, and massage therapy proved to be the right choice.  

Client success stories assure Polly that she made the right decision. One memorable client was a young dental hygienist, who started experiencing work-related pain, and feared her career was over. Polly not only helped manage her pain but ensured she could keep the job she loved.   

Helping people stay moving is what inspired Polly to become a massage therapist in the first place. She has always been active and wanted to help others do the same. 

To better serve her patients, Polly earned a certification in Neuromuscular Therapy and plans to go back this summer to get certified in manual lymphatic drainage. Adding these modalities helps her feel this can be an engaging, and doable, career long into the future. She wants others to know that moving into a career like bodywork is possible at any age.  

Polly has helped older folks improve their quality of life, athletes recover, and cancer patients feel more comfortable. That is why she named her business “Trail Ready Massage.” She helps people to stay active on their trails, no matter what those trails are.