Collier and Lee Counties Edition

Following the Trail of Synchronicities

Ann Raquet

Ann Raquet

Synchronicities act as signposts or mile markers that guide and direct us to an alignment with our personal growth. They are frequently noted in retrospect, unless we are attuned to and watchful for the different forms in which they come—people, conversations, patterns, books, articles and actual signs. Ann Raquet recalls how all of hers have had an accumulative effect, leading her to Southwest Florida and her work as a massage therapist and a channel for intuitive healing.

Originally from Appleton, Wisconsin, Raquet grew up in a family that enjoyed working with their hands, being outdoors and spending time at their summer cottage in northern Wisconsin, near the Michigan border. “My parents enjoyed gardening. Dad, an engineer who worked on IBM mainframe computers, took care of the vegetables. Mom, an artist and retired professional costumer for local theatre groups, still tends to the flowers,” she recalls.

Raquet connects her love of salt lamps, as well as the crystals she uses with massage clients to her childhood fetish for collecting rocks and stones. “Upon graduating from high school, my dad took the family on a five-week camping trip. My three sisters and I collected rocks from every state. I still have them, along with the granite and quartz I collected from our summer cottage. They are in every room of my home, situated on a parcel of land zoned for agriculture. The pond and woods behind our property make this such a natural setting where I can watch the hawks and listen to the songbirds, wind chimes and leaves rustling, all which keeps me feeling grounded, which my work requires.

Following in her father’s footsteps, after high school, Raquet began studying engineering at a two-year college where she earned an associate degree in science. “My dad instilled in me a love of math and science. Since I had no real sense of what I wanted to do, engineering was a logical choice, until one day my dad came home from working on a mainframe computer at the local technical school. My dad and I were both passionate about cooking, which is why he suggested that I might like to try the school’s culinary program. I enrolled, and even before graduating, I had a job offer at a local country club. When the chef exited to open his own restaurant, the manager made me executive chef. From there, my culinary management career flowered. In the years that followed, I worked in various settings, including a five-diamond restaurant, as well as the restaurant that my husband and I owned. Eventually, I got a call from the manager who had promoted me to executive chef. He was living in and working in Naples at the Audubon Country Club. He needed an executive chef. I moved.

During my years in the restaurant business, I experienced a couple of bad falls. The last one left me with one herniated disc in my back and two in my neck. That was my introduction to chiropractic and massage, which I enjoyed receiving. That led to my enrollment in massage school, where I learned about shiatsu from a practitioner who came to lecture on the subject. After I graduated valedictorian from the Florida Academy, I worked with a shiatsu practitioner for nine years, where I developed an interest in oriental techniques and the healing powers of vibration. Today, I practice modalities such as reflexology and CranioSacral Therapy, along with tuning forks, Tibetan bowls and my voice, for toning.

In retrospect, I feel that my connection to the Earth and love of nature are related to my intuitive abilities. If Dad hadn’t gone to the local technical college to fix their computer, I would be an engineer. The two years of college that I completed gave me great mathematical insight for the management aspect of my culinary career, which was the result of my love of cooking. Had I not moved to Naples or had back injuries, I wouldn’t have discovered massage or shiatsu, and I wouldn’t be where I am, doing massage and intuitive work that helps the body to release whatever it is holding on to.

Ann M. Raquet practices at SkinCare Therapy, located at 16050 S. U.S. 41, in Horizon Plaza, S. Fort Myers. For more information, call 239-839-4195.

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