by Jana Young, Class of 2007, CCMH Admissions Coordinator
At CCMHwetrain and graduate skilled massage therapists to enter theprofessionand make a difference in the lives of their patients. But are we missing the mark when it comes to diversity? Is there more we can do to ensure that people of color and people of various gender identities also have access to therapists who understand them and theirneedson a deeper level?
I’ve had the unique opportunity tospeak with prospective students and applicants from many ethnic backgrounds and other diverse populations.Some of the common themes I hear are that folks will often choose therapists that they can relate to because of shared features/interests/backgrounds,but it can be difficult to find massage therapists who fit their criteria.
As we learn and grow as a school, some of the questions Iendeavorto answer are: How can we encourage more diversity in the ranks of our students, to ensure that there continues to be...
Meghan discovered massage through the treatment of injuries she sustained playing varsity volleyball. As she noticed her older sister and friends struggling to find work post-university, she realized a career in massage therapy would be a strong choice.
At CCMH, Meghan specializes in organizing diverse clinics for all CCMH students.
“There are normally some ‘first treatment’ nerves from students. But once they complete that first clinic shift, it's like night and day as they immediately get a boost of confidence. And they exclaim, “I can do this!”
Meghan believes confidence is one of the keys to success in the program. She recommends trusting in the process and ensures that it all does come together before graduation.
Meghan continues to practice as a therapist and has her own mobile clinic, which allows her to treat people in their homes.
by Natasha Joyce, Class of 2011, CCMH Education Director
(from and article by Jannen Belbeck in Massage Therapy Canada Magazine – Fall 2018 Edition)
This article written by Jannen Belbeck plays out a variety of situations and scenarios that the more seasoned Massage Therapist would say “this wouldn’t happen to me”, whilst a newer, younger therapist thinks they are well trained to recognize and respond to acts of inappropriate behavior. However, as Jannen details there are many factors to consider to “untangle the emotions” and communicate effectively to establish a therapeutic relationship.
We all understand that no client books in under the name “inappropriate behavior” so does that mean that one must always operate in a hyper vigilant state, or risk being subjected to these actions? In Jannen’s article there are several factors presented for consideration on the topic including but not limited to, physical locations, and...
For many careers, education comes in the form of lecture, readings, and book work. There is a disconnect between educator and student.
In the field of massage, education of new massage therapists comes in a more diverse form.
It comes from the administrative staff. The admissions staff who reach out into the world with the intention of touching the hearts of the right people. The Directors who work tirelessly to ensure the campus runs as smoothly as possible, while also keeping the compass in line with the mission and values that the school, and the profession, embody. The clinic staff who provide the support necessary to run the student clinic in an efficient manner, giving students a chance to develop confidence in their own skills through practice.
It comes from research and lectures, but also from experienced instructors who are trained in skills transfer. Instructors who come to the table with varied backgrounds, but always with the same intention...
What stands out the most to Lauren about her time at CCMH is the strong sense of community. Small class sizes, accessibility to individualized learning, and lots of practical hands-on experience made for a well-rounded and nurturing environment.
“CCMH challenged me to really grow and stretch as a person. Overcoming mental, physical, and academic challenges truly prepared me for my career! I gained the self-confidence required to be my own best spokesperson and have put that energy into opening my own thriving small business.”
Now a practicing therapist, Lauren enjoys making a connection with others and helping them along their journey.Being a massage therapist has also granted her the added bonus of getting one step closer to attaining a healthy work/life balance!
Lauren runs her own practice, VanSickle Massage Therapy, in Halifax.
What Darya enjoyed most about her time at CCMH was the teachers' dedication and compassion and the high standard of education.
“It was important to me to get the best possible education for my future. I met so many wonderful people, both staff and students, and keep in touch with many of them regularly, many years later.”
One of the highest honours she achieved was being welcomed back as a teacher. She loved being able to share her experiences as a student with those currently going through the process.
“Training at CCMH completely changed my life. I found my purpose and my passion, and I’m so grateful I got a chance to discover it in such an open and welcoming environment.”
She currently owns and practices at New Scotland Health Centre as a registered massage therapist, registered acupuncturist, and Reiki Master/Teacher.
In today’s current global pandemic, many people are finding it difficult to keep up with the new protocols and rules. It is not different for massage therapists. The new massage therapy protocols have changed the way we allow people to enter the treatment space, provide treatment, and clean the treatment space. Even with increased time between massage treatments, it can be challenging to ensure all the protocols are followed, write treatment notes, and do the small self-care tasks that allow us to keep providing massage to our clients.
It is important to remember to still hydrate between treatments, especially since working in a mask can make you feel extra warm while providing treatment. Specific stretching between treatments can be a useful tool to keep muscles supple during a workday. Feeling rushed between treatments can increase general stress, and that can build throughout the day. All these things can...
Karen feels the high standards expected of CCMH students prepare them for real life and ensure they excel when they begin working.
“Being a massage therapist is a career and way of life. It is a part of who you are. This career also allows you to attain skills you can transfer into other professions such as nursing, kinesiology, research, and more.”
Karen took the credits from her program at CCMH and obtained a Bachelor of General Studies - at age 51!
She is now completing a Bachelor of Health Sciences and has a goal of obtaining a social work degree to specialize her practice in working with those with post-traumatic stress disorder.
For Karen, the best thing about being a massage therapist is that she controls her future. She has her own clinic in Upper Tantallon, Nova Scotia, and is building a practice that fits her talents and skills.
This literature review, performed by Lucy Last, CCMH Class of 2021, set out to explore the efficacy of massage therapy as complementary management to decrease symptoms of depression.
Various search methods and techniques landed on five journal articles to review. Each study was unique; however, every study reviewed demonstrated that massage therapy is an effective treatment option for managing the signs and symptoms of depression.
Significantly, one study declared an impressive average of 31% decrease of cortisol in patients experiencing depression. The same study claimed a 28% increase of serotonin and 31% increase in dopamine levels immediately following massage therapy treatment.
A summary of each of the articles referenced, along with the researcher’s thoughts:
Alicia attended CCMH as a student from 2016-2018 after deciding she was in need of a career change.
No longer enjoying the stress of being a structural engineer, she wondered how she could transform her interest in health and wellness into a job helping others.
With a hiring rate upon graduation from CCMH of almost 100%, she decided to embark on a new career in massage therapy.
She continues to find the work extremely gratifying.
“People come in, sometimes they're in a lot of pain, or they're just really stressed out, and you can actually do a lot for somebody in an hour. I find people are really appreciative and grateful when they come to you, because you really make them feel better. And that's a nice feeling.”
Along with being CCMH faculty member, Alicia practices at St. Margaret’s Bay Massage Therapy where she has worked since graduation.