A dancer from the age of three, Robyn Ellis first experienced the benefits of Massage Therapy after suffering from a back injury at age sixteen. After being exposed to its healing and rehabilitation powers, Robyn knew that she wanted to have the same impact on others that her RMT had for her, “to help people get back on track when their bodies were setting them back.”
Robyn Ellis, an alumni from CCMH Kitchener, spoke to us about her experience at CCMH, what led her to become an RMT and her favourite part about the career. Spoiler alert: Robyn attributes part of her love for the career to her amazing patients.
Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with us Robyn – can you start off by telling us which CCMH campus you graduated from?
I went to the CCMH Kitchener campus back in 2004 through 2006. The campus was located downtown and I conveniently lived nearby so I would often walk to school or on occasion take the bus!
It must have been great living so close to campus! Why did you choose to attend CCMH specifically?
I originally chose CCMH because my RMT at the time recommended it to me as it’s the school that she had attended. As I did more research about different schools in the area, CCMH quickly became my obvious choice. I attended an open house and signed up for the Intro to Massage course and I absolutely loved it. The teachers for the Intro to Massage course were inspiring and fun and the people I met at the course actually became my friends – most of us ended up graduating together.
That’s so wonderful that your classmates and ultimately, colleagues became such close friends of yours – it must have really enhanced your experience at CCMH. What originally led you to pursue a career in Massage Therapy?
In all honestly… it was Phoebe Buffay (the quirky character from the TV show Friends) that initially sparked my interest in the career. She was my favourite character on TV and I aspired to be her and to be as unique as her (which ironically wouldn’t actually be unique then…). Later, it was my Massage Therapist who shared with me more about the Massage Therapy practice and all it entailed. I was a dancer from the age of 3 and suffered from a fairly serious back injury when I was 16 – that’s when I first experienced how beneficial Massage Therapy was. My RMT helped me through the healing phase and rehabilitation, and then I was back on stage!
I knew I wanted to have the same impact on others that my RMT had for me – to help people get back on track when their bodies were setting them back.
That leads me right into our next question – what’s your favourite part about being an RMT?
Gosh, that’s always a tough question… my answer is constantly changing. I think first and foremost, I love my patients. Over the past 11 years I have collected the absolute best patients. Many of them I’ve know for a LONG time and I’ve heard their life stories as they unfold from month to month, graduations, marriages, children, cancer, divorces, new jobs, grandchildren, retirement, everything!
From a business perspective I really enjoy being in control of my work life. I’ve been a sole-proprietor for over 10 years and although it’s a LOT of hard work and a fair amount of stress, it’s a pretty major reason why I’ve loved being an RMT for so long. The longer you do it the less stressful it becomes – all of the “hard stuff’ becomes old-hat and your practice begins to run like a well oiled machine.
I’m sure your patients have seen the benefits of the practice and have enjoyed growing with you equally as much as you’ve loved working with them. How do you find that you connect best with your patients?
This is a tricky question because congeniality is a difficult skill to learn. I think, when all is said and done… YOUR VIBE ATTRACTS YOUR TRIBE. If you’re honest and hard working you’ll attract patients who value your integrity and offer you reciprocal respect – connecting with patients becomes second nature.
What advice can you offer current and prospective CCMH students?
I think the advice that is most consistently given to CCMH students or prospective students is “you can’t learn everything all at once – be patient and take your time”. There are students who are sometimes overwhelmed by the amount of information to learn or by the knowledge that teachers and RMTs have to share but they forget that it took us a long time to learn all that we know and that there is always more to learn. CCMH offers a growing foundation that layers knowledge on top of knowledge and before you know it, you’ve learned everything you need to know in order to succeed. I love sharing this with graduating students so that after 4 terms they can look back and see just how much they’ve actually learned, retained and accomplished.
Are you interested in a career as a Massage Therapist? Learn more about other students who found their path at CCMH by checking out our blog and following us on Facebook and Twitter. Want to share your story? Contact us at email@example.com.