Over the years, we have talked to many CCMH graduates about why they chose to become a Massage Therapist. For many, the opportunity to heal and lift up others during a challenging period in their lives was a major incentive – often because they personally experienced something difficult themselves. Massage Therapy can be life enhancing for both patients and practitioners. This week we spoke with Shaelyn Elliott, a national level competitive figure skater who left the challenges of the ice to pursue a rewarding career in Massage Therapy.
As a competitive athlete, Shaelyn endured many injuries, setbacks and challenges before pursuing Massage Therapy:
There were so many times when I wanted to let go, but having someone there to say, ‘You’re so much stronger than what you were,’ or, ‘how does it feel to be healthy again,’ is the reason why I battled through, and continued to follow my dreams.
Shaelyn always knew that she wanted to help others. “I wanted to give people the ability to feel like they are moving forward when challenges arise, and I am thankful that I now get do that every day through my career as a Massage Therapist.” She began her two year, 2200 hour journey at CCMH Halifax in September 2014.
Coming into the program directly out of high school, and being the youngest student in the class, I found the first semester particularly difficult. Many of my classmates had previous degrees, and diplomas or had already been in the workforce. For myself and a few others, it was a completely new concept. Personally, I found it particularly challenging to get into a routine, prioritize my time, and acquire proper study habits. Luckily, I quickly caught on and transitioned fairly easily.
Shaelyn met her academic challenges head on and persevered, completing the program this past May. “It is definitely one of my greatest achievements to date.”
With her new skills in hand, Shaelyn found work easily as a Massage Therapist:
I was fortunate to have two jobs in line before graduating school. Three weeks after graduation, I began working part time at Harmony Health Centre in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. It is a multidisciplinary clinic, and it gave me the opportunity to work alongside other Massage Therapists, a Physiotherapist, an Acupuncturist and a Counsellor.
By October 2016, Shaelyn moved on from her role at Harmony Health Centre to became the resident Massage Therapist at the Yoga Room of Essence in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. In this role she is technically self-employed and is enjoying the freedom that comes with freelance work. “Being able to pick my own hours and do all of my billing has allowed me to expand my knowledge on the business aspect of things as well. It has also given me time to pursue my one true passions which is Figure Skating.” Shaelyn left figure skating in 2014, but in 2016 decided to lace up her skates again. “The results were anything but ordinary. I progressed extremely quickly and decided to apply to skate professionally for a company called Holiday on Ice, based out of Germany.” She’s currently waiting to hear back regarding her application and is eager to explore the opportunity if it arises.
We asked Shaelyn to share her advice for current CCMH students hoping to succeed in the program and field:
Put yourself in the position to succeed. If you do everything you can to ensure your success, you will not have a problem. Although the program can seem overwhelming, try to make time for yourself every day. It gives you something to look forward to, and helps reduce your stress for sure. Try to maintain a well-balanced diet, as it will give you the extra energy you need to get you through the day!
Wise words, Shaelyn! We wish you all the best in your career and in Germany if you choose to pursue figure skating there.
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 Susy at firstname.lastname@example.org.