It takes a special kind of person to succeed as a Massage Therapist – you have to be driven, disciplined, nurturing, and open. At CCMH we love to catch up with grads who have made rewarding careers for themselves in the field. We spoke with Emily Lutz, Massage Therapist and CCMH Toronto grad. Emily was eager to start her career and fast tracked through our program. She has been a practicing RMT for the past 6 years.
So Emily, when did you graduate and how was your commute to CCMH Toronto?
I graduated from CCMH Toronto in 2011, and my first semester was at the old campus near Finch and Dufferin. The commute wasn’t ideal as I was living on the other side of Toronto and I was taking two subway lines then a bus for over an hour each way! Thankfully, the announcement about our move to Mount Pleasant Road happened in the first couple of weeks of the first term, so I was relieved the commute would be much nicer for the rest of my time at CCMH.
That’s great that you made it through the long commute! Considering how far away you were, why did you choose to study at CCMH?
I chose CCMH primarily for the fast-track option. I had already left another university years earlier, and wasn’t interested in having a summer break or any other delay to start a new career. When I visited before enrolling, the class sizes seemed small and all the students were smiling and talkative despite being in the middle of exam week – which I took to be an excellent sign. I also liked the extra focus on hydrotherapy, as it seemed like it could be a good extra skill for my resume. My partner and I tend to want to move often, so having campuses all over the country was enticing to me as well.
So you knew exactly what you wanted. What originally led you to pursue a career in Massage Therapy?
I had left university years earlier without a degree, and was working as a server in a nice pub in my hometown. I loved the work at first, but as time passed I knew it wasn’t something I would be inspired to do long term. I love customer service and have always worked in that realm, but I wanted to do something more productive. Massage seemed like the perfect program when I saw it in a list of college programs. It’s hands-on, physical work that helps people in a tangible positive way. Once I found out that I could complete the program in 18 months, I knew it was the next step.
So you knew that Massage Therapy was the right path before you even started – amazing! Now that school is behind you, what’s your favourite part about being a RMT?
My favourite part of being a RMT is the problem solving and collaboration. The best sessions for me are when a client is coming in to resolve a specific issue. It is so gratifying to go from a simple declaration of pain, discomfort, or dysfunction and follow it through from identifying the cause and source. I do my part of the hands-on work, empowering the client to help themselves through homecare, and having the client realize they can live a pain-free life.
That sounds incredibly rewarding! How do you connect with your clients?
One of the last things I say to every client before they leave, even if they are from out of town and will never return, is to email me anytime with any questions. Even if it’s years down the line! I think it’s important to emphasize that I’m available as a resource and find that this helps to establish trust – for myself and for the profession in general.
Trust is so key for good Massage Therapy, and it sounds like you’ve definitely established it with your clients! As a successful RMT, do you have any advice that you can offer our current and new students?
The most critical thing I would pass to current and future students is that you can’t overthink your future in the profession. You have unique hands-on experience in clinic and outreach, and fresh and up-to-date knowledge about all aspects of the human body, and best practice guidelines. Think ahead to how long you see yourself as a practicing Massage Therapist and be realistic about how many hours per week will make that sustainable for you.
College is an investment and it is a shame to see people not get the value out of it because they burned out after two years in a minimum-wage position. I could go on forever on this topic, and welcome anyone to get in touch with inquiries about how to succeed as an RMT.
Thanks so much, Emily. What a generous offer! We wish you all the best in your career and hope we can catch up with you again in another 6 years to see how far you’ve come.
If you’d like to learn more about Emily, or contact her, check out her website Curative Massage Halifax.
Are you interested in a career as a Massage Therapist? Email us at admissionsto@collegeof massage.com! Read the inspirational stories of more CCMH students on our blog and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!