Andrew is a Waterloo-based Registered Massage Therapist, an Active Release Technique (A.R.T.) provider, and a certified Rocktape Doc. He graduated with honours from the Canadian College of Massage and Hydrotherapy in May of 2015 and is a member of the team at Dearborn Health in Waterloo, ON. We asked him a few questions about his journey and his time at CCMH.
I’d love to hear about Active Release Technique.
Active Release Technique or A.R.T. is a patented soft tissue movement based technique that is used to treat problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and nerves. It is effective for treating repetitive strains, adhesions, tissue hypoxia, and joint dysfunction. It involves mostly active movement by the client in a specific range and tension applied in a specific nature by the practitioner in order to break an injury cycle and restore normal tissue function. It was originally designed by a chiropractor working with high level athletes, but its applications have since expanded to treat all sorts of conditions and create an improvement in overall range of motion. I chose to become certified after personal experiences with it as a client, and I have been very happy with the results I have gotten when using it with my clients.
Did you enjoy your time at CCMH Cambridge?
I can honestly say that I enjoyed my time at CCMH Cambridge. I feel like I learned so much there, and was exposed to a lot of great opportunities. In particular, Outreach and Clinic were both great to help shape me into the practitioner that I wanted to become. They exposed me to treating different types of clients with a variety of issues. I had a good idea that I wanted to work with an athletic population and through outreach opportunities I was able to confirm that. At CCMH, you also spend so much time with your classmates in a very personal setting that it is hard to not cultivate relationships and make friends, which goes a long way to enjoying your time in the program. I really enjoyed my time there so much that I wouldn’t mind going back, but maybe as an instructor next time.
Why did you choose CCMH? Why Massage Therapy?
I knew that I wanted to stay in the Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge area so I did some research on the schools in the area that offered Massage Therapy programs. I was accepted to both schools that I applied to, but ultimately decided to go to CCMH. I got a good feel for the atmosphere of the school when I was there for tours and talking about the admission requirements; plus, the school has a great reputation so it seemed like a good fit for me.
Growing up, I always knew I didn’t want to have a desk job and as I got older I knew I wanted to do something in the Healthcare realm. Being involved in athletics and experiencing personal injuries I had exposure to all different types of professionals. I ended up seeing a RMT who also did A.R.T. (Active Release Technique) and I saw a lot of progress and relief with some of my reoccurring issues. That is what inspired me to pursue Massage Therapy and Active Release Technique as a Continuing Education Unit (CEU).
Did you have an AHA! moment where you knew that Massage was a great choice for you?
I haven’t had a specific “AHA” moment where I knew I made the right decision in choosing a career, but it happens daily. The gratitude I feel after asking people how they feel after a treatment, or the satisfaction I feel when I complete a Treatment Plan and get to discharge someone who is no longer suffering with an issue they came to me with, really makes it all worthwhile.
How do you find work-life balance?
It can be a bit tough at times, especially when I first started. I have to carry some odd hours to make myself available to clients. I sometimes treat on weekends or evenings because that’s when people want to come in. It is important for me to make time for my hobbies and friends. One of the best things about this profession is that you don’t have to take stress home with you very often. I try to take advantage of that and enjoy my time outside of work. I personally love going to the gym, so I make it a priority to get there a couple of times a week, hoping it will help me prolong my career as well. I also like having coffee with friends, and often go with ones I’ve made from my time at CCMH and it counts towards CEUs.