We spoke with CCMH grad Natiely Lai earlier this year where we discussed what it was like to be a practicing Massage Therapist. As someone passionate about sport and a boxer herself, she has carved out a niche specializing in Massage Therapy for athletes and boxers.
Hi, Natiely! Thank you for joining us again. Can you start by telling us what it’s like being a practicing RMT? Any updates?
There is always a learning curve when working with a variety of clientele. Recently, I noticed that I have been working a lot with younger athletes whose parents are very aware that massage and sport are beneficial to their performance and recovery. It helps them relax and take a mental de-load from their studies as well.
I am also trying to get involved in sports Massage Therapy events or help support community events that fit within my personal interests. I encourage other Massage Therapists to do the same because you never know who you will come across and network with. You can create a unique brand and market yourself.
How easy has it been for you to find work since graduating?
I found it easy to find work in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. There are many clinics that are eager to hire new graduates to gain experience.
I personally had a harder time finding a job in a sports clinic when I graduated due to my lack of experience with athletes. However, while I was searching for a new sport in combative training, I scoped out Syd Vanderpool’s boxing gym and knew right away it was going to be a cool place to grow my Massage Therapy and to train alongside athletes as well. I also practice out of MassageWorks with a team of Massage Therapists and Osteopaths who all specialize in various treatments and modalities.
What else have you been doing since you graduated?
I have been fitness training, reading, travelling, continuously networking, and taking additional courses for Massage Therapy. I found lifting weights, boxing, and even rock climbing helps me strengthen my hands so they don’t get sore. Also taking every opportunity to treat and travel with athletes has been very exciting.
[Canadian Sport Massage Therapists Association (Team Ontario) Conference in Richmond, BC]
Working as a Massage Therapist can be very taxing on the body, I take the time to manage my work/ life balance and make sure to get regular treatments.
If you did the program again, what would you do differently?
I wish I could have taken every sport outreach in school so I had more experiences with different athletes. However, I did enjoy treating at Hospice Wellington with the Acquired Brain Injury clientele. They were amazing opportunities!
Any advice for current or prospective students?
Volunteer for the most difficult projects within your profession. It helps strengthen the community and helps you build as a person. I have learned throughout my four years of being an RMT that you can read textbooks and take Continuing Education courses but it means so much more when you can get out there and volunteer for things that inspire you. It is such a great feeling in the end!
[Helping out at Mandy Bujold’s High Performance Mentorship Camp in Kitchener, ON]
Interested in pursuing a career as a Massage Therapist? It’s easier than you think! A new semester starts in January, so contact us at [email protected] to enroll in one of our Massage Therapy courses today.