Don’t Be Afraid of Change

Don’t Be Afraid of Change

CCMH Christiane Theriault
Christiane at the CCMH Graduation

In this modern age of diplomas, degrees and PhDs it can be easy to feel locked into one career path. It is important to feel fulfilled and happy at work; often your first career choice leads you to a job that doesn’t quite fit. Christiane, an RMT based in Clare, Nova Scotia, is a perfect example of someone who took risks and changed career paths a number of times before finding Massage Therapy, an occupation that worked for her.

Christiane’s journey towards Massage Therapy began with a love of movement. From an early age, Christiane was talented dancer and, while completing a University Degree at Université Sainte-Anne, went on tour with the popular Acadian folk group Grand Dérangement. Despite being on the road constantly, Christiane was able to complete her studies and soon began to wonder what to do next.

Christiane tried out a number of different paths after touring with Grand Dérangement. She took a makeup artistry course, did some recruitment for Université Sainte-Anne, played volleyball and continued to dance. Learning from a book on Massage Therapy she had growing up, Christiane loved to use her knowledge to give  massages to both her dance and volleyball friends.

After completing the makeup course, Christiane found herself at a crossroads. She wasn’t sure whether she wanted to go into aesthetics or massage. She eventually settled on aesthetics and took a yearlong program at the Concepts School of Cosmetology in Halifax. She worked as the Assistant Manager of the Hummingbird Medi Spa, and moved to Ottawa to become the General Manager of another location.

Despite enjoying her time at the spa, Christiane knew she wanted more. She remembers having a moment where she realized that this isn’t where she wanted to be in ten years. She left her position and, after a brief stint as a Financial Services manager at a Ford Dealership, decided to take the plunge and become a Massage Therapist.

Christiane first heard of CCMH when she met the school’s recruiter during her time working at Université Sainte-Anne. She emailed the recruiter and excitedly signed up. When she walked in for the open house she remembers thinking: “Yep, this is where I’m gonna be”. To her, the halls felt like home and she soon began studying at CCMH Halifax.

Dans l'Anse Massage Therapy and Esthetics
Christiane at her own clinic, Dans l’Anse Massage Therapy and Esthetics

Christiane was 34 years old when she began studying at CCMH and, despite having both a College Diploma and a University Degree, considers it to be one of the hardest things that she has ever done: “People don’t realize how in depth you have to go to properly learn massage therapy” she says. “This school should hold the equivalent of a University Degree.”

Despite the long school hours, Christiane was able to pick up a part-time job working at Massage Experts doing facials and working at the front desk, a position that familiarized her with working with insurance companies and other aspects of running a Massage Therapy business. However, she was always aware that she wanted to go back and settle in her hometown of Clare. “I would rather give my time and talents to a place that means a lot to me and that needs me,” she explains. “I believe in my hometown and this is where I want to be.” Starting her own business seemed natural; she had the business skills from her previous jobs as well as the strong work ethic from becoming an expert in so many different fields.  

After graduating in May of 2015, Christiane went about making her dreams a reality. She spent five days a week working at Massage Experts as a Massage Therapist and spent rest of the week in Clare with her father, converting his old barbershop into a clinic. The century-old building was perfect for her—it even overlooked the sea. After months of hard work and renovations (and lots of time spent on the road between Clare and Halifax), Christiane opened her doors to clients on November 2, 2015. In the first week she had seven people and now after launching her Facebook page sees between 15 and 20 people a week. She’s very excited about the growth of Dans l’Anse Massage Therapy and Esthetics.

Christiane is very content with the way her life has settled. While the journey through different career paths was fun, she is happy to find herself back home with a prosperous career to look forward to.  She enjoys being her own boss, working her own hours and likes that she has the time to teach dance on the side. You can contact her at [email protected]; she is always looking for new clients!

CCMH is incredibly proud of entrepreneurs like Christiane and if you would like to hear more success stories of RMTs that have started their own businesses be sure to read Helen and Lisa’s story here. If you are a CCMH alum or student have a story to share please contact [email protected]

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