In the second of this 2 part series, we explore Jody’s path after graduation and how she eventually found her way back to CCMH as Clinic Supervisor. Catch up on part 1 of this series to find out how Jody initially became a student at CCMH.
Just before her graduation from CCMH Halifax, Jody was offered the opportunity to join one of her instructors in a new clinic – this offer was a testament of her passion and dedication during her time at CCMH. For her instructor, it was an opportunity to expand and mover her home clinic into an office. For Jody, it was an incredible opportunity to work with a seasoned RMT and be close to home and her family.
Jody still regards this opportunity as the one that fast-tracked her career. She would eventually open her own clinic in Nova Scotia. “I rented space, so I was responsible for my own bookings, billing, laundry and HST submission. It was a challenge at first, but I liked the complete autonomy and freedom to set and work my own hours,” Jody recalls.
About a year after starting her own business, Jody decided to add teaching to the mix. “I had always wanted to work in some sort of teaching capacity so I approached the director of education of CCMH.” She began with the Neurology Community Clinic and the following semester started teaching Pathology. After her dad moved in with her family, they decided to build a new home, and with this came a separate entrance for her to have a clinic at home. In 2013, she began working from home and continued teaching. She would also start working part-time at Massage Addict.
Today, Jody is still the Clinic Supervisor for the Neurology Community Clinic as well as the Lead Instructor for a number of health science courses at the CCMH campus in Halifax. She also recently became a Clinic Supervisor in the Student Intern Clinic. Jody believes the clinic practicum is a very important part of the CCMH curriculum as it gives students the opportunity to practice the assessment tests and manual skills they learn in class. They can also rely on the supervisors who are there to guide and support them if needed. “I tell students to use the supervisors to help them with uncomfortable situations and bounce off ideas and treatment plans,” says Jody.
Jody has noticed that the first night of clinic is always stressful for students. She fields a lot of questions, the most common being, “What do I do?”. She does, however, note that when the evening is finished, and she does a quick “debrief”, the students are in good spirits – some surprised, some relieved. As a Clinic Supervisor, she finds joy in seeing her students’ faces light up when a client returns and tells them, “I had the best night of sleep after my massage,” or “I made it through a whole week without a migraine after the last massage,” and even “I actually didn’t feel any pain this week after the last massage.” She says the best compliment her students receive is “You are going to make a great therapist!”
Overall, Jody believes the best part of her job is the progress of the students – from unsure and nervous to confident, calm and knowledgeable therapists. Spending so much time with them, she starts thinking of the students as her own kids. “I want them to be successful and love being a massage therapist as much as I do. I remember how stressful the massage programme was, and I want to decrease what stress I can,” says Jody with endearment. She does this by having a relaxed atmosphere in class and clinic, by giving the students space and support if a mistake is made, by guiding them to use their own intuition and knowledge, and most importantly by being human.
More recently, Jody started working in equine massage due to her daughter being an equestrian. She initially wanted to learn equine massage to help her own horse. She notes that the course was intense, not because of the massage part but because of the actual ground handling of the horse, in which she was inexperienced. The horses are usually anxious when she first starts but as the massage progresses, they tend to relax. Unlike humans, horses cannot be told to relax and take a deep breath so she often has to find other ways to guide them. Getting anyone to relax requires an understanding of the techniques involved, the right tone of voice, and the ability to respect when your patient has had enough. Working with the horses seems to be just as therapeutic for Jody as it is for them.
“They are majestically pure beings, that have taught me how to work with people as well. Techniques that I have found work for an agitated horse can do wonders for humans too. I have had horses move to let me know they want another area worked on. Some have tried to groom me, as a means of affection. Even though the horses are large animals they require a gentle touch. Working with the horses is truly amazing.”
We want to thank Jody for allowing us to cover her story in depth. From CCMH student to faculty member and so much more, Jody has been a wonderful part of the CCMH story. Read Part 1 of this series here.
What was your journey prior to becoming an RMT? Want to share your story? Then contact us at [email protected].