WCCMT graduate, RMT and clinic owner, Lisa Fershau, knows what it’s like to be faced with loss & hardship, to start fresh and to persevere. Lisa has gone through a lot over the past decade and yet has reached incredible heights in her RMT career and in her personal life. Not only does Lisa have a clinic with a name that not only symbolizes a mission, it also embodies personal and professional accomplishment.
Lisa’s journey into the world of clinic ownership began in 2003, when she endured a workplace injury and was under the care of both a physiotherapist and a chiropractor. Despite the commitment of these professionals, Lisa was not achieving the results she needed to return to work pain-free. So, she took the advice of a colleague and began seeing a Massage Therapist. She was amazed at the RMT’s dedication to helping her, and was even more taken with how Massage Therapy was able to get her back to her original state. “I was hooked and curious”, says Lisa “Within the year, I was registered for the [RMT] program and eager to start helping others like myself.”
Upon graduating from WCCMT in 2005, Lisa went on to work in a clinic alongside other RMTs for four years until she and a business partner founded New Leaf Massage & Wellness, a multi-disciplinary clinic with a holistic approach to healthcare. While she didn’t know what was coming in her future, the name New Leaf turned out to be a very symbolic name. It symbolizes both what she strives for in terms of the healing of her patients, but it also summarizes what she has had to do in order to excel and succeed as a mother and business owner.
Not long after starting the clinic, in the summer of 2010, Lisa gave birth to sweet Abigail, who sadly had been born with Edwards Syndrome, an illness which most babies only live to be two weeks old. Despite the help of Canuck Place, baby Abigail passed away at only nine weeks old. Unfortunately, Lisa’s tragedy did not end there. Her marriage ended and her business partner opted out of the partnership. Lisa was left alone to deal with the sadness of losing a child all while having the responsibility of raising her son and running a business. She was at a crossroad, and felt she had no choice but to handle these challenges face on. “As much as every bone in my body said run, I didn’t. I couldn’t” she says “I had my son to provide for and lessons to teach him, and I had a business with employees and subcontractors that believed in me. I had a vision to fulfill.”
Lisa did just that. She strived, pushed through, and started fresh. She became the sole owner of New Leaf Massage and Wellness and was a dedicated single mother to her son. She decided to use the hardships she experienced as fuel to drive and motivate her. Today, it is evident that her efforts and commitment have paid off.
Since 2010, New Leaf Massage & Wellness has doubled in size and is still growing. The multi-disciplinary clinic now features numerous RMTs, Chiropractors, Acupuncturists, Personal Trainers, a Naturopathic Doctor and a Neurological Integration System Practitioner. Lisa truly believes in offering patients an integrative, holistic approach to healing/healthcare and has infused this into every aspect of her business.
“The most exciting thing about owning a clinic is having the freedom to bring my goals and vision to life” says Lisa. While there is no comparison to motherhood, Lisa says her business has brought her a lot of joy. “I’ve put so much love and hard work into this business. Seeing the good reputation it’s gotten over the years, and the feedback from patients whom we have helped, fuels me and gives me such joy. Being able to provide successful practices for my colleagues also gives me satisfaction.”
Many wonderful things have also happened within Lisa’s family life. Her son is now nine years old and is growing into quite the little gentleman. In addition, Lisa has recently re-married and her family has grown to include two beautiful daughters. To honour the memory of her daughter Abigail, Lisa is actively involved in supporting Canuck Place Children’s Hospice and Ronald McDonald House. She is passionate about giving back and ensuring that other families in need continue to benefit from the exceptional services of these charities.
Starting fresh and persevering through difficult times has enabled Lisa to accomplish both her personal and professional goals. Lisa -Thank you for sharing your story with us. We are proud to have you as part of our alumni network and are happy to see how successful you have become in your career as a RMT.
Lisa is currently looking to hire more RMTs for her clinic. If you are a registered massage therapist and would like to work with someone as inspirational as Lisa, please visit https://collegeofmassage.com/new-westminster/student-services/jobs/rmt-needed-12/