Experience is the best teacher. That’s why WCCMT reaches out for stories from alumni who have graduated to become successful RMT’s. Learning about their Massage Therapy practice is an inspiration, and their advice is priceless. Linda “Koby” Blanchfield, who graduated from WCCMT in 1990, is an example of what dedication and a thirst for knowledge can accomplish.
When she attended school, the campus was located in East Vancouver, the heart of Chinatown at the time. Using public transit, it took her over an hour and 15 minutes one way to commute to school each day. Depending on the weather, it could have taken longer.
The long days were necessary for Koby, since WCCMT was the only Massage school in British Columbia at the time. Due to her growing family, she was unable to make the move to Ontario, and had to make due with the long hours of commute.
But, the hours spent transporting via bus were for a good cause. Koby originally pursued Massage Therapy for a very personal reason.
“I had a motor vehicle accident and physiotherapy, using electricity, was not helping,” Koby told us. “ A friend recommended Massage Therapy, which was then covered by the BC Medical Service Plan. It resolved my musculoskeletal issues. I was impressed, and thought that I would like to be able to help people, like my RMT helped me.”
Her experience left a lasting impression that seeped into her desire to help others through Massage. “It is a wonderful feeling to help folks on the path to wellness with hands on work and education,” she said. “It is gratifying to see the change in physical well being and this often leads to happier patients.”
Koby told us that the initial contact she makes with patients is usually by phone, a necessary step before they can book a treatment. Clients are sent information about some of the conditions they treat at the clinic, so they can work together to develop the treatment plan.
“None of the clients can book online, as the type of work we do must often be planned in advance. This involves collaboration, a great way to encourage adherence to treatment plans.”
When asked about advice for current and new students, Koby suggested to focus on the small things, like punctuality, giving 100% attention to the matter at hand and following through on any commitment made. These simple actions leave a lasting impact on patients and make them feel respected. She said the same applies for school and work, as it will have the same effect on colleagues and teachers.
Her final piece of advice is something that resonates deeply with the WCCMT spirit. Never stop learning – continued education builds a successful practice.
“Passing the Boards is only the start of entry to practice,” said Koby. “Continuing education should not be motivated by a point system, but rather by pursuit of the excellence we can bring to our practice. It never ends.”