Our instructors are integral to everything we do here at CCMH/WCCMT. Instructor Taka Munemoto has been with us since 2011. He is a RMT with a background in acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine. When he is not instructing aspiring RMTs, he works part-time at a local naturopathic clinic and works toward an Osteopathy designation to further advance his own knowledge and skills.
Taka has been a RMT since 2005, a profession that allowed him to practice all over the world. He started his career working with Chiropractors and practicing at a high-end spa before finding a job doing Massage Therapy on a cruise ship in 2006. “I was drawn to the cruise ship because of the traveling experience. It is an amazing opportunity but it is also a hard job,” explains Taka. “I treated more people than I could imagine for a minimum of 12 hours a day, and sometimes back to back with each lasting close to an hour long. I learned a lot.”
Taka believes that learning continues even after you have left school. He found that real work experience taught him even more practical ways of doing things. This was especially true in the case of Deep Tissue Massage treatment. Taka learned that he had to develop his own body mechanics so as not to damage his body while providing an Intensive Massage treatment. This was something he only truly understood based on feedback he had received during his time on the cruise ship.
After his cruise ship contract was up in 2006, Taka returned to Canada with an urge to learn and do more. He went back to school to study traditional Chinese medicine, which was still an unregulated practice at the time. “I learned a lot of things about the body as a whole. Not just treating a local area, but the entire body holistically.” During this period, Taka also opened his own practice with a former classmate, working and studying full-time concurrently, and would work until 10 p.m. some nights. He believes this ultimately benefited him, as he was able to not only pay his bills but also pay off all the costs he wanted.
In 2009, Taka finished Acupuncture school and went back to the cruise ship as an on-board Acupuncture Provider. One of his challenges was to treat sea and motion sickness. “On a cruise ship, the body is different from the way it is on land, because nothing moves on land. People would get seasick and couldn’t be helped by medication or drugs. Acupuncture works very well because it can treat internal and external conditions.”
Taka’s strong clinical experience and usage of traditional Chinese methods made him a ship favourite, especially on his last contract in Alaska, which he values as one of his best contracts. “There were so many different people with different problems so it kept things interesting. When people told me that they wouldn’t have enjoyed their vacation if it wasn’t for my treatment, it brought me a lot of satisfaction.”
Now an instructor at CCMH, Taka cites CCMH’s positive reputation as a motivating factor for him to work here. He believes that the instructors play a big part in student success, due to their constant ability to educate, motivate and correct mistakes when made. He knows that CCMH students are fully prepared to take the College of Massage Therapist (CMTO) certification exams, which certify them to practice Massage Therapy in Ontario. Some students have even gone on to do more advanced Osteopathy courses with the fundamentals they acquired at CCMH.
Taka himself is currently taking an Osteopathy program part-time. “I’ve done many different classes around the world and Osteopathy puts them all together. It’s about how the body functions, but also about structure, functional anatomy, physiology and how they are all connected within the body line. As a manual Therapist, you want to know these things!”
In addition to his role as instructor, Taka has also taken on other roles at CCMH, including traveling to Japan and Tokyo to promote the college. He recalls being the only Canadian Massage college at the career fair. One of the things he noticed while promoting CCMH was some aspiring Massage Therapists who want to immigrate but have found the process difficult. Taka noted that these students would be eligible to apply for a work permit if they were to graduate from CCMH, thus facilitating the visa process and opening the possibility of settling down in Canada. (More details on attending CCMH as an international student can be found here!)
Taka’s recently started taking a study program in Italy. This program, about how to move the body in crisis, is something he has always been interested in. “When I think about what I’m doing, it’s all been about learning. Life is a process of learning that never stops. I also like to share my knowledge and this is why I enjoy teaching at CCMH two days a week even though I also work at a naturopathic clinic and go to school in both Europe and Canada. The learning process might be hard but my message to the students is to keep going. CCMH is a great school but can’t teach you everything. Take the foundations you learn and challenge yourselves to learn more.”
How inspiring! Do you want to learn more about other RMTs who found their path at CCMH? Explore our blog and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Do you want to share your story? Contact Susy at [email protected].