When Ashley was a child, she would massage her mother’s tired feet and shoulders after a long day of standing on her feet in high heels. She loved to help her mother feel better through the power of touch. It filled her with a sense of purpose and love, knowing that she could make someone she cared about feel better and happier.
Between high school and college, Ashley took a year off to travel Canada and the States so she could gain clarity on what direction she should go in life. Having remembered how much she enjoyed giving massages as a child, she attended an intensive one month long 200-hour bodywork training program at the famous Kripalu Yoga Center in Lenox Massachusetts. It was there that Ashley fell deeply in love with bodywork. She rushed home to research which Massage Therapy College she would attend.
After careful research, she knew CCMH was a clear choice. When she started her first semester at CCMH, the school was located in Toronto’s Mel Lastman Square, and during that semester the school moved north to Dufferin and Finch. Ashley found CCMH to be a huge contrast from high school. In high school, most kids didn’t want to be there, and most teachers were burnt out and would take their frustration out on their students. At CCMH the teachers were so passionate and knowledgeable that she found it inspiring and easy to learn. The biggest difference Ashley recalled was that the students wanted to be there.
“I remember at CCMH; students had a strong sense of purpose and direction. They were motivated and passionate about what they were learning. This made it even more fun to be at CCMH. Everyone had a mutual interest and knew what they wanted. I loved the energy and teachers at CCMH. I found it easy to learn there.”
Throughout her entire experience, she felt as though the classes attracted people of high caliber and the teachers fed their excitement.
She had found her tribe.
On September 11, 2001, Ashley remembers sitting in her morning class when a classmate turned to her and whispered, “Did you hear the World Trade Center in NYC was bombed this morning?”
“In between classes I went out to my car and listened to the radio for more news. Everyone was afraid. Reporters were confused and had no idea what was going on. It wasn’t till later in the day that they were able to report all of the details. CCMH shut down for the rest of the week. We all went home and held our breath. Was this the beginning of WW3?”
Now, more than ever, Ashley knew the world needed massage therapy. People were suffering from high stress. They had anxiety and panic attacks. They needed healing, relaxation, connection, perspective, and comfort. After graduating, Ashley started her journey into a Massage career.
“Learning how to be an RMT is sometimes what I would imagine nursing school to be like,” she explained. “You learn so much about neurology, pathology, biology, etc. It feels like a pre-Med program.”
Soon after Ashley graduated, her mother unfortunately passed away from liver cancer. Ashley fell into deep mourning. In looking for ways to heal the emotional wounds, she found Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) and began to study it for her healing. This lead her life down a much different path than when she first walked through the doors of CCMH. She moved to the States and worked in the field of Neurolinguistic Programming.
“At first it didn’t make sense, jumping from one career to another. But now it has all come together.”
Fifteen years after graduating from CCMH, Ashley accumulated experience in several fields of work to prepare her for what she is doing today. Ashley is the founder and host of the #1 holistic health podcast, Learn True Health. She interviews Naturopathic Doctors, Health Coaches, and Massage Therapists, helping the public learn more about what they can do naturally to improve their health!
Ashley feels incredibly lucky to apply her health education to her true calling. Thanks to her time at CCMH, she feels comfortable speaking with naturopathic doctors, medical experts, and scientists. “I took my education laterally. It’s amazing what you grasp and where you can take this education. Your time at CCMH can be a stepping stone down the road to big things!”
For those who are students of Massage Therapy, Ashley James wanted to leave you with some sage wisdom:
“The best advice I can give to a Massage Therapy Student is to create a study group. Meet up at lunch or after school and on the weekends. Review and practice what you learned that day and week. I learned more by taking turns discussing, teaching and practicing with my fellow students. Find three other students that are really motivated to excel and team up with them. This will make passing the boards much easier!”
Are you interested in a career as a Massage Therapist? Learn about students and staff who found their path at CCMH by checking out our blog and following us on Facebook and Twitter. Want to share your story? Contact Susy at [email protected].