Many CCMH students are just beginning their careers in Massage Therapy, gathering the knowledge they will need to thrive beyond the classroom. However, CCMH is also a great place for established professionals like Liz Arcus, who founded and ran her own Thai Massage practice long before she ever set foot on a CCMH campus. Now she’s studying to become a Registered Massage Therapist, so we caught up with Liz to ask about her professional success, her plans for the future, and her continuing education at CCMH.
Hi Liz! Thanks for chatting with us! Unlike many of our students, your journey began outside a CCMH classroom. What originally led you to Massage Therapy, and why did you decide to pursue RMT certification later in your career?
I practiced Thai Massage as a holistic practitioner for years because I enjoy helping people and the results from Thai Massage sessions were remarkable. There was a point in my career where I plateaued and wanted to take a step back to become educated about anatomy, physiology, and different conditions, as well as learn a different style of massage. I wanted the honour of the RMT title to become a credible professional in the field.
Why did you choose CCMH when taking that next step?
I sat in on “Student for a Day” before deciding on a school. When I walked in, everyone greeted me and they were all super friendly. They were learning neck stretches that day, with a very hands-on approach. People were getting on the table and practicing. I loved how interactive it was and that they were applying new material right away. I could tell the teacher was passionate about the material, too. I knew that day that I wanted to go to CCMH.
Could you tell us a little more about your experiences with Thai Massage? What was it like to run your own practice as a specialist?
I’m an entrepreneur at heart, so when I started practicing Thai Massage, I went to Thailand and gained a wealth of knowledge about their culture and how vital massage is as a pillar of health. Upon my return to Toronto, I started a traditional Thai Massage studio downtown, which grew over five years to employ a dozen Thai Massage practitioners and a half dozen RMTs. I was teaching the RMTs how to give Thai Massage because the RMTs were in demand, but the majority of people who came to our studio were looking for Thai Massage. I reached a point where I could not find enough RMTs willing to learn Thai Massage to keep up with the demand. After five years with that business I sold it, which freed me up to take the RMT schooling myself.
You’ve already launched one successful business, and you’ll soon be adding Registered Massage Therapist to your CV. As an entrepreneur, what’s next for you once you complete your certification?
I started managing a Retreat Centre called Nirvana Retreats just an hour from Toronto, where we host Yoga and Meditation retreats for up to 26 participants. It is a beautiful and peaceful location on 14 acres of landscaped nature including an artisan swimming pond and sauna. I aim to start offering RMT and Thai RMT Massage once I am certified.
Sounds like an amazing place! Thank you for sharing with us, and we wish you the best of luck on your endeavours!
Interested in pursuing a career as a Massage Therapist? It’s easier than you think! Learn about our other students who found their path at CCMH by checking out our blog. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more inspiration!