CCMH is so thankful to our teaching staff who make our school the collaborative learning space that it is. We spent some time getting to know one of our instructors, Krystal Mayer Raymond. Krystal has been teaching Massage Therapy since the winter of 2011 and practising since the summer of 2006. She spends the most time teaching our introductory and advanced manual skills classes.
Hi Krystal, thank you for joining us today. Why don’t you tell us how you got your start in Massage Therapy and why you wanted to teach at CCMH?
I was a graduate from CCMH Toronto, in class of 2006. I came back to teach at CCMH because it’s the best school and we have the best instructors! All of the instructors have many years of experience in different parts of the Massage Therapy field. Some specialize in anatomy, physiology, hydrotherapy, professional practise, sports, or pregnancy. You know the saying goes “iron sharpens iron?” I believe the CCMH team does just that.
What inspires me to keep teaching is the ability to sharpen my skills and to pursue new ones. Most importantly, I love passing along my health knowledge to other people. There’s a great sense of accomplishment when you can share something with someone, they take that information, and then use it to help others or themselves.
What has been your favourite part of teaching?
My absolute favourite part of teaching is when I get to see “the light bulb moment”. It’s when a student asks a particular question but is having difficulties grasping the content. After a few minutes of dialogue, drawing some pictures, or making references to real life scenarios, the student finally has the “ah ha!” moment. They usually respond with something like: “Ohhh.. I get it…,” “So, that’s why…,” or “Okay, if this happens then that has to happen too.” That is my absolute favourite. I am usually so excited to see them excited that we both end up with big smiles on our faces for the rest of the day.
That definitely sounds like a special moment between a teacher and student. Do you have any advice for new students?
- Make sure you know your anatomy. Study it to the point that if someone woke you up in the middle of the night and asked you where the trapezium is, what it’s shape is, and what it does – you could answer without getting out of bed. Anatomy is the foundation for any muscle specialist. You have to know this stuff inside out and backwards. And the study of it does not stop in term one. Even after over twelve years of practicing, I’m still reviewing and learning more about anatomy each year.
- Make sure you understand the inflammatory process of the body. With it you can decode any type of disease.
- Make sure you know the tools in your toolbox. You have to know what they do and how to apply them. The tools are all the Massage skills you learn in Manual Skills & Treatments I and II.
What should students know about being an RMT?
Hmm, this is a tougher question. I would have to say that once you’ve graduated, nobody is marking you but the body on the table. No invigilator, no study partner to give you tips, no do-overs. Just one hour to do the best you can with the scenario that’s been dealt to you. So make it count.
Finally, are there any memories of your time at CCMH that stand out?
I have to admit that I have had many! I used to teach a manual skills class that was held back-to-back (all day) and this particular group of students really “gelled” well together. Half the students were from abroad, of all different ages and backgrounds, and were all very keen and intelligent. Because they were such inquisitive learners we could use some extra time to have fun and we decided to do a heritage potluck for lunch. Everything had to be homemade and, of course, had to follow the allergy policy. We had so much fun chatting, learning about each others’ backgrounds, exchanging recipes, trying new foods, and learning why each student decided to get into Massage Therapy. Everyone in the school could smell the deliciousness, and I got in trouble for not inviting them. But we had a great time anyway!
We hope you have many more positive memories, Krystal! Thanks so much for taking the time to sit down with us.
Interested in pursuing a career as a Massage Therapist? A new semester starts in May and it’s easier than you think! Learn about our other students who found their path at CCMH by checking out our blog.
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