Canadian RMT Magazine Spring 2016 Volume 1 - Page 16

Reflections on a 20-Year Massage Career By Claire Gavin, RMT Whenever I tell people what I do for a living, I get a variety of responses: “Oh I have great massage therapist I have been seeing for years. She is amazing!” or “My massage therapist helped me so much after my car accident.” or “I get regular massages to help with my migraines.” They’ll often ask for advice about specific issues they are dealing with and whether I can help them with some sort of pain or ailment. But I don’t mind. In fact, I welcome it, especially when I think of how RMTs were regarded in the not-so-distant past. Two decades ago, people would say to me: “Oh. (insert disdain) You’re a masseuse (a word that makes every RMT’s skin crawl). So you push oil all day?” I’ve seen not only an evolution in terms of the knowledge that people have about RMTs, but also the professional climate. When I graduated in 1995 from The D’Arcy Lane Institute, I had to really hustle. I made it my business to go out and educate doc16 tors, nurses and healthcare professionals about the benefits of massage and how we could work together. I literally knocked on doors. And I did corporate lunch-and-learns, seminars and the like for the general public. All the while, I was working four different jobs. The hard work paid off. I built a successful massage therapy practice in a multi-disciplinary health care building. I was surrounded by doctors, osteopaths and cardiologists - a great referral network. I was also fortunate enough to work as a Peer Assessor for 14 years at the College of Massage Therapists (CMTO). In the 90s, massage was still known mostly as a luxury for the super stressed and wealthy. People today see us as what we are: Bona fide health care professionals. People not only appreciate the benefits of massage therapy as part of their health care routine, but their medical health plans are helping to reimburse them for the costs of these therapies. And there’s no better recognition than that. With so many opportunities available, it’s a great time to be a massage therapist. Claire Gavin is the RMT Development and Communications Manager at Massage Addict, Canada’s first and largest membership-based Massage Therapy clinics. Canadian rmt Claire_Feature5.indd 16 2016-03-02 9:15 PM