By: Massage Therapy Media
I am still in shock that this event came to life in the exact way that Massage Therapy Media had imagined it and it is all thanks to YOU- our brilliant presenters and educators, our incredible sponsors and exhibitors, and of course, our eager and energetic attendees. Us here at MTM will be forever grateful for all of you who continued to support the Canadian Massage Conference through some challenging years and for breathing life back into our in person show. We cannot thank you enough for an unforgettable conference that I am going to try to sum up in words…here it goes…
One Concept Group has taken on the job for the last 15 years of bringing education to us with this conference. 2 years ago, they almost gave up. With in person events coming to a halt, how would this even work? But, to all of our benefit, they found a way. With the help of the folks from ConEd Institute who also made the pivot to virtual classes, they managed to run 2 successful virtual conferences to keep the spirit of the Massage Community alive. For them, we should all be grateful. They have worked their tails off for many, many years, not for themselves, but for the profession they have such passion for. That is why, when the union of the two companies happened to form Massage Therapy Media, our focus has been all about community. The reason this group has been able to do what they do for so long is the community they built and the connections they made. Naturally, the theme of the 15th annual Canadian Massage Conference was Bringing the Massage Community Together…and we meant literally! For the first time since 2019, we were going to get together again and remind ourselves of what we made it through together.
We wanted to expand our community by both bringing back some past presenters that you have all gotten to know and love but also to introduce some new educators that we felt just needed a platform. These therapists from all over Canada, and a few from the US, have such knowledge to share and we wanted our community to welcome them in. We brought in different disciplines and offered a type of diversity that I’m not sure has existed at the CMC yet. Of course, it takes time to adjust to change but let me try to fill you in on what you may have missed.
One of the new presenters this year included Troy Lavigne, the creator of the course, Sensory Approach to Manual Therapy and he spoke on topics such as pain science, neuroplasticity, re-examining palpation, and did interactive demos from his Sensory Approach class. He is currently the Director of Education for the Colorado AMTA and is a published author for Advanced Healing Journal as well as a published researcher. Another new presenter to the CMC was Stuart Wakefield, Registered Kinesiologist, who taught a class on The Sensory Side of Walking. Stuart’s passion for continuing education led him to the Evidence Based Fitness Academy where he trained under podiatrist Dr. Emily Splichal, and became certified as a Master Instructor for teaching the Barefoot Training Specialist workshops to fellow fitness and rehabilitation professionals. This session was eye-opening for any manual therapist and we look forward to working more with Stuart. Another col thing we added this year was to add such sessions as Traditional Thai Massage and other forms of therapy that can be utilized by Massage Therapists in their practice. We introduced Andre DeCairos to the CMC this year and he did a Thai Massage class, some interactive demos, and even a Chi Nei Tsang demo during our Saturday evening International Massage and body work expo which also featured a Lomi Lomi demo as well as Reflexology.
I could go on about the speakers as each one brought a different perspective, a unique background of knowledge, research, and clinical experience that really showcased the diversity and vast abilities of the Manual Therapy world. Apart from the ones already mentioned, we had up and coming educators such as Magda Lewandowski, Registered Kinesiologist, as well as Veteran educators such as Dr. Glen Harris, D.C., founder of the Educational and Clinical services company MSK+. Dr. Glen taught a session on Symptom Modification for Patients Presenting with Low Back Pain, and Magda’s session was on Exercise Therapy for Low Back and Core Stability. It was very cool to see such different professionals sharing knowledge- all of which helps us all to be better therapists.
I cannot leave out some of the regular faces of the CMC, who have supported this conference for many years. James Waslaski returned teaching a number of sessions and it was so cool to have him back with us as he has not missed a CMC EVER! We also brought back Dr. Kerry D’Ambrogio, Sean-Michael Latimour, Terra Nicolle, and Brad Norris from Rock Tape. These educators dedicate so much time and passion into their teaching and it really shows. We are so grateful to them all. To Aubrey Gowing, College Director at the Holistic College of Dublin, who travelled all the way from Ireland to share his knowledge with Canadian therapists, we are so thrilled to have had the chance to learn from you.
Apart from all of these incredible people who took the time to present, demo, and teach classes, what really made this conference special was the support they offered one another. Our new format had over 40 presenters and so much variety that each educator had the opportunity to attend each other’s classes and learn from their peers. It was truly humbling to see someone with the highest of credentials learning from some of our newest educators and truly soaking in as much as possible. That is when I knew we were really doing what we set out to do. We wanted there to be something for everyone and we wanted to form new connections…we really did it!
The NEWEST aspects of this year’s conference were the Massage Therapy Media Talks Lecture Series and the Massage Therapy Media Demos. This all happened on the Friday afternoon after an exciting morning with an address from RMTAO Executive Director and CEO, Michael Feraday, some fun icebreakers to get to know one another, and a 90-minute expert panel with many of our educators to answer questions. The lecture series presented an opportunity to hear from different people in our profession doing some really awesome things, and to hear some personal and inspiring stories from RMTs that have had an impact on our profession. We had a chance to hear from Jason White and Janette Yee- both Athletic Therapists working with completely different populations. Jason spoke to us about travelling with athletic teams as part of the medical staff, and Janette spoke about c-section recovery after enduring the most intense sport there is…pregnancy. They were eye opening and inspiring talks. We also had the pleasure of hearing from Grace Chan, one of the founders of Sutherland-Chan, about the evolution of the Massage Therapy Profession-much of which she had an enormous impact on.
During the Massage Therapy Media talks, we had 30-minute interactive demos happening in our breakout rooms. You could watch a demo by Cindy McNeely on pre-natal massage, or a Cupping demo by Paul Kohlmeir of Cupping Canada. These demos were intended to get a more intimate view of some cool techniques, interact with the educators, and learn something to take directly back to your practice. They were a hit! Participants loved the variety and were having trouble choosing what to watch as it was all so great!
The MTM series was my personal favourite this year. Massage Therapy Media is just that. We want to provide cool educational content that’s interesting and inspiring to watch but ON DEMAND! Therapists can use our platform to learn something quick but also can interact with the educators as we link all content back to them. This project is how we plan to continue to bring the Massage Therapy Community together. All of the virtual presentations, as well as the MTM talks will be uploaded to Massage Therapy Media and added to our hundreds of hours of video content that you can access and refer back to at any time. With a MTM membership, this content will be available to you forever. Look out for CMC content within the next 2 weeks to hit MTM. As well, in case you didn’t know, if you attended our conference, whether in person or virtually, you will receive an additional 3 months on your MTM membership when you sign up for a year plan.
Now that Massage Therapy Media has produced it’s first conference, we are pumped up and cannot wait to get working on making 2023 bigger, better, and brining more of our amazing community together. If you couldn’t make it this year, mark your calendars for next year as you do not want to miss this!