This week we profile two outstanding OVCMT graduates who have transformed their training into successful and fulfilling careers as RMTs. From establishing a thriving private practice to traveling the globe as part of a team of medical specialists, massage therapy training has opened many doors for Catherine Christensen and Marnie Harris-Todd. And perhaps most significantly, being able to give back to their communities in genuinely meaningful ways has enriched their lives both professionally and personally.
Catherine notes that while her years at OVCMT were demanding, her hard work paid off when she passed the board exams on the very first try. Right away, Catherine got to work setting up her own private massage therapy practice, wasting no time in putting her expertise to work and fulfilling her dream of becoming a professional RMT. Marnie Harris-Todd is a member of OVCMT’s first graduating class in 1996, and has been thriving ever since at her Keremeos-based clinic, and as a travelling RMT working with elite winter athletes.
Although tempted to take a break after completing massage therapy school, Catherine began growing her own business immediately following graduation. During the course of getting her massage therapy practice off the ground, she tested out a variety of different work environments, including a spa and several RMT clinics. Working at a clinic with its own receptionist gave Catherine valuable opportunities to learn more about professional fundamentals such as billing, scheduling and ethics.
Marnie Harris-Todd has found great success running a massage therapy clinic in beautiful Keremeos, where hip and knee replacement, pelvis and back injury, and surgery pre and post-op therapy keep her very busy. Her clinic also includes an indoor pool where Marnie administers aquatic therapy. Now in her ninth season as a therapist with the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association, Marnie’s job lets her travel to various World Cup events around the globe every year, and she has participated several times as a sports therapist for the Olympic Games.
For Marnie, sports massage therapy training led to a career working as her own boss at a job that offers mobility, adventure, and continuous challenge. For Catherine, MT certification opened the door to an extremely rewarding private practice that helps her grow as both a medical specialist and an entrepreneur.
However, the path to success is not always straight and clear. Catherine knew that location was an important factor in the success of her business, and worked at several different clinics (some too inaccessible, some too loud) until she found the optimal downtown location. She notes that laundry facilities, hardwood floors and a beautiful window view are all lovely to have, but that location is ultimately one of the most critical factors for any MT start-up. Catherine also notes that having a good website is key to marketing her business, and confirms that the investment she makes in its upkeep has been more than worthwhile.
In addition to growing her private practice, Catherine gives back to her community by providing caregivers at a local hospice house with free massage therapy. Marnie was most recently spotted at Apex Mountain for pre-season training camps and will be heading down to Utah in January for a World Cup Event.
OVCMT is proud to have both Marnie and Catherine as alumni, and wish them continued success in their careers!