When I reflect on my time as a student at Okanagan Valley College of Massage therapy, I remember a lot of wonderful people who are now my colleagues and my friends.  One of the things I highly recommend to you future OV student is to find a trade relationship.  You will certainly have tons of opportunity to find the perfect trade partner.

In the first year of my training, I remember getting a lot of massage!  When learning the principals of Swedish massage students treat each other to help in everyone’s learning journey.  Although I knew I enjoyed massage before I started school, by the end of term one I loved massage and the incredible benefits I saw in my physical and mental health with regular treatment.

Later, as the program progresses, student get a lot of well supervised opportunities to work with the public giving relaxation massage in the student clinic.

In second year we had Outreach, this was a great learning experience where my classmates and I got to work with all kinds of people.  We saw athletes, pregnant women, children, and many specific pathologies. By this time I was studying long hours and boy did I miss all the massages I got in first year. 

I remember thinking; What about my needs?  Massage improved sleep quality, decreased stress and helped a huge variety of muscular aches and pains I was experiencing. I needed a trade partner.

I picked a classmate who was not a close friend, but a colleague. I had made many dear friends by this point in the program, but I didn’t want someone who I could distract from our schedule. I chose a  classmate who was soft spoken and thoughtful. I had the chance to work in partners with her during practical classes and I liked her touch.

This colleague and I agreed to meet in the student clinic every Tuesday during lunch hour.  We would alternate, one week she would work on me, the next week I would work on her. She helped me to relax, and treat my low grade tension headaches and the tight muscles in my jaw. I helped her with an old low back injury that had temporarily flared up at the time. We got great support from our CTP class instructor who gave us ideas of things to try with each other. It was a safe environment to try new things with a fellow learner.

I believe my standing trade helped me to manage the second year of my training smoothly. After graduation I set up in a clinic in the BC interior, while my trade partner ended up on Vancouver Island. Over the years since school I have traded with a great variety of registered massage therapists, but I will always remember my first trade buddy with greatest fondness.