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Massage: A Unique Medicine

Connor McCormack Bodywork Therapy Graduate Nine months ago, Connor McCormack made a spur of the moment decision to enrol in the Part-Time Bodywork Therapy Program at the Vancouver School of Healing Arts. Now a successful graduate, Connor is looking forward to starting out his career and working in a spa.

“The program came at a time in my life where there were some major shifts going on. I went through treatment for addiction and alcoholism over a year ago and this was the perfect thing I could have gone into,” Connor said.

Connor started at VSOHA right after he finished treatment and described the experience as almost a recovery outside of recovery. “It was a good fit for me because there was so much self care involved in the program. It really helped me stay balanced in the first year.”

The part-time program allowed Connor to continue working as a server while he attended school and also gave him time to spend in the recovery community where he spends 3-4 nights each week helping others suffering from addiction and alcoholism.

“I like how quickly massage can induce an effect on somebody without the use of any other medicines. It’s a treatment that is so unique to everything else. To be able to provide that to clients is a gift,” Connor said.

The program covers several different modalities including Swedish techniques and joint release – two of Connor’s favourites. “I like Swedish because it’s open to interpretation and you can incorporate your own style into the bodywork. It came very naturally to me. Joint release is fascinating because it works deeply with the energy body but not the physical body. It requires the practitioner to take care of themselves on an energetic level to be able to bring that to the receiver.”

An important part of the course is the student clinic where students give treatments to members of the public in a supervised environment similar to a professional spa.

“All the hands-on practical work has really prepared me for working in the real world. There’s also a lot of receiving massages which has been great to learn from.”

Connor is leaving his post-graduation plans open but hopes to travel to Australia and is looking forward to practicing part-time as a bodyworker and being around other professionals working in the spa industry.

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