My name is Brenda Klarer, I'm a massage therapist and the
name of the company that I have is Wascana Remedial Massage
Centre. There are seven therapists working here in the clinic.
I was actually on my own for three years, and we worked in
a temporary location for eight months and now have been here
in this location for three years.
The reason I got into massage therapy in the
first place was my own health challenges. I
had a really bad back and upper back and neck
and had gone through all of the traditional
ways of looking after it. I had seen the doctors
and the chiropractor and someone told me about
a massage therapist. And I thought, well...I
was really sceptical when I went at first thinking
there wasn't much she could do being that I
had gone through the traditional ways first.
And when I went I was absolutely amazed at
the relief that I got. Immediately after (after
three treatments when my pain was completely
gone) had asked her what I could do to become
a massage therapist because I needed to be
able to help people the way that she had helped
There was a massage therapy school right here
in Regina. It's a long standing school. It
was called the Western College of Remedial
Massage Therapies and the name has since changed,
but that's where I found out where to go, and
who to talk to and how to take the course.
Above all, I think you have to be a care giver.
The patient can tell whether or not you're
a care giver or a mechanic. And you can know
your stuff and do a really good job, but if
you don't have that care giving attitude and
care giving feeling it's not as effective as
it could be.
Working in a clinic atmosphere is different
than working at home. When you're working out
of your own home you make your own schedule
and you are responsible for your own people
coming in to your clinic out of the home. When
you're working in a clinic atmosphere, you've
got to be able to work with the people that
are there in the clinic. It's important that
you have the interaction with the staff, being
able to be open enough so that if you've got
any questions that other people feel free to
ask you about them, 'cause any knowledge that
you have it's important that you share it with
the people around you.
In massage therapy I think that positive attitude
and positive behaviour are probably the most
important attributes, except for your education
of course. People need to be looked after and
people need to be cared for. And when they
come into the clinic I think it's our responsibility
to make sure that they know that they've come
to a place where people care and people are
going to listen to them and do the best that
we can with them.
The ability to adapt to change is important
when you're a massage therapist for a couple
of reasons. One is because when you have people
coming into the clinic, every person that comes
in is different from the person before. So
you have to be able to focus on that particular
person and change gears immediately. You've
got different personality types, you've got
different problems that they will present to
you and it's important to be able to adapt
As a massage therapist, we belong to an association
that in order to maintain membership in the
association we have continuing education credits
and continuing education hours that we must
maintain. I think that even if it wasn't mandatory
to belong to the association, we would go and
seek more education and extra courses. Having
the basic course and graduating from our three
year course that we graduated from is like
having the toolbox and then every single course
that you take or any skill that you learn after
that is like another tool to put into the toolbox.
And so when you're doing a treatment, you're
doing the basics and then you can kind of pull
out what ever you need to be able to continue
on with that treatment, be the most effective
with that particular condition.
I think a typical day with a massage therapist
depends on where they work. If they work out
of their home, they make their own hours completely.
If they want to through a load of wash in between
treatments or make a casserole or do the vacuuming
between treatments, they can do that. There's
a lot of freedom in that kind of a situation.
If they're working in a doctor's office or
a chiropractic office and someone else is making
the appointments for them, then they go and
they check the appointment book, set up their
day accordingly. In the clinic, as the owner
of the clinic, when you come in at 7:15 in
the morning and you do the vacuuming and do
the tidying up and dusting., it's completely
different than if you were working on your
The first thing you do of course is check
the appointment book and see exactly who you
have for clients that day, and what kind of
spaces do you have during the day for appointments.
You would go to the files and pull the files
of the people that are booked in for that day,
and then it's your responsibility to read what
was in the file and what they presented before
as far as symptoms went or what kind of treatments
were performed on them before. And then set
up a plan, being ready to be able to switch
gears half way in case they come in with a
different problem than you're anticipating.
Probably the most challenging part about being
a massage therapist is educating the client
as to what they need to do to help themselves.
Our responsibility is to show them postural
imbalances, to be able to teach them different
stretches and exercises to be able to help
Oh, the people. I love the people. Every person
that comes in the door is unique. Every person
has a special set of circumstances that surrounds
them. And to me, that's the most important
thing and that's what I love the most about
the job is the people.
If I had to give someone advise as to
entering into the massage therapy field,
the first thing
that I would say to them is you don't do this
job for the money. I mean it's easy to look
and see what the rates are and think "Oh
man, I can make a lot of money here," it's
not happening. You've got to be into this job
for...because you're a care giver and because
you want to help people and not for the money.
Because it's too hard of work. You work hard
at this job and so the money just doesn't cut
it after a while. You've got to have a love