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Why did I become a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT)?

I actually didn't know I wanted to become an RMT until after I completed my Kinesiology and Health Science degree at York University. It took two years of working various jobs in healthcare, food and beverage, administration and even jobs that were not related to my field, until I finally decided to go back to school and pursue a career that was more fulfilling for me. I chose massage therapy because I know that I have every second in each session to really listen to my client's concerns and give them my energy and attention, whether it's 30 minutes or an hour.

I love that I have the opportunity to build meaningful connections with my clients, while also educating them about their health, and actually being able to help improve their well-being. It wasn't until I started working when I realized that my personality suited the profession. I always knew I wanted to help people, and now I get to do that for a living and it never feels like work.

Charisse Manalili RMT

What is my education & training?

The two courses in high school that really helped spark my interest into healthcare and human anatomy were Health Studies and Exercise Science. From high school I continued to York University and completed a Bachleor of Arts degree in Kinesiology and Health Science. I worked as a Kinesiologist (did personal training essentially) for a couple years and medical administration - along with many unrelated part time jobs - until I decided to apply to Sutherland-Chan School of Massage Therapy. I graduated in August of 2018 and became a Registered Massage Therapist in January 2019. 


After I graduated, I continued my learning by enrolling in different workshops such as K-taping, Fascial Stretch therapy and Neurofunctional Acupuncture to broaden my skills and add to my manual toolbox. The scope of massage therapy has widened so much, and I am so proud of how far this profession has come. It is this reason that encourages me to continue to learn and better myself as a manual therapist.

What are my areas of clinical focus?

The common issues that I treat are low back pain, neck and shoulder pain, rotator cuff impingement, sciatic-like pain and tension headaches to name a few. But I see each presented case both familiar and new as a challenge. I generally suggest working on the body as a whole, however I can carry out clinical based treatments if there is a specific injury that needs to be focused on. My areas of clinical focus are generally body awareness and pain prevention. During my treatment sessions I want my clients to reconnect with their bodies and familiarize themselves with the pain that they are feeling and educate them on ways they can prevent it. I normally like incorporating passive stretching and joint mobilizations into my treatment to encourage movement in areas that honestly, are often neglected. 

I want to remind my clients that their bodies were made to move and withstand forces that we put on ourselves every day. However, we forget how truly capable and resilient our bodies are. 

What do I love most about being an RMT?

What I love most about being an RMT is connecting with my clients on a deeper level through touch and open communication. I think building strong rapport is so important because there needs to be a sense of trust between client and therapist in order for the body to truly relax and calm the nervous system. I can work all day and hearing, "I felt so much better after my last massage!"  makes it all worth it. Knowing that I played a part in relieving discomfort, improve sleep, or help someone live pain-free, lets me know that I made the right choice in pursuing this profession.

What are the techniques I use most?

The techniques I use the most are (but are not limited to):

  • Muscle stripping

  • Trigger point release therapy

  • Joint mobilization

  • Passive or fascial stretching

  • Cupping therapy


I have learned that some may benefit with one technique and some benefit with a mix of others. These techniques are what I have found to be most helpful and effective however it all depends on the client. 

What attracted me to team-based health?

One's health and well-being are influenced by so many factors that massage therapy alone cannot restore. Working alongside different practitioners I not only get a better understanding of each discipline but I am also able to collaborate and share ideas in regards to treatment plans. One treatment goal can be approached in many different ways and working with different practitioners gives me a greater perspective. Team-based health is so powerful because you have the knowledge and skills of numerous health care professionals all working towards a common goal - improving the well-being of their clients. 

If I’m not at work, where can you find me?

If I'm not at work, chances are I'm at the gym. Incorporating fitness into my lifestyle has helped me in so many ways and is the perfect outlet for me. If the weather is nice you can find me out on a hike, camping, canoeing, or just out on a stroll. On days I am home, I am either baking, playing video games with my fiance Jon, reading, binging Netflix, or re-watching Grey's Anatomy for the billionth time.

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