My personal journey came at a very young age. My father expressed to all six of us as children, “if you have a job with your hands you’ll always have a job,” and I’ve taken that to mean my hands are my profession. Now here I am years later in, of all places, Montreal, Canada starting as a student of life once again.
The biggest barrier to practicing in this country is my lack of Canadian credentials. Having recently moved to Montreal, Canada from the US it was clear that the government of Quebec would not allow me to bring my business of ten years with me. From the onset I felt discouraged, how could a country not acknowledge years in the field although I arrived in Canada with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, a diploma in Neuromuscular Therapy Massage, a lifetime of self-directed study and 20 years of practical therapeutic experience, still the path to success remained elusive. To not work was not an option as my training in prior simultaneous fields alone over qualified me as a stay at home wife. (yes, that was meant to make you laugh and smile.)
Through research it became obvious that obtaining my credentials as a Manual Osteopathic Practitioner would be the perfect fit. This gentle, effective, supportive therapy integrated with the other techniques that I use would be of great benefit to my clients. Finding the appropriate school was the next step. I needed a strong curriculum, accreditation, plus a manageable time frame and affordable fees. I also needed a program that I could integrate into my already busy schedule. Although I found many options only the National Academy of Osteopathy (NAO) met all of my criteria.
Not only is the NAO’s Diploma in Osteopathic Manual Practice a recognized professional accreditation in Canada but it expands my ability to bring a new knowledgeable, balanced, well-rounded approach to my clients back in the US. The training I’m receiving in osteopathy-specific manual techniques is an aspect of treatment that was missing in my practice prior to attending the NAO.
Through the connections of NAO immediately together we found an internship at a health and fitness clinic in Montreal, BTT West Island where Frederic Koomsatira, who has since graduated from NAO and is currently enrolled in the DO at NAO programming. He owns and operates a student clinic out of his business and this clinic has been a refreshing comfort for me to be at working side by side with other NAO practitioners in various programs. I’ve continued working in the US to fulfil the hands on criteria of our program at my personal office as well as the student clinic in Montreal while taking the online courses. In Quebec the language criteria is that everyone speaks french in order to work and you guessed right, I don’t speak french. Thanks to Fred and his clinic once again where most clients are bilingual our ability to understand one another is one step closer to their health and well being! I feel blessed to have had as many opportunities as barriers cross my path these past six months.
The ability to safely and effectively relieve my client’s pain by manipulating their joints using these new osteopathy methods adds other tools in my kit as a therapist. I am already able to integrate these new techniques into my client’s treatment sessions with clients feedback more often than not complimenting the added effectiveness of techniques.
Osteopathy emphasis on the interrelationship between the structure and function of the body strengthens my ability to assist my clients and ensures they receive the best care and optimal relief from their symptoms. The osteopathy-specific techniques of manual manipulation and neuromuscular techniques of the bones, muscles, and joints is enhancing my ability to not only know protocol for testing clients but to effectively treat my clients. The application of these techniques coupled with solid business practices is providing the sound foundation that I feel is required to offer the optimal healthcare benefits and financial experience my clients expect. I’m so excited to meet and continue to work with other health professionals in this field as each one seems to add more passion and understanding to my life.