“I am originally from Jamaica and migrated to Canada about five years ago. After a while of working as a Continuing Care Assistant, I knew that I wanted to change my life. Growing up, my mom was a nurse and she was away from home for long hours. I wanted something flexible so I could be with my daughter, who is 13 years old.
Massage therapy when you think about it, you think it’s just relaxation and you’re fine, but I’m sitting in this class and realizing that it is so intense! You have to know the bones, the joints, the muscles. And I’m an older student, you know? When I got my first massage, it really felt so amazing. I had to try not to hug my therapist. I’ve never felt so good in my entire life, I was glowing after, I was happy, I felt free. I thought to myself, I want to make people feel like this! It hasn’t been easy. I’ve probably had ten breakdowns during this program and have wanted to quit, but the instructors are so caring. They tell you that you are great and that you can do it. They don’t let you give up on yourself. Without that support system, I probably wouldn’t still be in this program and finishing in three months.
I’m happy, I’m making people feel good and I can still balance taking care of my daughter. I did not know how much of an impact this would have on her, but a few months ago she said to me how proud she was that I went back to school to improve my life. The only downside is that she wants a massage every minute of every day.”
Shanique is taking the Massage Therapy diploma program at Eastern College.