Thanks to her passion and ambition, Kerri Wagensveld’s career as a massage therapist has progressed very quickly. When she graduated from Vicars in 2014, she already knew that she wanted to specialize in sport massage. She is now a Canadian Sport Massage Therapist Association certification candidate and practices alongside renowned Canadian sport massage therapist Kip Petch and several fellow Vicars grads at the Active Life Centre in St Albert. She also teaches at the Vicars Edmonton campus.

Why did you choose massage therapy as a career?Kerri Wagensveld

I initially chose this career because I loved receiving massage and providing massage. I knew the benefits were there, and wanted to pursue this. I love sports and knew I would thoroughly enjoy a career in this field. Being able to assist this way is truly an honour and a privilege.

What do you enjoy about being an RMT?

Being able to assist athletes and clients with maintenance or recovery in their sport or at work or home, and providing self-care “tools” that will help them maximize their efforts to meet and exceed their goals.

What are you most proud of in your career so far?

I’m proud that people come back to see me and that they are continually reaching out for advice on what they’re dealing with.  I’m also so honored when people trust me to receive their first professional massage and leave feeling happy they came.

What self-care practices do you use to keep fit and healthy for your career?

I work out and run. Making sure I stay very mobile and strong enough to withstand the physical demands of massage therapy.  I also ensure that I go for massage at least once per month.

What sets you apart from other RMTs?

Intentionally staying engaged with my work and trying to give each client a treatment that is unique and suitable for them.  I love the work I’m in, and clients notice this. They want someone that doesn’t just give them the same routine massage that every other client receives.

What advice would you offer to someone considering a career in massage?

I’d tell them to talk to other practicing RMTs and to go visit a school to learn about the program and to view the curriculum. Write down your reasons for being interested as well as your expectations of the schooling experience and your career after graduation. Then compare it to what you learned from therapists and schools.

To learn more about Kerri and to book an appointment at the Active Life Centre, check out their website.

The Vicars Grads at Work blog series shines the spotlight on MH Vicars School alumni through short profiles and extended features. If you or someone you know would like to be featured on our blog, please contact Robin Collum.

Since she graduated from the Edmonton campus in 2013, Vicki East has been collecting additional credentials and skills. She is a Certified Lymphedema Therapist, and regularly incorporates therapeutic hot and cold stone therapy and myofascial cupping into her therapeutic massage practice. Her clinic, Ebb and Flow Healing Therapy, is based out of her home in Camrose.Vicki East

Why did you choose massage therapy as a career?

I wanted to make a difference, and I have always enjoyed learning about the body and health. Massage allows me to take that passion and apply it every day, to help someone learn about their body and what they can do to feel at their best. I enjoy helping people on their healing journey.

What sets you apart as a therapist?

I am a CLT, certified lymphedema therapist, which is a great niche to be in if you like that kind of massage. I also have a positive attitude and want to figure out what is causing someone’s pain. So I will do an orthopedic assessment to figure out what is going on and try different modalities to help decrease the pain. I combine therapeutic hot stone, myofascial cupping, MLD and therapeutic massage to give a unique approach to address the problem areas.

What self-care practices do you use to keep fit and healthy for your career?

I eat healthy. I teach yoga. In the summer I bike and in the winter I take a spin class and cross country ski. I do self-massage and get regular massages from other RMTs.

It is also important to take time to regenerate your energy, so that you have lots to give to others. You have to find what makes you happy and take the time to do that! For me, that is exercising in nature.

What are you most proud of in your career so far?

Reaching the goals that I set out in my business plan ahead of time – that includes training goals and increasing my business. I am also proud that many of the clients that tried me out when I was a student are still my clients.

To learn more about Ebb and Flow  Healing Therapy and to book an appointment with Vicki, give her a call at 780-679-6725.

The Vicars Grads at Work blog series shines the spotlight on MH Vicars School alumni through short profiles and extended features. If you or someone you know would like to be featured on our blog, please contact Robin Collum.

Oksana Pellerine has been practicing massage since 2014, and now runs Art of Healing Pains out of her home. She specializes in fascial work, and also offers raw honey massage, shiatsu techniques, and several types of myofascial cupping to help her clients get the most out of their treatments.

Keep reading to find out more about what she’s been up to!

What do you enjoy about being an RMT?Oksana Pellerine

It’s an opportunity to help, educate and guide clients to reach their health and wellbeing goals; that’s my passion. I strongly believe, this is what I was created for—to help people heal through therapeutic touch.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve had to face?

Not being able to accommodate everyone that needs my help and healing touch, as I’m only one person. Having to say “I have no more openings for today, I’m sorry”—it kills me.

What self-care practices do you use to keep fit and healthy for your career?

This career made me very mindful of what I need to do in order to perform to the best of my abilities. It’s all about exercise, a balanced diet, staying positive and motivated, focusing on the goals I have set, etc.

What are you most proud of in your career so far?

My clients’ health improvements. I’m proud of the positive changes that we’ve been able to achieve together as a team. I feel honoured every time someone asks me to take part in their healing process. I love my job and I’m proud that I found myself in it.

To learn more about Art of Healing Pains Therapeutic Massage and to book an appointment with Oksana, visit her website

The Vicars Grads at Work blog series shines the spotlight on MH Vicars School alumni through short profiles and extended features. If you or someone you know would like to be featured on our blog, please contact Robin Collum.

Since graduating from the Edmonton campus in 2015, Terri Polowick has set up Intuitive Therapeutic Massage, a thriving home-based clinic in St Albert. In addition to her Vicars diploma, Terri has Myofascial Cupping Levels 1 and 2 certification. She particularly enjoys treating her clients’ low back pain and plantar fasciitis.

Why did you choose massage as a career?

I didn’t choose it, it chose me!Terri Polowick

What do you enjoy about being an RMT?

Massage therapy is a non-invasive, drug-free modality with a very high rate of success in treating symptoms/conditions. And also, I have a nerd-like fascination with how the body works!

What self-care practices do you use to keep fit and healthy for your career?

STRETCHING! Every day. Eating well, daily walks, resting when I need, and of course monthly massages!

What do you feel sets you apart as a massage therapist?

I firmly believe in working with a client to find the root cause of the problem and treat that, not just the symptom or symptoms.

What are you most proud of in your career so far?

That I followed a passion, something I truly believed in, and succeeded in making a career out of that.

To learn more about Intuitive Therapeutic Massage and to book an appointment with Terri, visit her Facebook page!

The Vicars Grads at Work blog series shines the spotlight on MH Vicars School alumni through short profiles and extended features. If you or someone you know would like to be featured on our blog, please contact Robin Collum.

Kirsty graduated from the Edmonton campus in 2012. She owns
Purple Lotus Therapeutic Massage & Esthetics in St Albert. She and her team of RMTs and estheticians, which includes a fellow MH Vicars grad, refer to Purple Lotus as a “splinic”: it’s not just a spa, and not just a clinic! Kirsty travelled to Hawaii for further training after graduating from Vicars, and now specializes in Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage.
Kirsty MacIntosh

What do you most enjoy about practicing massage?

I love helping people. I love that a healing touch can do so much for someone.

What has been your biggest challenge as an RMT?

Not knowing when to say “No!”. I do not like to say no to clients and often come in to work even when I am not working, and as a result I overwork myself. I need to learn to say no!

What self-care practices do you use to keep fit and healthy for your career?

The other RMTs I work with and I swap massages. I also go to physio and chiro when need be. I work out and swim to try and stay fit!

What are you most proud of in your career so far?

In 2015, I won the Young Entrepreneur Award at the St Albert Small Business Awards of Distinction. (You can read about Kirsty’s award here!).

What advice do you have for people interested in a career in massage?

If you have a passion for people and helping others, do it! Take the plunge into massage. School will not always be easy: there will be tears and moments of frustration. But it is all worth it; every bit of it. Seeing the way you affect someone’s life is the most rewarding feeling you will ever have.

To learn more about Purple Lotus and to book an appointment, please visit their website.

The Vicars Grads at Work blog series shines the spotlight on MH Vicars School alumni through short profiles and extended features. If you or someone you know would like to be featured on our blog, please contact Robin Collum.

Christine has been working as an RMT since she graduated from Vicars in 2014, and last year she took the exciting step of starting her own practice. She works out of her home and does mobile massage, specializing in pregnancy and therapeutic massage. This has allowed her more freedom to balance her career with her responsibilities as a mother of three.
Christine Huget

Why did you choose massage therapy as a career?

I fell in love with massage while I was pregnant with my second child. I used to get debilitating migraines. I would often lie in bed with a cold compress on my head to try to diminish the pain. I would continue to try several remedies with no success. I was only able to find relief with massage. This made me ecstatic! With massage, I was able to function again and was able to go about my daily routines. I knew I wanted to help other get the relief from chronic pain and discomfort that I was able to get through massage.

What do you most enjoy about practicing massage?

What I enjoy most about being a Registered Massage Therapist is when the client leaves my home-based business they feel uplifted, de-stressed, and have less pain and discomfort. I enjoy knowing I’ve helped them and was able to release discomfort in some area in their life.

My passion is helping women prioritize self-care through regular massage.

What self-care practices do you use to keep fit and healthy for your career?

When starting my career as an RMT I began to get overwhelmed and stressed with everyday wear and tear of being a working mom of three. I was having trouble juggling work and home and self-care was on the bottom of my list. I would end up with no energy and have a variety of aches and pains that wouldn’t go away. Self-care now my first priority.

Now, my self-care practices include limiting the number of hours I work per week. I also stay organized, work out, read scripture, practice meditation and my favourite: getting massages.

To book an appointment with Christine, visit her Facebook page!

The Vicars Grads at Work blog series shines the spotlight on MH Vicars School alumni through short profiles and extended features. If you or someone you know would like to be featured on our blog, please contact Robin Collum.

Henriette graduated from our Edmonton campus in 2015. She now owns her own clinic – System Health Centre in Morinville, Alberta – where she provides relaxation and therapeutic massage as well as Contemporary Cupping and foot reflexology treatments.

What do you most enjoy about being an RMT?Henriette Smith at work

I love working one-on-one with clients to address their individual needs. Seeing a person’s progress and hearing that they feel much better is truly what I love.”

How do you keep yourself well and fit for such an active career?

“The physical demands of being a massage therapist has made me far more physically active than the desk job that I used to have. I have also started eating more healthful foods.”

How did MH Vicars School prepare you for a career as an RMT?

“MH Vicars School prepared me fully for my career as a Massage Therapist. We learned anatomy, practical massage, the emotional component of working with people, business management, administration and so much more…”

What sets you apart from other RMTs?

“I am a more mature therapist (age wise) so I have extensive experience working with people over the years. This has prepared me for interacting with many people of all different ages with many different health concerns.”

What are you most proud of in your career?

“My clients’ successes! I love nothing more than knowing a client feels better.”

To book an appointment with Henriette, email her

The Vicars Grads at Work blog series shines the spotlight on MH Vicars School alumni through short profiles and extended features. If you or someone you know would like to be featured on our blog, please contact Robin Collum.

Like all Albertans, we have been watching the news out of Fort McMurray and Lac Ste Anne County this week with horror and concern. Our hearts go out to all of our fellow Albertans who have had to evacuate their homes, and especially those who may not have homes to return to by the time these fires are contained.

And like all Albertans, we want to help.

MH Vicars School has donated $2500 to the Canadian Red Cross. This represents the proceeds of our Edmonton Student Public Clinic for the month of April. We made a similar donation to the Red Cross in 2013 during the floods in Southern Alberta.

We are very grateful to be able to make this donation. If any of you are also in a position to help, we would encourage you to do so at www.redcross.ca.

Stay safe,

the MH Vicars School team