Massage Therapy Canada

Features Patient Care Practice
Contibutor to Our Profession: Spring 2006

In 1996, I proudly registered as a massage therapist in B.C. As with many of my colleagues – massage therapy was not my first career. Until my early 40s, I hadn’t even considered it as a career. In 1975, I received a BSc. in Biology & Public Administration from Carleton University


October 1, 2009
By Massage Therapy Magazine

Topics

Tell Us A Bit About Yourself
In 1996, I proudly registered as a massage therapist in B.C. As with many of my colleagues – massage therapy was not my first career. Until my early 40s, I hadn’t even considered it as a career. In 1975, I received a BSc. in Biology & Public Administration from Carleton University, then worked for six years as a professional firefighter followed by 14 years in computer systems. It was the blizzard of November 1989 in Ottawa that encouraged my wife and I to move west to a more temperate climate, and eventually a massage therapy career.

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James Bechard


Professional Profile
I practise in Sidney, B.C. with a focus on orthopaedic rehab therapy. I enjoy the clinical challenge of treating, educating and encouraging my patients to understand and correct their condition. I utilize an assortment of techniques in treatment: muscle energy, joint mobilization, fascial release, cranial sacral, rehab exercise – all directed towards re-establishing neutral posture. Success for me is a self-managing patient. Soon after graduation, I became involved with our professional association and then our regulatory college serving on committees and the boards of both organizations, and a term as President of the CMTBC. In 2003, I undertook the editor role of our provincial journal, which is a major time consumer, but also a pleasant source of satisfaction.

Influential People Or Experiences

Clinically, there are many talented therapists who have influenced my treatment protocols. The most notable is Steve Anderson. He has the uncanny ability to communicate everything from the intricacies of the application of muscle energy techniques to their anatomic and physiologic effects. I have never failed to be influenced by his courses. Other notables are Jim Nightingale, Mike Dixon and Ed Bunker. All B.C. RMTS who have independently published their expertise. These are positive individuals doing positive  things for our profession.

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Professionally, I am inspired by the passion of our professional association past presidents Sandy Staples & Mark Bentz and association ED Jim Larson for their integrity and selfless contributions in the best interests of the membership and profession – provincially and nationally.

Greatest Experience/Accomplishment
Clinically, I have two experiences that I take particular satisfaction from: the simple “thank you” I receive from many patients makes me appreciate the clinical value of our profession; and a specific patient that made me realize how valuable the many hours of training we receive. This patient presented with low back pain, but had an undiagnosed medical condition that after referral back to her physician was immediately identified and required emergency surgery. It’s important that we understand signs and symptoms and know when not to treat.

Professionally, the appreciative feedback I receive from most members about our professional Journal is a constant source of satisfaction for me. For me, it is the cumulative effect of little successes that count in life.

Hope for the Profession

Clinically, we are an effective, safe and preferred form of treatment for a variety of medical conditions. If we want to be recognized professionally by both governments and insurers, there is a need for a strong national voice, which can only occur with the participation of all provinces. My hope is that every provincial association will put our profession and membership first by recognizing the need to be represented nationally. With changing demographics, there has never been a more important time to have a strong national voice.

Words Of Wisdom

Keep your mind healthy – learn something new each day. Keep you body healthy – practise what you preach. Focus on the positive – the negatives are not worthy of your thoughts.


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