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New school coming to Nelson in New Year

Brendan Quinn
By Brendan Quinn
December 18th, 2016

There’s a new school coming to the Heritage City in the New Year.

The Academy of Classical Oriental Sciences (ACOS) in Nelson will be offering a two-year Registered Massage Therapy (RMT) program beginning in January.

The two-year program will be the first of its kind in the area and the only accredited RMT program within 500 kilometers.

“We did a market survey and their conclusion was that this would be a highly popular program in the area,” said Joanne Sinclaire, President and Program Director.

“There’s no registered massage therapy schools within a 500km radius of the Kootenays and we’re also the closest geographical location to Alberta which does not currently have an accredited massage therapy school

According to Sinclaire, graduates of the program will be eligible to write their licensing exams with the College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia (CMTBC). Students enrolling in the massage program will receive intensive instruction, not only in massage therapy, but also in Anatomy & Physiology, Pathology, Orthopaedics and other Health Sciences.

The program is the brainchild of Sinclaire, who worked at the academy for 12 years as a main instructor, clinician, and a registered Traditional Chinese Medical Practicioner, graduated from ACOS in 2001.

Originally from Morrisburg, ON, Sinclaire became involved with ACOS in 1997. Over the next 12 years, she grew from student to head instructor and eventually purchased the school in 2014.

Sinclaire said her goals for the program were simple: To maintain excellent standards of education and to create an educational facility offering a diversity of health and wellness education.

“I see the corporation that’s overseeing a number of educational health and wellness programs with each program having a distinct faculty,” she told The Nelson Daily.

“Our current Traditional Chinese Medicine programs have been in existence for 20 years and this is our next step, implementing this KRMT program in January of 2017.”

There is a great demand for these programs in the Kootenays, and Sinclaire has already received a positive response from local businesses and said that by September of next year the program should have full classes of 20 students.

“We’ve had several local businesses, like spas, suggest that there is growing demand for RMTs not being filled in our area, and our market research indicates that we’d have no problem maintaining enough enrolment,” she said.

“Certainly when we start in January we may have a smaller class…but by September of next year we should have no problem filling those seats.”

Massage therapy is only the beginning, according to Sinclaire. The program aims to eventually expand to other areas such as holistic nutrition and integrative medicine, but those will all be programs that will probably be several years down the road.

For more information, such as how and where to apply to the program, please check out the school link.

Or interested students can head down to their offices upstairs at 402 Baker Street to chat in person and check out the facilities.

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