Andrew graduated from Sutherland-Chan in 1997 and immediately began work in a multi-disciplinary medical clinic located in downtown Toronto. He was fortunate enough to be evaluating and treating clients with a variety of conditions and concerns. He was able to apply his skills with a group of health professionals that would come together every two to three days in order to discuss the various concerns of the client base. Discussions ranging from the treatment of compromised circulation due to Diabetes or the altered biomechanics necessitated by a series of vertebral fractures were not unusual and helped to solidify his commitment to a treatment or medical model of massage therapy.
In 1998 he expanded his work and joined the Sutherland-Chan professional clinics and helped to open the Metro Centre Clinic. He worked there on a part time basis in order to work and research with a number of fellow massage therapists. This helped him to maintain, expand, and deepen his understanding of manual therapies as they may be applied to a non-fragile client base. It also afforded him the unique opportunity of attending several small seminars and treatment tutorials with Grace Chan an acknowledged leader in the massage and manual medicine field. At the same time he also branched out and opened his own single room practice in the Yonge and Eglinton area. In December of 2003 Andrew had the opportunity to view a space just north of Yonge and Eglinton. The space seemed big enough for the kind of clinic he had been thinking of for some time and so he opened The Body Wise on December 03/2003 at 2409 Yonge St. #300.
The Body Wise incorporates several components that Andrew believes are key to a successful treatment based alternative medicine clinic. The reception area is calm with various pieces of Art hanging on the wall with comfortable seating. Art, whether it is visual, aural or written has the primary purpose of taking our everyday viewpoint and expanding it to encompass something greater than ourselves. In that way it supplies perspective, or to put it another way, it allows us to view the world as someone different, or from an objective viewpoint. Often that different viewpoint can be a relief from the close 'skins-eye' viewpoint we are used to. Then there is the final piece of the puzzle: the client centered philosophy. This means that Andrew insists that his clinic operate on the premise that the clients needs come first. If he or one of the practitioners at The Body Wise realizes that they either can't help you or the treatment is being less than effective they will find the right person or therapy for you.
The Body Wise is located in the heart of North Toronto and is accessible both by car (lots of parking) and the subway. Just downstairs is "FitFix", a group of highly trained rehabilitation fitness professionals. Right next door is a chiropractor and downstairs is Delineation, one of the cities top hair and skin retail outlet that also includes a top hair salon and spa. You have the total package available within steps of each other.
Before entering the healthcare field Andrew worked as an actor and stuntman across the country in theatre, film and television. While involved with theatre from a young age he began a lifelong love of the martial arts and in 1990 after working with several different styles discovered Tai Chi Chuan and has been studying and subsequently teaching it ever since. The Rising Sun School uses four inter-related approaches to the Art; the Exercise (the long form you see in the park); the Philosophy (The Tao Te Ching); the Boxing (fast sparring without gloves using strikes, blocks, and leverage techniques), and the Medicine (traditional Chinese folk medicine). This study has given Andrew a number of tools not generally seen with a traditional Swedish massage practitioner. The medicine study includes facets of Tui Na (Chinese massage), Mofa shiatsu (Japanese massage), as well as lineaments that are particular to this type of work. The long form work has long been used in eastern physical rehabilitation while the philosophy provides a context for personal healing through use of the mind-body connection. Andrew has been very fortunate to study with Sifu Paul E. McCaughey the master teacher at The Rising Sun School of Tai Chi Chuan.
As he began to take those studies more seriously Andrew began to work as a Standardized Patient for the Clinical Skills Unit at the University of Toronto Medical School (CSAU). He soon graduated to becoming a Patient Trainer and was then asked to join the Cross-Cultural Communication workshop and the Inter-professional Communication Workshop with Dr. Cleo Boyd and Dr. Brian Hodges. These workshops were run by the University in order to develop and subsequently implement new Objectively Structured Clinical Evaluation cases for the International Medical Graduate Program with CSAU and the Canadian Medical Council Qualifying Exam Part 2. He found this experience invaluable when he accepted the post of Examinations Officer with The College of Massage Therapist of Ontario from March of 2001 until June of 2006. He oversaw the creation and content of the provincial licensing examination as well as training both the examiners and clients that evaluate all the massage therapy graduates from across the province.
One of the tools that he discovered was missing from his own education was a more in-depth understanding of the effects of active exercise on the rehabilitation of common musculoskeletal injuries found in athletes. To correct this he pursued and obtained his Certified Personal Trainer from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA-CPT), one of the top certification bodies in North America.
Andrew recently stepped down as the Vice chair of the Registered Massage Therapits' Association of Ontario. He also works as an Expert Witness for the CMTO and various law enforcement agency's across Ontario.
Andrew invites you to please drop by the clinic and have a chat. He welcomes all questions and comments.