Get acquainted with our Faculty.
Darla graduated from Sutherland-Chan in 2005 and has been an instructor since 2009. Her subject area focus has been anatomy, clinical assessment, and pregnancy massage. Darla’s teaching philosophy involves encouraging students to take basic concepts and apply them to different areas of the body, encouraging them to work through their questions. This can be challenging but also makes the learning far greater. She tries to encourage students to use all of the learning styles (tactile, memorization, visual, etc.) in order to truly learn how the body works instead of simply reciting information. Ultimately, her goal is to inspire them to feel as passionately as she does about the massage profession!
Michael entered the profession as a Sutherland-Chan grad in 1984 and has been teaching at the school since 1988. Over the years he has taught numerous courses, primarily anatomy and related subjects (e.g., neurology, anatomy lab). You will often find him inspiring students with his extensive bone collection as well as by his ability to connect students to the material in creative ways. A student of movement-related bodies of work, Michael brings a wealth of critical understanding of the body and how it functions (or doesn’t) in everyday life.
Loida graduated from Sutherland-Chan in 2001 and has just recently joined the faculty. She specializes in deep tissue and sports massage and is certified in cranial-sacral therapy. Loida also has a background in kinesiology and believes in integrating her knowledge into a well-rounded approach to helping her clients. She utilizes a variety of techniques including myofascial release, general Swedish massage, trigger-point therapy, stretching, and hydrotherapy. Understanding that mental and physical stresses disrupt the normal balanced state of the body, Loida believes massage therapy along with other approaches, such as chiropractic, exercise and relaxation, restore balance and allow the body to heal itself and work efficiently. She looks forward to sharing her knowledge and experience with her students.
Debra graduated from Sutherland-Chan in 1984. Prior to becoming a massage therapist, she worked with homeless and troubled teenagers and taught Women’s Studies at the University of Toronto and York University. She began teaching at Sutherland-Chan in 1985 and continues to teach Pathology and Theory & Practice courses. She has also held the positions of Director of Education from 1985-1989 and Executive Director from 1995 to the present, and in 1998 became a co-owner with Grace Chan.
Debra has represented Sutherland-Chan in numerous organizational roles in the massage therapy profession in Ontario and Canada, as well as at the American Massage Therapy Association’s Council of Schools, of which she was President from 1995-1997, and the Massage Therapy Foundation, where she served as a trustee for four years. She is also a textbook and journal article author and a highly respected continuing education instructor. In 1998, Debra was the recipient of the Ontario Massage Therapy Association’s Meritorious Service Award, and in 2000, the AMTA Council of Schools Meritorious Service Award.
2006 alumnus Lesley Frow joined the Sutherland-Chan teaching team in 2008. The focus of her teaching is clinical assessment, remedial exercise and stroke rehabilitation; her clinical practice centres on sports injury rehab and involves interdisciplinary collaboration with chiropractors, physiotherapists and personal trainers. She strives to create an atmosphere in the classroom that is clear, energetic and promotes self development.
A 1996 Sutherland-Chan graduate, Sasha has been a member of the faculty team since 2006. Her academic teaching is focused on musculoskeletal dysfunction and disorders. Sasha has a passion for clinical instruction, supervising both student clinic and the breast massage specialty clinic. Her clinical practice is divided between a hospital setting and a private practice. Sasha is always expanding her skills through new courses and incorporates different approaches into her work. Most recently she received her certificate for Manual Lymphatic Drainage and Combined Decongestive Therapy and is currently enrolled in adult education courses. As a teacher, she believes that classroom experiences should promote therapeutic development and growth, spark enthusiasm and critical thinking, and encourage life-long learning.
Nelson graduated from Sutherland-Chan in 1998 and started teaching at the school in 2004. His teaching focus is sports massage and instructing in Student Clinic. Nelson describes his approach to the classroom as relaxed and guided exploration – sports massage provides a great opportunity to apply the principles of massage therapy in very different scenarios. His clinical practice is somewhat eclectic and includes work at a health club, a massage clinic, and providing corporate on-site treatments. In 2002, Nelson received the Massage Therapist of the Year award from Bally Total Fitness.
Ian has been an instructor at the school since 1998 and has at different times also taken on the roles of Clinical Coordinator and Chief Examiner. His teaching focus is business skills and clinical assessment – he also offers postgraduate training in these areas. An RMT since graduating from Sutherland-Chan in 1997, Ian operates a neighbourhood massage clinic with another RMT and contributes to the advancement of the profession through writing for Massage Therapy Today.
Following her 2007 graduation, Jes was the inaugural person in Sutherland-Chan’s Teaching Assistant program in January 2008. The main foundations of her practice are yoga, massage, energy therapies and acupuncture. She teaches massage techniques and therapist body awareness, and is involved in several aspects of the clinical program. For Jes, teaching is as much about continuous learning, and never becoming too attached to fixed ideas, as it is about sharing what you know. This is reflected in her hands-on approach in the clinics and practical classes, where her goal is to create an environment that is easy-going, fun and professional.
Linda began teaching at Sutherland-Chan in 1980 and has been in the profession since 1979. She currently runs a home-based practice that focuses on developing and deepening the self awareness of her clients so they can better connect with their bodies. She has a keen interest in working with people who are dealing with mental illness, end-of-life issues and bereavement. Her teaching areas are massage techniques and palliative care. In the classroom Linda does her best to support students’ curiosity and exploration, seeing learning as a collaborative process where she is the experienced guide.
Monica is a 2003 graduate of Sutherland-Chan and has been an instructor at the school since 2007. She teaches myofascial techniques, research methods and continuing education courses on the abdominal and pelvic viscera. Monica sees her teaching style as a collaborative process in which she and her students explore and examine knowledge, concepts and ideas with a critical eye. She encourages them to find and utilize current research as part of their path of professional growth. Monica is also an osteopathic manual practitioner and maintains a treatment-focused private practice working primarily with people with chronic conditions.
JP graduated from Sutherland-Chan in 2012 and actively volunteers his time to assist and supervise in the many events the school participates in. Before deciding to become a Massage Therapist, JP worked as a Rehabilitation Assistant for a rehabilitation clinic that specializes in neurorehab for 7 years where he was exposed to many different technologies and techniques used in the field. He practices at the Sutherland-Chan clinic and Bloor and Yonge and Aim2walk Rehabilitation Centre where he strives to grow as a practitioner and a clinician while learning from other healcare practitioners. JP hopes to share the same enthusiasm and enjoyment with his students in his Student Clinic at the school.
A 2000 Sutherland-Chan graduate and an instructor since 2002, Michelle’s main teaching areas are hydrotherapy and massage theory related to systemic conditions. She practices in a community-based multidisciplinary clinic focused on treating chronic conditions and sports injuries. Michelle’s history as a competitive swimmer – she participated in three Commonwealth Games – led to her awareness of the body and interest in becoming an RMT. In the classroom, Michelle passes on her passion for the work and makes every effort to connect with each student, adapting her teaching approach to the students’ needs and encouraging self exploration so they can better relate to the needs of their clients.