Q+A with Emma Followes – R.M.T & Yoga Instructor, Long Branch

We first met Emma at our local F45 in New Toronto. Pumping weights together, we found out that Emma takes pride in self-care and helping others feel their best through her career in massage therapy and yoga instructing. Her goal is to help people move more comfortably and easily and help them feel their absolute best. We asked Emma some questions about her two practices below.

Q. Hi Emma, what drives your passion for choosing a career in massage therapy? How long have you been a R.M.T and what did you do before?

A. Most massage therapists will tell you that the passion comes from wanting to help people. And I am no different! It is so satisfying to have clients report how great they feel after a massage and more importantly how it helps them long term and gets them back to doing their regular activities. My career as an RMT began at the beginning of 2020 (right before the pandemic!). Before that I worked in the environmental field, 14 years with the provincial government and 3 with the conservation authority. So yes, a huge career change ‘late’ in life was scary but so rewarding!

Q. Where do you teach yoga and do massage? Do you offer private classes? Retreats? Tell us more!

A. My massage clinic is in my home in Long Branch. We renovated our basement so I’ve got a great space down there. When the rules allow, we even have an infrared sauna that I can incorporate into the massage treatment! I offer private and 2-person yoga in the same space and I also teach virtually with Breathe Yoga Studio on Thursday evenings. I did my yoga teacher training with them in 2012. I led one yoga retreat prior to the pandemic with a fellow yoga instructor/RMT which was in beautiful Northumberland County. Once things open up and we can all move more freely, we are in discussions about hosting one somewhere more exotic (Peru, Bali..?!) Once that is organized, details will be on my website!

Q. How do you help individuals achieve their goals when it comes to feeling their best?

A. It all starts with a health history and questionnaire prior to the first appointment. We then have a good chat at the first appointment about how things are feeling, the types of activities the person does, their work, stress levels, sleep patterns, etc. I will do some assessment prior to the treatment and then it’s time for a great massage! Afterwards I ‘assign’ some exercises/stretches/self-care to help the effects of the massage last but more importantly to work towards both the short-term and long-term goals of the client. We continue to work together and modify as things progress.

Q. What different types of services do you offer to Clients?

A. I offer 30, 45, 60, 75 or 90-minute treatments. They can be general Swedish massage with varying amounts of pressure depending on how things feel and the client’s preferences, or they can be more sports-style massage with more movement and stretching happening on the table. As mentioned earlier, the infrared sauna is just waiting for restrictions to be lifted! I also offer pre and post-natal massage. I will be doing some extensive training in the fall for lymphatic drainage which is beneficial for clients with lymphedema. I also plan on taking Thai yoga massage training in the future!

Q. What Covid-19 safety measures have you implemented into your practice?

A. I have implemented many policies and procedures, based on the guidance of my regulator, the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario, and the Ministry of Health in order to keep my patients as safe as possible. This includes enhanced COVID-19 screening procedures, increased cleaning and disinfecting, focusing on hand hygiene and altering my clinic space, as well as wearing a mask throughout the treatment and asking clients to do the same. I am also fully vaccinated. Specific details can be found on my website:  https://emmafollowes.com/blog/covid-19-policies-and-procedures

Q. We know you like working out! What other kinds of things do you like to do to unwind?

A. I do like working out and have done my best to create a home gym during the pandemic but certainly miss the vibe of working hard with other people. I also love to walk my dog, hike, garden and cook.

Q. With Ontario entering Step 2, do you have any plans for the summer?

A. Yes! We are heading to a friends’ cottage for an extended July 1 weekend where we will swim, kayak, paddleboard and relax on the dock! We also do an annual camping trip in the fall with other friends and their kids so we are heading to Killarney Provincial Park in September. I’m sure we will do a bunch of other local trips throughout the summer but we will also spend lots of time here in Long Branch which has so much to offer in the summer!

Q. What book are you reading right now?

A. I usually read fiction but I am currently reading Michelle Obama’s book ‘Becoming’. If you needed any more proof that she is an amazing human, the book just confirms it!

Q. You live in Long Branch, what do you love most about living here?

A. Hardly a day goes by when I don’t walk down to the lake and look out at the horizon and think, I am so lucky to live here. Having public access to the lake is such a privilege as are the trails and parks that are right on the doorstep. Our neighbours are so wonderful and everyone looks out for each other which is especially touching during a pandemic. We have lived here for 12 years (we were in Mimico before) and it has been so exciting to see all the new restaurants come into the neighbourhood. There is such great variety and it is a happy and delicious mission to try them all!

Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us! We look forward to seeing you back at the gym soon!

For anyone looking to speak with Emma or receive a massage service or do a yoga class, contact Emma here: [email protected] or 647.462.7961. You can also learn more about her at www.emmafollowes.com and follow her on Instagram @emmafollowesrmt