My name is Chris Caddey and I am a Registered Massage Therapist, Neurofunctional Acupuncture Provider and Osteopath (candidate).
I am definitely not your average Massage Therapist and you won't see me doing "massages". I like to consider myself that “last resort” manual therapist – the one who gives people hope and answers after they have failed the textbook approach to treatment. Here's how I got to this point!
Growing up, the only thing that truly made sense to me was sport.
I struggled academically, never really seeing the return on my investment. English was a bore and chatting with my friends seemed more fun than solving math problems.
And so I filled my plate with all sports I could convince my parents to let me join – I played high-level soccer, track & field, and hockey while at the same time working on my family’s dairy farm.
It was in the barn and on the track that things truly made sense to me – the harder you work, the better your results.
Straightforward… or so I thought.
As the years passed, my approach to sport was put to the test as I became ridden with injuries.
My growing list of injuries eventually became a significant burden – restricting my ability to compete and keeping me away from the one place that had always made the most sense to me.
Not being able to compete and train was really hard on me mentally. I struggled to come to terms with the fact that my body couldn’t keep up to what my mind wanted to accomplish.
Since pushing through was no longer cutting it, I became obsessed about why and how these injuries were happening. I did a deep dive into all of the information I could find about my injuries.
In no time I became a walking encyclopedia of sports injuries and anatomical terms. I became so fascinated by the human body that in my grade 12 year, I decided to take exercise science – EVEN THOUGH it was considered one of the most challenging classes in my high-school and EVEN THOUGH I still held the belief that I struggled academically… but I was so intrigued and I knew I needed to know more, so I jumped in full force.
As it turns out, I excelled in that class. I loved that it was practical. I could apply what I was learning to myself and it all made so much sense.
I instantly knew I was meant to work in a rehab profession. I ended up attending the 3-year massage therapy school at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario while also doing competitive running.
The beauty of running is that it involves hard work to be good AND involves analyzing biomechanics to perfect the motion of each step – both areas I excelled at and which helped me become a:
3x all Ontario athlete
1x all Canadian athlete
2x Ontario medalist
1x national silver medalist
As I finished my second year, I was excelling in school and had mastered the craft of running … or so I thought.
Coming into my third year of the fall cross country season I was in the best shape of my life – ready to compete and lead the team to something the school hasn’t done in 25 years – a medal at provincials.
A few weeks prior to the start of the season, I had a sharp pain in my hamstring. I was completely desperate to get this situation sorted, so that I would be ready to compete.
So, I made appointments to see different therapists to get things fixed. They all gave me a textbook diagnosis (sciatica) and told me to “floss” my nerve … but none of them could tell me WHY it was happening.
It just didn’t make sense to me. How could someone effectively treat something if they didn’t know why it was happening?
The search for A better way.
This experience led me to question how effective our system of rehab therapy really is.
The people I had seen seemed to each be following the same textbook that all gave them the same answer based on my area of complaint.
This really frustrated me and so I went to a professor in my program who referred me to 2 therapists: one was a chiropractor and one was a massage therapist.
They both were very untraditional in their approach, and this opened my eyes up to a world that I didn’t know existed.
After 3 weeks of visiting these two therapists, I had gained a lot more insight into my problem and had a clear plan for moving forward – one that was not recipe-based and actually made sense. During their thorough assessment, I realized I had a high ankle sprain weeks prior to this hamstring discomfort which helped explain why this hamstring problem started seemingly “out of nowhere”.
Unfortunately, I was not fully recovered in time for the season but I was healthy enough to run through my injury and achieve my goal of getting Mohawk college a bronze medal in the provincial championship for the first time in 25 years!
After my season of rehabbing my injuries I asked both of my therapists if I could shadow them for the rest of the school year and they both took me on.
In observing them and their unique way of treating, I realized how I could really make a difference in the manual therapy world.
My work didn’t need to follow the textbook.
I could use my mind, problem solving abilities, competitive experience and manual therapy skills to truly make a difference in people’s lives.
Non-traditional massage therapy.
From there I decided that I wanted to be that “last resort” manual therapist – the one who gives people hope and answers after failing the textbook approach to treatment.
After I graduated from Mohawk, I continued with my studies and worked hard to get a more in-depth understanding of human physiology and anatomy. I have met some amazing people in the last 8 years that I have been incredibly lucky to shadow under numerous other practitioners (including Kristin!!) who each have a unique way of practicing but who have similar and powerful mindsets.
As a therapist, I know that it’s an honour that clients are willing to trust me with their health and wellness. There is no better feeling than seeing clients change for the better from my own hands and mind.
I look forward to being the one to give you answers and hope so that you can get back to doing the things you love, now and for the rest of your life!