Matthew Stewart

Matthew Stewart“I started at the college in 1996. I had previously completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Otago but my real interest at high school was science and sport. I competed in just about every sport that my high school fielded a team in!

After a stint in the workforce and a back injury I sustained while snowboarding, I reassessed the direction I wanted to go. Interests in sports combined with science and human biology and a desire to be in an environment that was active, away from a desk all pointed to therapeutic massage, and sports therapy.

The college was in Panmure back then and it had a great atmosphere and I have fond memories of the course, classmates and teachers. There must have been something special about that year because many of my classmates are still in the massage community in roles from owning multi-disciplinary clinics, working on Olympic, Commonwealth and World Championship level athletes to teaching around the world.

Soon after I completed diplomas in therapeutic massage and body therapies specialising in sports, I started work in Auckland at two aquatic and gym complexes. It wasn’t long before the travel bug hit again (I went to school in Africa and Hong Kong) and I spent 4 years overseas in India, Japan and the UK. In the UK, I found that the training from NZCM stood me in good stead and I worked in a multi-disciplinary clinic in London. After many conversations with a colleague at the clinic and subsequently investigating colleges in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, I decided to return home and study osteopathy at Unitec in Auckland.

Through my studies, I worked at the college part-time assisting on the weekend courses. Then last year I was offered a chance to teach first year musculoskeletal anatomy and later, take on the role of coordinating all the musculoskeletal courses and deliver some of the research methodology papers. It has been a great opportunity, especially as it wasn’t so long ago that I was on the other side of the classroom as a student!

In October 2007, I had the chance to represent the College at the 1st International Fascia Research Congress held at Harvard Medical School in Boston. There was a great buzz at this conference and it was huge! Not only that, the conference combined my interests of anatomy, fascia and research. It was also great to meet up with my old NZCM classmates Mark Finch, now practicing in Vancouver, BC; and Stu Wild, now in Boston. I think that proves that massage in New Zealand is at the forefront worldwide and has many possibilities.”