By: Josh Wegman

Emilie McKay received the Gold Award after winning the 2012 practitioner case report contest. McKay will be heading to Boston to present her findings.

Algonquin grad Emilie McKay recently took home the Grand Prize Gold Award after winning the 2012 Practitioner Case Report Contest awarded by the Massage Therapy Foundation.

“Winning this award was a huge honour,” said McKay, who graduated from the massage therapy program last year.  “I was stunned when I found out I won, just lost for words.”

McKay will be receiving $2,500 contingent upon undergoing the peer review process with a scientific publication for her report entitled “assessing the effectiveness of massage therapy for bilateral cleft lip reconstruction scars.”

“I really haven’t thought about what I’m going to do with the money yet,” said McKay, an Ottawa native.  “I’ll probably just put it in savings.”

In late April, McKay will be heading to Boston, Mass. to present her paper at the 2013 International Massage Therapy Research Conference hosted by the Massage Therapy Foundation.  In addition to the $2,500, McKay will be receiving $1,000 from the Massage Therapy Foundation to pay for her trip to Boston.

“I’ve never been to Boston before, so I’m very excited to go,” said McKay.  “I was a little nervous at first but I’m much more relaxed now.

“I’m just excited to present my paper to a group of people who share the same interest as I do.”

Pam Fitch, the faculty and clinical outreach coordinator at Algonquin’s massage therapy program, over saw the entire case in which McKay won.

“She took the report and ran with it,” said Fitch.  “She’s very self-motivated.”

McKay used video assessments and fewer treatments than usual to improve a bilateral cleft lip.

“This is a very interesting condition,” said Fitch.  “Massage therapists are rarely asked to do this.”

McKay’s co-workers at Body Poets Massage Therapy agree that she is well deserving of the award.

“She’s very smart and inquisitive,” said registered massage therapist and co-worker Angus Henry.  “She’s always willing to look deeper into the issue.”

McKay specializes in scar tissue rehabilitation, sports massage and massages to help people who have been in motor vehicle accidents.

“I wanted to become a massage therapist so I could help people,” said McKay.  “I also love anatomy and physiology.”

McKay’s award winning report came without any type of writing background.

“There are a lot of engineers in my family, so my background in researching might have helped,” said McKay.

McKay has already accomplished so much at such an early part of her career.

“She has a long career ahead of her,” said Henry.