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The NHPC is a member-driven association that supports and advocates for its members. A lot goes on behind the scenes to make that happen, ensuring members receive valuable benefits and services as seamlessly as possible.
NHPC board president Pete Swales recalls his journey of finding holistic health and ultimately connecting to the Association in an unexpected way.
Before Pete began working in the holistic health field, he was employed with the RCMP. While working in this field, Pete's wife asked him to attend a "massage basics" course with her.
"I was hesitant to go. I had never even received a massage before and only had a very basic understanding of the practice," says Pete. However, he decided to join Crystal on the course. "It's a good thing I love her so much!" jokes Pete.
During the course, Pete and Crystal learned basic techniques to help each other unwind and relieve stress. "When I felt Crystal relax under my touch, it was a true turning point in my life," explains Pete.
Massage therapy and other touch-based practices came naturally to him. Shortly after finishing the course, Pete received a flyer in the mail for reflexology training. "I really felt it was kismet," says Pete. His holistic health journey grew from there.
Pete became educated in massage therapy, reflexology, and reiki. He began his practice in 1995 and joined the NHPC at that time.
A quarter of a century of continued education, hard work, and diligence has helped Pete build a very successful business in Red Deer, AB. In fact, his clinic won the Southern Alberta's 2018 Consumer Choice Award for Best in Massage Therapy.
"It was an unexpected and heart-warming surprise," says Pete. "I am extremely proud of my dedicated team and the professionalism they bring to the holistic health field."
The process for being nominated for a Consumer Choice Award includes an analysis of the businesses online reviews, their social media posts, and how the company handles complaints.
After that review, a series of surveys are completed by consumers and other business owners to determine how well the business meets the needs and satisfies the expectations of consumers.
"I believe we won this award because of the high level of service and expertise we offer our clients," says Pete. "I offer mentorship to the practitioners who work for me; I believe that connection and care flows into the relationship we build with our customers."
In addition to running his busy practice, Pete also contributes to the NHPC Board of Directors as President.
"When I first joined the Board, I was shocked at how much I didn't know," explains Pete. "As a practitioner, I had no idea of the level of work that went into providing the services I enjoyed as a member."
Pete expresses that he feels fortunate to work with the current board, a team that is collaborative, open, and holistically minded. Together they embrace the rich history of the Association — both triumphs and obstacles — and a lively vision of the future to create innovative initiatives that benefit the NHPC membership.
"Joining the Board of Directors is definitely a commitment," says Pete. "However, it is also tremendously rewarding. I would recommend it to anyone who is called to support the advancement of holistic health in Canada"
During his time on the Board, Pete has seen reduced membership fees, new partnerships, more additions to the discount provider program, increased recognition by the insurance industry, and the growth of the NHPC renowned annual conference. NHPC advocacy to governments has also advanced regulation in the prairie provinces.
This year, the NHPC celebrates 30 years of educating the public about the benefits of holistic practices, advocating for its members to all levels of government and the insurance industry, and strengthening professional standards within the field. The NHPC community is over 6,300 members strong and reaches across the country.
The NHPC offers its members several opportunities to contribute to Association initiatives. The commitment from its volunteers allows the NHPC to make great strides toward furthering holistic health care in Canada.