Lisa was raised on the East Coast of Canada. She developed an early interest in health growing up in a medical family. Her father and mother ran a successful medical practice from a home-based clinic. Lisa’s dad grew up in India and developed many methodologies to manage his current practice involving NLP (hypnosis) and meditation. It wasn’t just about medication, but compassion for his patients. He was ahead of his time. Lisa’s mom on the other hand developed her candy striping chapter in her area. She believed in patient care. Lisa says that explains why she developed so many tools for care because she learned firsthand from her parent tag team.
“A heart belongs in the system and this is where treatment has gone astray. Focus has been on diagnosing a condition and its symptoms, and not the individual that presents in front of us. My dad taught me this when I used to go on house calls with him. He would say, “This is Jim. Jim unfortunately had “x” happen to him and we will make sure he gets the care he needs. I still remember the medical bag in the jeep with the labrador in the back driving through country roads to see patients. It was our healing and fun time together”.
Lisa’s mom provided a compassionate ear for patients and would hold a hand or rock a newborn and relish every moment. “She was an inherently good person who cared about everyone who entered the clinic”.
Lisa has always been athletic and has competed in figure skating, track and field, and dance. She obtained an undergrad degree from Mount Allison University, considered Canada’s Harvard, a Diploma in Fashion Design at Sheridan College in Oakville, and a diploma from the West Coast College of Massage Therapy (WCCMT ) in Vancouver.
Lisa, outside of being an RMT, is a Certified Functional Nutrition Counselor (CFNC). This is an accredited program in the States that follows the Functional Medicine model of assessing a patient’s health from an individual’s unique terrain by honing in on inflammation, epigenetics, and digestion to discover the root cause(s) of any diagnosed condition or branch symptom. Lisa graduated top in her class achieving 100 percent on the certification exam. She consults in this area separate from her scope as an RMT. The nice thing about Functional Nutrition and being an RMT is that it’s important to remain up-to-date in the physiology of the human body to understand the web of interconnections between different body systems. By understanding these processes, one can educate patients about why they potentially developed their condition so they can make appropriate changes to help themselves. We are not just our “Diagnosis and signs and symptoms”; we are individuals that have a story that highlights how a condition might have started in the first place.
“Life to me is about continually learning, so we can better understand complexities that present to us each and every day”.
Lisa also graduated from WCCMT as one of the top students in her class and came out of the 3000-hour program with a strong core curriculum in manual therapy and clinical sciences. The misconception from some that “massage therapy” is just a massage could not be further from the truth. Registered Massage Therapy in British Columbia is regulated by the Health Professions Act and involves in-depth studies ranging but not limited to manual skills, anatomy, neuroanatomy, physiology, systemics, neurology, hydrotherapy, joint play (osteopathic), orthopedics, pharmacodynamics, kinesiology/therapeutic exercise, clinical assessment and nutrition, and research methodology and statistics. RMTs are Board examined in written and practicals in the province attesting to the strong evidence-based program. Lisa also obtained clinical internships during her program at George Pearson, G.F. Strong, Women’s and Children’s Hospital, MS Outreach, and UBC Sports Clinic.
Lisa has been lucky and has seen a broad base of patients over the past 20 years ranging from musicians, top executives from Fortune 500 groups, and dancers, to competitive athletes. She also works directly with other health care professionals focusing on a multi-modal approach to rehabilitation and has a BC Pain Certification on approaches to treating Chronic Pain. Lisa has seen a wide array of complex medical conditions over the past few decades which has given her the ability to offer patients decades of clinical expertise. She is also well-connected to other top allied practitioners should the need arise to refer patients to improve a clinical outcome.
Treatments combine several manual therapy techniques including but not limited to fascial work, kinesiology methods including open and closed chain exercises, active release therapy (ART), assisted stretching, contract-relax, reciprocal inhibition, trigger point release, joint play, various types of taping that include Functional Fascial (FFT) and Kinesiotaping (KT), and Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) to improve her clinical outcomes. All of Lisa’s treatments combine preventative exercises to help further complement the effects of her treatments. “I am only as good as the exercises I recommend as movement lends itself to a better recovery”.
Lisa was invited by the RMTBC to attend the Fourth World Fascial Research Congress in Washington, DC as an ambassador to BC RMTs and as a teaching assistant with Ron Alexander (Functional Fascial Taping Founder).
“Knowledge obtained from Conferences such as this helps manual therapists translate knowledge into evidence-based treatment methods that improve patient outcomes. We can’t be enslaved to research, but we must certainly be research aware and follow best practice techniques”.
Lisa is also actively involved in her community giving talks on the benefits of the spin-offs of a healthy lifestyle. Lisa has taught workshops to dancers, and other health care practitioners alongside Ron Alexander – Functional Fascial Taping.
In 2017, Lisa broke her leg on a kayaking trip and later developed CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome). Lisa understands how chronic pain feels and it has given her a deeper and more intimate understanding of what she learned about pain mechanisms in school and later in certifications with Pain BC Education Programs for Practitioners. Lisa is well aware that one must always check in with a patient as to how they feel. As an individual, they will present differently from anyone else because they came to the condition of having a story that is different from everyone else. As Michael J. Fox is quoted as saying,
“Ask the patient about their condition, because they are the best expert having lived with the condition”.
This is Lisa’s motto in treatment too, “we need to listen to the patient to ensure a therapeutic partnership exists so we understand the place they are coming from so our treatment approach is individualized”.
“Even though I am now in remission from CRPS, pain taught me how to be a better practitioner as I understand intimately what my patients may be going through. We are not defined by our pain and we can learn how to manage it effectively as long as we have a toolbox full of things that work for us. Our toolbox reduces our fear of a condition and gets us out of the painframe. I was lucky I was able to navigate the storm from having this background”.
Lisa resides on Vancouver Island with her husband, son, and their dog Loki a Norther Rescue Breed from Cross our Paws Rescue in Vancouver. She enjoys an active lifestyle. Her hobbies include continually studying (currently pursuing an M.A. in Neuroscience), reading, meditation, rollerblading, tennis, ping-pong, golf, traveling, snorkeling, and scuba diving. “These are my go-to’s from stress and we all need them”!
Fourth World Fascial Research Congress, Washington, D.C., 2015
“Dr. Robert Schleip, Ph.D., International Rolfing Instructor and International Fascial Anatomy Teacher, and Lisa Prosser-Watson, a B.C. RMT attending the 4th World Fascial Research Congress. Dr. Schleip was happy to have representation from BC RMTs and fondly remembers the 3rd World Fascial Research Congress in Vancouver. The World Fascial Research Congress helps to translate research into evidence-based techniques.
As Mrs. Watson states, “it is a one-of-a-kind conference that helps healthcare professionals who focus on soft tissue treatment to keep current with the latest academic knowledge on fascia improving our treatment outcomes. This knowledge helps continue to make BC RMTs a strong and integral part of the health care system in BC and Canada.”
Thank you to the RMTBC, and specifically to Harriet Hall (Past Head of Education RMTBC) and Brenda Locke (Past RMTBC President) for making this experience possible.