Written by Endeavour College of Natural Health | Wednesday, 15 June 2022
Endeavour academic Paul McCann appreciates sharing 30 years of experience with students, helping them navigate their way into sustainable natural health careers.
“Teaching makes you reflect on how much you’ve learnt and how far you’ve come,” Paul explained. “I transitioned very gradually into natural health. When I was younger, bodywork wasn’t a visible career. Thankfully, I had a couple of pivotal experiences that planted the seed.
“When I was 19, I saw a naturopath for the first time. She put me on a cleansing diet, which made me feel so good that I started to question what I was doing in my life.”
Then, in his early twenties, while in hospitality, Paul went travelling. In Edinburgh, he had a second experience that stopped him in his tracks. “I tried shiatsu and walked out of the treatment floating. I had such an energy release that I felt light and relaxed, and it caused me to reflect on my path in life again.”
“When I returned to Adelaide after travelling, I searched for how to align my career and my passions in life. I found a shiatsu therapist and asked her to take me on as an apprentice,” Paul said. “I did yoga, enrolled in a massage qualification, and studied anatomy. I’d found my groove.”
“I still wasn’t sure if I could make it a career. There were no bodywork clinics in Adelaide then. You had to create your path.”
Create his path, Paul did. Still working in hospitality, he gradually built up his client base from home, constantly attending courses and drawing inspiration from a mentor who had come from a similar background.
“I love the ability to grow and evolve as a therapist in this career,” Paul said. “Natural health is a hugely diverse profession, and you can explore many different paths. I also love that my career knowledge enhances my health, and I can use it to help and serve others.”
Paul became involved in improving the industry, joining the Massage and Myotherapy Australia Board and becoming its President. Then, he moved into education. While he still practices one day a week and studies, now Paul’s focus is on supporting Endeavour students to make the most of their learning experience.
“Like all the Endeavour staff, I’m passionate about my profession and want to share my experience. I’ve reflected on what’s helped me maintain a long career in physical therapy. I hope this knowledge helps students while they’re learning and when they’re out in the industry.”
Meditation is an integral part of Paul’s approach. “You can’t get into this field without some awareness of meditation and mindfulness,” he said. “When I was in Scotland, I started Tai Chi. That is when I began to understand the importance of coming back into your body and being present and purposeful in your actions. In bodywork, you’ll burn out if you don’t include mindfulness as part of your practice.”
While he discovered the power of meditation many years ago, Paul recently completed formal training to become a mindfulness and meditation teacher. He now runs regular meditations for Endeavour staff, and you can discover his online sessions in the Insight Timer app.
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Endeavour College of Natural Health
Endeavour College of Natural Health is Australia's largest Higher Education provider of natural medicine courses.
The College is known as the centre of excellence for natural medicine and is respected for its internationally recognised academic teams and high calibre graduates. Endeavour offers Bachelor of Health Science degrees in Naturopathy, Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine, Acupuncture Therapies and Chinese Medicine, Undergraduate Certificates, a Diploma of Health Science and massage courses.