I am feeling pretty blessed to have chosen the path of Holistic Therapist, a career that began nearly 20 years ago.
During the late nineties, as I approached turning 20, my life was very different. I smoked cigarettes and weed, drank in excess and worked in Hospitality. I went pubbing on week nights and clubbing to the wee hours of the morning. Life was pretty fun. And hazy. I had no real direction or clue to my future (lets face it, at 20, who does?). I had deferred a Commerce degree, started and quit a Marketing Diploma. I had even decided to go back and do my Year 12 English studies in the hope of becoming a Journalist or Writer one day.
My BFF and house mate had recently come out and I was in between boyfriends. I enjoyed hanging out with her and getting to know the GLBT community in Perth. During this time I met a really interesting Man who was 5 years older than myself. We clicked on many levels and had a pretty intense romantic relationship for 3 months. This Man was studying Shiatsu - Japanese Massage in Fremantle. He would meditate often. He didn't drink, but enjoyed hallucinogenics. I swapped my late boozy nights out for dinner parties and meaningful deep (and sometimes trippy) conversations, opting to get up at 5am and head to Swanbourne for early morning Yoga on Saturdays with recently passed Yogi Sam Weinstein.
Those 3 months were intense and transformative. I received many Shiatsu student treatments and loved it. Being more clear headed, I began to make a connection between my own ability to give healing touch and enrolled in an Introduction to Swedish Massage in 1998. I had just tuned 20 and my life suddenly felt lighter. Although, my Shiatsu friend broke off our intense relationship to travel across the Nullabor.
What followed was a year long journey of discovering Louise Hay's You Can Heal Your Life, attending a Reiki I attunement, and the beginning of my love of journaling and creating vision boards. I was still working in Hospitality and participating in some not so healthy habits, but I was beginning to get clear about what I would do with my life. Towards the end of 1998, I put in an application to Tafe to study 2 years Full Time and become a Massage Therapist. I graduated at the end of 2000, feeling super happy to have finally completed a course and proud as punch at having landed my first real Massage Job in Fremantle.
During my 2 year Massage course, one of my fellow students fell pregnant with her first child. I was in awe. She was 7 years older than I and I really looked up to her. We were in our second year, her baby was due in October. I took this as my learning opportunity and made sure I partnered up with her for all of our Prac classes. I researched and asked questions. I witnessed her body changing, adapting to the growing baby inside. I made aromatherapy blends and belly rubs. I fell in love with Pregnancy Massage, and new that I would be doing more of this. I also had a vision at this point of my life in the future, and how I was making a pretty good career choice that was conducive to raising a family...a strange thought to have at age 22.
My pregnant student friend left the course to go on to Maternity leave. I took it upon myself to offer her mobile treatments, a combination of massage and foot reflexology. She loved it. I visited her for a session, 2 days before she was officially 40 weeks pregnant. She called me 2 days later to say that she had had the baby. I was elated. And took this experience and knowledge with me into my first Massage job in Fremantle.
Yet at the age of 23, I felt inexperienced and nervous about taking my new Pregnancy Massage skills and love into the clinic. I often wondered why people would want to receive Massage from me, I was young, with relatively little life experience, or so I thought. However, the appointment books reflected otherwise, and I quickly built up a reputation and loyal client based built upon my ability to get results. Unfortunately it was my self doubt and seeking something more that lead to my eventual burn out 2 years later.
Somewhere between 2000 - 2002, I believed that I needed more credibility. I kept my full time job in Fremantle, and took on 3 extra Massage shifts at Subiaco Sports Massage. I also volunteered at every event and opportunity I got and participated in very little self care...I still had my bad habits of smoking, boozing and staying out late. Needless to say, it was no surprise (well in hindsight that is) when I found myself crying to my GP, overwhelmed, tired, body aching and not sleeping well. I had completed around 60 Massage treatments consecutively with only one day off each week. All of these treatments were heavy, sports and remedial based treatments. I had burnout. my GP prescribed antidepressants. I took the script and stumbled into an old friend of a friend (from the Shiatsu boyfriend days) who suggested Acupuncture and tissue salts.
I was keen to try anything. I felt like a failure and a fraud. I quit all volunteer work and my second Massage job. I cut back on my shifts in Fremantle and ended up helping a lovely couple set up their cafe in South Fremantle. Aubergine was my respite. My healing. I met lovely people and rested my tired body. I quit the Massage job in Fremantle after starting my career there nearly 2 years previous. And took up working for myself. I had no more than 5 mobile clients a week. And it was just perfect. I built a life around the South Freo cafe scene and my Massage, adapting my style to suit me. It was more open, it was slower in pace and I spent more time tuning in and listening to the body. I created aromatherapy blends for each client and I incorporated Foot Reflexology into my bodywork sessions.
The ten years that followed, saw me getting married, bearing 2 children and building a life that allowed me the flexibility to continue to Massage, nurture my family and myself. We moved to Margaret River. I took a lease on a room and watched my practice grow and grow organically, holistically. And whilst my clinic emphasis was on Remedial Massage, I maintained a Holistic approach, incorporating more and more tools into my own Self Care, which enabled me to grow as a Practitioner and survive some pretty stressful personal and business experiences...but that is for another story.
Today, my work is based purely upon Holistic Therapy philosophy. I trust in my ability based on experience, health science and intuition. I have birthed 3 children naturally. I have had illnesses and injuries that have stressed my body and have found ways to move through this. I believe in my work, facilitating stress release and promoting harmony and balance for body, mind and soul. This remains at the heart of the service I deliver to my clients, and for myself. I am so honoured to provide healing touch to the community. For it is through this touch, this connection that we begin to heal within, and extend this into our own lives and the greater community...less stress, more you.