Graduate Story - Nicole Sjardin01 Jun
2015 Tagged as
Posted by Evolve College News
After 20 years of bodywork training and service, Nicole sees the value of ongoing learning and education to support the quality and integrity that she can offer her clients.
What first interested you about massage?
I have always loved receiving massages, I have felt how incredibly supportive they can be. I have come to understand how important our bodies are for they can tell us so much. We just have to create some time and space to listen to our body and massage is a great way to do this.
How long have you been massaging?
I have been involved in doing bodywork for 20 years having trained in several modalities. Massaging for 4 years, I completed the Certificate IV qualification this year with Evolve and will go on to do my Diploma.
What do you enjoy most about massaging?
Massage can be an incredibly healing technique because it provides people with an opportunity to stop and reconnect to their bodies – to “check in”. From this people can build a stronger awareness of how they treat their bodies day to day. We can get so caught up in 'doing' that we forget about the impact this is having on our body.
What was your experience at Evolve like?
I found it to be a great balance of hands on, on campus learning and off campus learning with each section complimenting the other. There was plenty of support, integrity and passion from all staff and the trainers offered practical and supportive techniques to help students know the basics and provide a platform for us to develop our own style.
How have your studies at Evolve prepared you for work in the massage industry?
The studies at Evolve were incredibly thorough even though I had been doing bodywork for a long time I feel that the hands on style of learning and the Evolve curriculum really took my practice to the next level. It meant I was able to walk into a salon and set up a massage practice from scratch knowing that I had all areas covered. The instant someone walks into my room they can feel the level of care and attention I have paid to setting up a space that will truly support them to relax and reconnect.
The two things I appreciate the most were first the draping – the way Evolve College teaches this is incredibly supportive for both client and practitioner. Also being taught how to stand correctly at the table and having the awareness in my posture has been very supportive. I have massaged 6-8 people a day and not had any issues.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Having worked from home casually for the last eight years I was asked to come on as team member at Lisa Rose - Hair Body Beauty Salon in Cottesloe in WA. We opened the massage section and have had an incredible response with 80 people coming to the salon for massage in 4 weeks. The feedback has been very positive and I have had clients rebooking. So we are off to a great start.
What advice would you give aspiring massage therapists?
There is a need to show clients that there is a standard of practice that they should expect before they hand their bodies over to just anyone to massage. There are so many courses around bodywork and there are lots of people out there not doing a good job. As practitioners, I feel we can take the time to learn and consolidate our technique and consider carefully what sort of experience we want our client to have, and then don’t hold back! My experience is that clients really appreciate attention to detail. They notice that the room is warm and smells nice, the towels are soft and the table is set up for them. When I ask them to fill in a form they are surprised that I take it so seriously – but why wouldn’t I, I am about to work on their body and their body is important. They notice how I am with them and it all makes a difference.