What lead you to become a massage therapist?
I'm the type of person that can't sit all day. I've always been a really active person and I like using my hands, and have always massaged myself and friends, family etc. I started off doing a weekend relaxation massage course and got hooked. I wanted to learn more about the body as I found it fascinating. I went on to do a 2 year sports diploma and still love what I do and am always learning more. I love helping people whether it be out of pain from injury or simply to help them relax.
What does it take to become a really good massage therapist?
Listening to the client helping them achieve their goals whether it be wanting to finish a marathon, helping them recover from an injury or to destress. Having empathy and understanding what they want. Helping the client have more awareness of their body to prevent future injury. A bit of good banter helps to ;)
I see a great variety of clients at bodyneed. From young to old, from weekend warrior to elite athletes – to nuns. Usually their goal is the same – to continue doing what they love. One of my clients have been coming religiously since I started at bodyneed. He is an ultra runner and has recently gone to Canada to participate in a race in freezing conditions. His training schedule has been insane at times. He has had to trained in Wanaka so that he had the same temperatures as race conditions. Everything from changing to snow shoes to prevent frostbite to packing only a certain amount that you can carry. Helping him through his journey has been awesome. At times calling him crazy but I admire his determination and drive.
What do you do to stay fit and active for life?
Running has always been part of my life. From winning cross country in primary school to completing half marathons I've always loved it. Running in the Waitakeres for me is bliss. I grew up out west and have always had that as my playground - pretty lucky to have that vast bush at my doorstep. So hiking or running tracks has always been a part of my life. My favourite track is Zion Hill Track, just because I love Karekare Beach (and there are too many tracks to choose from!).
The first hike I went on was at 3rd form camp, and we did Omanawanui Track at Whatipu. I loved being in the dense bush and only the hearing the sounds of tuis. Despite being the clumsy person I am rolling my ankle, that started my love for hiking and then eventually running.
I mix it up though, I love anything active. Hiking, paddle boarding, HIIT, hot yoga - I like to get my sweat on.
What is your best advice to our readers how to stay fit and active for life?
I have learnt a lot over the past 5 years being a massage therapist that recovery is so important, especially having had a few injuries myself. Listening to your body is key, if something doesn't feel right it's probably not. Moving is the best way to maintain a healthy and functioning body, getting up from your desk for a quick stretch and walk.