11 Oct Katie’s Story
How Katie came to be the amazing practitioner she is…
NB. If you’d like to hear more about Katie’s story in real-life click here to book in a sesh with the woman herself!
I started my journey to become a remedial massage practitioner, unknowingly, years before I studied massage!
To me, it feels like lots of different experiences through volunteering overseas, beginning (but not finishing) a degree in Nursing, and having always been drawn to people-focussed industries that led me to where I am today.
I definitely had a bit of a ‘light bulb’ moment when reflecting on a trip to India with an Air ambulance Paramedic, called Val.
I met her at a first aid training course. She would use her annual leave each year to take trips to Mumbai to visit centres for street children. She would raise money and take books, clothes, toys and medical supplies to much needed areas of poverty. She kindly (and quite casually) offered for me to go with her on her next trip. I could not refuse. So I spent some time with her, travelling around in her mobile street clinic van, through some of the large slums just outside the city of Mumbai.
There was one particular day that we drove out to a Leprosy home. The people there had been cast out of the community. They did not have visitors. I really didn’t do a whole lot that day besides offer some comforting touch, a stroke of their faces, washing their hair and a change of a dressing or two.
It was this brief time that was my first and most memorable realisation of the power of touch.
For these people who had felt no human contact in months or had anyone sit next to them, just feeling a hand on their own was enough to bring us all to tears. It cost me nothing, and it meant so much. This was a powerful and moving experience that has stuck in the forefront of my mind for years.
After this trip I thought “Yep… I know what I can do. I’ll be a nurse!”
I completed my first year of a nursing degree but I was still only 19 years old at this point. I didn’t seek out the help I needed to deal with my dyslexia and the dreaded assignment writing. I struggled with anything that wasn’t practically focussed and was told I would need to repeat my first year, despite glowing reports from my placements.
In hindsight, I was perhaps a little hasty with my decision to pack it all in and go back to the drawing board. But then, everything happens for a reason, right?!
From there I signed up to a volunteer charity which took me to Java, Indonesia first and then Glasgow. I worked in a learning centre for street kids in a town just outside of Malang. (The Glasgow leg of the trip I volunteered at a day centre for people with Multiple Sclerosis).
For each part, you were given a host family to live with while you went to work each day. It was a wonderful feeling to be a part of the local community, while seeing a pocket of the world I would never otherwise have found myself in!
It amazed me that so many of the children at the learning centre would be at school on time, every single day, ready and eager to learn, with no parents to encourage them or get them there!
What an inspiring bunch of little people they were. So happy, so affectionate and so thankful for what little they had. And here I found important life lesson #2… ‘Take delight in the small things, and try not to sweat the big stuff’!
It was also in Indonesia that I had my first massage from a blind student. They were training young people with no sight to massage. Amazing. As you can imagine, with a heightened sense of touch, these students were incredible therapists!
I decided to study Swedish massage on my return thinking “ I’d love to make my family and friends feel good” and what better way?!
I knew how wonderful I felt getting massages and it gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling thinking about being able to make other people feel that too.
I did some more travelling after that. A ski season in Banff, Canada (where I first met my soon to be husband!), a road trip along the west coast of America and then some time back in the UK, working in Learning support at a high school.
Actually writing this has made me feel very fortunate that I have had so many different jobs that have never felt like “work”. Lucky me!
I moved to Melbourne in 2010. I say ‘moved’, I actually came to explore and hang out for a while and I just never left Australia! (And I fell in love!)
I needed a reshuffle and to consider what skills I had that I could turn my hand to. I had forgotten until this point in time… I liked to massage!
I wanted to learn more about the body too. How fascinating to have this structure around us, that allows us to do all the things we do, and that that we sometimes forget to appreciate.
And so I studied Remedial Massage in Melbourne and after a short stint of working as a candle maker (for those that have had a treatment with me, you’ll know I love a candle or two!) I had finally found my niche!
One of the many great things about massage and being a remedial massage therapist is that you never stop learning, from your clients and your colleagues alike. About what works in a treatment, how muscles react to certain techniques and most importantly, I feel, about the deep connection between the body and mind.
Now my future hubby, our dog Larry (who is another separate blog worthy post all of his own) have moved to Adelaide to save for a house and be closer to family. And I found Clarity! And Clarity found me!
How fortuitous that I should move to a new city and find Sarah and the Clarity team. I feel extremely privileged to be a part of what Sarah has built so far. What a job… and what a ‘workplace’!
Thanks for reading my blog post. It’s a little longer than I intended it to be but a rather enjoyable and thought provoking process. I hope you’ve enjoyed what I’ve rattled off!
I’d love to hear the story of you! In person. On the table. While I knead away those knots!
If you’d like to hear more about Katie’s story and how she gained her amazing skills, click here to book in a remedial massage sesh with the woman herself!