Growing up in Traralgon I spent a lot of my time playing outside, riding my bike, climbing trees, playing cricket in the court around the corner from home or kicking the football out on the street (the streets were a bit more quiet back then!).
I was pretty active and loved being hands on with everything… I’d try building things, tinkering with random things Dad had in the garage, figuring out how things work.
I also spent a lot of time during and post high school playing in bands, some guitar but mostly bass and backing vocals (once I got passed the whole being scared to sing in front of people bit, which is funny considering we still have family gatherings with the Filipino half of the family and fight over the microphones during karaoke haha). So my late teens and my 20’s I spent plenty of time rehearsing and playing gigs in some sweet (and some seedy) venues. It was heaps of fun and it’s something I miss doing.
Once high school was done and dusted I decided to move to Melbourne. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do and eventually my uncle suggested I start an electrical apprenticeship. He was a sparky and my cousin was already half way through his apprenticeship, and I thought, why not! I completed my apprenticeship, got my qualification and off I went.
I then fell into building maintenance and ended up in commercial facilities management. I managed a variety of buildings in Port Melbourne, St Kilda Road, Docklands and the Melbourne CBD. I managed trades, tenants, owners, planned maintenance, breakdowns, fitouts, and learned a lot about all the various components (HVAC, plumbing, fire services, security, cleaning, landscaping, access control, generators etc.).
… so how on earth did I end up doing remedial massage and myotherapy?! It was actually back when I was 16 years old, I had a massage with a massage therapist in a small town, Toongabbie. I had no idea what to expect, but this kind and petite lady (who turned out to have hands of steel, well it felt like it anyway) gave me my first massage. I felt amazing, even though she knew where to find the sore spots! I thought, this is great, who wouldn’t want a massage?!
Years later I went to an information day with a friend and somehow ended up in a massage course info session to see what it was all about. After that, I signed up to study part time (whilst continuing to work full time) and I was on my way. I completed my remedial massage and a few years later in 2011 I completed myotherapy.
Since then I have spent time working on the side for myself, contracting, corporate work, mobile massage then onto working in clinics with various practitioners such as physios, osteos, podiatrists and other remedial massage and myotherapy practitioners. I now work exclusively at our Burwood studio since stopping my full time role as a commercial facilities management work around 3 years ago.
In the beginning, I was drawn to massage for the relaxing effect it has on the body and nervous system. It’s an opportunity to give the body the time and space it needs to de-stress from getting constantly trashed during the day to days of life. We’re constantly putting our bodies through the ringer with little thought of rest or recovery. We just expect our bodies to keep grinding away as instructed. Eventually the body will let you know, be it with pain, discomfort or other signs, that it’s time for a change, a rest, some TLC. Regular massage helps reduce cortisol (stress hormone) in the body and provides relaxation to the autonomic nervous system (the autonomic nervous control involuntary functions such as breathing, the heartbeat, and digestive processes), plus it just feels nice and relaxing.
I then went on to study myotherapy which dives more in-depth around physical assessment, understanding bio-mechanics and how everything works together as a team, be it joints, muscles, soft tissues and the nervous system, to name a few.
I still love working hands on and trying to figure out how things work. Going forward the plan is to continue learning, tinkering and doing my best to help people improve their physical health and encourage them to look after their bodies.