Local Health Professional's Quest to End Bad Massages at Home
Sick of your partner giving you a half-hearted two-minute back "massage" at the
end of a busy day?
Then Queen Elizabeth College Adult Continuing Education Night School has the answer
The night school offers a massage course taught by local naturopath and aromatherapist
Paula Harris. Enrolments are taken in pairs with a maximum of 12 learners for each
course, to ensure that everyone is comfortable, with a fee of $68 per pair. The
course is offered over six evenings or two Saturdays; the next course starts on
Wednesday February 21 at 7pm.
Paula says that the pairs are often made up of couples or female friends looking
to learn a new skill, but she also has mother-daughter pairs attend the course wanting
to do something together. Some have never had a massage before, while others want
to polish their under-used skills.
With over ten years of massage experience, Paula has been teaching the night school
massage course for three years and relishes the opportunity of getting people hooked
on massage; "I love massaging. I love being massaged. And I love teaching people
how to massage. It's a wonderful skill to have and share".
Things have changed quite a bit since Paula originally trained in massage: "When
I trained, massage was considered by most people to be a bit, well, dodgy. These
days massage is much more a part of the mainstream and accepted. It's not just for
sportspeople and sore backs – people now see it as a part of dealing with stress,
as a part of their health maintenance".
Paula opened her current business, Elements Natural Therapy, in 1998; originally
it was a side-line to her other part-time work, but now it is her full-time occupation
"with a little teaching to keep me out of mischief".
Her main focus is on massage to aid relaxation ("Because I love it – I always think
snoring is a compliment"), using three different styles - aromatherapy massage,
a style which has evolved from various influences; Hawaiian lomilomi massage, a
traditional, flowing massage which uses hands and forearms; and Pohaku hot stone
massage, a spa-style massage using warm stones and with a strong Hawaiian influence.
The Guardian – February 15 2007