Well my mother Pat Farnsworth was doing well so I thought why not? I have a background in Dance and Beauty Therapy so I thought well if she can do massage as a mature age student then so can I.
Q. How long have you been massaging?
I graduated with NHA in 2002 with a Diploma in Remedial Massage and a Diploma in Myofascial Release. I have taken further course in Craniosacral Therapy.
Q. Why did you specialise in Myofascial Release as an undergraduate?
Well I enjoyed the massage side of things but Myofascial Release was something I really liked from the start and not just because Mum was teaching it –it was like I was working with the body and going with the flow. I liked because it is a major healing modality in it’s own right. Another reason I like it is that it is not so physically demanding so I can see more clients without getting tired.
Q. Why did you start the Natural Therapies at Kooyong clinic?
I was working for myself and doing well but felt the need to expand start a larger business so I can earn more to support my family. Now the business works for me on my days off!
Q. How many practitioners work with you at your clinic?
We have 8 practitioners at the moment. They all have different skills so we can cater for a wide variety of client needs. The clinic is open 6 days a week and we are in our fourth year now.
Q. Are they all NHA graduates that you employ?
No, not all. I have found as a business owner I do not favour any particular graduate but just choose the best applicant based on skills and personality, and of course who I think would fit best with the rest of the team.
Q. What advice would you give to aspiring massage therapists?
Firstly, I would recommend that they do a lot of public clinic to prepare themselves physically and mentally for work in a professional clinic with others . Our practitioners at the clinic are earning very good money and work their own hours. They are very busy so any graduate needs to be able to handle the workload. Secondly, clients are after experienced hands so giving a “quality” experience to the client is most important. Performing a good oil massage is the basic requirement and is the foundation of practice but specialisation and experience in a remedial modality is also required. It does not matter so much what modality so long as the experience and enthusiasm is there. Clients will pick up on that very quickly.
Since massage business relies on “word of mouth” referrals then these points are most important to building a business.
Q. What do you look for in employing a practitioner?
I think my advice covers this but they must in addition have good people skills. Getting on well with clients is very important and being able to tune in to their needs.
NHA Course counsellor comment: Sharon was a Natural from the word go and has put in a lot of training not only to graduate but to keep up her skills. She is very well qualified in Craniosacral Therapy in which she now specialises and is booked out weeks ahead in her clinic. Sharon is a typical example of someone going from a sole practitioner to a business owner through hard work and offering specialist skills.
Sharon can be contact through her clinic on 1300 768 202