ACM GRADUATE INTERVIEW - Trish Hodgson
ACM Graduate Trish Hodgson appreciates the work/life balance that her massage career has given her - she now has time to tend her veggie garden!
What first interested you about Massage?
In my early twenties I started receiving regular chiropractic treatments for general maintenance. My chiropractor introduced me to his massage therapist and massage became a regular component of my treatment. After each massage I felt more relaxed and found the combination of treatments enhanced the effects of each other.
"What first interested me to learn massage myself was a bit of fate and an ever present gratitude for the art of massage and the powerful results and benefits it delivers to the recipient."
My first career involved working in the research industry in environmental biology. I did a lot of field work collecting data. This job was great and I had some amazing experiences, but I needed a bit more interaction with people as it could get lonely from time to time when on assignments. I then worked in a laboratory for four years and as fate had it, the laboratory announced that many of us were going to be made redundant.
It was perfect timing for me as it was the push I needed and it drove me to look inwards and find something that I liked and was passionate about. I enrolled into a two day Introductory course in massage with ACM in my hometown Newcastle and as the old saying goes ‘the rest is history!’
I absolutely loved the Introductory course and after it was finished I was blown away and knew massage was something that I enjoyed and could possibly be a new career for me. It took me a good week to enrol in the Diploma, after basically deciding I just needed to bite the bullet and have a go! I had nothing to lose.
How long have you been massaging?
I have been massaging for over 3 years now. I studied my Diploma with ACM on-campus in Newcastle and initially whilst studying I massaged my family and friends. As soon as I graduated I set up my own business from home and worked part-time at a busy physiotherapy centre.
I currently run my own clinic, from a multidisciplinary healthcare centre, that also provides acupuncture, chiropractic and naturopath services.
What do you enjoy most about massaging?
Interacting with people on a daily basis and the positive impact I can have on people’s lives. The variety between relaxation and remedial treatments is also enjoyable. Each client comes in needing a different treatment from the last client and each clients’ needs change. I have the ability and skills to adapt and learn from injuries and conditions that clients bring into my clinic on a daily basis.
"A huge plus is the flexible hours and being able to use massage to get involved in community events. It is a real crowd pleaser and an amazing gift to be able share."
What was your experience at ACM like?
I completed my Diploma on campus in Newcastle on a weekend practical timetable. The teaching had a great balance between guided demonstrations and self learning and I really enjoyed getting to each practical weekend to get new hands on training. They say time flies when you’re having fun and I attribute that entirely to my lecturer, class mates and the course content.
Everyone in my class was really supportive of each other and it was just a really fun atmosphere to be in. We all came from diverse backgrounds and different age groups, bonding right from the start and friendship’s flourished.
The class was full of really positive people and we enjoyed our time together on practical weekends, learning and having a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday working life.
How have your studies at ACM assisted preparing you for working in the massage industry?
The level of professionalism instilled by ACM means that you can trust you are delivering a service that respects and cares for each client and meets their individual needs. I found this very valuable when setting up my own business on completion of my Diploma and felt fully prepared and equipped to do so.
What advice would you give aspiring massage therapists?
Just get out there and go for it.
Network with other therapists and support each other.
Ensure that you also receive regular massage. I currently buddy up with a fellow ACM graduate and we swap massages every fortnight. I think that it’s really important to continually be reminded of what you are doing for your own clients and it’s also a bit of practice what you preach!
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
"Life/Work Balance - the scales are now even!"
I just love the way that massage has broadened my horizons and given me the opportunity to integrate more of what I feel is important into my career and life on a daily basis. These days I have more control over the day to day happenings in my life – including work. I can finally schedule in things for me, such as, more time with friends and family, walking and exercise and I have finally started my own veggie patch! I feel great and more mentally and physically balanced.