At the end of September, I competed in the National Massage Championships – Chair Massage category. I entered on the spur of the moment and then, in the run-up to the event, asked myself why had I put myself under pressure to be judged in something that I had been doing for years?
On reflection, my reasons were varied and, I believed, justified:
- It would give me the opportunity to showcase and promote the official Seated Acupressure Massage technique
- It would encourage me to make time to practice and perfect the massage sequence
- It would prompt me to re-assess techniques and address bad habits
- It would be a great way to meet like-minded professionals
- It had the potential for recognition of my skills
Preparing for the competition did ensure that I made time to focus on evaluating my skills and the massage sequence itself. At the same time, I tried my best to be well-prepared for the event.
I must admit the competition itself was a nerve-wracking experience! Despite my preparation, training, and years of professional practice I was completely out of my comfort zone. It tested my ability to perform for 40-minutes whilst being judged by some of the best in the massage industry. However, I focused fully on my client and the massage technique despite my nerves.
I was absolutely overjoyed, therefore, to be awarded 2nd place in the chair massage category! I received a total score of 80.31% out of Max 90%. You may be interested to know that we were judged on the following categories and these were my scores:
- Setting the Environmental: Total: 4.66 (out of 5)
- Personal Preparation Total: 4.66 (out of 5)
- The Massage Treatment: Total: 34.33 (out of 40)
- Therapist body mechanics during the treatment: Total: 27.33 (out of 30)
- Communication: (interaction with model) Total: 9.33 (out of 10)
Throughout the years of providing Corporate On-Site Massage services, I am continually encouraged by the positive effects On-Site Massage has on individuals. I’m always mindful that, whether it’s my first, fifth, or last massage of the day I try to give my best each time and make each massage count. My aim is for the massage to have a positive impact on that person and I’m mindful that client care and good massage skills contribute to achieving this. I look for these same values in the massage therapists who join the Essential Vitality team.
As with all special achievements, there are people who have played their part in the award:
- I wish to thank Pauline Baxter and the Academy of On-Site Massage for advice, support and exceptional training. I gained my initial Seated Acupressure (On-Site Massage) certificate with the Academy and Pauline has continued to support and train me in additional and advanced techniques.
- Special thanks to Anne-Marie Manners, an excellent On-Site Massage therapist herself, for being my model on the day and for her support, and encouragement.
- Thanks also go to my family and friends for their support, belief and encouragement, for which I am extremely grateful. I am proud and honoured to have achieved this award, and I am overwhelmed by the huge accolade and praise I’ve received as a result. For this I am extremely grateful.
Now, all I have to decide is whether or not to put myself forward for the competition next year….