Meet Elizabeth Gounder, Trainer – Sage Institute of Massage

Elizabet Gounder of Sage Institute fof MassageElizabeth has a wealth of experience and qualifications in different types of massage and training. But it’s not just this that makes her such a valuable asset to the Sage Institute of Massage. Elizabeth has a caring and fun approach to life and likes to ensure that her students get the most of out of their massage course…and some life-learning along the way!

How long have you been working with Sage?
I started working at Sage in June 2012.

What is your background?
I have been an Indian massage practitioner since the age of 18 and was taught by a Guru in Fiji. I also trained in Kahuna Hawaiian Massage with a Kahuna (healer) in Hawaii from 1978 to 1981. Since then I have also completed courses in infant, pregnancy and hot stone massage, along with hydrotherapy. I have also completed certificate courses in Training and Assessment, Language Literacy and Numeracy and Vocational Preparation.

I moved to Melbourne in November 2010 and studied at Sage. When I graduated, I ran a mobile massage business and had 1,500 clients before starting my work with Sage.

Interspersed with my massage career, I have also had extensive experience in hospitality and business management.

What made you become a trainer?
I was offered the job at Sage. My personal vision is to be a transformer of lives and what better platform can I use than to be a trainer at a reputable Registered Training Organisation (RTO), with so many students? Helping students to create and live their dreams!

“My personal vision is to be a transformer of lives and what better platform can I use than to be a trainer at a reputable Registered Training Organisation (RTO), with so many students?”

What do you like most about your role?
Seeing students start with no goals and then helping them create their goals and work towards them. It is so rewarding especially at the end of the course when they have achieved their goals.

What do you do in a week at Sage Institute of Massage?
I am a trainer in the Massage Team and therefore am on a roster to teach classes as required. Besides teaching, we have to do assessments and administration work. I also get rostered to supervise the clinic at Elsternwick and sometimes at the Collins Street Campus.

Who is in your team?
I have a Team Leader, Paula McGuill, and she has a group of around 20 trainers in the Massage Team. We are growing very fast as a team and we all support one another and know that someone will cover our shift if we needed it.

What do you think are the personal qualities that make a terrific masseur?
A person who likes to be around people and is empathetic, caring, understanding, respectful of self and others. A person who is a great communicator, has the ability to adapt and has the flexibility to accept various scenarios that present themselves along the way.

A great masseur also needs to be tolerant, non-judgemental and accepting of others.

“A great masseur also needs to be tolerant, non-judgemental and
accepting of others.”

Learning anatomy can seem a little daunting at first. Do you have any tips for prospective students who want to learn?
Yes it is a little daunting, but don’t be over whelmed and say you can’t do it. I actually get the students to “adopt a muscle” in their first few sessions and then present it to the class, including detailing the bordering muscles. This not only allows the students to get a grasp of what is expected of them in their studies but encourages them to start building relationships in class. They also need to prepare for being a massage therapist and know that they will be expected to be a teacher for their clients. Creating a song and a story about the muscles helps the students to remember it throughout the class and their lives!

Melbourne is swept up in football fever, yet again! Spill the beans – who’s your favourite team?
I wish I could say, but I’m a Rugby and Kiwi girl at heart. I still don’t fully understand AFL footy, but if I was to choose a team it would be the Demons because my daughter is married to a strong supporter and I don’t want to upset my son- in-law.

How do you relax?
I love to travel, to explore the world and the many different healing modalities out there. I also love to cook and spend time with my family.

What makes you really happy?
Being at peace within myself and making a difference for everyone around me to experience love and life. I believe that life is meant to be enjoyed and that this is it, and not a dress rehearsal. You need to look at all the positive sides of life and people and do what makes you feel good. So having lots of laughter and fun is really important.

Where can we find you on a Sunday morning?
If I’m not rostered to work on Sunday I usually like to go for a walk along the beach or any water. I find being around water keeps me grounded and at peace within.

Sage Institute of Massage – is more than a job, it’s a rewarding career.

Vicki Tuchtan

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