Student Supervisor at Sage Institute of Massage, Emma Cacciagia, has an exciting career story to tell! As a successful graduate of the Sage Institute she is now relishing her job; training and mentoring her students for professional life as Massage Therapists. A fantastic role model for change, she has always kept an open mind, enabling her to adapt to the many twists and turns in her personal and career life. The result is a varied and extremely interesting career, which reflects her flexibility – and her positive and adventurous spirit.
When did you graduate from Sage Institute of Massage?
I completed Cert IV in Massage Therapy Practice (HLT40312) in Sept 2012, and then continued straight into the Diploma of Remedial Massage (HLT50307), completing that in April 2013. I am now a qualified Remedial Massage Therapist.
When did you decide on a career in massage?
For as long as I could remember I wanted to be a physiotherapist, but my ideas started to change during high school. I loved musical theatre, so I thought I’d like to build a career there. When I went to University, I decided to major in vocal studies. While paying my way through Uni, my cousin persuaded me to join the army reserve. I ended up having so much fun there that I decided to join the military full time. It was at the army that I started to feed my love for the human body and anatomy – and consequently became qualified in Combat First Aid.
I stayed at the army for several years and when my children were a little older, I felt that it was finally ‘my time’ to get into massage! I absolutely love my chosen path, and I am happy I went about it via first completing Cert IV, then the Diploma. I’ve received much more ‘hands on’ experience than going to university.
I get to share my knowledge and experience with my students. I love a spot of public speaking, so I get to spend my day filling my students’ heads with awesomely fascinating facts about the human body!
What does your job at Sage Institute involve?
First and foremost I am a Trainer. While in the army I completed my Cert IV in Training and Assessment and became an Instructor. I love the fact that I have a direct influence on people’s lives. I am also a Course Advisor as well as a Clinic Supervisor. As a Course Advisor, I help my students with any administration difficulties and help to prepare them for assessments and for their time in ‘clinic’. As the Clinic Supervisor, I am in charge of the day to day running of the clinic and I also work with Amy, our Career Agent, in gearing up for special events.
What is the best part of your job?
I get to share my knowledge and experience with my students. I love a spot of public speaking, so I get to spend my day filling my students’ heads with awesomely fascinating facts about the human body! I love seeing the students so excited about what they are learning. I feel a lot of satisfaction in showing them techniques and seeing the fascination on their faces.
When do you see the most satisfaction from your job?
I love seeing the students so excited about what they are learning. I feel a lot of satisfaction in showing them techniques and seeing the fascination on their faces.
What do you think are the personal qualities that make a terrific masseur?
I call us the ‘Sherlock Holmes’ of the human body. We need to be curious, and we also need the passion to want to know more.
Do you think some students are shy when they start the massage course, and are intimidated about the idea of working with the public? Yes, definitely. However, they soon realise that, at the end of the day, our clients are only strangers during the first session. After that, our clients open up to us. They share an important part of themselves with us. They are in our care, and trust us to look after them on a physical, as well as an emotional level.
What are two pivotal competencies students gain from practical experience?
Put simply, they are: confidence, and unconscious competence. As Massage Therapists, we need to have confidence in our ability to help our clients achieve their goals. Initially, students can be a little shy about trusting their instincts. They are always seeking guidance and approval throughout their practical classes. It is immensely satisfying to see our students grow and develop into confident Massage Therapists by the end of their clinical placement. Through this confidence in their skills, this then grows into ‘unconscious competence’. They no longer have to ‘think’ about what treatment plans they are giving; they just ‘know’. “It is immensely satisfying to see our students grow and develop into confident therapists by the end of their clinical placement”
“It is immensely satisfying to see our students grow and develop into confident therapists by the end of their clinical placement”
How do you unwind? Mmm. I work full time and have two small children and a fabulous husband. You could argue that I don’t unwind! Reading, good food, wine and company certainly help.
Do you have any pets? I have a Jack Russell called Buffy. She is my thong slayer!
Sage Institute of Massage – it’s more than a job, it’s a rewarding career.
Interested in attending our student clinic in Elsternwick for a massage at a radically reduced price?
Experience a full body massage by one of our senior students, under the guidance and supervision of our qualified and experienced practitioners. Sessions are just $25, and bookings are essential. Read more about booking a student massage here.
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