Q&A: Meet Paula McGuill, Head Trainer at the Sage Institute of Massage

Paula McGuill - Trainer at Sage Institute of Massage

Paula McGuill –  Head Trainer and Manager at the Sage Institute of Massage

Paula, what originally inspired you to become a massage therapist?

Eight years ago, I worked as a bike courier in Dublin. I was knocked off my bike and after several trips to the doctor, and with my back pain still persevering, a friend of mine recommended a Massage Therapist. After a lot of gentle persuasion, I agreed to give it a go. After I had my first massage, I had my first night’s sleep without pain and I was hooked. Later I began to take an interest in how massage as a therapy can affect the body and enrolled in some short therapeutic courses, which lead on to studying Remedial Massage Therapy.

Are there any particular features about the massage profession that you’d like to share?

There are a lot of positives in becoming a massage therapist. I think Massage Therapy is one of the most rewarding careers you could embark on. Having clients tell you how much you have been able to help them and relieve their pain is quite rewarding. Having a career in massage also allows me so much flexibility about where I would like to work, whether it’s working from home, working on a Cruse Ship or as part of a team in a clinic, as well as working the hours that suit me.

How long have you been managing at Sage Massage?

I have been with Sage for almost a year now, both in a teaching and management capacity.

What is your role at Sage?

I am the team leader for Cert IV in Massage Therapy Practice and the Diploma of Remedial Massage.

I work closely with my team of trainers to ensure we are delivering a high standard in teaching. Pastoral care of our students is an important part of my job, ensuring students’ needs are being addressed. Sometimes this involves offering extra assistance with assessments, assisting with any grievances students may have and working with them to resolve any issue’s that may be affecting their studies. I find this part of my work very rewarding.

I organise the rostering of trainers with class schedules, deliver training sessions and hold meetings with our trainers, which is very important to ensure we are all delivering the training with consistency.

Who is in your team?

I’m very fortunate to have a great team behind me. There are 15 Trainers in total who come from varied backgrounds – some from sports and others from a therapeutic background. Sage places great emphasis on Trainers having diverse industry experience and being able to bring this experience to the classroom to share with our Students.

Sylwia Borowicz is the Diploma Co-ordinator for our Diploma course. Originally from Poland, she has fantastic experience – particularly with rehabilitation after surgery. Together with the teaching of the Diploma course, Sylwia has been able to share her variety of techniques in our Student clinic with the students.

Before Sage where did you work in the massage industry?

I have been fortunate to have a varied career in massage, working with football clubs, Gymnastics Victoria, as well as working in multi-modality clinics alongside chiropractors and physiotherapists.

Anatomy Chart

Anatomy Chart

Learning anatomy can seem a little daunting at first. Do you have any tips for prospective students who want to learn?

When it comes to learning anatomy, repetition is the key. The colour-in books are a fantastic way of learning. I would also recommend flash cards with various muscles groups. However, as we are a more tech-savvy generation, there are some great apps that you can download, which are great for visual learners. One of my top picks is Visible Bodies.


Melbourne is swept up in football fever, yet again! Spill the beans – who’s your favourite team?

Yes, I do get the footie fever! I’m an Essendon supporter, and I do tend to lose my voice towards the end of footie season.

How do you relax?

Believe it not, I have recently taken up scuba diving! It’s a little known fact that Melbourne has some of the best diving in Australia. I try to get in the water as often as possible.

What makes you really happy?

I love to travel and see new places, but I am also happy chilling with friends on a beach, with an Esky full of beer.

If you could come back in another life and in another form, what would it be? 

I would love to come back as an eagle. It would be amazing feeling to be able to fly.

Where can we find you on a Sunday morning?

On a Sunday morning I will be out bike riding on a beach road or down at Brighton Beach with my black pug, Diesel.

Vicki Tuchtan

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