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Grandmother finds purpose with healing hands

by alina

Joy Hendon from Mount Mee in Queensland is a music-loving grandmother with a gift for massage. She recently completed her Certificate in Massage with Open Colleges and has stayed busy helping those in her community overcome a myriad of muscle aches.

“I hadn’t been formally trained, but it’s always been something that’s interested me,” says Joy of her decision to do the course. “It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for years!”

With an interest in hot stone massage, Joy is content to keep her practice as just a hobby, although local demand for her services means she may have to rethink her decision.


“I’m getting really good results – I’ve had 100% success so far with everyone that I’ve treated,” she smiles. “I had a friend of mine who suffered from migraines every day for three weeks – and then came from a massage with me and woke up without a headache.”

Massage is widely used as both a remedial and restorative therapy and the Certificate in Massage course introduces students to concepts and basic techniques of massage, as well as the fundamentals of anatomy and physiology.

“I found the amount of physiology really interesting because I actually studied animals at University.” Joy says. “And the theory is all the same. How different movements and strokes affect the muscles and ligaments really fascinates me too.”

Students also learn a sequence for delivery of a full body massage, as well as how to meet and greet clients and observe other clinical etiquette.

“I always check in with my patients the next day to ensure they’re relaxed and feeling good,” Joy says as means of application of what she’s learning. “Being sympathetic to clients is a key quality to a good massage therapist.”

Joy also likes to go the extra mile with her patients by massaging areas like ankles, wrists and joints, as well as ensuring they fill out a pre-consultation form.


The course assessments were a breeze, with Joy completing several video assignments. “I had a couple of people around here that were my guinea pigs to practise on and then record a video assessment. There was a ten minute massage and then I had to do the one hour full body massage.”

With tuition fees and resource purchases, Joy says her set up costs have been fairly small. “Including the course and buying the massage stones and table, it’s probably round about three to three and a half thousand dollars – which isn’t a lot of outlay to start up a business.”

Although Joy is set for a promising career in massage therapy, for the moment she wants to keep her home operation small and businesslike, with set days and hours.

“I’ve got a couple of local people that I’m bartering with. I’ve got a lady that does house sitting for us in exchange for massage. I’ve got another lady that I’ll give a massage and she gives us, my husband and I, a haircut and a pedicure.”


When Joy isn’t lending her healing hands to the ailments of her community, she shifts her dexterity to a variety of musical instruments.

“Yes, I play bass, the mandolin and sing! My husband plays guitar and we play a bit of music together. We’ve got seven kids between us and about a thousand grandkids.”

So who would Joy like to get a massage from? “I find it hard to find someone that I’m happy with and most times I come away sorer than when I go in. So I’d like a massage from me!”

If you have an interest you’d like to learn more about, studying online can give you the knowledge and confidence to take your passion to the next level – it could even lead to a whole new career.

Get the expertise to help others

If you want to follow a passion for massage and get the skills to help others feel relaxed and restored, Open Colleges offers a range of flexible online massage courses that could be exactly what you’re looking for.

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