After a simultaneously rewarding and stressful decade fulfilling a dream of working as a software developer, Lorenzo de Lara felt it was time to expand his skills in new directions. He knew he wanted to connect with nature and people on a deeper level and move his body more.
In 2017, he quit his job, and enrolled in a 9 month part-time adult wilderness education program. “In the Anake Outdoor School program I met a lot of healers and bodyworkers and started to seek out and give massages. I realised they were the best thing ever!”
He decided to enrol in the 2018 Part-Time intake of the Bodywork Therapy Program at VSOHA, which he says for him provides the perfect balance of school, work, family and personal time. Lorenzo said massages have also started becoming a fun hands-on family activity at home, “my five year-old son has started to love massages too and has started giving them to me and his mom!”
Though he enjoys the hands-on aspects of the program, which comprise about 50% of the curriculum, Lorenzo said he was surprised at how interested he was in learning about the sciences, including anatomy and physiology. “I really enjoy explaining it to my clients and family.”
His favourite modality so far has been Deep Tissue taught by Barry Davison but he says he is also looking forward to learning sport massage and shiatsu. “I’m curious about shiatsu because my wife’s Japanese. If we move back to Japan I think it will be easier to practice there.”
Lorenzo said one of the most challenging parts has been completing exams “It’s been a long time since I’ve had to study but in the end it wasn’t too difficult. They prepared us well for them with mock exams in class. Everybody did very well.”
The faculty in the Bodywork Therapy Program encourage each student to develop their own brand or style of bodywork. “The teachers have been amazing. They all have their own unique way of approaching massage. It gives you a taste of each style and modality and they are all really approachable, friendly and caring.”
While he still has three months left of the program, Lorenzo is already starting to think about the type of work he wants to do when he graduates. “My brand is going to be more on the deep side, looking at the whole person, including the emotional body. I definitely want to bring in parts of my nature connection experiences to my work as well.”
He also said he is fascinated by trauma healing work, hospice care and the energetic side of massage taught in the body-mind integration class. “It’s still coming together, and I’m sure it’s going to be ever evolving after I graduate.”
Overall, he said he’s enjoyed the experience of studying part-time and being able to focus on both family and school “This is has been one of the happiest, most content times in my life. We get a lot of massages and we give a lot of massages, so you really can’t complain!”
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