Sarah Gover has just returned from her second summer working at the Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort in the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia.
“It’s the most beautiful place. When there is enough rainfall, it can be run completely off the grid,” Sarah said. “It’s powered off hydro from a nearby waterfall that I overlook in one of my massage rooms.”
Sarah offers bodywork and massage treatments and yoga classes for the guests. (She has also completed a Yoga Teacher Training!) This year, Sarah was also promoted to head of the wellness program, a manager role that oversees the wellness activities of the resort.
“We’re implementing lots of exciting new activities: forest bathing, outdoor yoga and meditation, and body-scrubs on the sauna dock!”
A graduate from the 2016 Bodywork Therapy Program, Sarah has been working in the field for almost 2 years. She started out doing mobile massage for luxury hotels in Vancouver, where she peeked into the world of luxury spas and worked with a vast array of clients.
From there she spent a winter in Northern BC doing bodywork at Frontier Heliskiing in a converted miners town just 30-minutes drive from Alaska. “I knew I wanted to work in a remote location but when I started the program I didn’t know what the possibilities were. I had no idea I’d end up where I am now!”
VSOHA’s Bodywork program incorporates a module on Business Skills, including a whole section on how to find a job that’s right for you after graduating. “The class was super helpful. Once I had the information, I was able to find jobs through my own research.”
VSOHA has a network of graduates working in the field, which Sarah said is very valuable. “You have a large network of people who want to help you. It’s a great community. When I had questions about a particular job, Marie [Program Director] would connect me with grads doing similar work.”
One of Sarah’s favourite take-aways from VSOHA was the emphasis on giving intuitive treatments. “There’s no formula. It’s about letting it flow and being curious about what’s going on with the person in front of you. This approach allows me to be creative which is super important to me.”
The variety of modalities taught at VSOHA mean Sarah is able to embellish her treatments with reflexology, Shiatsu, Indian Head Massage and deep tissue, to name a few. She also incorporates elements of ritual and stillness. “I usually open and close a session the same way and allow for moments of stillness. These are profound and can really enrich a treatment.”
Sarah says one of her favourite parts of bodywork is holding a space for others and being able to interact with people on a deep level.
“I’m so blown away with the opportunities that came my way after graduating. I have a real sense of freedom. I’m so grateful. It’s been one of the coolest things I’ve done.”
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