The Student Clinics at VSOHA are one element that separates the school from other massage and spa training centres. The premise is simple; after a month in VSOHA’s Spa Therapy Program, students begin practising on paying members of the public with supervision from an instructor.
Sarah Cepeliauskas is the Clinic Director at VSOHA and is now supervising her 7th intake of students from the Spa Therapy Program. Sarah graduated from the part time Spa Therapy Program in 2014 and also volunteers at a women’s recovery house giving massages to women recovering from addiction.
Sarah said “There are two things stand out for me about the student clinic. The first is seeing the transformation of students from the first clinic to the last. It’s amazing to watch their personal growth and how they develop confidence in their skills and interactions with clients. By the end of the 14 weeks they are true professionals and I have the advantage of seeing this happen for every single student in every single clinic.”
“The other thing that stands out for me is the clients,” Sarah said. “Some clients come every single week for the entire clinic. They love coming, they love the school and the services we provide. That really speaks to the quality of the program and the massages the students are giving. It’s a unique experience in a caring, nurturing space.”
All clinic treatments are based on Swedish massage, then each week students incorporate new modalities into the treatments. Over the 14 weeks, students learn joint release, deep tissue, Indian head massage, aromatherapy and reflexology, to name a few. The school also runs two specialized clinics for shiatsu and hot stone.
“The hot stone clinic gets booked up faster than any other,” Sarah said. “Our hot stone clinic is in January and it was already booked out at the beginning of October!”
According to Sarah, it’s not just the specialised treatments that are in high demand. “All the time people request treatments by a specific student. But for the student’s sake we like to give them a variety of bodies to work on over the course of the clinic so the maximum they could have somebody is twice.”
Spa Therapy student clinic runs from October through June, on most Thursday evenings from 2pm to 8pm, and every other Saturday from 2pm to 8pm.
Appointments can be booked online or by calling VSOHA on (604) 688-5060.