The Academy of High Performance Ltd (The Academy) in association with Transform-therapies (Sey) Ltd has successfully trained a third cohort of 7 Holistic Therapists ready to deliver holistic treatments in the various wellness establishments of the Seychelles tourism industry and in the island’s domestic wellness clinics. In this cohort the graduates are: Angelique Reddy, Emi Yamamoto, Sonia Laurence, Sylvane Henriette, Steffie Norah, Keithrina Joubert and Seychelles Worth and all are Seychellois nationals, see photo.
The aim of the Academy is to prepare as many Seychellois Holistic Therapists as possible in order to reduce the 80% dominance of foreign therapists from the Philippines, Bali and Sri Lanka who come to Seychelles to fulfil the need of the ever growing wellness industry in Seychelles. Some establishments prefer to engage foreign therapists because they say foreign therapists are prepared to work longer hours whereas Seychellois therapists are not willing to work long hours. On the other hand there are many instances where foreign therapists arrive in Seychelles with fake credentials and once they have arrived here it is too late and too expensive to send them back because they do not have the money to pay their passage back plus the costs have been incurred by the establishments consequently the latter end up training them and allowing them to work in Seychelles.
Notwithstanding, where working long hours are concerned these establishments have to pay the foreign therapist travel costs and a Gainful Occupational Permit (GOP) to the Ministry of Employment to employ them plus the foreign therapists do not have a home to go to and a family to care for after work therefore it stands the reason why foreign therapists are prepared to work longer hours provided they are not abused in the process and they have sufficient time off work, as required under our labour laws, to allow them to recover, recuperate and enjoy some leisure time in our country. I do not see anything wrong with this situation. A balance of domestic and foreign therapists working in a wellness clinic or a spa or hotel is an ideal combination to serve the discerning and perspicacious clientele. Some clients have travelled extensively in the Far East to places like Thailand and other parts of Indonesia and they sometimes have a preference for these therapists due to their experience when they travelled. This to me is also good for business and it makes sure that the Seychellois therapists are also kept on their toes, which culminates in the wellness establishment achieving excellent customer service and satisfaction.
The Employment Act of Seychelles stipulates that no worker, foreign or domestic, should work more than 12 hours a day and 60 hours a week. We know that in offices people work from 8 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday and Saturday morning most times which averages out around 44 hours per week but therapists work shift hours because clients avail themselves to holistic treatments after work, at weekends and during public holidays. Therefore therapists can expect to work any day of the week provided the maximum hours in the law are not exceeded. In addition public holidays which are worked by anyone, including therapists, the worker must be paid double the rate for that public holiday or given a day in lieu. Furthermore if a public holiday falls on a Sunday and the ensuing Monday is declared as the public holiday then the worker, including therapists, are entitled to double pay or a day in lieu if the worker works the Monday that is deemed a public holiday. Consequently, the worker cannot expect to be paid double rate for the Sunday as a public holiday and the ensuing Monday deemed as a public holiday, because only one of the two days counts as a public holiday. This makes sense otherwise the worker would be paid for 2 public holidays, one following the other, which is not fair on the rest of the working population. I hope this helps some misunderstandings that exists currently in some wellness establishments in Seychelles by both the therapists and the management. I would also like to mention that foreign employers in Seychelles are advised not to mistreat Seychellois therapists because we have laws based on British Laws which protect our therapists at work.
Who is a Holistic Therapist?
A Holistic Therapist is someone who has been trained to deliver Aromatherapy based massage treatments which address both the mind and the body. The Spirit is left to another healing domain depending on your belief. Sometimes a Holistic Therapist is mistakenly believed to be just a masseur. This is not the case because one can teach someone to deliver first class massage in one week. Training to become a Holistic Therapist takes at least 2 months of intense training and not all students make the grade. The curriculum includes, inter alia, anatomy and physiology of 11 body systems, customer care, reading body language, interpreting X-rays, a good understanding which essential oils will cure which ailment and blending the essential oils to produce maximum relief for the client. We have qualified masseurs who attend our courses because they wish to push the barrier of their training into the holistic environment and achieve a high level of holistic qualifications.
Some people have asked how come Aromatherapy works very well. Allow me to explain. The healing effects of the essential oils are felt because the blended essential oils applied to the skin travels into the blood stream and arrive in the brain which carries the mind. The neurons in the mind reacts to the properties of the essential oils and the mind instructs the body to effect healing and the client achieves relief from the disorders being treated and complete relaxation is achieved through the body massage. This is the power of a well blended and delivered aromatherapy treatment by a Holistic Therapist. If you are looking for just a massage then enjoy a massage from good masseur.
The training last 2 months minimum and it is intensive because time is of the essence in modern day life and the training is delivered in a new way. No longer do we need to read pages and pages from books to acquire knowledge. The human mind can be conditioned to learn very quickly using a new learning method used in The Academy. This same method of learning is used by the Intelligence Services of many countries where “operatives” have to assimilate a great deal of information before going on assignments. This is sometimes accompanied by “somno” learning which is learning that takes place during sleep hours. It is very simple, all you do is place a tape or CD player playing what you want to learn under your pillow just before you fall asleep and during the sleep process known as “Rapid Eye Movement (REM)” your mind will learn the contents being played. This information is then stored in the permanent memory and using your sub-conscious mind you can retrieve the information learnt quickly at any time. Students sitting for an examination should try this method of learning, it is very effective.
Gaining work experience
The Academy can train Holistic Therapists to a very high standard but then they need to be given an opportunity to acquire practical experience. All our graduates are encouraged to seek employment with a good establishment where they can gain experience and also learn other modes of therapeutic treatments such as hot stone massage, bamboo massage, may be even shiatsu. They have gained their accreditation, their mind is fertile and this is a good time for them to be engaged in employment. The Academy will be running Advance Holistic Therapist courses soon to include hypnotherapy, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Spiritual Healing and Past Life Regression.
Contributed by: Barry Laine FCIM, FInst SMM, MCMI, MBSCH