Supporting Mums-To-Be Through Massage

Josie Star Massage

With a lifelong interest in health and wellbeing, Josephine Truell found her calling as a massage therapist, later studying pregnancy massage and realising the amazing benefits for mother and baby. She learned how nurturing and caring for a pregnant woman through massage helps her to relax, eases aches and pains, increases flexibility for birth and helps her feel connected to her baby. Here, Josephine talks to The Natural Parent Magazine about the inspiration behind Josie Star Massage, how she balances work with family and social time, and her hopes and dreams for her business in the future.

The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?

I have always been interested in health and wellbeing. I started studying massage straight from school and went on to do a Health Science degree. I also trained and worked as an addictions counsellor as well as doing a stint as an exercise trainer. But massage called to me: I knew it was what I really wanted to do, so I completed Massage Therapy training and have been working professionally for many years. I love the practical hands-on nature of the work, the connection with my clients and making people feel good. When clients walk out saying they feel amazing, it’s so rewarding.

My interest in pregnancy massage started when I was pregnant with my daughter. She’s a teenager now, so it was a long time ago! I only had one massage when I was pregnant – my mum shouted me one when I was just about to give birth. If only I’d had massage all through what was a difficult pregnancy!

When I studied Pregnancy Massage a few years later, I realised the incredible benefits for mother and baby. I learned how massage during pregnancy helps with relaxation, connection with baby, eases aches and pains, increases flexibility for birth, and it just feels so nurturing and caring. I did my specialised Diploma in Pregnancy Massage through Wellmother in the UK. It was a wonderful, empowering training and people tell me I have a special affinity for it.

The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?

I was already working in a clinic as a massage therapist, so I had an existing client base and when clients got pregnant, I could offer them this wonderful service. When I was fully qualified, I started advertising pregnancy massage. Women started coming to me, as there aren’t many people with the extensive training that I have. It grew from there.

And how is the business developing now?

I keep getting new clients. I get a lot of referrals with my clients telling their antenatal classes and friends about my massage. Now I’m onto the second pregnancy with some clients. Gift vouchers are popular too. It’s a wonderful thing for family or colleagues to gift a massage to a pregnant friend.

As I’ve become more and more experienced, I can tune in to every woman and their needs. I work with women experiencing high risk pregnancies, twin pregnancies and women who have a range of health barriers.

I’m work 4 days a week in two different sites – in a central Wellington clinic and in Karori – so I’m accessible. I still do lots of general massage therapy, relaxation and sports massage, and the mix of clients is a joy to me.

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