17 Years Experience
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My name is Robin and I'm a blind massage therapist.
I am a qualified massage therapist with 17 years experience and am currently based in Peregian Springs. I offer rejuvenating massage treatments that can be tailored to your needs. Whether your pain or tension is a result of a medical condition, sports activity, accidental injury or stress, I draw upon a number of disciplines to remedy damage and support your body's own repair mechanisms. So whether you’re based in Noosa, Peregian, Coolum or just passing through the beautiful Sunshine Coast, I invite you to book in for a very special massage treatment.
I was born in 1969 in Harare, Zimbabwe, where I lived until I finished school and went to South Africa to study Mechanical Engineering.
Despite the country being at civil war for the first 10 years of my life, I feel fortunate having grown up in such a lovely country. Living in the city meant that my parents to the most part were able to shelter me from the true horrors of war. I do remember attending weekend sporting events at schools in the country, where the teachers refereeing or umpiring the games ran around with an automatic weapon strapped to their back.
With hindsight, yes there were restrictions to what we could do as a family, such as camping trips out into the bush were non-existent, to travel between towns quite often involved being in an armed convoy. When you know no different and all your friends are under the same restrictions, then this is normality. When I think back to those days , as a child I saw my country as the proverbial duck on a pond, all serenity and calm, however as an adult living in Rhodesia as it was named back then, they would have been very much aware of the duck's feet below the waterline going like Billyo.
When the war ended in 1979, the true beauty of this land was appreciated by me. Going on camping trips into the bush, surrounded by the wildlife will always be an everlasting memory and privilege. I left Zimbabwe and moved to South Africa when I was 18 and commenced my studies as a Mechanical Engineer. For the next 4 years I worked on a gold mine. This tough environment ensured I grew up fast. However, I like most teenagers, settled into my studies with my leading goal being to have an enjoyable social life, which I excelled at…
After completing my training I wanted to see more of the world and so left Africa, not realising at the time that it would be the last time Africa would be home to me. For the next 4 years I travelled extensively, working for 6 months of each year in London, England and then would set off travelling with friends. On the whole we went with no real itinerary, just a basic idea of what we wanted to see and then let our path follow whatever each day presented. This at times did end in chaos, but nothing like having to dig yourself out of some self- made hole to learn a valuable lesson.
I was into my late 20’s before I settled down and focused on my career. I am thankful now that I did see so much of the world when I could and perhaps this was a subconscious decision as I was gradually losing my sight. I now know that I had a sight problem since childhood, but it was never diagnosed despite regular appointments with an Ophthalmologist by suspecting parents. I was finally diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa in my mid to late 20’s. The detrimental effect to my sight at that stage had been a very gradual loss to both my peripheral and night vision, which had been happening since childhood.
The prognosis was encouraging in that my Ophthalmologist at the time did not think I would lose my sight totally, but this was a prediction and not a certainty. His caution proved judicious as I lost the sight in my right eye due to a detached retina a few months later. Surgery proved unsuccessful. I continued working in London for another 7 years, all the while my sight in my good eye gradually reduced till I had little more than tunnel vision.
My first wife, Marta and I decided that we had had enough of living in England and that it was time to move back to the southern hemisphere. In April 2004, Australia became our new home. Unfortunately, a few months before our big move, I awoke one morning to darkness, despite it being morning and I had both my eyes open. Another Retinal detachment had taken away my sight and once again surgery proved unsuccessful. I was totally blind….
Our move to Australia kept me busy and having something to focus on was a tremendous help in coping in those early days of sight loss. My wife was also a great support, remaining positive. A huge concern to me now was what was I going to do for work when we arrived in Australia. It was my mother- in- law who solved this problem, by suggesting massage as a possible new career. The more I thought about it the more sense it made. What really appealed to me was the fact that my disability would not be considered a negative factor in a profession that relies on one’s sense of touch. After some quick research I found a college in Hereford, England that was exactly what I was looking for. The Royal National College was specifically for vision impaired and blind students. One of the courses offered was massage and lastly it was a residential college. My path was set.
Before I started at the college, Marta and I moved to Australia. We had 4 months to help get our new home set up before I headed back to England to start my massage course. I flew back every term break for a few weeks, over an 18 month period.
I would have loved to have been a partial observer at the college for the first few weeks. Throw together a couple of hundred students all with varying degrees of sight loss, into an unknown environment. Give say 30 of those students Guide Dogs and the rest white canes. The words, “Sorry, I didn’t see you”, and “Hellooo, is there anybody there?”, could be heard a hundred times a day. What amazed me was the great sense of humour. I have never been in such a fun environment which is due to the majority of students being able to laugh at themselves, and the predicaments we all got ourselves in.
The college not only taught me how to be a massage therapist, but also how to adapt to my new situation. I learnt how to use a white cane, adaptive technology allowing me to use a computer once again, as well as a hundred other smaller things, essential to independent living and crucial skills that would allow me to be able to run my own business later on. On completion of my course in 2006, I arrived back in Australia confident in my ability to make a success of my newly acquired profession.
Over the last 16 years I have worked in various clinics and spas on the Sunshine Coast, in addition to running my home- based massage business. During the initial years in Australia, I furthered my massage training by completing a diploma course in Remedial Massage at the Nambour TAFE College.
I have recently remarried and live in Peregian Springs with my wife, Marian and my 12 year old son, Kyte (whom I have shared care of) and my guide dog, Siggy. My family and I love Peregian and feel a part of the local community. The laid back lifestyle and natural beauty of the area is a wonderful place to bring up a family.
What I lost 17 years ago massage has been given back to me. I love what I do now and hope that this is carried over into my massages.
42 Brindabella Ave