Deana Hudson

Deana HudsonI graduated from the NZ College of Massage with a Diploma of Body Therapies specializing in sports massage in 2003. I completed the NMT post grad course immediately after that and then left for the UK, where I currently reside.

My qualification was easily accepted in the UK which made moving here much simpler as I was not required to sit any UK massage exams or tests in order for me to practice here.

The clinic work I do is mostly with every day people with the usual problems of tightness who come in for maintenance work.  Rarely will anyone change their lifestyle but many will change the way in which they work, their work station, simple exercises and stretches that help to break the monotonous pattern of sitting at a desk all the time.  I provide them with the information about what they can change and how they can help themselves toward a more pain free life.

I also work with some amateur athletes, one of whom is training for the iron man competition, and I get to work with the middle to older age people who are willing to try different things to help manage and decrease their time with pain.  These are the ones who get good results because they are compliant with exercises, stretches and new ways of doing activities or everyday chores.  It makes the job so much better when your clients are compliant and grateful for what you do to them because you are making a huge difference to their lives.

I have one client at the moment who is recovering from colon rectal cancer and she is such an amazing lady.  She takes one day at a time treating each one as a blessing.  She has given me an insight into a life threatening disease and lessons on how to live life in a more positive way. She does not realize how big an impact she has made on me.  She often thanks me and says she doesn’t know what she would do without the treatment I give her.  This is the rewarding aspect of the work we do – knowing that you really can make a difference.  Fortunately most of my clients are grateful but it’s the ones where you can see the change that mean the most.

My education at the NZCM has been of the highest, most in depth quality I have come across.  I have not seen a course as comprehensive in England yet.  My excellent education led to me great contacts and opened the door into the world of professional tennis with the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour.  In this job I work with world class physiotherapists treating the best, and the yet to be, female tennis players in the world.  We also work with Doctors from around the world, some of them are top in their field of medicine.

There is also another area that has opened up and this is one which I find hardest.  We deal with a lot of young girls who have grown up on the Tour and sometimes have no idea what we call “real life” is all about.  They also have to deal with a lot of external factors that “normal people” don’t face, like coaches, finances, legal issues, parents 24/7, media and a lot of stress to name but a few.  Some of this comes out on the table and you have to know how to guide them along the right path to help them make the right choices for themselves.  The Tour has a dedicated Athlete Assistance programme and it is a part of our role as therapists on the Tour to undergo the Tours training in order for us to have the skills to best deal with the many issues presented.  The learning potential in this job is huge and part of the attraction to it.  You learn from the best – it’s magic.