Wellpark College Massage Graduate – Dream Job in Tonga!
Wellpark College Massage Graduates Dream Job!
Maria Cantrell studied for her Certificate in Relaxation Massage at Wellpark College, but had big dreams about how she would put her qualification to use upon graduation. Maria and her husband Clint have recently became the owners of the Sea Change Eco retreat in Tonga Sea Change Eco Resort
We wanted to know more about the beautiful Tongan retreat and what Maria has in store for her guests. Read our interview with Maria.
Maria you and your husband Clint have traveled and lived all over the world, what motivated you to take time out from your adventures to study for your Certificate in Relaxation Massage at Wellpark College?
“I had come to a point in my life where I needed a new direction. I had gone back to work after being a stay at home mom for years and wasn’t satisfied with the career I had before. I trialed the program at Wellpark by taking the weekend relaxation massage course. I wasn’t sure if I was even going to like massage. The weekend course showed me that I actually enjoyed it very much! I decided it was something I wanted to pursue further. Around the same time, Clint and I started being in negotiations to buy our resort in Tonga, and we both saw massage as a skill I could bring to our resort. So, I dove into the program!”
What did you enjoy most about the Relaxation Massage course?
“I surprised myself by really enjoying learning the Anatomy and Physiology! I never had an interest in this before but found it really interesting! Hard, but interesting! But I think what I liked the most was the nurturing, caring, and holistic healing all around me in the Wellpark environment and staff. I found it an amazing place to study and just to be for the length of the course. I miss coming there every day!”
Everyone loves a Massage but what are the health benefits of having a regular Massage?
“First of all, if you can get a regular massage, what a wonderful way to take care of yourself – not only does it feel so good, but it is good for us. Regular relaxation massage helps us to counteract the regular stresses in our lives, and we all have those. Relaxation massage loosens tight muscles and all those places we hold our tension. It also brings natural healing throughout the body by increasing blood flow and getting rid of wastes and toxins in the body. And the added benefit of having a caring touch is something many of us can use too”.
Recently you became the owners of an amazing Eco Retreat in Tonga, can you tell us more about the Sea Change Eco Retreat and what attracted you to Tonga?
“Absolutely! Sea Change Eco Retreat is a small resort on a remote island in Tonga. It is off the power grid, and run on solar power. We collect rainwater for our water supply. There are no cars or roads on our little island. You get to it by boat off of a neighbouring island. It is a place to go to unwind, to unplug from our crazy, busy world, and to relax. The relaxation massage therapy I have just studied ties in beautifully with the whole theme of our resort! It is located on one of the most beautiful islands we have ever seen. The wide, white sandy beach and the clear, gorgeous water right in front of our resort are big reasons I love it so much there. Clint and I have come here to this island ourselves for holidays in the past- once with our kids and once just as a couple, and we loved its’ beauty and simplicity. We know others will too. And now, we will be offering retreats: yoga, meditation, fitness and health, painting, and singing retreats. We love this idea of sharing this way of life with others from all over the world and can’t wait to hear their stories”.
How do you get to the Sea Change Eco Resort?
“To get there you can fly directly from Auckland (2 ½ hours) to Tongatapu – and from there you can take a 30 minute flight to Ha’apai. We will pick you up in Ha’apai at the airport. Ten minutes later you will be on our boat for a short ride to the best beach on Uoleva Island – which is right in front of Sea Change. The journey to get there is beautiful, and you will truly feel you have travelled to a remote and amazing place”!
What wellness activities do you suggest people try when they come to stay at the Eco Retreat in order to feel recharged and rejuvenated?
“Good question. First of all, relax! That’s the biggest one. We encourage putting cell phones and other devices away for the time you are here and enjoying what’s all around you. Go out for a swim in the most beautiful swimming spot- right in front of our resort! Go snorkeling, or go for a walk around the island (it takes about 3 hours to walk around the whole island). Read a book in a hammock just outside of your beachfront fale (hut). Clint can do some fitness with you and possibly some meditation, while I can give you a massage. We will also be offering yoga at certain times throughout the season. There is also diving available. Stepping away from our busy lives and being mindful of the beauty all around us is an easy way to feel recharged and rejuvenated”.
If the Sea Change Eco Retreat sounds like somewhere you’d love to escape to then click to find out more about the retreat and check availability Sea Change Eco Retreat
Maria Cantrell interviewed by Nikki Morgan 16.08.2016