Slimming therapists help clients to set up and follow a specific weight loss plan to suit individual needs and goals. They discuss eating habits and select an established diet plan, as well as an exercise routine, to reach the goals. The slimming therapist will start off by interviewing the client to obtain information on eating habits, take down the history of weight problems, and advise the client on the desired amount of weight to be lost. The therapist then records the client’s information so as to keep track of the client’s progress over the weeks to follow. The programme is then explained to the client, and the procedures to be followed are discussed. Nowadays, state-of-the-art technology, such as that known as Electro-therapy, is used in conjunction with a dietary programme. This machinery causes the muscles to contract involuntarily, which basically stimulates exercise, thereby toning the muscle. This highly advanced method of slimming has become increasingly popular over recent years. Those wanting to pursue this career must have patience, and the ability to motivate and encourage clients.
Judy-Anne Pretorius is the owner of a branch of the popular slimming franchise known as ‘The Firm’ (slimming and health clinics). A slimming therapist basically focuses on weight management programmes for clients. Their approach to slimming includes various techniques and methods aimed at increasing blood circulation, stimulating lymph glands, reducing cellulite, and, of course, firming and toning flabby muscles. Slimming programmes usually offer a combination of methods such as Electro-therapy, Infra-red heat therapy, as well as an easy to follow, healthy eating plan.
“My mom owned a beauty salon, so I grew up in this environment. She has photos of me painting my brother’s nails (as well as his face!) when I was just a little girl. I believe that I was born to do this job. My dream has always been to own my own salon and now I do, and I love it!” exclaimed Judy-Anne.
The career of a slimming therapist is part and parcel of the career of a somatologist (beauty technologist). Salaries vary considerably, depending on overall jobs, duties, and responsibilities.
Judy-Anne’s day at work includes a wide range of responsibilities. Not only does she manage the basic day-to-day running of the business, but she also assists clients with the slimming treatments, facials, and hand, feet, and nail care.
Pros and cons
“I love working with different types of people all day – it makes the day exciting and varied – I see a new face every hour. This job is definitely not monotonous, as some people tend to think. It can be physically tiring, but the pros far outweigh the cons.”
Required studies and experience
“I studied a three-year BTec degree in Somatology, and I also completed an additional course through a private institute – Madge Wallace, which is internationally recognised. There are also many optional courses that are available, such as nail technician course, and many follow-up courses that one can do to keep up to date with new technologies in the beauty industry.”
“You need to have an open mind and enjoy working with people. Not only are you a beauty therapist, but you need to be a friend to the clients as well because people often ask for advice on personal issues! And if you generally don’t like touching people, then this job is not for you! People come in all shapes and sizes and you have to feel comfortable working on anyone.”
An average day
“Hectic! The day begins in a rush and ends in a rush. From one broken nail repair to a full set of nails, to a massage or pedicure, to a Brazilian wax, and, of course, slimming advice and treatments – everyday is different, but that’s why I love it.”
The best thing about the job
“That would definitely be seeing so many different people in one day, but also knowing that I am making women feel good about themselves.”
The worst thing about the job
“People tend to think that we study for a week and then just sit and paint nails all day. The truth is that we study long and hard, and we do hard, physical work and often don’t get the recognition that we deserve. This job is not just an easy job for someone who doesn’t know what else to do with their life, it needs to be a passion. Don’t study this if you just want to make money – you must want to do this for the rest of your life or you will be very unhappy in your job. It is hard work that requires dedication and, sometimes, lots of patience!”
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