Former athlete and Melbourne Polytechnic graduate Andria Aspris was working as a personal trainer when her clients’ range of musculoskeletal problems prompted her to look into massage as a treatment option.
After graduating from Melbourne Polytechnic’s myotherapy course, Andrea now splits her time between personal training and massage therapy.
Working as a personal trainer at Fernwood Women’s Health Club, former athlete, Andria Aspris, saw clients with all kinds of posture problems. She could work on strengthening their muscles, but wanted to do more to treat the underlying problems, so she decided to train as a massage therapist. Andria enrolled in a massage course at Victoria University, moving to Melbourne Polytechnic afterwards to study myotherapy, where she finished the Advanced Diploma of Remedial Massage (Myotherapy) last year. She now splits her time between personal training and massage therapy at Fernwood, and massage and myotherapy at a podiatrist clinic.
“I love treating people and seeing how it changes their day-to-day activities. A lot of them come in with a limited range of movement. They have tight muscles which are restricting their joints. We free up the muscles to allow the joints to move better, so people can walk and turn without pain.”
Andria loves her work, but when she first started at Melbourne Polytechnic there was a big learning curve. “When I joined the group, they knew a lot about remedial massage that I hadn’t learned at Vic Uni. But the teachers were fantastic and if we ever got stuck with anything we could ask them.” Approaching the dry needling element of myotherapy for the first time was also daunting. “I didn’t understand it and I was freaking out in case I did more harm than good. But once the teacher explained it, my confidence grew. Now I’m using it with my clients.”
Andria, a former javelin thrower who competed for Australia in the nineties, rates the small classes and practical hands-on experience at Melbourne Polytechnic. “We did clinics every Thursday for the whole year and we all had different roles. You could be doing massage or taking phone calls or cleaning. It gave me a good indication of what to expect when I got out into the real world.”
The 29-year-old went into sports coaching when she finished competing and once worked with the Western Bulldogs football team, but it wasn’t the career for her. “It was too theoretical. I like getting hands-on and physical.”
Down the track, the Brunswick-based therapist plans to start a clinic with her twin sister, who’s also a personal trainer. “I’ll stick with the podiatry clinic for now. It’s great to be able to sit in on assessments and explain how I can help. The work is very varied. People have all sorts of different conditions and musculoskeletal issues.”
Advanced Diploma of Remedial Massage (Myotherapy)