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11 July, 2021

Beautiful personality, magic hands

Teresa Abela is a woman loved by many and she gives of her time as generously as she does her spirit. So, when Mackay Local News journalist Jacob Cumner spent sometimes getting to know the Northern Beaches remedial therapist, he knew hers was a story he had to share!

  SHE is known to many for her beautiful personality and magic hands! She is the keeper of secrets (a vital part of her job) and always has a kind word and affirmation for those who come across her. Ask her age and she will tell you, because she isn’t precious about things like that (she is 59, by the way!); and for 16 of the 24 years she has called Mackay home, she has helped bring comfort and relief to countless clients.  

Teresa Abela is a woman loved by many and she gives of her time as generously as she does her spirit. So, when Mackay Local News journalist Jacob Cumner spent sometimes getting to know the Northern Beaches remedial therapist, he knew hers was a story he had to share! 

JC: What do you love to do when you are not working? 

TA: I love to read and cook. I also love gardening and beach walks. And, movies and dancing. I am quite happy to turn on the music and just dance. I love outings with friends and good food – especially when I don’t have to cook it myself.

JC: You have a belief in giving back to the community, so how have you done that? 

TA: I was a Sunrise Rotarian for six years and the primary fundraiser was the Mayor’s Charity Ball. I have also had many years on the Golf Course helping to raise funds for Mackay Foundation. Currently, I am on the Board of Directors of Exquisit You Foundation, which is the primary fund-raising avenue for the TUF Minds App. I am also a believer in  personal development and helping to encourage people to seek help when needed.

 JC: What attracted you to this profession?

 TA: I have always been amazed at the ability of the human body. Most my light reading was anatomy and physiology books or psychology and human behaviour. When the dynamics of my life changed, I was offered a place in the Cert IV Remedial course in Mackay TAFE. I accepted and have never regretted my decision. When the timing is right it is amazing how the opportunity presents itself.

  JC: What is it that you love about treating people?

 TA: Those who come in for a treatment are not usually feeling their best. To be able to maximise my knowledge and help them increase their range of movement, and decrease pain is very rewarding. I have the opportunity to meet the nicest people and bear witness to some amazing life stories.

 JC: Are there particular treatment methods you prefer? 

TA: Not everyone is in physical pain, a gentle relaxation or hot stone therapy massage helps to relieve the everyday stress of life and release hormones to decrease   stress and stabilise moods. Most of the clients will need remedial treatment and after the initial assessment, I tend to combine the modalities of myofacial with deep tissue and trigger point therapy . 

 JC: Have you had any difficult clientele? 

 TA: I don’t tend to have difficult clients, they have a need to be helped, so they are happy to be here and receive treatment. If a client is not responding to the treatment and it is evident, they need to be referred to an allied health provider. I will collaborate with clients’ chosen allied health provider to maximise the client’s need for a speedy recovery.

 JC: Tell me about your professional journey. 

TA: My journey started and continues with Designing Bridal Wear. I had the opportunity to incorporate bridal wear around raising two daughters and wanted a one stop shop for my clients. I decided to study beauty therapy and nail technology. Whether I was attending them for a gown, makeup or nails, everyone seemed have an ache or pain that I could not help with. When the Cert IV in Remedial Therapy became available in Mackay, I was asked to enrol, and graduated only to discover there was so much more to learn! I continued to obtain my Diploma in Remedial and have maintained the continued learning that is essential to stay qualified and registered with the major health funds. 

JC: What inspired you to get into this? 

TA: Life circumstances had changed and I live by faith. So, when the opportunity was presented, I was already interested and had read many textbooks on the body. It seemed at the time to be the way forward. I could not have imagined how amazing and rewarding it would be to help others. As a natural side effect, helping them actually helped me to heal and move forward.

 JC: What’s your most memorable experience?

  TA: I have many memorable experiences, most have been in nursing homes, gently massaging the amazing patients. Friendships were built and stories shared. We forget that these people were young once and lived lives filled with their own memories.

 All we see is what is captured only in the odd photo around their room. They had so much to share. I would not swap a minute of the time spent. 

JC: Would you encourage others to attain their qualifications? TA: If you have a genuine need to help others and love learning, nationally accredited Remedial Therapy Diploma is being offered at TAFE. It is just the beginning of a great opportunity to expand in many directions.

 JC: Is there a message you would love to give the community? 

 TA: You expect so much of your body, so massage is not a luxury, it is a necessity. Massage decreases pain and improves your range of movement; it impacts the body systems through stimulation of the central nervous system, improves circulation, helps to detox the body of excess fluid via the lymphatic system, releases hormones via the endocrine system and so much more. Take time to find a qualified therapist, maximise your health rebates and let someone take of you, so you can take care of others.  

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