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Career focus: Somatology - getting paid to touch celebrities

By Busisiwe Mbatha | 2011-10-27 07:23:55.0

IMAGINE getting paid to touch local and international celebrities, soccer players and affluent business people.

This is what Lesego Dibatana does for a living and she is doing it in one of South Africa's top hotels, Saxon Boutique Hotel, Villas and Spa at Sandhurst, Johannesburg nogal.

And you do not have to ask this 30-year-old somatologist if she enjoys her job, the answer is written all over her delightful face.

So how did Dibatana decide on somatology as a career?

"It has been my dream since I was a young girl," she smiled. My family always told me I had healing hands. Whenever anybody complained about pain, they would ask me to massage them."

Dibatana does assessments and treatment of skin and figure problems, cosmetic sales, application of make-up techniques, permanent and temporary removal of facial and body hair, manicures, pedicures, eyelash tinting as well as a variety of electrical equipment treatments and specialised massage techniques such as reflexology, aromatherapy, manual lymph drainage and Swedish massage, among other things.

She has been with the Spa for six years and she sayss: "It is a fantastic experience."

Since Dibatana started working at the spa, she has acquired managerial skills and learnt everything about the various types of beauty products.

She says her favourite treatment is sound therapy.

"I enjoy this because it is totally different. We use musical instruments such as the gong to produce sound that sends vibrations throughout the body to help unblock blockages and to relieve emotions," she says.

Dibatana says a good beauty therapist does much more than administering beauty treatments.

"You need to be professional and to protect clients' privacy and give them your full care and attention. Grooming is also very important. Because we work in close proximity with clients, we must adopt high standards of personal hygiene and grooming at all times," Dibatana says.

She adds that a warm personality is essential to make clients feel at ease. Therapists must be polite, friendly and conversational at all times.

Time-management is crucial. "Clients make appointments. It's essential that a therapist has excellent time-keeping skills. Clients should not be kept waiting for appointments and neither should a treatment be rushed because your last appointment ran over time," she says.

To aspiring beauty therapists Dibatana says there are many job opportunities at salons, health and fitness clubs, spas, cruise liners, airports, hotels, holiday resorts and hairdressing salons.

She says it is not difficult to become a senior therapist and ultimately a salon or area salon manager. All it takes is hard work.