Seven years ago, Silvia Verdina boarded a flight from Italy with a one-way ticket to Sydney, ready for the complete life-overhaul that comes with relocating to the other side of the world.
Step 1: career. We are lucky that we nabbed her in the process!
Silvia was dissatisfied in menial retail work and sought the fulfilment of a career in which she could “help people to feel better”, which is when she began seriously exploring natural therapies, ultimately enrolling in a diploma of remedial massage.
“I love receiving massages myself and I just want to give the same kind of care to my clients. I just want people to feel they can deal with their stress in a better way, or deal with their pain.”
Six years later, four of which at Balmain Massage, and Silvia has built a league of loyal followers who refuse to see any other therapist. They love her for her skill, but also for the intriguing conversation and stories of worldwide adventures. Most of all, they feel a strong connection with Silvia, knowing that she can genuinely empathise with them as she battles with chronic neck pain herself.
“Even if they have some other kind of pain compared to me, they still are in pain and you can definitely understand and help them to feel better without being in pain during the treatment.”
While some therapists become known for a very specific style of massage, Silvia sees herself as a bit of a chameleon, which adds even further to her popularity.
“I don’t have a massage style in the sense that for every client I try to tailor the treatment to the client, so sometimes I can be super light and gentle and sometimes I can be super tough and strong…it always depends what I think is best for the particular condition.”
Some people are surprised by Silvia’s strength, given her slim frame, but she has a few tricks up her sleeve.
“I try to use my bodyweight to basically sink in and obviously use my elbows to get into certain areas and I try to use loads of other passive stretches, and some techniques to be able to be stronger.”
Massage therapy is a physically arduous job for all practitioners, requiring a high degree of fitness and physical upkeep. This is particularly important in Silvia’s case with her sensitive neck; if you sneak a peak during your massage, you will often find her simultaneously stretching, which gives her longevity and means that your massage will be brilliant from start to finish. She also focuses on self-care.
“First of all, I try to have regular massages myself. I try to manage my stress by doing physical exercise. That helps me to focus and be mindful. So it’s not just physical exercise, it’s actually kind of meditation….and I play an instrument; that makes me feel much better. So music helps me to release the stress. I try to eat healthy food.”
The future is looking dazzling for Silvia as she celebrates her newly-granted permanent residency. We are thrilled that she is here to stay! These days you will find Silvia at Balmain Massage four days a week, or organising events for a community of fellow expats on her days off. She is also training as an aerialist and just bought a pair of roller blades…this busy little bee continues to leave impression on Balmain!