Edna Reihana - Beauty and Massage Therapist
I begun my training for this work as a child: mother used to pick strawberries for work, which was hard on her back and limbs. I learned to massage her from age 5, being taught by mother herself who had knowledge passed down in the family through generations, of massaging babies and adults, and using natural bush remedies.
As a little girl it was a school holidays treat for me to go to a beauty salon in the city and sit with one of the aunts while she was having eyebrows tinted or nails painted. I was always fascinated by the coloured nails, the scents and the creams. So I told my aunties this is what I would do when I'm grown up. I love my job.
When my own children were young our family relocated to Far North. There, bringing them up and working as a teacher in a country school, I learned many things about the nature, the New Zealand bush native plants and their healing properties as well as the ability of the body to heal itself. Eventually, it came a time to shift back to Auckland to educate the children and allow them more opportunities in the city. I was able to pursue my passion for gardening while providing my family with fresh nutritious food from my own garden. Money was tight so I had to be creative and entrepreneurial: I used to take my own hand-made, hand-dyed and -painted dresses to Cook Street Markets to help supplement our income.
When the children got older it was time to look after myself, health, mind and body. To fulfil my life-long dream I sourced a beauty therapy college, at that time there weren't many around. After I qualified and celebrated with my now-grown children I gained experience at apprenticeship - so to speak - at Lorraine Roxon's Broadway Newmarket exclusive clinic. All the while I had a plan to convert the kids' sleep-out extension three rooms into a salon for myself.
When I first started and for a long time, the mad, loud and wonderful Kathy with her hairdressing salon Eclipse, now on Bruce McLaren Road, used to be just over the road from me. We were always sending our clients to each other, and still do. "Your eyebrows are shocking, get yourself over there and Edna will sort you out!" she would say to her ladies, and they came, and then kept coming back to see me for other treatments as well.
My first client ever still comes to me and she has been with me for thirty years. Many of my regulars I have known for many decades and their children and grand-children are now my clients as well - three generations! I treat my ladies with pregnancy massage and when they bring the baby along after the birth I teach them baby massage, so I have a beautiful connection with some of my favourite regulars, having seen them grow up.
While I'm not in my garden salon looking after you, I may often be found outside in the garden where Brian and I enjoy growing plants that are beautiful and useful. I love cooking and of course it is lovely to be able to serve food I've grown myself. I'm an avid reader, I love art and restoring antiques. Travelling is also a passion which I am able to indulge while visiting my children and grandchildren overseas.
Brian Thomson - Sports Massage Therapist
Growing up in New Plymouth, I loved sport and especially playing rugby. In the early 50s, at just 15 years old, I joined the Royal New Zealand Navy. I went on to serve for 10 years. The Malayan campaign was particularly tough. The Navy has been good to me and rewarded my service with a medal or two. Sport was an integral part of the physical training program in the Navy. Rugby was the thing in those days, and we were all encouraged to play.
Coming out of the Navy in Tokoroa, I qualified as a fitter-welder as I enjoyed the physical demands on the body combined with the skill and precision that the work required. Meanwhile working for an engineering firm in the paper mills I had no time for sport. Eventually I moved back to New Plymouth and on to Auckland, where by this time I had progressed in my career to a foreman.
At age 45, my three children now more or less grown up, I decided to return to my first passion, sport. I retrained as a sports medicine trainer and soon qualified as Advanced Massage Therapist. I joined forces with Edna who by this time had been in business for about a decade. I have worked with Auckland Rugby Football Union and Rugby League teams in Australia.
It is deeply rewarding to see someone in pain walk out of my treatment room feeling better. Sometimes the relief is instant when by finding the right trigger points I'm able to help release the muscle spasm, other times a course of treatments to help the body recover from injury is more appropriate. Over time I am able to build a rapport and knowledge of a client's musculo-skeletal structure which helps me quickly identify the best way to help them. For example, when my athlete clients become pregnant, this knowledge of the individual combined with the special techniques and aromatherapy oils that are safe for pregnancy, help me continue to support them throughout the pregnancy with massage therapy.
In my spare time I enjoy spending time with grand-children, I love reading and cross-words, and dining out. Of course Edna and I spend time tending the garden together. In the navy I caught the travelling bug which I still happily pursue from time to time.