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Student Stories

Heiki Schimmelpfeng - Certificate IV in Massage Therapy

I learnt from the College that…it’s all about what we can offer to the world.

I lost everything in my house during the recent floods. I managed to evacuate with my girls at 6am on the Monday but we couldn’t find my 77-year old neighbour and I was worried. She was not in her unit and we had to leave without her. Later we found out that she got rescued by a boat as she was too fragile to climb on her roof like her younger neighbours.

On day five, back at home, she was bent over and couldn’t handle her back pain anymore after throwing all her belongings on the street and sleeping on a couch at a friend’s place. My house was still dripping wet. The inside had an awful smell of toxic floodwater. Like all rooms, my treatment room was empty with all the furniture, including my hydraulic treatment table, piled up in front of my house. It was a bizarre moment but we puzzled all essentials together…massage oil, essential oil and tools to set up the portable massage table. Some of our wet clothes had been washed by volunteers and had just been dropped off at my front door. I decided to use them as cushions and bolsters under her shoulders, chest and legs. The next moment the room was filled with beauty and care.

I just did what I’m good at and followed my intuition. My neighbour relaxed. Her muscles had been in spasm. I was able to give, to help and to make the world a better place…in a small way. It meant healing for both of us. What an honour it was for me to treat her in my dirty muddy house. We had everything we needed. It was a time of deep connection in the middle of chaos. It had so much beauty and humanity!

The Certificate IV in Massage Therapy course I did with Laura had given me the strength to believe in my skills again and the ability to give support. Thank you to Laura, to all the students in my course, to Student Support and the entire Byron Community College!