“The Isa Carstens Academy became the first South African school recognised by the Swiss-based CIDESCO. Mrs. Carstens was a founding member of the South African Institute of Health and Beauty Therapy (SAIHBTh), now called South African Association of Health and Skin Care Professionals (SAAHSP) and was president from 1990 to 1993. In 1993, Isabel Carstens-Roos took over as Managing Director of the Isa Carstens Academy, following in the footsteps of her mother. In 1999, the Academy was the provincial winner and a national finalist in the Old Mutual and Business Partners for Service Excellence competition. In 2007, Isabel Carstens-Roos was awarded the Medaille du Merite for high standards and professionalism by CIDESCO.” – about ICA
Question: “What are you studying?”
Question: “What’s that?”
As Somatology students, we get asked what Somatology involves. Many people see it as just a beauty-course, hair- and make-up or just nails, but have you seen what Isa is all about? Before you underestimate…
According to the dictionary reference, Somatology is the branch of anthropology that deals with human physical characteristics.
“A Somatologist is a person who is interested in assisting others in improving their general wellness and aesthetic appearance through information and practice of healthy lifestyle habits, product-use and clinic treatments.” –States the Durban University of Technology’s website.
The course at Isa Carstens Academy includes a lot more than just a few easy practical classes. Theory classes take place on Mondays and Tuesdays and include subjects such as Biotics, Anatomy & Physiology, Business practice & communication, Somatology, Cosmetic science, Nutrition and other subjects. Practical classes take place on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays where we get trained to do a variety of massages, several make-up techniques, a vast amount of different facial treatments with high frequency, vacuum suction, etc. and waxing… the list goes on.
We do not just learn what these treatments are and how it’s done, but also what the treatment is all about, what the contra-indications are, the safety precautions and what the best treatment would be for a specific client and their specific concern (for example dry, dull skin, oily sin, etc.)
Imagine you walk into a salon with a dull atmosphere with unfriendly service and therapists who does not know any sequence to the massage you have booked or has no knowledge of the professional products that they are busy using on your face for the facial!
Somatology teaches students that there is more to a massage (for example) than just physical contact, it means touching a client emotionally, too sometimes. It means bonding and building relationships with your client. We keep in mind that clients who approach us may be self-conscious, insecure or super stressed and in need of an ear. Thus we want to be approachable at all times, non-judging and helpful with the knowledge of what’s best for our client’s concern. This is also why we have Psychology as part of our programme later on during this course.
“Somatology is an art on its own.”
So if you thought you knew what Somatology was all about and you’re the expert on Somatology, please do share your knowledge… I do however think that this article would have proven that your definition of what our course is and includes… wasn’t quite complete.