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From left: Graduates showing off their diplomas. Samantha McLeggon, Janice McLoud, Charisse Pink, Lance Rose, Patricia Berry-Greenidge, Dudley Malcolm, Verona Warburton, Marry Daley, Shawnette Montaque, Audrey Bennett and Sharon Parris-Chambers. - Photos by Courtney Locke
Dudley Malcolm and Patricia Berry-Greenidge.
Patricia Berry-Greenidge (left), PBHC founder, is presented with an appreciation plaque by Sharon Parris-Chambers.

Local spa therapists become ITEC certified

Karrie Williams, Hospitality Jamaica Writer

A total of 10 spa therapy professionals recently graduated with their diplomas in holistic massage from the Ocho Rios-based, Personal Body Health Care (PBHC) Clinic and School of Holistic Therapies, becoming the school's first-ever graduating class.

The diploma is certified under the International Training and Examination Council (ITEC), which is a specialist examination board renowned for providing certification in beauty and spa therapy, hairdressing, complementary therapies, sports and fitness training, and customer service.

The graduation ceremony took place last Saturday night at the Sunset Beach Resort, Spa and Water Park in Montego Bay, with graduates being fêted to a lavish dinner party by the hotel's management. The graduates, who all achieved distinctions, include,Sharon Parris-Chambers, Verona Warburton, Lance Rose, Audrey Bennett, Charisse Pink, Janice McLoud, Samantha McLeggon, Shawnette Montaque, Marry Daley and Dudley Malcolm, who currently works as a spa therapist at the resort.

Patricia Berry-Greenidge, who is the founder of PBHC Ocho Rios during her presentation of the diplomas to the proud graduates, said, "I feel very proud to be awarding these top-achieving spa professionals their diplomas tonight. Today, as we all know, stress is the greatest factor that is affecting all of us."

She warned: "Whether we like it or not, everything is changing and things are changing beyond our control. The simplest of treatment sometimes helps to alleviate stress, which is the greatest factor in illnesses today; and I think everyone should try spa therapy. At least once monthly, do something where they can feel relaxed and get into a more balanced state, which is very important."

PBHC Ocho Rios was born out of a shared vision by both Parris-Chambers and Berry-Greenidge, who also operates a similar school in her native Barbados. In fact, both women have worked on proposals since 2009 in a bid to secure financial backing for the training programme, which was offered completely free to the graduates through grant funding provided by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA).

"It's a wonderful feeling. Over the past years since I've met Patricia, she has been working very diligently to help uplift the spa standards across the Caribbean. Her determination is so strong that it led her to approach the CDB and the CEDA to amass the funding needed to pay the value of US$6,000 for each student to take the course free," said Parris-Chambers.

"I have never done massage before, but I believed in her believing in me that I could do it. Her belief carried me and she made it all possible because of her strength. She is a phenomenal woman who has helped to guide our strength, and now she has formed PBHC Jamaica and we are her first graduating class, and I'm very happy," she continued.

During the ceremony, Greenidge was awarded a plaque containing personalised notes of appreciation for her motivational support by the graduating class. 

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