Ricardina is a holistic coach, nutritionist, blogger, spa consultant and more: read about her story.
Q: When did you decide to become a beauty and massage therapist?
A: After my A levels my father sent me to have a work experience for a month during the summer holidays)because he thought the summer holidays were too long and I needed to understand what it feels to have a job!
So he sent me to work with my godfather who is a Dermatologist and had a clinic in Lisbon.
His clinic specialised in solving severe skin conditions and in providing treatment for victims of severe burns and the full recovery of patients who needed facial reconstruction.
The staff of the clinic were very friendly and inspiring and I made contact with other Dermatologists, nurses, physiotherapists, plastic surgeons and a Beauty Therapist that specialised in MLD (Manual Lymphatic Drainage). It was her work and what she achieved by treating and providing follow-up skin treatments after surgery that inspired me to follow this path and become a Therapist.
Q: You started your career in Portugal, can you describe how that compares to the UK?
A: I think the main differences are connected with the lifestyle and disposable income. Although Portugal is a very small country (same population of London) women and more recently men are really accustomed to go to the spa not only for a pampering experience but as regular clients to achieve results (balance their skin condition, fight signs of ageing like pigmentation and other conditions) or just because they understand the benefits of a regular massage.
It is still challenging to make clients in London understand the benefits of having a course of treatments instead of a one-off treatment, and how it is possible to really achieve results with continuity.
Q: How do you keep fit?
A: A mixture of Martial Arts (Aiki-do), Pilates at Embody Wellness and riding a bike with my 10 year old son!
( I need to be a bit more disciplined though and not to skip exercising I know if I exercise and feel fit I am a better therapist ).
I try to eat a balanced diet and I drink plenty of water.
Q: How important is massage in your daily life?
A: I always ask my clients when they ask me about massage, when you hurt yourself what is your first instinct? To rub/massage the area which hurts. Massage was the first treatment that ever existed! And probably still the most effective. The beauty industry is releasing hundreds of different types of machines with complicated technologies but there is still nothing that can be compared to the hands of a good massage therapist. Massage is the true holistic approach to beauty and all my treatments have a big component of massage.
Q: What is the proudest moment of your career so far?
A: Before I moved to the UK, I worked for 9 years as a Spa Manager at the award winning Spa Vila Real Grande Italia Hotel in Cascais, Portugal, managing the pre-opening and opening and assisting in the design/creation of their Spa concept.
Vila Real Grande Italia’s revolutionary commitment to environmentally sustainable practices gave me a unique opportunity to develop treatments and operational protocols that honoured and protected natural resources, supported the well-being of staff and raised guests’ level of awareness for safe, transformative treatments and lifestyle changing programs.
Another very proud moment was to be invited by the brand I was working for to “inspire” other therapists and train them to love this career and cherish every customer by providing outstanding treatments all the time!
Ricardina is Beauty Therapist Manager at Embody Wellness, the yoga and Pilates studio in Vauxhall. With 25 years’ experience, Ricardina is a true beauty guru. She is a make up artist, beauty and massage therapist and blogger. She is qualified in Remedial & Sports Massage, Sports massage and rehabilitation, Deep Tissue Massage, Shiatsu, Swedish massage, Pre- & Post-Natal Massage, Indian Head massage, Reflexology, and MDL Manual Lymphatic Drainage. Read her blog Ricardina Guimaraes Holistic Health Coach.