At Shaw College we teach beauty therapy, right from the very basics to more complex.
The treatments a student will learn include everything from manicure and pedicure to
waxing, body massage, and how to give facials and reflexology. We aim to qualify the
students to find a job working at a salon at the end of the course.
I love teaching and I love teaching new subjects. Every year I go on courses-usually in
England-to learn new techniques or update my knowledge. This keeps lectures lively because
if your are not interested in your subject then you ar not going to be interesting to the
I lecture in English but through a Japanese interpreter, we cover a lot of anatomy:
muscles, bones, the digestive system and diseases so this can be difficult because it is
not everyday English. We emphasis treating the body from within. I mean, if you are eating
at McDonalds and getting two hours sleep a night but coming in for a facial once a week,
it isn' going to do it! In April we are Extending the course from six months to a year so
the students will be able to work toward an international diploma and license so they can
In the extended course we will be incorporatin new subjects. I am really interested in
combining alternative therapies such as aromatherapy which is popular globally and
particularly in Japan. After the students have mastered the theoretical they have
practical sessions. They try out the new techniques on each other and quinea-pig clients.
Clientcare is a major part of the job. For example, one student announced to a terrified
woman that she was going to pour melted candles over her body when in fact she was merely
preparing for a moisturizing paraffin wax treatment.
One session, we invited the dancers from J-Mens to come along for facials. The students
didn't know what had happened to them and didn't get over it really. Of course when these
gorgeous men were filling up the couches, I made sure I had to go over and correct each
There isn't one treatment that everyone dislikes, you tend to have your preferences but
I know some of the students find pedicure difficult to grasp because it has so many
different stages. And removing dead skin from a client's feet is not particularly
gorgeous! In the future I would like to be an international examiner of beauty therapy,
perhaps traveling around Asia. I already teach seminars in Thailand and Hong Kong and
really enjoy the teaching and the traveling.
However, at the moment I love my job and life in Tokyo. But it can be strange lecturing to
students about the evils of smoking and drinking when I am suffering from a hangover
Pam spoke with Sian Rees.
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