Friday, 04 March 2011

High-calibre Somatology students at the ready as Wellness Clinic re-opens

Walk down the quiet corridor infused with the soothing aroma of essential oils, and you’d never believe you’re on CPUT’s usually bustling Cape Town campus. Nestled on the 4th floor of the Science building, you’ll find the Somatology Department’s Wellness Clinic, a haven of serenity where members of the public can take advantage of the skills of students, all at a fantastically reduced rate.

The Somatology's Wellness Clinic, where "confident, capable and industry-ready" graduates are produced.

Designed to simulate an industry environment where students have a hands-on opportunity to become proficient in health and skin-care therapies, the Wellness Clinic plays host to part of the practical component of CPUT’s exacting 3-year Somatology course.  Offering manicures, pedicures, facial therapies, Swedish massage, aromatherapy, reflexology, manual lymph drainage, hydrotherapyand more, the Wellness Clinic re-opened on March 1st, and offers its services every Tuesday and Thursday between 11am and 3pm during the academic term.

Junior lecturer and Wellness Clinic facilitator, Michelle Maloy, herself a graduate of CPUT’s National Diploma in Somatology, sums it up best. “It’s a 2-way street. We offer a sterling service to the community, while students get the best experiential training possible. It’s tremendously popular, with at least 100 new clients passing through the clinic’s doors each year. 70% of our clientele are members of the public, with profits from treatments ploughed back to buy learning materials and products for students to practice with.”

While there are many private schools and beauty institutes across the Western Cape, Maloy says CPUT’s programme is incredibly comprehensive and cost-effective. And thanks in no small part to the practical experience gained in the Wellness Clinic, it produces well-rounded graduates who are confident, capable and industry-ready.

Head of Department of Wellness Sciences, Dr Nicole Brooks adds, “We are passionate about meeting rigorous industry standards to produce highly-qualified somatologists. Our students also have the option to complete an internationally recognized examination, CIDESCO (Comité International D'Esthetique et de Cosmetologie) and can choose to enter into the BTech programme, where more specialised therapies are taught. We’re the only institution in the Western Cape to offer a BTech in Somatology, a qualification that allows graduates to work in aesthetics practises alongside dermatologists.”

As this is an ever-evolving field, Maloy points out that Somatology Department staff are committed to keeping in touch with the latest trends– attending conferences, seminars and new training courses. Twice-yearly industry advisory-board meetings also inform departmental strategy, ensuring that, if needs be, the curriculum is tailored and adapted to feed industry with the cutting-edge graduates they require.

The Wellness Clinic runs monthly specials, for example on waxing or eye-lash tinting, and once a month cater exclusively for men. While the 2-hour Pamper Package (incorporating a facial, manicure or pedicure and back, neck and shoulder massage) is hands-down one of the most popular treatments, there’s something for everyone, from flotation experiences to hot stone massage.

Interested parties can call during working hours any day of the week on 021 460 3437, but Tuesdays and Thursdays between 11am and 3pm are best. Alternatively, email for more information. 

By Jan Weintrob

Written by CPUT News