Clara Gyllensten
Publish Date: Monday, 4 May 2020
Clara Gyllensten


Swedish-born Clara Gyllensten was raised on a small island outside Gothenburg – Bohus Bjorko.
She moved to New Zealand and worked as a dog trainer in Auckland for four years before heading to the Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) to pursue a qualification in massage therapy.
Clara graduated with a Bachelor of Therapeutic and Sports Massage in early December 2018.
Having worked as a dog trainer, she became interested in canine massage, which triggered some general research about massage therapy.
“Randomly, a friend told me about SIT, and before I knew it, I was signed up to start the course,” Clara says.
“I was not sure what to expect when I moved to Invercargill as I enrolled and had never visited before. 
“Over all Invercargill exceeded my expectations! It is a quiet, but oh so friendly town and I enjoyed all the surrounding outdoor activities readily available at your doorstep.”
The course was so much more detailed than Clara ever imagined it would be, challenging her to learn with plenty of support.
“Jo and Donna, the tutors, are so knowledgeable and passionate about the industry,” she says.
“It was a professional, yet personal learning environment, although our class was a large intake, I never felt as if I was lost in the crowds or not able to get my many questions answered.”
Throughout her study journey, Clara says her way of thinking changed. She became more of a critical thinker, reflecting, being proactive and putting more effort into time management.
“When you add up the self-directed learning and the classroom time, it’s a pretty full schedule, like a normal work week I guess, although I managed to hold a part-time job for year one and two which was great.”
Clara is now running her own massage clinic in Redcliffs, Christchurch and for those looking at the industry, she would recommend they complete the course beforehand.
“I would highly recommend this course if you would like to gain a thorough understanding of the human body and how to use massage therapy amongst many other manual manipulation techniques to help clients be well.”