Meeting Professor Pearl Gopaul was indeed a refreshing and inspirational encounter for WE Magazine. Gopaul, though petite, is in fact a giant in the massage and beauty industry with a heart and personality to match.
To fit in all her accomplishments as a massage therapist and educator into one article is simply impossible. Gopaul has an astounding 35 years of experience in the Massage Therapy and Aesthetics industry. Prior to her debut in the industry, the chirpy mother of three earned a BSc in Business Management at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. Part-owner and Principal of the College of Therapeutic Massage and Beauty Culture Limited, Professor Gopaul has always loved anything to do with beauty. Many of her clients boast that she has “healing hands”.
Described as ‘the mother of massage’, Gopaul wears many hats. She has authored a book ‘Massage in the Caribbean from Traditional to Conventional’, co-authored a manual – a ‘booklet of medical conditions (2009)’.Being the determined individual that she is, the grandmother also led a team to Parliament to incorporate the profession of Massage (Act 8 of 1998). She is the first President of the Massage Association of Trinidad and Tobago. Her college is the first of its kind in T&T and one that is a tertiary institution synonymous with excellence and high standards. For this college, Gopaul, the Founder of Gopaul’s Massage Therapy Clinic, obtained international accreditation from the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation USA. The first woman in Trinidad and Tobago to serve as a stockbroker on the T&T Stock Exchange (1975), Gopaul is also a member of the International Association of Women of the World.
Today, Professor Pearl Gopaul has educated more than 612 students on the healing powers of touch. As mentioned in her biography written by Francis Ramnarine, she is a ‘great giant of a lady’. She has and continues to inspire and empower many throughout the country. Her work will be unforgotten. Here is what Gopaul shared with We Magazine:
What was the biggest challenge you have had to overcome and how did you deal with it?
My biggest challenge was MYSELF - overcoming fears - Fear of failure, fear of society, fear of rejection, fear of success and this list of fear is endless. In dealing with it I never hugged my fears or remained cocooned in my comfort zone. I always mustered the courage to believe in myself “That I can do it”. I was determined to stay focused and have always conquered the challenges of accepting my mistakes, limitations, extent, boundaries, errors and faults. I must mention that in order for me to reach the successful juncture in my career, I always had to do introspection, so that I always had a good idea of what alterations were needed for me to attain my goals in order to meet the current market demands, rather than follow societal preached parts.
Tell us something about you that people may not know.
Apart from being the professional woman as viewed by the public, I am an open book, very domesticated, family orientated, I stay loyal to friends and I am a people’s person.
What are you most grateful for?
I am grateful for life in itself. I feel blessed to have the support of my family and friends and most of all to have attained knowledge and skills over the past 35 years to help others to alleviate their aches and pains through the administration of Massage Therapy…the mind, body and spirit connection.
What is something you know for sure that you wish the rest of us knew?
I know for sure, that you must spend your time NOW. Never procrastinate and work on the things you want to accomplish – or even try to build a business, cultivate a great career, build a family, and run a marathon. The greatest success is living your life to the fullest in your own way.
What are your future plans?
It’s tough to nail down plans for the future. I am the queen of changing my mind ever so often…so much to do and so much to see, so little time. I plan to continue to empower individuals, especially women, in T&T, to conduct research, utilise, and publish data to improve the Industry in massage and beauty services and to develop protocols for best standards for the entire Industry. To develop acceptable standards to ensure that Massage & Beauty Therapists in T&T are comparable to those of International Standards. I also plan to improve myself with the skills and knowledge to educate others in the Industry and to continue practicing my personal and social life skills…yoga, dancing, gardening, preparing delicious meals for my family and seeking new adventures including study Ayurvedic Medicine in India and travelling the world.