Toby Taylor one year on…
“I found the School of Bodywork whilst at university. I had returned to education through frustration with my career, but found the same challenges whilst studying. I was profoundly dissatisfied with what I perceived to be a sedentary and abstract form of work which had little impact on people’s lives.
Until that point, I had enjoyed yoga and martial arts but had no idea how to develop these things professionally. As my studies progressed, I found less time for them and became quite depressed. And fat. Really quite fat. I was lucky enough to have made friends with a yoga teacher and his wife who both practised massage and through their encouragement, I decided to radically change what I was doing with my life.
I handed in my thesis, moved across the country to Exeter and began at School of Bodywork within 24 hours. I found that I was pretty good at what I was learning and the anatomy and physiology added a missing dimension to my yoga, which got me back into regular practice. As time went on, I was volunteering at charity and community events and found that people were really receptive to what I offered.
Since graduating a year ago, I’ve been able to successfully set up as a therapist and continued with the School’s post graduate programmes. My health has improved significantly and I’ve found a deeper satisfaction for my inclinations to explore and discover than I was offered previously. Through bodywork, I began a yoga teacher training course and have found that the massage gives a privileged perspective on posture and alignment. In truth, the insights I’ve been given through bodywork have far surpassed my expectations.
I currently work out of several practices in the Exeter area and I can’t see myself doing any other form of work. I feel privileged to have the support of the School and the local complementary health community.”
Julie O’Neill from mobile therapist to clinic…
"Since completing the Fascial Release course with Emma at the School of Bodywork my work schedule has been so busy. I remember Emma warning us in class that we would, but I didn’t realise at the time just how successful my business would become. My treatments have excelled forward with the results I’m achieving. I was working as a mobile Therapist before but have since opened up a clinic to save travelling time allowing me more time to cater for the demand. I would definitely recommend the Fascial Release course with Emma if you’re looking for techniques to really boost your treatments with positive results and expand your business. P.S. Already getting great results with the Rebounding!!!
The study aims to describe the experience of receiving massage therapy whilst living with and recovering from mental illness. Using the Descriptive Phenomenological Method, the study gives voice to the lived experience of the individual. A purpose sample of four participants was recruited. The data analysis findings are written as a Descriptive Statement included in this paper in full. The outcomes deepen our understanding of how touch and the person of the therapist come together to provide a treatment for mental illness that centres on connection, safety and being of value and worth. Questions arise as to the degree in which massage may be regarded as a treatment and may be perceived as positively impacting mood. The implications of the study are relevant to massage therapists and open up discussion around accessibility and the provision of massage therapy within mainstream mental health services.
Extract from The Descriptive Statement: Recovery is self-acceptance of mental illness and its enduring nature. It is hope of a life lived as happily and healthily as possible. It is having access to support that is individualised and self-directed, with a range of different resources to access at different times. It is resilience in the face of societal pressures and inadequate support.
Massage is experienced as a treatment for mental illness and, if ongoing, provides an alternative and effective support, reducing the need for other interventions. Massage takes on new relevance for individuals as an important resource for recovery, one of many within the recovery ‘toolbox’. For some individuals, massage remains a ‘luxury’ and too limited in its impact to regard as treatment. The effects of massage share commonalities with mindfulness, notably the effect of deep mental relaxation. Massage contrasts with mainstream treatments, particularly in relation to the absence of negative impact – massage is viewed as a wholly positive experience.
Nikki Collins is an APNT and BCMA registered massage therapist, working privately in South Devon and for Force cancer support centre. She is also a qualified mental health nurse, currently returning to practice at Devon Partnership Trust. She has two children and spends her spare time wandering in the forests of nearby Dartmoor.
To read her paper click here