I was destined to be a massage therapist, albeit an unusual one…
It might sound strange, but animals were once my focus for treatment rather than humans!
Let me explain that a bit further!
You see, I grew up on a farm in Olympia, Washington surrounded by dogs, pigs, chickens, horses, cows and wild cats.
I loved helping them if they looked unwell, or stroking them if they needed comfort. The wild cats liked to have their bellies rubbed, and the pigs were always eager for a good ol’ back scratch.
My dad’s accident changed everything
When I was 12, my dad had a bad accident: a horse fell on him and repeatedly rolled on him, breaking his spine in two places. He was told he’d never walk again.
My dad refused to accept his prognosis though, and with the help of surgery and two fantastic, dedicated and caring physiotherapists, he was finally back on his feet and out of hospital. I asked the physios to show me how I could help my dad further when he returned home, and they generously shared some massage techniques with me.
After the whole experience with my dad, I just knew my future lay in helping, rehabilitating and enlivening people.
I started out helping people through food
When I realised I wanted to work with people rather than animals, I originally thought it would be through French cooking!
I believe that good food is a great healer, and I cooked professionally from 1979 until 1986. During that time I absolutely adored the process of creating magnificent dishes for my customers to devour: their eyes would light up and they’d go away feeling replenished and satisfied.
But as much as I adored cooking (and still do), I realised that I wanted to help more. I wanted to help those in pain and discomfort – just like the physiotherapists helped my dad.
I wanted to become part of their stories, learn more about them, and help in their restoration.
I went from cookery to massage therapy
While still cooking, I started training in complementary therapies and massage in 1983, and I achieved my license in the USA in September 1985. I was very fortunate to be taken under the wings of two fantastic doctors who taught me everything about pre- and post-surgery work.
These days, I live and work in West London, where I do a combination of rehabilitative massage therapy (for pre- and post-surgery patients) and general therapeutic massage (for those with aches and pains resulting from stress, work and sport). I also see and treat patients with cancer, MS, MD, Parkinson’s, Crohn’s, connective tissue disease and other illnesses.
I use techniques from a number of different therapies, according to people’s individual needs. My therapies include Reiki, Somassage®, Rejuvanessance®, Access Bars, Tibetan Head Massage, Deep Tissue Bodywork, Sports Massage, Hot Stones and Clinical or Medical Massage.
Long before the moment of actual touch, I can feel what’s needed in order for people’s aches, pains and injuries to disappear. Bodies tell me what they want and need to happen, and through my extensive training and experience, I’m able to do it.
I bring a lot of “interesting” hobbies to the massage table
In my spare time I do dream analysis, ghost whispering and other spiritual “stuff”. I seem to spend a lot of my time in other people’s minds!
I also love working with herbal remedies – to the extent that I now create unique and personal body/hair products for people.
As for the animals I once cared for and loved… I still do. I perform cranialsacral therapy, Reiki and sports massage on horses and other animals that are injured or in pain.
My credentials (aka What I’ve been up to for the past 30 years)
Facilitated Bars Practitioner, Access Foundation and Access Level I
Taught by Irena Tymruk, Adam Smith and Dr Dain Heer
Foundation and Level 1 Zero Balancing
Taught by Zanna Heighton
Bioenergy Healing Research Foundation
Certification of attending Level I and Level II BH
Taught by Michael Cohen
University of Westminster
Short course Craniosacral
Taught by Michael Kerr
International Institute of Rejuvanessence
Trained with Rejuvanessence founder Margareta Loughran MA RGN
Quantum Touch Basic
Taught by Dennis Godfrey
Kinesiology and Muscle Testing
BodyTalk Wide Awake Workshops
Basic BT certification, basics of Body Talk techniques
Taught by Elaine Harris
ST Forgione School of Reiki Raku-Kei
Reiki I, II, III, Reiki Master, Raku-Kei Advanced Method
The Way of the Fire Dragon, Symbols from the Norbu Lingka
Taught by Reiki Master ST Forgione
Sussex School of Therapeutic Massage
Practitioner certification, Manual Lymphatic Drainage CE
Taught by Cathy Anderson
The Soma Institute of Neuromuscular Integration
Certified Somassage Practitioner, Somassage neuromuscular bodywork
Taught by principle and president of the SOMA Institute, Karen Bolesky
The Reconnection / Reconnective Healing
Level I and Level II, Basic truths and frequencies of healing
Taught by Eric Pearl
Basic, Level I, Level II, Basic QT, Super-charging QT, QT Core Transformation
Level I and Level II
Taught by Alain and Jody Harriott
John Barns Myofascial Release
Certification in Level I and Level II, Myofascial Release Techniques
Taught by John Annan / UK Physiotherapy CE courses
David Palmer School of On-Site Massage
Certification, On-site (seated) AMMA massage
Taught by David Palmer
Wendy Schofield School of Massage
Certification for State Licensing, Massage for State Licensing, Body-Mind Integration, Back on Track
Taught by Wendy Schofield, founder & instructor, L.M.P., Certified Laban Movement Analyst, Jungian Analyst