My glide into retirement


A message from Andy Fagg.

Andy FaggI qualified in massage in April 1984.  At the time, I had no idea that this lovely new pastime would become my career, indeed my life’s work.  The development of my different massage roles has been an amazing process, including my work as a therapist, teacher, supervisor, mentor, colleague, College founder and Chair of a national professional body.  I have loved every minute of it and perhaps one day will tell some of the stories, but not yet.

For today I am writing about the drawing to a close of that journey.  I will describe the when, the why and the how of “my glide into retirement”.


I intend to stop my massage work before my 64th birthday i.e. by November 2018.  Is that set in stone?  Well, never say never, but it is the trajectory I am set on.


There are two main reasons.

The first is personal.  At Easter 2015 my wife Cathy decided that she would retire from her career as a senior NHS manager within a year.  She duly did so in March this year. She has flourished since retirement and a clear mismatch in our lifestyles has emerged.  That is fine for the time being but cannot continue for ever.  In brief, I want to spend more time her.

The second reason concerns legacy. As I said I have loved and am passionate about my massage work, whether that be with clients, students, supervisees or teaching colleagues.  I wish the work to continue, especially through BCMB.  I am very proud of what I have created, with the support of the community of students, graduates and tutor colleagues.

Some 12 months ago I realised that I needed to hand on the flame of connection and healing that massage represents whilst I am still passionate about it.  If I wait until I become tired, jaded and burnt out, there would be no worthwhile legacy left.  In brief, I need to stop whilst I am ahead.

The process of change is already under way:

In April 2014, I stepped down as a Director of the Massage Training Institute. I am very grateful to Tim Bartlett, of BCMB, for picking up that role.

In July this year, I finished teaching the Holistic Massage Diploma course, which is still the foundation and heartbeat of BCMB. It is being taken forward by the talented tutor teams in Bristol and Worcester. Many thanks to Sarah Hoare, Sarah McLellan, Jacquie Kelly, Jeremy Dymond and Sarah Cohen for your devotion and hard work, along with your extremely able assistants.

I have been gradually winding up my Supervision groups and will stop them altogether by Christmas this year. BCMB tutor colleagues will continue to offer supervision.

And for the future:

63770_3528_1_M036I am about to embark on a last round of CPD courses, between this October and November 2017. I will be shadowed by BCMB colleagues who intend to offer them in the future. My next one will be Deep Tissue Massage on 28-30 October, with Sarah Hoare.

A Working Party has been meeting since January, to look at the Management of BCMB. From January 2017, governance will change from the present benign dictatorship (ie me!) to a Board structure. I will Chair that Board for at least the first year.

My client work is likely to be the last to go, at a suitable time in 2018. The precise date is yet to be decided.

More details of the coming changes will be sent round shortly, especially about CPD courses and the management of BCMB.

Many thanks


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