The question of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is a crucial one at present in the bodywork community. The Course Leaders at BCMB and Andy Fagg, founder of BCMB and Chair of the board have recorded a chat running through background information and the latest guidance from the UK Government and the General Council for Massage Therapy. We also share our experience of working with PPE so far. Adam Carter, who leads the Remedial and Sports Massage course is an osteopath who returned to work mid-May. Adam’s experience working with PPE has been invaluable in giving us an inside view.
This was recorded on June 30 2020. This is a fast-moving topic, and we will update our information as the guidance changes.
The video is around an hour long, so there’s an index below of key topics and times to help you navigate. We hope you find it useful.
3.12 UK government 24 June 2020
6.43 Risk Assessments
10.39 Client screening
16.10 Preparing treatment room
21.11 Clinic protocols – setting the clinic up
23.05 During session
23.16 Client arrives
25.05 Spacing of appointments
44.07 Post Treatment
48.44 PPE Self care
53.40 Follow up – client has Covid 19
Closing date: Thursday 28 March 2019
Interviews: Morning of Tuesday 2 April 2019
The Bristol College of Massage and Bodywork, www.bristolmassage.co.uk, is looking for an experienced individual to join the College as Office Administrator to cover Maternity Leave for 3 days a week from 1 May 2019 – 31 March 2020 (approx. 10 months).
BCMB has been offering high quality massage training for more than 30 years, running professional courses in Holistic, Remedial and Sports and Indian Head Massage as well as a thriving CPD programme. We also operate as a practitioner space and run a very popular Graduate massage clinic.
- Working in a busy office and reporting to the College Manager, your key duties will include:
- Dealing with all bookings and payments face to face, via email, post or telephone or through our online course booking system and taking payments online over the phone and via the office card machine
- Dealing with a wide range of queries from tutors, students and customers
- Supporting the College’s training programme and activities:
– Handling bookings and application forms
– Preparing workshop materials
– Booking massage exam clients
- Supporting the College’s Student Practice Space and Graduate clinics:
– Dealing with bookings and cancellations
– Providing a reception service on the day
– Arranging Graduate therapists for the clinic
– Liaising with tutors
- Weekly Accounts management:
– Paying invoices
– Reconciling received payments
– Housekeeping – tidying and rearrangement of rooms, laundry
– Reporting stock shortages and maintenance issues
– Setting up rooms for workshops – some lifting required.
- Other duties as and when required – may include social media marketing, producing workshop documents, shopping for supplies and equipment, etc.
- Excellent customer services and communication and interpersonal skills in dealing with a wide range of individuals – customers, students, tutors, suppliers etc.
- Able to work without direct supervision and to the College Manager’s instructions – you will be on your own in the office 2 days a week and with the college manager for 1 day.
- Thrive on a varied workload
- Ability to balance attention to detail with an often fast-paced environment and clear deadlines
- Able to maintain confidentiality and sensitivity at all times
- Experience in dealing with conflicting demands and priorities
- Good IT skills and experience.
- Experience of handling business finances – paying invoices and reconciling
- Experience of BCMB’s training courses and ethos
- A general interest in massage and other complementary therapies would be beneficial but is not essential.
Terms and Conditions
- 3 days per week: 9 am – 5 pm (1 hour lunch break), Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
- Salary: full time equivalent £19,000 (pro rata)
- 6 weeks holiday pay + bank holidays (pro rata)
- The government NEST pension scheme is in operation at BCMB for employees
How to Apply
Submit a current CV and letter of application explaining why you are best suited to this role to Charlotte Rooney, College Manager/Co-Director at firstname.lastname@example.org
Closing Date and Interviews
Closing Date: Thursday 28 March 2019
Interviews: 9:30 – 1pm Tuesday 2 April 2019
BCMB are looking for 3-4 grounded graduates who wish to see clients in our lovely, newly renovated, bespoke massage environment. Since BCMB moved to Pembroke Road in 2014, we operated a policy that 1-1 treatment sessions were provided only by tutors. This doesn’t include the “multi-couch” setting of the student or graduate clinics.
When I retire in May, more space will become available and my long-term clients will be looking for good practitioners. Indeed, many of them are already asking for recommendations.
I’m delighted that some members of the tutor team are picking up some of that space. However, there is still more capacity. The BCMB Board agreed at its meeting in January that suitable graduates should be invited to take up practitioner space.
Graduates would commit to a 4 hour weekly block of time, charged at £7ph. This is a little more than the tutor rental rate (they deserve their perks!). In addition, graduates can book additional ad hoc hours at the rate of £10ph. The minimum commitment would be for 3 months with a clear written agreement to support this.
Monday: Orange Room free in morning. Blue & Green: some ad hoc use occasionally possible.
Tuesday: Orange free from 15th May; Blue often free.
Wednesday: Orange free from 16th May; Green often free.
Thursday: Orange often free in morning.
Friday: only very occasional ad hoc use possible.
This is only indicative and the details would need to be confirmed. Also, there may be occasions when BCMB needs a room for a training course e.g. A visiting teacher like David Lauterstein. In that case, contracted practitioners may either use other hours in lieu or claim a rent refund.
We are not setting strict criteria so much as considering guidelines. These include:
- How much experience you have.
- How many clients you might bring.
- Above all, how committed and enthusiastic you are about BCMB’s ethos and community. This might mean that a recently qualified graduate was preferred to someone who had been practising for a while.
What to do Now
I’ll be dealing with this issue myself, as I wish to hand my clients over to the right people.
If you are interested, please email me BY 31st MARCH at: email@example.com. Please set out how you match the guidelines and send a brief paragraph explaining your approach to massage, which will help me decide who to recommend my clients to.
BCMB Founder and Chairman
The Bristol College of Massage and Bodywork is looking for an experienced individual to join the College as Office Administrator. The work is varied and complex. The role involves supporting the College Manager to organise and manage all the College’s courses and clinics as well as general office duties.
1. Dealing with all enquiries, bookings and payments face to face, online, by post or telephone.
2. Support to College Manager in maintaining online booking system, calendar and website.
3. Supporting the College’s training programme and activities:
- Bookings/application forms
- Preparing course materials.
4. Supporting the College’s Student and Graduate clinics:
- Liaising with students, graduates and course leaders
- Marketing and Bookings
- Paying bills
- Maintaining weekly account records
- Preparing End of year accounts for College Manager’s approval.
- Tidying and rearrangement of rooms
- Monitoring premises and ordering office supplies as required
7. Other duties as and when required
- Excellent customer services skills in dealing with a wide range of individuals.
- Able to maintain confidentiality and sensitivity at all times.
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills in dealings whether face to face, in writing or on the telephone.
- Experience in dealing with conflicting demands and priorities.
- Good attention to detail.
- Good IT skills and experience, ability to use databases, excel and other programmes specific to the college (training will be given).
- Ability to think ahead and work to a timetable of activity.
- Experience of BCMB’s training courses and ethos will be an advantage but is not essential.
- A general interest in massage and other complementary therapies would be beneficial but is not essential.
Terms and Conditions
- 3 days per week: 9 am – 5 pm (lunch break 1 – 2 pm), preferably Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
- Salary: full time equivalent £19,000 (pro rata) rising to £21,000 after satisfactory completion of 6 weeks probation.
- 4 weeks holiday pay + bank holidays, rising to 5 weeks holiday after 12 months
- A workplace pension scheme is in operation at BCMB.
How to Apply
- Submit a current CV and letter of application explaining why you are best suited to this role to the College Chairman and Director, Andy Fagg: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Closing Date and Interviews
- Closing Date and Time: 6pm on Friday 16th February 2018
- Interviews will be conducted on the afternoon of Thursday 22nd February 2018 at BCMB.
I have been working in a corporate environment for 27 years and for the majority in Project Management and it has been good to me so why the change?
To answer that lets start at the beginning…. When deciding on a career, working in an office for a large international organisation was not at the top or even on my list at all, in fact I had wanted to do something medical, in essence caring for people, but a series of events meant that that path wasn’t going to open up for me and then, through the necessity to provide for myself and my family, I took a job that almost fell into my lap with the intention of it being short term. The trouble was I was good at this job and got sucked in. I found that I naturally had the qualities of a Project Manager, I am organised, have an agile mind that likes problem solving and can drive people to get the job done. Whilst the job played to these strengths they are not my only qualities, I have always been empathetic, caring and creative. For a long time I didn’t even notice that the scales had become completely unbalanced, so what made me wake up and smell the coffee?
Of course, it was not just one thing but a series of things that all came together around the same time. I was becoming a bit disillusioned at work, it was starting to feel like an uncomfortable place to be and it took a lot of soul searching to realise that it was because it felt as if the core values of the company no longer felt as if they aligned to my own. At around the same time and completely out of the blue, I was diagnosed with cancer. As many people will know this is a pretty sobering experience but in my case was the wakeup call I needed and I started to think that I didn’t want to look back on my life and ask “what if”. My knee jerk reaction was to pack it all in straight away but that isn’t usually the way I tackle things so, like every good project manager, I needed a plan! My current plan is to make the transition to full time holistic therapist over the next few years probably with a transitional period where I try and combine the job I have now on reduced hours with setting up my own holistic massage therapy practice if nothing else so that I can get used to the inevitable financial shock of giving up a regular salary. So why holistic massage therapy?
In recent years I have found that people’s issues were becoming more ’front and centre’ and complex in nature and that managing these was becoming as important as managing the technical and business needs. I started to become acutely aware of the effects of stress on people’s wellbeing whether that’s through the pressures of trying to maintain a good work-life balance or because they are going through difficult times in their personal lives and I was looking for something that could help both them and me. I have tried a number of holistic therapies over the years and found them all helpful in different ways so knew that it was a holistic approach that I was looking for. I chose massage as I thought it would be a really good gateway to other therapies if that’s what I decided I wanted to do. Every now and then I would do an internet search looking for courses but nothing really jumped out at me until one day BCMB at the Fold came back in the search results. Everything then came together, this was a holistic approach to massage, it was literally on my door step and the lovely Sarah Cohen was running an Introduction to massage weekend in just a few weeks so I thought why not. It was one of the best decisions I could have made, I loved it and signed up for the Professional Training Course in Holistic Massage course straight away.
I am now over half way through the course and it feels absolutely right for me, the support from the teaching staff and fellow students is second to none and whilst I still have a lot to learn I am being taught the skills I need to be able to start practising massage professionally whilst being able to meet the needs of each individual as a whole.
This is just the start of my journey and I don’t yet know exactly where it’s going to take me but what I do know is that I’m enjoying the ride.
Massage Training Institute Annual Conference 2017
Tim Bartlett, MTI Director and Remedial and Sports Massage Course Leader at BCMB reports back from the annual MTI conference. This years’ theme was ‘Celebrating Difference’.
Well it seems very recent, but it’s now over six weeks ago that the latest MTI conference took place in Solihull and once again it was a fantastic success. Unlike the year before when Cardiff Metropolitan Uni hosted the conference and I had a much more hands-on, organisational role, this time, it was more about meeting colleagues, old friends, ex-students – not exclusive categories at all – and doing ‘Director’ type things like trying to record some pithy sound-bites for the MTI website (still haven’t seen the edit, spent a bit of time trying to get the unruly plant in the background to stop interfering with the back of my head, so unsure what it’ll look like).
Somehow, even amongst 150 people in a very busy day, there’s always a great community feeling at the conference – the stallholders in the market-place are familiar faces too and it’s great to catch up with John from Lotus Publishing, Andy from Songbird Naturals and see Sarah Bryan and Marian Hardiman selling the products they’ve developed.
As you’d expect from a conference celebrating difference, the break-out workshops were diverse – from working with animals (the magnificent horse won’t be at the conference in London next year I fear) to healing trauma, from mindfulness and energy work to soft tissue therapy, working with the neck and sciatica – really reflecting the huge diversity of work that we do.
Normally it would have been a teaching weekend for me – the BCMB Remedial and Sports course seems to coincide with the conference each year. I was with the student group on the Friday but was sad to miss out on the Saturday which was lots of practical and more theory on the ‘shoulder’ weekend. It’s always a bit odd returning to the group after missing a day or two as it’s hard to just slot back in, not knowing exactly what was said previously, even though I know what’s been covered. I end up saying things like ‘have you heard this before’ far too much!
My contribution to the conference was two hours of assessment techniques and tests making it easier to decide what and whether to treat if someone was presenting with leg pain – differentiating between sciatica and piriformis syndrome, testing for neural and somatic pain, and thinking about appropriate treatment. It wasn’t the aim to do much practical in the time we had, which could have been another day’s work, though it worked as a reflection of the kind of assessment, thinking, and approach we use on the RSM course, leading into treatment.
The only thing missing from this year’s conference was Ruth Duncan and her Myofascial Release workshops, which have become a regular and popular feature, always selling out in advance – sadly she was teaching elsewhere, but we’re lucky in BCMB in that she’s coming to teach the full Level 1 and Level 2 workshops in Bristol in October (which can be part of a full diploma in MFR, or stand alone CPD) with more fascinating insight and techniques in working with the tensegral nature of soft tissue and fascia.
Next year MTI turns 30 years young! The conference will be in London and should be a great celebration. See you there!
*All photos courtesy of Kate Gallow/Massage Training Institute.
As many of you know, Emma Conlon and Lydia Spry joined the teaching team here at BCMB at the start of the year. 3 months in Lydia Spry reflects on the journey so far…
When I graduated in December 2015 from the Holistic Massage course at BCMB I knew I wouldn’t be away for long. I knew I couldn’t be – the place means too much to me. This was a place where I felt truly supported. A place where I felt genuinely accepted. And – to top it off – I’d learned an amazing range of new skills that were going to set me on a new career path where I get paid for helping people feel better!
So – when the job of Assistant Tutor came up just a year later, I applied and hoped and prayed and interviewed and….
Well, here we are.
And of course,,, I should have guessed it… you might know what is coming… being a member of staff at BCMB feels… exactly the same!
BCMB are just as supportive, nurturing and accepting of new members of staff as their students. Not only were the first weekends treated as an ‘apprenticeship’ for me, not only did Andy give us training on being an Assistant Tutor, but also the lead tutors on my course have supported me at every step. I have been encouraged to push myself where I felt able and relax and be kind to myself when I felt something was going to be too challenging.
And it’s not just the staff – the students are the same. Emma Conlon got the job at the same time as me but started much quicker as she joined a course that had been running for 4 months. We talked about how tricky that might feel but she was teaching massage skills and up to her elbows in supervision groups before you could say ‘sternocleidomastoid’. Smiling, laughing and supporting everyone along the way. Everyone welcomed and accepted her in the same way that everyone is welcomed and accepted.
Because that is what BCMB is like. It is welcoming, it is accepting, it is nourishing. You can almost feel it in the air. Perhaps it’s coming down the stairs into the building – perhaps it is the welcoming cat at the door – perhaps it’s the memory of all those who’ve received massage in the building. Whatever it is you know that everyone feels it as soon as they come in the door.
Our new Worcester students are now into the second week of their professional Holistic Massage Diploma training. Cleo and Colette, our assistant tutors on the Worcester team, tell us how the group is progressing, developing and growing – appropriately enough for spring!
“Bubble and Squeak?” asked one of the students with a look of surprise. “No, Bubbling Spring” replied Sarah as she was explaining a meridian point on the sole of the foot whilst students were learning about foot massage on this second weekend into BCMB Worcester’s 2017 Professional Training Course. We can still hear the laughter this question brought ringing around the lovely space we teach in.
We can safely say we are in for a year full of fun and laughter with this lovely 2017 group of students. We have been really looking forward to this year as it is our second year of teaching together as a team. We have found our mojo of working together and have lots of fun which creates a great environment in which to learn and explore. Sarah, our lead tutor is so experienced; a fantastic mentor who we are lucky enough to assist on the teaching team.
Our first weekend in February is usually quite an anxious one for the students. We both remember this feeling when embarking on our own BCMB training courses. Everyone is feeling a bit unsure and have so many questions swirling around their heads, “Will I get on with other students? Will I be able to learn the anatomy and physiology? Will I have to tell everyone about myself?” It isn’t long though before they discover that everyone has their individual apprehensions and concerns and they are usually relieved when told that they don’t need to know each other’s stories. By lunchtime of the first day in the cafe (yes, we even have a fabulous cafe at the Fold in Bransford where we run the Worcester course) there is so much chatter and laughter as these students of mixed ages and backgrounds come together and get to know one another through their communal interest in massage.
This weekend in March was our second weekend together and everyone was so much more relaxed and connected. The students really enjoyed our supervision sessions where they get the opportunity to split into small groups, each group facilitated by one of us as tutors. In these small groups they have the opportunity to explore and share their successes, concerns and learn from one another’s experiences. This is a model that as a school, BCMB take forward throughout the course year and beyond into professional life as a massage therapist. We as tutors and assistant tutors all go to supervision to continue in our professional development, to share our experiences with peers and to talk through any difficulties and successes we have.
We look forward to observing and sharing in this year’s journey with 2017 Worcester BCMB group.
Cleo and Colette
Assistant Tutors BCMB Worcester
Cleo, Colette and Sarah all run private supervision groups for qualified practitioners in the Worcester area. To find out more, including when our Bristol tutors run sessions, visit our supervision group section on our CPD page.
By Sarah Cohen, Indian Head Massage Course Leader
Another group of excited students have just gained their Indian Head Massage Certificate and are taking it out into the world – well done all of you!
I love teaching head massage – it has such a unique character all of its own. I am constantly searching for the essence of what makes it so different – as different it is. It comes from such a long line of teaching and healing being part of Ayurvedic understanding which dates back over 4000 years. It is an intrinsic part of life in Indian culture with children massaging their parents, mothers their babies, friends their friends and even stockbrokers seeking their heads to be massaged before deciding to sell/buy!
At the start of each course there is curiosity and hesitancy from students who often come from a holistic massage background and want to know ‘What is this?’ I try to explain but the understanding only comes – and it always comes – after hands on experience of a day or so – and excitement, smiles arrive. And still it can’t be easily vocalised.
My desire for the world is that touch/massage become part of our daily life for everyone. There will still be a need for specialised therapeutic massage – as there is in Ayurvedic medicine – but for everyone to be comfortable and happily touching others in our daily life would help our society to be so much more healthy. Head massage is so well suited to this as it can take place anywhere at anytime without clothes needing to be removed or special equipment needed. Despite its apparent ‘smallness’ as a therapy I am constantly amazed at how it can be so much more deeply relaxing and profound than any other discipline – and it is fabulous to watch that surprise in those receiving who expected something pleasant and relaxing and find it is on another plane.
The course itself is also a joy as although there is much to be learnt and homework to be done the whole essence of the therapy is that it is relaxed, laid back and so is the course within the context of learning. Charlotte Rooney, recent Indian Head Massage graduate (and BCMB Office Manager!) said “I have loved this course! It has added so much to my practice, and I particularly enjoyed learning about the Ayurvedic side of head massage including all the gorgeous hair oils. I’d never thought if myself as an energy worker so it was intriguing to explore chakra work a bit more and realise how effective it can be even if it’s not your normal practice. It’s difficult to explain how it’s different from ‘normal’ head and face work or even seated massage but my clients certainly like it. Some of them now choose it in preference to holistic and in addition I see people who wouldn’t choose a table massage at all.”
If you want to join us in this exploration we have a course running at our Worcester centre starting 8th April and one in Bristol starting 2nd October – find out more including how to enroll.
BCMB tutor, Sarah Hoare, interviewed Lucy Heard (pictured right) to find out why this creative arts freelancer regularly attends the BCMB Student Clinics…
SH: Lucy, thanks for sitting down with me today. Let’s crack on – when did you start having massage at the Student Clinic?
LH: 1912! Well, at least 2 years ago. I go weekly, as often as I can. I generally book a block of 5 then take a little rest and book another block. Apart from the time when I didn’t do any sessions, and that was just wrong!
It was difficult for me to go at first. Hard to let myself have that space. It felt very indulgent. Well, it still does, but now I let myself go anyway! I’ve learned the benefits outweigh the feelings of guilt and self-indulgence. When I tell other people I’m having massage most weeks they say, “What? Really? Can you DO that?” There’s a lot of permission giving going on within myself. I think it’s easier because I’m not spending £50-60 a time. The affordable price makes a real difference to me. When I started going I wasn’t earning much money at all.
SH: Tell me more about the benefits?
LH: I feel much more grounded in my own body. Let’s say I know when I DON’T go! It’s really noticeable when I don’t go. When I do though, I feel more calm and more together. And the benefits go on for days afterwards. It’s not just about having a nice time at the time. I find I continue to absorb and reflect afterwards. I’m in a different headspace.
I don’t get as angry. And I can see things in a much more orderly fashion. In exchange for an hour a week, I get to clear out my head. It just works.
SH: Has your experienced changed over the time you’ve been having the massages?
LH: In the beginning I used to spend time lying there feeling I didn’t deserve it. I’d be giving myself a hard time for having time out, time completely dedicated to me, as if that didn’t have any value in the grand scheme of things. Like I should be working or helping someone else or whatever.
SH: What changed for you?
LH: Ha! I told myself to get over myself and enjoy it! I also recognised that I am helping someone else by going. I’m helping the student to improve. I went round a lot of different students early on and that really helped me to trust the process. I would go and not know who I was getting each time, and I’ve never had an unpleasant massage. It became about trusting that everyone who’s there is there for a reason, and the variety’s given me an overarching experience of the training. The massage is never the same twice, but it’s coming from a consistent place, individual style with familiar elements. It’s a bit like my yoga practice – I do the same postures again and again, but I have a different experience every time. It’s not like BCMB is churning therapists out of a factory!
I feel like I’m learning massage from the inside out. I’m getting insight into what the students are learning, and it’s nice when they share that with me, whether it’s telling me muscle names or what a particular technique is for.
And I like to pretend I really don’t give a monkey’s about taking my clothes off, when really I do! It’s all interconnected with life. It’s all about being present and being seen, if It’s OK to get deep and philosophical about it!
When I first started going I felt they needed to beat the s**t out of me, like it needed to be painful with big pressure on the tenderest parts. Now, with the regularity and the experience, I don’t feel I need that level of force. It can be a really pleasant experience, not seeking to fix anything or change anything, it can just be as it is in that moment.
It’s learning about letting go. Learning I don’t need to ‘help’ by say holding or moving my arm for the student. I am getting better at letting go. And I notice when my mind wanders, and I feel my body respond to the thoughts. Sometimes I catch myself tensing up and realise my mind’s drifted back to some tricky moment from the day.
There are moments of revelation too, suddenly getting clarity, or solutions, realising , “of course that’s what I should do!”
It’s also just really nice to know you’ve got a warm, comfortable, safe space booked in once a week. That’s nice!
The only downside is just getting to develop little relationships over perhaps 3-4 sessions. I don’t get to experience an ongoing relationship with one person, but that’s a compromise I’m willing to make because I know the quality will always be there.
SH: How do you schedule the sessions into your life?
LH: I try to plan so I’m not doing anything after my massage. I like to keep my clear head afterwards. The massage is like a signal, “this is the end of my day”, so I don’t lie there thinking about all the things I need to do later.
SH: With all your experience, any top tips for first timers?
LH: Let the students practice what they need to – be open to it and you’ll get a better session as a result. There’s no need to fight what’s being offered. I haven’t gone in with an agenda of my own, say to sort my shoulders out, for a long time. When you get comfortable with letting the student practice what they need to, you get great attention because they are really into it, really appreciative and really focused. It’s an exchange. They’re there to learn, and you’ll be surprised how working in areas other than your shoulders can help so much!
And you get to see them progress and grow in confidence. They really change along the way, and there’s always an interesting mix of people on the course, from dance instructors to boxers!
SH: And if someone was thinking about going to the Student Clinic, what would you say to them?
LH: Do it! Get on with it! Stop wasting your life!
SH: Well, that’s a perfect moment to end on! Thanks for taking the time to chat, Lucy. Happy Massage and Happy New Year to you!
If you want to start attending the BCMB Student Clinics, contact the office on 0117 946 6371