Reminder – Workshop Price Rise

Just a reminder  that from January 2017, the following prices rises will occur:

Introductory Workshops:

Current Price – £120 or £100 concessionary rate
New Price – £130 or £110 concessionary rate

Advanced Workshops:

Current Price – Early Bird Price of £65 per day, Full Price of £70 per day
New Price – Early Bird Price of £75 per day, Full Price of £80 per day

Massage Practice Days:

Current Price – £59 or £49 concessionary rate
New Price – £69 or £59 concessionary rate

Want to book onto a course next year but not pay the higher prices?  Book and pay before 1st January and we’ll honour our current prices. Book online now:

Book onto an Introductory Workshop here

Book onto an Advanced Workshop or Massage Practice Day here

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year


Merry Christmas from the BCMB Team.  We’re wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year!

Please note that between Christmas and New Year we will only be open for some of Thursday 29th December. Apart from this date, the college will be closed until returning to normal working hours on Tuesday 3rd January.

Workshops Price Changes from January 2017

From January 2017, the following prices rises will occur:

Introductory Workshops:

Current Price – £120 or £100 concessionary rate
New Price – £130 or £110 concessionary rate

Advanced Workshops:

Current Price – Early Bird Price of £65 per day, Full Price of £70 per day
New Price – Early Bird Price of £75 per day, Full Price of £80 per day

Massage Practice Days:

Current Price – £59 or £49 concessionary rate
New Price – £69 or £59 concessionary rate

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


Recruiting – Holistic Massage Diploma Assistant Tutor

Are you interested in massage teaching with the BCMB?

The staff team at BCMB continues to evolve! In December 2016 Gill Ayshford will be leaving the Holistic Massage Diploma teaching team. She has been fantastic over the last 10 or so years, providing her wise, grounded support to many many students. Thank you Gill!

So, from February 2016, there will be a vacancy for a new assistant tutor, to join the team with Jacquie Kelly, Jeremy Dymond and Ros Cooper.

We are recruiting now to give the new person time for induction and experience on the course currently in progress and an Introductory Workshop or two.

Would you like to get involved?

The Job

The Assistant Role in the Professional Training is a very important one. This includes experiencing again the course itself; supporting students; receiving lots of massage (!), mentoring63769_3527_1_M010 and other support; and opportunities for future development. At BCMB we have a staff development process – this represents the first stage.

The role involves attending all the course weekends, including the residential one at Poulstone near Hereford.  There may also be a need to attend some of the Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology days on Friday. Hence the commitment being asked is for around 25 days between February and December 2016.  There is also a time commitment between course weekends in terms of planning and review meetings plus, when required, 1-1 support or catch-up sessions with students.  The catch-up sessions are paid for by the student, as specified in the Learning Contract.

Specifically, the role includes the following:

  • Attending planning meetings.
  • Before each course weekend, liaising with the team; this includes preparation and mentoring on specific inputs the Assistant will make.
  • During the weekend, one-to one support of students whilst they are practising techniques at the massage table.
  • Sharing personal and professional experience during group processes.
  • Some demonstration of techniques (this is small to begin with but more opportunities are created as the Assistant gathers confidence and experience).
  • Feedback to students on their folders of work.
  • Helping to clear up after breaks and at lunch times – and encouraging students to get involved!
  • Attending de-briefing meetings at the end of each course weekend.
  • Attending review weekends at the end of a training.
  • Sitting in on Introductory Workshops with more experienced staff

The positions are paid at a rate that varies depending on the size of the group. As a not for profit company BCMB acts as a cooperative, so staff fees are negotiated and agreed at the start of each course. Recently, new assistants received £90 per day in their first year rising to £100 in their second. This includes mentoring and support from the course leaders.

Entry Criteria

Andy teachingThe following list is desirable but not all necessarily mandatory. We would much prefer to get the right person – man or woman – rather than tick all the boxes. So the desirable criteria are:

  • To have completed the BCMB professional training.
  • Some Advanced Training experience through BCMB’s CPD programme or elsewhere.
  • To have or be developing an independent professional practice.
  • To have been qualified for at least a year.
  • To be in on-going professional supervision (or to be willing to enter supervision once engaged as a teaching assistant).
  • Some experience of working with groups including teaching.

Future Developments

As stated above this is the first stage on the BCMB staff development programme. This can lead ultimately to becoming a full MTI tutor.  The speed of this process can vary but MTI criteria specifies that it must include at least 3 years teaching experience.

What to do Next

If you might be interested, please get in touch with us at:

Please indicate:

  • What interests you about the work.
  • What qualities you would bring to the role.
  • Background information including how you meet the entry criteria.
  • How you would see the work fitting in to your future development.

The closing date for applications is Friday 16th September 2016 with interviews taking place on Monday 26th September 2016. This gives time for some induction training in the run up to Christmas.

We look forward to hearing from you.

With Best Wishes

Andy Fagg

BCMB Director

Teaching the long and the short: and I’m not talking body types!

By Jeremy Dymond, Holistic Massage Diploma Tutor

I spend most of my time as a tutor at Bristol College of Massage & Bodywork (BCMB) teaching the Level 4 Diploma in Holistic Massage. And I love it.

You get to see people with little or no experience of massage start to dip a toe in; dive headlong; swim, sometimes flounder a little; gain support, knowledge & experience; grow confident; and sail on beyond with a professional skill for helping others under their belt.

This weekend though I’ve been teaching an ‘Introduction to Massage’ two-day workshop at BCMB. Which I also love.

Like the Diploma course you get to see people with little or no experience of massage start to dip a toe in; dive headlong; swim, sometimes flounder a little; gain support, knowledge & experience; grow confident; – you may have spotted some repetition here! – and sail on beyond to carry some of these basic skills in to their lives (and maybe on into the Diploma course).

So what’s my point – why the repetition?!63768_3526_1_H007

…well, the two courses are so different to teach… in the full Diploma course there’s so much juicy detail, intriguing anatomical learning, valuable physiology & pathology information, developing & refining of people skills, creation of clear a supportive connection with people, and interesting ways to effectively apply this knowledge to the hands-on work of the actual massage.

There’s no way you can cover even a tenth of this in a 2day Introduction to Massage workshop!..

… but one of the reasons I love the short Introductory workshop is because I’m unendingly in awe of how it captures the essence of the full Diploma course… in just two days!

It reflects the person centred, nurturing, accepting ethos of the Diploma course, and of the College as a whole.

It captures the main principles underpinning the Diploma course and offers a lot of the, oh-so-important, sensitive, connecting, hands-on work.

The two days may not give anything like the superb depth of knowledge and growth of skills people gain form the Diploma course but it really does capture the college’s essence, and it is this essence that drew me to BCMB and gives me the greatest pleasure to share it with others.

Jeremy Dymond

Jeremy Dymond

Jeremy Dymond was drawn to massage having experienced many benefits from it while suffering a back condition. He trained with BCMB in 2010 and now works in private practice in Bath where he also lives. He is an assistant on the BCMB Professional Training Course in Worcester. He uses influences from Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi to look after himself and further support his massage work. Always keen to be outdoors and active, be it on his bike or walking and camping, Jeremy forever looks to make better use of his body and to find effective ways to relax his mind. He finds great satisfaction in using massage to help others get the best from their bodies.

Teaches: Holistic Massage (Bristol)

David Lauterstein’s appraisal

It’s wonderful to have happy teachers and clients at BCMB. Here’s what David Lauterstein thought after teaching his Deep Tissue Massage course here last week:

“The Bristol College of Massage and Bodywork is a repository of high quality practice, theory, and education that is often rare these days.  They are rigorously holistic with ample attention to science, yet they do not forget the art.  It is the union of these that is the key to the highest level of education in our field. Thank you all for keeping that dream alive and well – lucky students!” 

~ David Lauterstein, author, The Deep Massage Book, Co-Director, The Lauterstein-Conway Massage School and Clinic in Austin, Texas.


A Student’s Experience of a Massage Practice Session

As a student studying Holistic Massage at The Fold in Worcester, I cannot complain about how fulfilling the course is. During each weekend, just when you think you won’t learn anything new, you find new pockets of information – you are nourished with new techniques, and connect with your own sense of being. Not to mention the amount of time spent giving and receiving massage.

Practice hours in Worcester are very much reliant upon each individual – we do not have open clinics, unlike Bristol’s College. However, from the beginning of the course we have been given the option to use this facility at Bristol, should we so desire.

I cannot fully comprehend what compelled me to visit Bristol for the practice sessions that are on offer – massaging strangers, an hour at a time?! Madness!

Yet, the confidence gained on this course, and the need to get used to meeting strangers to form a client base became the nectar for my visit.

It was simple. Consultation - Practice Session
Contact BCMB.
Choose available slots.
Wait for clients to book.
Find out their details.
Travel to Bristol.
Pack up.

Of course, the practicalities were simple, but the amount of courage it takes to do these open client sessions should not go unnoticed – for myself or any other BCMB student.

Before I left home to meet my three clients, it is safe to say that my Cortisol levels were probably rather high. In fact, I felt quite ill – perhaps I just won’t go?! No. Clients are booked. They are expecting you. Go!

So, I arrived in Bristol, very early, and parked in a multi-storey car park in the city centre. My plan was to have lunch and spend the twenty-minute walk to the college practicing some mindfulness to ensure I was ready for the clients. In practice, this worked, and upon arrival I was calm.

The time flew. The students were welcoming, and ever so helpful (being a clueless lost puppy!), and it was great to have conversation regarding the course. In addition, every client was fantastic, holding a great understanding of the purpose of the open practice sessions – writing valuable feedback for the student at the end of his or her received massage.

These sessions are most enriching, in fact, so much so, that I decided to make the journey to Bristol the following month, and hope to again before the end of the course.

By Emily Wild

Massage at Mappfest Music Festival 2016

BCMB has a thriving events team who go to all sorts of interesting events to provide massage to people on site and to showcase the great work we do.  Hannah Newrick, current Worcester student reports back from our recent outing at MappFest

“The morning of Sunday 20th of June was blessedly bright and dry as we set up for Mappfest Worcester Mappfest 22016. Now in its seventh year, Mappfest is an independent music festival held on Malvern Link common. It attracts over a thousand live music fans over two days who flock to hear bands performing on its three stages. Five BCMB students, two massage tables, a gazebo and folding chairs lent by Sarah Cohen for the purpose and yet more chairs borrowed from friends made up our massage stall where we were to spend the day offering massages to the public for a donation to Mappfest’s charities.

Worcester Mappfest 1Five hundred metres from the main stage, with a good view of the bands performing, it wasn’t long before people began to wander over and take an interest as Collette, one of our course leaders, demonstrated some great techniques for seated massage. Clients sat in chairs, with a towel draped around their shoulders, and received a ten or fifteen minute massage for a donation of their choice. Most people happily dropped notes into our bucket. Several people opted for a massage on one of our tables, with requests for back, shoulder, leg and foot massage. Disposable couch roll, a stack of towels, a hand washing station and wet wipes maintained good hygiene.

Although best delivered with minimal talking once a massage is under way, the social and fun nature of the event meant chatting with talkative clients about their day felt appropriate. The feedback we got was excellent and many people were interested in our training and impressed by how in depth it is. It was a great event to support and fantastic to gain experience of massaging in a festival environment. Everyone really enjoyed themselves and we even got the gazebo packed away before the rain arrived!”

2017 Advanced Workshops

We’re pleased to be finalising the details of next years advanced workshops. You can now find further information and book onto workshop until June 2017.  We will continue to add further workshops in the following weeks.  Here’s a summary on what’s available:

Date Course Location
2nd July 2016 Cranial Touch
with Jessica Pailthorpe
The Fold, Worcester
2-3 July 2016 Introduction to Remedial and Sports Massage
with Adam Carter
BCMB, Bristol
15 July 2016 Massage for Women’s Health
with Heidi Armstrong
BCMB, Bristol
23 July 2016 Chair Massage
with Jacquie Kelly
BCMB, Bristol
24 July 2016 Reflexology for Massage Practitioners
with Gill Ayshford
BCMB, Bristol
3rd September 2016 Massage and Pregnancy
with Heidi Armstrong
BCMB, Bristol
30th September 2016 Improve Your Online Presence
with Leora Sharp
BCMB, Bristol
28th-30th October 2016 Deep Tissue Massage
with Andy Fagg
BCMB, Bristol
4th November 2016 Intro to Hawaiian Lomi Lomi Massage
with Rosalie Samet
BCMB, Bristol
21st & 28th November 2016 3D Side Lying Massage
with Andy Fagg
BCMB, Bristol
7th January 2017 Chair Massage
with Jacquie Kelly
BCMB, Bristol
13th January 2017 Acupressure Facial Release
with Heidi Armstrong
BCMB, Bristol
20th January 2017 Releasing the Neck
with Andy Fagg
BCMB, Bristol
28th-29th January 2017 Introduction to Remedial & Sports Massage
with Tim Bartlett
BCMB, Bristol
30th January 2017 Effortless Massage
with Sarah Hoare
BCMB, Bristol
10th February 2017 Freeing the Shoulders
with Darien Pritchard
BCMB, Bristol
11th-12th February 2017 Massage for People with Cancer
with Andy Fagg
BCMB, Bristol
10th February 2017 Acupressure Facial Release
with Darien Pritchard
BCMB, Bristol
25th February 2017 Intro to Hawaiian Lomi Lomi Massage
with Rosalie Samet
BCMB, Bristol
26th February 2017 Beyond Trauma
with Kathryn Smith
BCMB, Bristol
25th March 2017 Mobilising Massage
with Andy Fagg
BCMB, Bristol
7th April 2017 Intro to Hawaiian Lomi Lomi Massage
with Rosalie Samet
BCMB, Bristol
19th May 2017 Lower Back and Hips
with Darien Pritchard
BCMB, Bristol
20th-21st May 2017 3D Side Lying Massage
with Andy Fagg
BCMB, Bristol
20th-21st May 2017 Introduction to Thai Massage
with Yvonne Cattermole
BCMB, Bristol
9th June 2017 Shiatsu for Massage Practitioners
with Heidi Armstrong
BCMB, Bristol
19th & 26th June 2017 Postural Analysis
with Anna Orren
BCMB, Bristol

Workshops typically cost £65-£70 per day but please click the workshop title to find out more information and check the cost.

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