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.

New Practitioner Training in Hawaiian Lomi Lomi Massage

Professional Training with Rosalie Samet

Taking bodywork to new dimensions of subtle feelings, sensory awareness and inner experience. Bursts of concentrated learning over a few months quickly build into extraordinary happenings for those who are ready to embrace more awareness, zest for life and everything else that is wonderful.

Course Dates:

Module One:     May  5 – 8,
Module Two:     June 9 – 12,
Module Three:  July  7 – 10
Assessment:     Oct   19 – 20

Course Accreditation: FHT and CThA

Course Fee Payment Options:

Early Bird Lump Sum £950
Lump Sum £1,125
Payment Plan £1,200 with Deposit £450

Venue: Bristol College of Massage and Bodywork

Enrolment and Information:

Please contact Rosalie direct on:

01273 730508

Course Syllabus

Synthesizing ancient with modern, this Practitioner Training is an authentic, inspiring and spiritual interpretation of traditional massage from Hawaii. Topics include:

  • The Influences of Hawaiian Wisdom upon Massage
  • Hawaiian Massage Skills
  • Self-Awareness. Personal and Spiritual Development
  • Working with Clients

This course is ideal for qualified therapists keen to learn an indigenous massage skill this is unique, luxurious, and practiced by only a few. It appeals to caring people who want to engage more deeply with the true potential of massage in order to make a real difference to their client’s lives as well as their own.

Hawaiian Massage is the traditional healing massage of ancient Hawaii, combining the best of Lomi Lomi and Kahuna Bodywork. In this unique and visually beautiful style of massage, the practitioner uses full hands, forearms and body weight to create long, flowing continuous strokes that sweep over and under the body from head to toe. Luxurious and sensory rich, it leaves a lasting impression of welcoming purity and goodness

This Training offers a rare opportunity to learn this re-discovered art form hidden in the depths of Hawaiian culture for centuries. Inspired by the extraordinary knowledge of the Ancient Hawaiians, learn how to initiate meaningful communication with the intelligence of the body, mind and inner-self through the simplicity and profundity of touch.

Hawaiian Massage brings to life the universal healing power of Aloha, known also as unconditional love.

The Benefits of Learning Hawaiian Massage:

  • Discover the wonderful techniques, attitudes and teachings that create this superlative and unforgettable massage
  • Understand how to work with the many shamanic forces that create the profound healing power of this life-changing massage therapy
  • Take your massage to unexpected levels and new worlds of possibility
  • Have fun and experience the joyful delights and rewards as each day of Training offers deepening insights, unique skills, profound beauty and highly effective approaches to healing and personal development

The Benefits of Receiving Hawaiian Massage

Hawaiian Massage offers a host of wide ranging benefits across the whole spectrum of human well-being.  Simultaneously encompassing the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and energetic clients feel deeply nourished, revitalized, relaxed, enriched and happy to be alive.

 Rosalie SametTutor

Rosalie Samet is a leading Master Practitioner and Trainer in the sacred art of Hawaiian Massage and founder of the Hawaiian Massage UK Training Centre. A dedicated pioneer in bringing Hawaiian Massage to the UK over the last twenty six years, her trainings are profound, compelling, insightful and life-changing.

01273 730508

Remedial and Sports Massage at BCMB by Adam Carter

Adam CarterWhen we first sat down together as a team at BCMB in 2010 with the idea of setting up a Remedial and Sports Massage diploma, the main goal in mind was to provide a high quality clinical training in the management of musculoskeletal problems and sports injuries. There seemed to be a gap between therapists with not enough specific knowledge to confidently manage their patients with “musculoskeletal” issues and other specialists such as osteopaths, chiropractors and physiotherapists, who focus on other forms of treatment such as manipulation and rehabilitation advice.

My own clinical background in both massage and osteopathy has made me aware of how important massage work is in helping people from all walks of life recover from, say, an acute ankle sprain, or on-going episodes of low back pain.

As I am writing this and reflecting back since we started our first course in September 2013, I feel we have travelled some way in achieving our goal and 740providing patients with the option of improving their muscle and joint health by seeing a remedial massage therapist.

I am particularly pleased with the fact that out of nearly 50 students that have trained with us in the last 3 years, all of them are looking to use their clinical skills professionally on either a part or full time basis. This involves connecting with people from all walks of life; we have moms who have developed very busy practices through their school Facebook pages, professional dancers who have become practitioners within their own work environment, personal trainers who now have another string to their bow, and holistic massage therapists who are now able to branch out and treat a wider range of people.

picture 5We are always trying to develop a similar link between the College and community. In the last 2 years, we’ve set up regular student clinics, which run through the academic year and offer low-cost high quality treatment to the general public. I’m delighted that a number of our past students have formed an Events & Outreach Team, run by one of our tutors, Pip Instone. Together they travel to a number of local sporting events throughout the year, offering both pre and post-event massage. I think it offers a fantastic experience to our current students, as well as providing networking opportunities for newly qualified graduates who are building a practice.

As we are heading into the final stages of our third course in-take, we are looking ahead to the new intake starting in September and the exciting opportunities that will bring. Our RSM community is always open to new members so if you are looking for a skilled therapist for help with an on-going problem or injury, or perhaps are interested in exploring the training yourself, do check out our details on the website and get in touch.

Adam Carter

Lead Tutor – Remedial and Sports Massage Diploma

Join our Graduate Clinic

Running from July to the end of September 2016

Who can join?

This is available to any BCMB Graduate who have completed one of our professional courses in Holistic Massage, Remedial & Sports Massage, Thai Massage and/or Indian Head Massage.

This is also available to our current students who are due to take their exams in June and July this year.

What is it?

  • Regular clinic sessions for graduates of BCMB Diploma courses held in:  The Blue Room at BCMB, Lower Ground Floor, 109 Pembroke Road, Clifton, BS8 3EU.
  • Three appointments per session
  • Clinics will be multi-bed i.e. 4 tables in the room, with privacy screens


  • Gain more client experience.
  • Practice in a clinic setting.
  • Build up your client base.
  • Monthly supervision included for free!
  • Enjoy using the facilities at BCMB.
  • If a client wishes to see you for 1-1 appointments elsewhere, that is absolutely fine. And charge whatever your normal hourly rate is.


  • Every Thursday
  • 3 blocks:
    Morning – 9:30; 10:45 and 12:00
    Afternoon – 14:00; 15:15 and 16:30
    Evening – 18:00; 19:15 and 20:30


  • Clients will pay £20 per massage or a block booking of 5 for £90.
  • Graduates will get paid £10 per massage – the balance pays for use of the BCMB facilities and also generates a budget for supervision.
  • Graduates will be expected to send in an invoice at the end of each month and will be paid by bank transfer.
  • We ask for a minimum commitment of 3 months and a maximum commitment of 6 months.
  • We will ask you to take on a simple contract.


  • The last Thursday of the month will be a 2 hour supervision group with a member of the BCMB teaching team.
  • AND…. Whilst you can’t count the massage appointments as CPD, the supervision sessions certainly can be counted.

Where are clients from?

  • BCMB’s current database of clients, from existing clinics, from contacts at events and through our student database.
  • We previously had a marketing drive of leaflet drops in the area.  This proved very successful.  We therefore ask all new graduates to continue supporting us by helping with further leaflet drops before they start.

I’m interested – what do I do?

Contact BCMB’s Manager, Charlotte Rooney on 0117 946 6371 or by email: enquiries@bristolmassage.co.uk

Indicate which blocks you are interested in.  Please note that all graduates will need to have their own insurance.

NEW Hawaiian Lomi Lomi Massage

Hawaiian MassageNEW One Day CPD Introductory Workshops with Rosalie Samet

Bring the Blessings and Wisdom of Aloha into your Massage

Friday 4 Nov 16,   Saturday 25 Feb 17,    Friday 07 April 17

Accredited by the CThA & FHT.

You will be amazed and delighted how easily you can enhance your understanding and skills while immersing yourself in the joyful secrets of Aloha and this ancient style of massage from Hawaii.

In the Workshops you:

  • Experience the paradise of Hawaiithrough guided visualization
  • Receive and give basic Hawaiian Massage to back of body
  • Use hands, forearms and body weight to create the long, flowing, continuous and beautiful strokes unique to this style of massage
  • Advance bodywork to new levels of depth and connection
  • Bring to life the Spirit of Aloha giving nourishment, revitalization, inner calm and relaxation
  • Move with dance-like grace, ease and good posture

> Book Now

Pondering Poulstone

Reflections on the residential weekend of the Holistic Massage Diploma.
By Imogen Quilley.

It was a relief to get away from life in busy Bristol and breathe in the fresh countryside air. The stillness of rural Herefordshire contrasted greatly with the constant background noise of traffic trundling down Park Street. Being there suddenly reminded me of Malvern where I grew up and how  calming it is there too. The house itself was beautiful: characterful without being dated. The top to bottom windows and high ceilings that looked out onto expansive fields gave a real feeling of space. I was happy to be sharing a bedroom with Marianna and Bronwen, as well as our excitement to actually have arrived at Poulstone.

Consolidating our intentions for the weekend was a helpful way to start off. Mine were to enjoy the outdoors and to gain more self confidence in becoming a qualified massage therapist – a common theme with many others in the group. Being halfway through the course meant that we had reached the tipping point in our journeys. From having spent the previous five months gathering a repertoire of skills, we would now be learning how to use them in the most skilful way with clients.

PoulstoneOn Friday morning we were thrown into doing some 5 Rhythms dancing. At first it felt strange to be doing but gradually the group began to embrace it. We started with flowing movements, moving on and changing into staccato, chaos, lyrical and finally stillness. When danced in sequence they’re like the process of a breaking wave. It was a lovely way to let go. I think that strangely if you can manage to lose your inhibitions, people will look on not with judgement but envy at all the fun you’re clearly having! I found the Ecstatic dance session lead by Sarah equally liberating, and he power of free movement as a way to release emotions and connect with yourself will stay with me.

The full body massage swap afterwards was a good chance to tie our compartmentalised approaches to practice into a more connected whole. I felt reasonably self assured that I could feel(!) my way and rely on what I’d learnt so far. It was nice to have totally unbroken focus for an hour and to know that our work was being observed. Receiving such encouraging written feedback from all the tutors once we’d finished confirmed just how supportive they are.

I enjoyed the Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology sessions with Tim and Yvonne, who’ve come in to teach us the theory side of things since the fifth weekend. They deepen our understanding of the human body which is then closely related to our massage work. The sessions are memorable in how interactive and fun they make them: we felt what the consistency of fascia is like by sticking our fingers into cornflour custard, and the brain with a plate of wobbling jelly.

The Cabaret on Saturday night was brilliant and open to anyone who wanted to sign up. Chez and Jess stole the show with their improvised ‘cell rap’ and their sweet, melodic harmonies. I really admired them for daring to be vulnerable in order share their creative sides. Marianna and I both read out a poem, and Micheal performed a fantasy fiction piece. It was an eclectic night, which provoked many misty eyed smiles and lots of laughter. Grooving at the end of the show to Rose’s vinyl record player came naturally, and I remember going to bed feeling wonderfully knackered.

On Sunday we role played the initial consultation that we will start to introduce into our massage work. We learnt to use a variety of questions to find out information such as someone’s previous experience of massage, the ways they use their body and any problem areas they might want attended to. It gives a space in which the clients physical and emotional needs can be heard, and supports the intention to achieve that 50/50 relationship. This is where you work with each other to achieve the best possible massage. It felt like the right time in the course to be adding the consultation in as treading the line between ‘learner’ and professional has at times been tricky. It’s more comfortable I thought be client focused.

The food we were so lucky to eat together at breakfast, lunch and dinner cannot go without mention. I noticed how the ring of the dinnertime bell brought about a practically Pavlovian response. We would queue up with our plates at the ready and help ourselves to a buffet of dishes that were varied and really delicious. Even though the food was vegetarian I didn’t once wish that there was meat. They did a wonderful job of looking after us over the whole weekend should be very proud.

And so finally the big question is… were the intentions set out at the start of the weekend satisfied as much as our stomachs? I can only speak for myself in saying that I certainly reconnected with nature (through some brisk morning runs and a leisurely stroll) and I definitely saw the potential to become a competent massage therapist. Poulstone provided a space in which to reflect on our progress so far and to start thinking about what our personal trajectories with massage might be. I know that after we qualify in July we will look back and appreciate each phase of course, but our time at Poulstone will stand out as the extra special weekend that encouraged and enriched us all.

What is Holistic Massage by Andy Fagg, Director of BCMB

What is holistic massage?

The term holistic massage can be woolly, vague, wet. At best, practitioners may talk of treating the “whole person” – body, mind and spirit. At worst they just burn incense, play whale music and charge you a stupid price.

Actually I like the word holistic although I agree with those who object to its “holiness” connotation. So just what is the “whole” that we refer to here?

At BCMB, massage is seen as a process of engagement, a dynamic communication of touch and response. There are three aspects to “wholeness”:

  1. the whole client, with physical, emotional and spiritual needs;
  2. the whole practitioner, present and focused, paying good attention;
  3. a whole range of techniques used as appropriate to the situation.

So how does massage work?


Holistic Massage - handsAs I touch your body, a whole range of physiological responses can occur, affecting the skin, sensory nerve receptors, muscle tissue, circulation of blood and lymph, ease of joint movement, breathing, digestion and so on. My skill as a therapist means I vary the depth, speed and intention to enable different responses to occur.

Yet there is much more than this.


Your emotions are body felt sensations. Anger, joy, fear, hope, shame, sadness – consider how each feels and you will evoke a physical sensation.


Also, your tissues display your conscious and unconscious belief systems. If you are confident and outgoing, you will present with very different postural and muscular patterning than if you feel insignificant and unimportant.

So when I touch you, I literally touch your view of yourself and how you feel. And that is the product not only of who you are now but also all your personal history up to that moment.

There is more.


holistic massage - AndyWhen I touch you, not only are your physical and emotional responses present, but so are mine. All my physical symptoms, feelings and personal history are also in the room. Of course, as a professional therapist, I take care of myself elsewhere, but I may also draw on my experience to support your personal process. So I may develop an expertise in working with clients whose experiences relate to mine. The range of outcomes from each therapeutic relationship is enormous, rich and constantly exciting.


As human beings, we are physical entities. Part of the deal of the human condition is that each of us has a body! Yet we have a culture that marginalizes the body, teaching us to be ashamed of its size, shape and functions. Many of us are not properly “embodied”. Our families, the media, partners and our own inner critics try to tell us that our bodies are not good enough.

The role of holistic massage is both radical and simple, namely enabling people to live fully in their bodies.   That’s it!

In future blogs I will define massage in one sentence and reveal the 4 principles that guide our work at BCMB with students and clients.

Andy Fagg

BCMB Founder and Director

12th May 2016

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