BCMB Office is Recruiting!

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

  • Facilities:

– 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.

Person Specification

Essential Skills:

  • 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.

 Desirable Skills:

  • 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 enquiries@bristolmassage.co.uk

Closing Date and Interviews

Closing Date: Thursday 28 March 2019

Interviews: 9:30 – 1pm Tuesday 2 April 2019

Would you like to practice at BCMB?

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.

The Deal

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.

What Capacity?

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.

Who Qualifies?

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: andyfagg54@gmail.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.

Thank you!!

Andy Fagg

BCMB Founder and Chairman


The BCMB Office is recruiting!


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.

Duties include:

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
  • Payments
  • Preparing course materials.

4. Supporting the College’s Student and Graduate clinics:

  • Liaising with students, graduates and course leaders
  • Marketing and Bookings
  • Payments.

5. Accounts:

  • Paying bills
  • Maintaining weekly account records
  • Preparing End of year accounts for College Manager’s approval.

6. Facilities:

  • Tidying and rearrangement of rooms
  • Monitoring premises and ordering office supplies as required
  • Laundry

7. Other duties as and when required

Person Specification
Essential Skills:

  • 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.

Desirable Skills:

  • 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: andyfagg54@gmail.com.

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.

From Project Manager to Massage Therapist

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.

Suzanne M.

Massage Training Institute Annual Conference 2017

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.

The Unique Qualities of Indian Head Massage

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.

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

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.


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

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