The wonder of Teaching At BCMB

Sarah MclellanI joined the teaching team at BCMB as an assistant tutor roughly 5 years ago. It has been, and is, one of the most precious and brilliant experiences of my working life.  As an assistant it was my job to support the students, be there for them as they journeyed through the course with all the ups, downs, delights and worries that doing a year long body work course offers up.   I am a tutor now and thoroughly enjoying my new role, taking the lead a bit more and considering the bigger picture in relation to the course, its development, delivery and the needs of the current and future students.   It has been and still is a huge honour to witness and support the learning journey of 24 people of many different walks of life, many different stages of life and experiences of life to explore their inherent human ability to touch another human being with awareness, in order to bring healing.   Getting to know each group of students is a gift and a joy, exploring year on year the wonders of the body, of bones, muscles, blood and the more etherial concepts of ‘presence’ and ‘quality of touch’ is a whole new learning journey for me each time.  The body and being human is an infinity complex and in many ways undefinable truth and the professional training course is like being an explorer in a beautiful canoe, flowing down a rich and diverse river to who knows where.  Each student starts from a different place and reaches a different place, all those who qualify( and we have a very high success rate) stand in different shoes and offer a different and very individual version of what it is to be a holistic client centred body worker and then they begin a new chapter in their discovery of what it is for them to be a practitioner and the flavour of body work that they can offer.  There is always room for another flavour of body work and massage, that way we can know that there will always be the right person or people out there to give us just the right massage on any particular day.

Sarah Mclellan, MTI

CHANGES AT BCMB: A message from Andy Fagg, BCMB Director

There are important changes going on at BCMB at present.

After 5 years of conscientious service, our Office Manager Sarah Worley is leaving us on Tuesday 3rd May. Sarah has been nothing short of amazing over this time. Her friendly efficient demeanour and consistent capacity for damn hard work have been absolutely fantastic. She has brought clarity, determination and outstanding professionalism to the role and we will miss her. BCMB would not be where it is today, both in terms of premises and as an organisation, without her help.

I am delighted to welcome a very capable replacement in the form of Charlotte Rooney. Charlotte is undergoing an induction period at the moment and will take up post fully on 23rd May.

Charlotte has a background as a Manager in the Environment Agency and has worked on the Matthew for the last 2 years. She brings maturity, experience and insight into the world of massage, having trained at BCMB in the last 2 years. We are very fortunate to have her join us and look forward to a different face in the office on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. The other days of the week will continue to be covered by our Office Administrator, Petrina Yeoh.

And in Charlotte’s own words:Charlotte

“Hi, I’m Charlotte and I’m very excited to be joining the team at BCMB after completing my own holistic massage training here in July 2015. As I’ve learned in my previous office manager role,  there’s not really a job like it for variety, busy-ness and never really knowing what each day will bring – I love it! As well as starting working at BCMB, and practicing massage, I also do a bit of running group leading plus run a monthly stay and play at my children’s school.

I’m mum to Ivy (8) and Taius (7) and married to John, a sports massage therapist and planning consultant. In my spare time I am a barefoot runner, love being out in nature, write a bit for pleasure and love making stuff, mainly out of wool.”

Seated Massage – Only 20 Minutes?

By Jacquie Kelly – BCMB and MTI Tutor

This week I visited an office where I provide On-Site Massage; 20 minute seated sessions through clothes, without the use of oil.

A new client arrived having been persuaded by his colleagues to ‘try me out’. He was used to having very deep 90 minute massages and told me he couldn’t see the point of just 20 minutes, but due to the discomfort in his body he reluctantly arrived at my door.

Following an assessment of the muscular tension in his neck and shoulders, I began the massage. Each stroke inviting his muscles that it’s safe to let go. Gradually softening and re-lengthening the muscle fibres that had become progressively imprisoned by postures caused by laptops, driving, and endless meetings. I could sense he had literally been shouldering the mental and emotional demands of his life, but through positive touch I could feel his muscles starting to yield. His muscles didn’t need to be bullied into submission, instead pressure of varying and increasing depths could be applied, using different approaches to help release and meet his needs.Seated massage

In this moment he didn’t need to take control, he wasn’t being judged, a corporate mask could slip and in the stillness he could gain some calm and re-connect to himself.

At the end of the session the pain had all but eased and his range of movement had increased. He was both surprised and delighted, immediately booking in again for next time.

Yes it was only 20 minutes, but it clearly made a huge difference to his week.

(A one day seated massage workshop with Jacquie Kelly will be held at BCMB on Saturday 23rd July)

Reflections on massage and social change: Wellbeing

Through my study of the BCMB Holistic Massage and Bodywork Course I have come to realise that the practice of holistic massage embodies many principles important within social change activism. This realisation has been eye opening in understanding how these practices can and should translate into all walks and areas of life and work.

I have gained a much deeper understanding of wellbeing and self-care and the important transformative nature of this. Having started this course accidentally in a time of experiencing severe burn out, I found incredible healing and understanding of the need for such processes. I may not have fully appreciated these if I had not been in the current mental and physical state that I was in.
Social Change
To me much of what I have learnt about directly translates into and is relevant to the need of transformative self-care and self-awareness within social justice and activism circles. I hope to bring much of what I have learnt into these spaces.

Often in activism and social change work we undervalue the need to look after ourselves in the constant strive to help both society and the planet, often forgetting we are a part of society and a part of this planet. I very easily put the needs of my mind and definitely my body last, running myself into the ground until I am ill and exhausted. I have treated my body as an unimportant casing that is required to house myself in, one that does not require care or nourishment.

Within your massage practice, this line of thinking does not work. You soon realise that without looking after your mental wellbeing you cannot truly give or be present with a client and their needs. You soon realise that not maintaining your physical wellbeing whether that be sleep, eating well, overusing yourself, getting ill, means you do not have the physical ability to give a massage.

Learning that chronic stress is the constant state of flight or fight mode, with muscles in a permanent state of tension, digestion systems disrupted and immune systems repressed, and the cardiovascular system in overdrive made me realise that in not looking after myself I was not giving love to myself.

Activism for positive social change is a constant fight for a better world, and it is a fight where you use the tools of love, beauty, hope and passion to fight repression, oppression and hate.

Taking the time to love yourself well, to care for yourself so you are full of the love, joy, hope and the passion needed is essential.

Being able to understand the intrinsic links and processes between mind and body, the stress response system and the resultant physiological responses has been very eye opening in being able to truly appreciate the need to respect myself, my mind and my body so I can fight for a better world.

Being a person who is always on fast-forward I have found a new appreciation and space in my life for the importance and need for pace, stepping back, and the benefits of being and reflecting.

I have found that in ‘doing’ less, by allowing myself to regenerate and become resilient I am a stronger person, able to give more in the long run.

This is a valuable lesson I have learnt through this massage course that will remain with me for the rest of my life and practice.

By Marianna Musset
Marianna will be exploring the themes of communication, holding space, self-awareness and holistic health as resistance in coming weeks.

Design Massage Bunting

Calling all artistic massage people!


We have a fantastic opportunity to have some massage related bunting made by ‘Happy City’ the team who we work with at Harbour festival.

If you can embrace your creative side and produce a design which represents ‘massage from around the world’ Please do!

Click the picture for more details and where to send your designs. Your design will be made into bunting which will hang proudly on our BCMB Marquee at Harbour Festival 2015!

I have got an extension until Friday 10th July for all designs to be in – so the pressure is on but boy it would be great to get involved if we can!

Help spread happiness through art and massage 🙂

HC World Bunting

Pilates Classes – Wednesday Mornings

Starting on Wednesday 15th May, Joyce Tyson will be coming to BCMB to run weekly Pilate Classes.  Joyce is highly experiences with 16 years of teaching under her belt.

joyce 2Intermediate Pilates starts at 10.15 for one hour
Easy Intermediate starts at 11.15 for one hour
Maximum 12 people per class.
Book in advance for the 6 week term (ongoing)

Contact Joyce direct to book:

0117 9024603

Mindfulness Course for Healthcare Professionals

Starting in January 2015

This 8-week course offers a way to gradually learn mindfulness skills in a supportive and safe environment. Participants will be taught a variety of practices that increase awareness of present moment experience, such as the sensory experience of the external world, of body sensations, thoughts and emotions. The training will promote kindness, curiosity and a willingness to be present to pleasant or unpleasant experience. This in turn will nurture a profound sense of wellbeing and resilience in face of life’s difficulties, and open up new possibilities for ourselves.

More information and a booking form can be found here: http://www.mindfulness4all.co.uk/mindfulness-courses-for-healthcare-professionals

Complementary Therapy Co-ordinator for St Peter’s Hospice

St Peter’s Hospice, Bristol
Complementary Therapy Co-ordinator – 15 hours per week  

We are looking for an enthusiastic, well motivated individual to join our Complementary Therapy Team within Day Services at St Peter’s Hospice. The complementary service provides valuable support to patients with a life limiting illness.

The successful applicant will be a qualified complementary therapist, have excellent communication skills and be able to assist in the development of our complementary therapy service. You will have a pivotal role in delivering the provision of complementary therapies to inpatients, outpatients and Day Hospice patients. You will support the Complementary Therapy Team Leader in maintaining a safe and effective CT Service for patients providing high quality, personalised holistic treatment programmes in accordance with the policies and procedures of St Peter’s Hospice.

For further information and an application form – Please visit our website – www.stpetershospice.org


Hoax E-mail to Massage Practitioners

There appears to be a hoax e-mail being sent to massage practitioners which states the following:



My name is Mr Vane and my wife name is Sonia Vane, we will like to have a family therapy with you. We are Belgian, presently living and working as a foreign investor here in Mexico for the past 5 years.

so our annual vacation is near and we have decided to have a family Massage therapy while on vacation to enhance our health, Relaxation and well-being., that’s why we’re contacting you because we are coming for our vacation in your city in United Kingdom.

We will be there between 22nd of November to 22nd of December 2014, we can always come to your office for our appointment sessions during our stay.

This means we will be in the United Kingdom for 4 weeks, We will like to come for visit Three times a week which means 12 appointments during our 4 weeks stay over there.

Please let me know what are the information you need from us to have our appointments scheduled/booked with you ahead of our arrival on time, and let me know your charges and duration.



Unfortunately, after one of our contacts researched this online there does seem to be a scam of massage therapists where people book from out of town and over pay.  Their cheque seems to clear and the therapist refunds the difference.  Subsequently it transpires that the cheque was a fraud, by which time the ‘client’ is long gone.

Please be wary if you receive an e-mail similar to this.

Remedial & Sports Massage Open Evening

Thursday 29th May – 6:30pm to 8:30pm

– Have questions answered
– Meet tutors and students
– Practical demonstration at 7:00pm

Register your interest by phone: 0117 946 6371 or e-mail: enquiries@bristolmassage.co.uk

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