There was a wonderful sense of community and sharing at our annual Indian Head Massage CPD seminar on 30th June 2018. And we extended a very warm welcome to three therapists who had travelled from USA to attend.
The venue was perfect – a well-equipped and spacious training room at Therapy Station in Hinckley, Leics. We chose this training room as it is in such a central location. And we are grateful to Dawn Smith, a member of our IHM Community, who runs the therapy centre with her brother, Mark, for providing such a high standard of care and attention to detail.
The theme for the day was the adaptability of Indian Head Massage. The positive comments at the end of the day reflected the success of the presentations and practical sessions:
“I loved the new ideas for Indian Head Massage – I learnt so much”
“A really good mix of theory and practical”
“It was all amazing – so informative and inspiring”
“I now feel confident to adapt my usual routines”
Expert Guest Speakers
Our expert guest speakers were (from right to left in the photo below): Mary Atkinson, Giuliana Wheater, Amy Taylor, Bridget Prusik.
Mary Atkinson – the history and versatility of Indian Head Massage
Mary began the day with colourful photos and inspiring stories. Mary, author of The Art of Indian Head Massage, talked about the history of Indian Head Massage and the way it has been adapted to a more Western approach to therapy.
We discussed how we are all trained in different ways and shared ideas for using oils, working through clothes and adapting seating positions or using a couch or bed. Mary gave examples of some of the ways she has adapted Indian Head Massage to suit the occasion – including working at events, helping survivors of the tsunami in Japan and offering positive touch and comfort to refugees in Dunkirk.
Mary ended her session with a Story Massage session (a form of Indian Head Massage that combines moves with storytelling). We shared The Smiling Flowers Story written for the children in the aftermath of the Japanese tsunami. More information on Story Massage can be found on the website: Story Massage for Children.
Giuliana Wheater – The science behind the power of touch
Giuliana’s enthusiasm lit up the room as she discussed her extensive research into the scientific reasons why positive touch can bring so many benefits for children with additional needs. Giuliana, author of Indian Head Massage for Special Needs, has helped her own autistic son to reach his full potential (including graduating with an excellent degree) through Indian Head Massage techniques designed to stimulate and relax particular areas of the brain.
Everyone enjoyed sharing some of the techniques that Giuliana uses with children and young people in special schools and colleges. It is always such a joy to receive massage especially when you have more knowledge of the science behind the particular moves. We all agreed that it is so important to start to understand the scientific theory if we are to be taken seriously by other professionals including doctors and teachers. And we left with a generous handout full of information and diagrams.
More information on Giuliana’s book and courses can be found on her website: Therapies for Special Needs.
Amy Taylor – Positive posture for different work environments
Amy’s energy and innovative ideas had the room buzzing after lunch. She transformed the training room into three different work stations and demonstrated how to maintain positive posture in just about every possible situation. She looked at ways of using pillows at the end of the massage couch for pregnant clients, offering sessions with clients lying prone of the massage couch and even giving a massage on the beach! We were also impressed by her demonstration of making a simple head roll to support a client’s neck during face massage.
Working in small groups, we tried Amy’s ideas and techniques at the different work stations – and we had great fun as well as picking up new tips and ideas. Amy, who is owner of Purple Turtle Therapy and Purple Turtle Training Academy in Brighton shared her considerable experience and knowledge as she answered our questions and offered helpful advice. We all recognised the way that positive posture not only protects the therapist from injury but also increases the benefits of the therapy.
More information on Amy’s Diploma and CPD courses can be found on her website: Purple Turtle Training Academy
Bridget Prusik – Palliative Care – using a gentle touch
Bridget’s caring nature shone through as she explained the rewards and challenges of working with adults in palliative care settings. We were all moved by the stories that Bridget, who has been employed as a complementary therapist team leader in palliative care for many years, shared about the particular benefits that gentle Indian Head Massage can bring to patients and carers.
Several of the therapists attending the seminar were keen to work in this field and Bridget was able to offer encouraging suggestions and advice to help boost their confidence. She demonstrated a series of gentle moves on the massage couch, in lieu of a hospice bed, and we all learnt so much about the power of simple holding techniques and gentle moves.
More about Bridget’s therapies and courses on her website: Sea Holly Therapies
Our Next Indian Head Massage Community CPD Seminar
The event was such a success that we busy planning our next seminar. Do put the date in the diary – Saturday 19th October 2019 at Amy’s beautiful training centre in Brighton. The cost is £90 and confirmed guest speakers are experts in the industry: Amy Taylor, Mary Dalgleish and Jackie James. It will be a really amazing day! Do join our IHMC Facebook Community Page for all the updates.