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Say Goodbye to Pain & Injury

Being a Massage Therapistdoesn't have to mean inevitable injury My Massage career started on a cruise ship. In 6 weeks I saw multiple therapists leave due to injury, I gave myself an RSI-type injury in my wrists, and I saw it all accepted as normal. Therapist injury being normal and acceptable?There is nothing "NORMAL" or "ACCEPTABLE" about that in my world! When I returned home I did everything I could to protect my wrists (among other things doors were opened by shoulders or feet wherever ...

FREE MASSAGE TRAINING: Your chance to learn Zero Strain Massage for free!

Want to jump straight to getting entered? Click here  "Tis better to give than to receive, but receiving is very nice indeed!"* Here at the 4Elements Company we love giving - there's a reason we're in the healing profession! So we decided to take the giving straight to the people who we can support best: you. Put simply: We'd love to give you a place on one of our Zero Strain Massage: Full Body  courses for FREE!  Now, we can't give everyone free places - but the more people ...

Your First Zero Strain Massage stroke: The Slump

The Slump. The first Zero Strain Massage stroke you're likely to learn. An opportunity to let your bodyweight and your legs do the work, while your wrists (especially if they've been overworked and possibly even injured) simply relax and enjoy delivering Massage which causes no pain to you OR to your client. A stroke that is a beautiful first hello to a client - or can become a whole treatment in itself. A stroke we'd love to teach you this Autumn on our Zero Strain Massage: Full Body course. ...

Farewell, NO HANDS Massage: Hello 4Elements!

The start of a new era! After over twenty years as the NO HANDS Massage Company we have decided to redefine ourselves as the 4Elements Company. There are a whole host of reasons for this, not least that we offer far more than "just" zero strain NO HANDS Massage! Rest assured this is an Evolution, not a Revolution: all the good from what has gone before is still the foundation of what we do All prior NO HANDS Massage training, qualifications and certificates remain valid - both for insurance ...

Wendy Murray (Mills): A Life Well Lived

Wendy was strong, powerful and utterly wonderful. She was all of those things and more... quietly. In such a low key and drama-free way that spotting her brilliance was an art all of itself.  Wendy was a mother, a wife, a business owner, a friend - a most excellent human. She is, and will remain, sorely missed. ** I had the great privilege of meeting Wendy through the Company. First as a student, then a trainer and most recently as her business partner. Wendy's passion for helping others ...

Rest in Peace, Wendy Mills

It is with immense sadness that I announce the death of NO HANDS Master, Director & co-owner of the company, Wendy Mills. She was a phenomenal woman in so many ways and already is sorely missed. A more comprehensive tribute to her will follow. If you would like to receive details of her funeral and / or attend the online memorial session we're holding on May 29th at 7.30pm, please email hello@nohandsmassage.com.In grief, Tigger

Email Marketing for Massage Therapists

Social media definitely has a role to play with connecting with current (and future!) customers, but we're also BIG fans of keeping in touch by email. With so many of our Association members and students telling us they struggle to get going with it, for a whole host of reasons: confidence, fear, judgment, not wanting to "intrude" on someone's inbox and many more, we've put together some top tips - plus there's a full "Intro to Email Marketing for Bodyworkers" recording available for all ...

In Memoriam: Karen Clarke

We were sad to learn that Karen Clarke, an early NO HANDer and the NO HANDS Poet Laureate, died recently. In her own words (from some years back)... "Hi, I’m Karen Clarke, and I attended my first NO HANDS course in March 2006. I was very quiet, shy and lacked something called “confidence”!"By September 2006 I was doing my Advanced Practitioner course. I had been going through more and more emotional release and structural re-alignment. I guess all the releasing ...

Solving Conflict

By Company Director, Tigger MacGregor The conflict in the world is heartbreaking. From the domestic violence that happens in every residential area to international crises like Ukraine and Gaza and everything in between. Heartbreaking. So often it feels like there's nothing, individually, we can do about these situations. Nothing, that is, other than making a major shift in our own lives to focus on addressing the issues through retraining, campaigning, lobbying or a host of other avenues. And ...

What's your FOCUS?

Running your own business means you're in charge...of everything! Which also means it's exceptionally easy to get overwhelmed and find yourself floundering around in analysis paralysis, or doing jobs which are useful - but aren't actually progressing you towards your long term goals. I believe the first step with getting clear on your focus has two dimensions: What is your focus in terms of where you want to get to? **and** What is your next step, the thing you need to focus your energy on ...

What Makes a NO HANDS Massage Master?

By NO HANDS Master & Co-Owner, Tigger MacGregor On the one hand, it's simple: 1) Complete the NO HANDS Massage Core SyllabusComprising the 4Elements (Part 1: Practitioner, Part 2: Advanced) & Transactional Bodyworker = 18 days of training 2) Attend the Mastery Programme for at least one yearThree, 3-day modules in a calendar year = 9 days of training 3) Complete the 7 essay-style assignmentsAs detailed in the members' area 4) Put yourself forward for Assessment while on MasteryTell ...

Music, Massage & Musicians

The right music can add such a powerful extra level to Massage treatments  - but getting it wrong can pretty much destroy things too! However, there are lots of reasons why a client may prefer to have no music - one being that they are a professional musician. When a client's career (and / or calling) is musical, that highly attuned part of their brain won't find the music a useful addition: it will usually become a massive distraction and, as mentioned above, potentially destroy ...

Should a Massage be Deep, or Light?

Searching for the best massage could easily take you a lifetime. It could also get you nowhere - or worse, set you back. So how can you "cut the corner" and get the best massage, for you, and for your clients? Simple: get the best massage for you. Learn how to deliver the best massage for your clients. Rather like a piece of music that is played at a uniform volume throughout, if touch is applied at a consistent depth it simply becomes “white noise”. In other words, ...

Is NO HANDS your best bet for CPD?

We think NO HANDS Massage is a great course to choose if you're looking for CPD - but then we would say that! The video below from our friends at Massage Warehouse sees several therapists from different backgrounds sharing their views on what CPD they've undertaken and would recommend - and at around 14min 30sec former student, Chris Maddon, talks about his experience of NO HANDS training. Check it out!

How did the NO HANDS Practitioner Course change things for Miranda Townsend?

Wendy visited Miranda in her clinic in Herefordshire this week to film this short video. Please forgive the shaky bits, she is by no means a film expert! You can hear Wendy's voice in the background a couple of times, but mainly you will see Miranda sharing her journey from her painful days before NO HANDS to where she is now. Just see the joy on her face, and I defy anyone who spends just 8 minutes watching this not to be enthused by it. Of course if you want to get some of what Miranda's ...

This is Love.

I don't know where to start with this photo. This is the future. This is potential. This is love. This is support. This is excellence. This is humility. This is joy. This is the world I want to see. This. Is. Love.  (From left) NO HANDS Massage Masters Wendy Mills, Tigger MacGregor, Beth Lloyd, and B(eth) Hunt (joined here by her amazing son) gathered at the inaugural TigFest this weekend. There are other Masters not in this picture - not because they don't deserve to be here, not because ...

Massage: A Definition

Massage means different things to different people: Different approaches: sports, relaxation, NO HANDS… Different impacts: pain, pleasure, and a lot in between. Different intentions: to “fix”, to be the “expert”, to deliver safe Touch for the client to use as they wish and do their own healing. So I got to thinking: what *is* my definition of what I offer as a Massage therapist? How would I, as it were, describe what a treatment with me is like to the ...

Meet the Therapist: Sandra Morris

NO HANDS Therapist, Sandra Morris, has completed the full journey from the core zero strain bodywork right through transactional bodywork and to the most advanced NO HANDS strokes. She's also a NO HANDS Instructor, trained and licensed to offer the NO HANDS PRACTITIONER training. She offers both treatments and training courses in Essex.   "I started my working career as a hairdresser eventually opening my own salon in Leigh on Sea, which I ran for 22 years. When I reached ...

Less is More. So. Much. More.

I’ve been utterly spoiled when it comes to Massage. After a brief dalliance with classic Swedish Massage, I got injured, found NO HANDS and never looked back. Which means I’ve also received hundreds, if not thousands, of exquisite NO HANDS treatments, both on courses and as a client. That said, I remain curious as to what’s going on in the rest of the Massage world. Every now and then I book in for a non-NO HANDS treatment – and, I confess, ...

The Porcupine Story

One of the funny things about this story is that I’m convinced I first heard it on a NO HANDS Massage course, but Gerry (Pyves – founder of NO HANDS) swears blind that he first heard this story from me. Point being, if you’ve heard this story before or know its origins, please let me know! Every day things happen to us that we don’t take the time (or have the time) to ponder, process and integrate fully. They could be seemingly ...

"As I Began to Love Myself..."

Self-care and self-love are essential for a happy and healthy life. Even more so when working within the healing world - as therapists we are exposed to more stories of hurt, pain and trauma than many people hear in a lifetime. And that's on top of events in our own lives. Kim McMillen's poem, As I began to love myself, puts the journey towards self-care and self-love utterly beautifully (you can find it below). As is so often the case, the words of a gifted author offer a beautiful ...

Bessel van der Kolk: Trauma, the Body & 2021

The role of Massage in addressing and resolving trauma is a rapidly expanding field. Seeing Touch be recognised as a vital part of healing, especially in the challenging realm of trauma therapy, is a real victory. Especially for NO HANDS therapists who have been offering their clients the Touch, boundaries and communication which makes safe trauma release possible. This recent On Being podcast with renowned trauma therapist & researcher, Bessel van der Kolk, is fascinating on many levels ...

#BeMoreDesmond

What a man: I was sad to hear of the death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Boxing Day. However, as sure as life is not possible without death, this news prompted me to re-examine the incredible man he was. There's an excellent and comprehensive Wikipedia page about him which I enjoyed reading to get more of a feel of him as a person. The quote that stood out for me was this, from his time at St Peter's Theological College in Rosettenville, Johannesburg. The college's principal, Godfrey ...

Day 24: Travel Safe, Travel Well

By Master Tigger MacGregor Last day of advent! When I was little I was always foxed by the advent calendars that stopped on the 24th - I mean, the 25th's the big day, right? And no, it wasn't all about the chocolate: I never had a chocolate advent calendar as a child - instead we had a stash of advent calendars that had been bought over the years and I got to have several in different places in the house. Mainly because I could never manage to choose my favourite... Every journey has to end and ...

Choose Love

I Choose Love I wrote about Love being a Doing Thing a few days back. Sometimes the "doing" looks suspiciously like doing nothing at all. Especially when it comes to choose what to say - and what not to say. Good communication has always been immensely important to me. Call me a pedant and I'll wear it as a badge of honour. One of the wonderful things about coming to NO HANDS Massage courses as a student was the outstanding communication I discovered. Generous. Compassionate. Clear. ...

Connection

Life as a Massage therapist can be incredibly lonely. Perhaps that's one of the reasons so many therapists attend courses in a range of different treatments and approaches: this is their opportunity to be with fellow professionals, to connect. The downside is becoming a "Jack of All Trades" - and Master of none. But the subject of specialism or generalism is one for another day. In addition to courses, there are also lots of therapist groups - both virtual and in person. These can be a ...

New Beginnings

The most common greeting at this time of year is "Merry Christmas!" Although now very much a cultural celebration, the origins of this celebration are, of course, the birth of Jesus Christ, at the very heart of the Christian tradition. Being agnostic, and respecting the roots of things, celebrating Christmas doesn't really do it for me. Next up comes "Happy New Year!" I wanted to get behind this and I tried really hard. It was the end of one year and the beginning of the next! Woo hoo! Yeah, ...

You Are Enough

We live in a world where a lot of money is made by making us feel inadequate - and hence need to buy the next "great product/experience". It's not enough to have a loving community and a simple life - you need a bigger house, a shinier car, a more toned belly, different coloured hair, make-up that obscures the lines and marks on your skin that make you, you. The list goes on. You know this list. You live this list. This constant yearning and striving for more, bigger, better in every aspect of ...

Slow is Beautiful

We live in a world that rewards fast. Where quality is often sacrificed in favour of quantity. Where people work incredibly long hours to be able to afford two weeks of rest by a pool in the Maldives. Yet slow really is beautiful. Entirely counter-cultural yet still beautiful. There is nothing I enjoy more than watching a room full of NO HANDS therapists as they explore just how slow they can go. How slow they can go while also maintaining the flow that is so characteristic of a NO HANDS ...

If you don't plant the bulb, you'll never see the daffodil

Something about the current situation with the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has brought back echoes of the days before the very first UK lockdown. We know so much more than we did then: about COVID-19, about masks, about lockdowns, about lateral flow tests and PCR tests (I just looked it up: PCR stands for polymerase chain reaction). We also know how much uncertainty there is in life - to a degree I definitely used to take for granted. Running away and hiding from it all isn't an ...

Safe Touch Starts Young

Touch can be an incredible healer. But ONLY if there is true consent. Sometimes it's explicit verbal consent. Sometimes it's body language - the way someone opens their arms for a hug, they way they lean in to a gentle stroke on the arm. Yet sometimes consent is virtually impossible to achieve because the person in the position to give consent has never been taught that their body is their own - that it is their right to say yes, or no. This can happen in a multitude of ways but until that ...

The Window of Tolerance

Tolerance. Three short syllables. Often a whole heap of energy required! There are some things in life that shouldn't be tolerated: bad relationships, bad jobs, bad political systems. But sometimes knowing what we can tolerate - and what's too much - is vital to keeping going. It's for this reason that Dan Siegel's Window of Tolerance model is such a valuable part of theory - and why it's part of every session, nay every conversation, I hold space for. In brief, the Window of ...

Love is a Doing Thing

I saw this cartoon online recently and really liked it. The one thing I felt it missed, though, was the fact that love doesn't come in a box. Because Love is a Doing Thing. Saying "I love you" can be a throw away linguistic habit - or it can be an act of great bravery and courage. Acting in a way that shows your love brings a whole new significance and weight to it. That might be love for a friend: giving them a call when you know they're having a hard time. Love for your community: ...

In Celebration of Feet

I don't know what it's like with you today, but where I am it is undoubtedly a "book on the sofa by the fire" day. And today the book in question is Gerry's In Celebration of Feet. This is, by far, my favourite of Gerry's trilogy about NO HANDS. Bold statement! Well, The Principles and Practice of NO HANDS Massage is, of course, a classic. It has lots of pictures and breaks down into chunks well - but it's still much more akin to a textbook. In Celebration of Feet, however, is ...

The Beginning is Not the End

Thirty years ago a therapist arrived at work. He had a busy day ahead: and work-generated injuries to both wrists. His first client of the day was a Russian opera singer by the name of Anton*. Think classic, rather rotund opera singer: that was Anton. Anton liked DEEP Massage. Anton would not be satisfied with the gentle stroking work that the therapist could offer without pains shooting up his arms. And just as the therapist realised this, and panic struck in, his body wisdom took over and NO ...

The Principles & Practice of NO HANDS Massage

Yesterday I talked about the wonders of the EARTH treatment for resting. Today I'm talking rest AGAIN - this time, something you can do from the comfort of your home or even your favourite "getaway" spot: READING. Forgive me if I sound like an enthusiastic librarian at this point, but books - I mean, how awesome are books? Yes, e-readers are convenient, but for me, nothing beats getting your hands on a physical item, something that has been lovingly crafted, printed and dispatched direct ...

The EARTH Treatment

Every regular NO HANDS client knows exactly the type of Touch that will help them best, but there are certain patterns that occur again and again. So when a new client arrives in need of rest and recuperation two treatments are my absolute "Go to": the first is the EARTH treatment. This treatment is SLOW. This treatment is DEEP. During the session your tissues will be powerfully compressed - without any pain. They will be given space to expand and realign. The ...

Rest

Sunday is traditionally known as a "day of rest". But are there really any days of rest any more? Being busy seems to have become the thing to aspire to - "resting" a weakness rather than a necessity for living. This time of year in particular, with preparations for festivities and the closing of the year, rest often gets shoved to the bottom of the "to do" list. If we look to nature at this time of year all its energies are focused towards resting. Recuperation. Gathering energies. Minimising ...

The Chair

The Chair. Oh, the Chair! My own relationship with Chair-based Massage has been a varied one but, I confess, right now it's an absolute love affair. The humble Chair is SO EASY. Other than the face cradle cover, there are no towels or coverings to worry about. It can be sanitised in less than a minute. The client doesn't need to undress. The practitioner can work from standing or from a stool. There's loads of space to move around (even in a room which would feel a bit "tight" for ...

Nurturance

We all need some nurturance in our life. A bit of TLC. And Touch is a MASSIVE part of this. A hug. A cuddle with a pet. Gently touching someone's arm. A Massage. Of all the different treatments NO HANDS therapists offer, the NO HANDS NURTURE treatment is very often their "favourite" or "go to". Because, by their nature, Massage therapists tend to be carers and nurturers, wanting to look after those around them (and then some!) The NO HANDS NURTURE treatment is a treatment that ...

Unexpected lessons from being a Client

By Master Tigger MacGregor “Learn as a client” This is one of the core 8 Minds of NO HANDS Massage - and it’s one I take very seriously. I receive treatments from fellow NO HANDS Masters, from NO HANDers who aren’t yet Masters, and from people who haven't even heard of NO HANDS, let alone trained. After every treatment I receive, and I mean every treatment, I have MASSES that I’ve learned. And this learning? It informs and sometimes changes how I interact with the ...

Day 9: The Mighty Colon

Although it would have been nice to tie in with the official Crohn's and Colitis Awareness week (which finished on December 7th) nothing will stop a NO HANDer getting geeky about the colon! One of the key things about NO HANDS as an approach is the core philosophy of systemic. This is the idea that we're not separate parts (an arm, a leg, a liver...) but we're an interconnected whole - so if there's a problem in one part of our body, it will have a knock on impact ...

Day 8: Touch

Touch is so important. Safe, powerful, consensual Touch. In fact, it's essential to life. Recently, I've found myself sharing an anecdote I heard a long time ago. In these days of fake news and fact checking I wish I had a reference I could supply - but I don't. What I do know is that, even without a specific source, this story really resonates with me - because I absolutely believe it could have happened. When the scandal of the Romanian orphanages broke in the 1990s a whole array of ...

Meet the Master: Helene Abram

NO HANDS Masters have completed the full journey from zero strain bodywork, through potent and transactional bodywork to being able to offer truly Transformational Touch Therapy. Master Helene Abram became a Master in 2015 and works near Mold, in North Wales. After finishing a part-time secretarial job, a friend suggested that, like her, I should go to college, so over a coffee, we made our choices – I chose French, German….and Massage? Ooh, I’ve always fancied ...

Hope in Hard Times

By Sam Beckett, NO HANDS Master The end of one year and beginning of a new is often time for reflection. As I reflect upon 2020, and more specifically the effect of the pandemic upon my business, I feel very positive. At the start of the pandemic when lockdown was announced, I felt truly despondent. To me, it sounded like the death knell to the work I have enjoyed for the last 23 years; I could hardly believe it. I cancelled clients and spent my days walking, homeschooling and ...

When clients say "Massage" but mean "Sex"

The hard truth is that for some people, when they say "Massage" they actually mean "Sex". Euphemisms are funny in that these people will often do anything to avoid actually asking for sexual services - which means there are two people in a conversation talking about totally different things! One of the best ways to approach this is like you would do any interaction: with introductions. The text message that arrives from an unrecognised number: "Do you do Massage?" The phone call: "I'm ...

Meet the Therapist: Amanda Jones

From her base in Bridport, Dorset, Amanda Jones has been offering NO HANDS for almost a decade. In her own words... After a move to West Dorset from Bath I was quite happy working with my partner on a day tripper boat doing 1 hour mackerel fishing trips around the bay in Lyme Regis. However, I then developed sun damage and was advised to get out of the sun. A friend was learning massage and suggested I gave it a try as a replacement career. What first triggered your interest in NO HANDS?I was ...

Massage & Transverse Myelitis

By Gerry Pyves, NO HANDS Founder & Creator  In a world of marketing manipulations, is science all we can trust? I recently had an enquiry about whether my work (which I use both clinically and teach to therapists on courses) can be used to treat Transverse Myelitis (TM). As Massage Therapists it is vital we stay within our scope of practice and not claim cure (or, indeed, attempt to diagnose). However, it raised an interesting issue around our society's reliance on ...

Why Go for Supervision?

By Master Sam Beckett  During my Assessment year, I went for 3 consecutive Master Support Sessions with Master Sophie (Atkinson). Though a little daunting, I relished the opportunity to have constructive feedback from a Master about the strengths and weaknesses of my Massage. Firstly, I wanted to know that I was embodying the Postural Keys. For instance, was I really Falling? Was my work Flowing? Next, I wanted to know that the styles of Massage that I was offering were actually ...

The Key to Looking after your Back and Neck

Unless you have pulled a muscle through exertion, had an accident, or are suffering from a medically diagnosed illness or disease, most back and neck pain originates from tight muscles. These tightened muscles simply pull the vertebrae out of their natural alignment. The ensuing misalignment is what causes the pain and inflammation. About 90% of back pain originates from this simple ‘tightening effect’. So what causes our muscles to tighten like this? I often use the analogy of a ...


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