Last weekend was a busy one for massage events!
Saturday was CAMExpo at Earls Court, a trade show for the Complementary Therapy Industry that runs for two days each October. As well as hundreds of stalls from suppliers, schools and professional associations there were demonstrations, seminars and workshops.
I went to a workshop on Dynamic Angular Petrissage by Paul Lewis. This is a technique in which the client's body is positioned to shorten a particular muscle (e.g. flex the elbow to shorten the biceps). The therapist then holds the muscle and lengthens the muscle to work into it, rather than applying direct pressure. It's an interesting approach, and I think will be useful for working some of the neck muscles that can be tricky to get or apply pressure to. It'll take a bit of practice, and will test my anatomy to remember the actions of some of the less common muscles. I got the dvd, so I can go through it again, then I can try it out on clients and see what results we get.
I went to a couple of seminars too. The first was on regulation of Complementary Therapies - maybe not the most exciting topic, but important to understand. Having met therapists from all over the world while training, I'm aware how different the regulations and requirements are in, for example, the US and Canada, and as things develop here I'm curious to see what direction they take. There was an interesting discussion on training standards, a topic I feel strongly about. To maintain and grow the credibility of the industry we need to ensure that everyone who offers massage has the appropriate knowledge and skills, whether they are newly qualified or have been practising for years.
The second seminar was on building a successful therapy business, from someone who's been there and done that. Gill Tree of Essentials for Health took us through "6 sins" and much more - there was some familiar material, but lots of really good help and advice.
I also caught a demonstration of pregnancy massage by the Jing Institute, which is an area I'm interested in, and great for unusual techniques to use on any client with back pain.
Sunday started with a full morning of treating clients at BAYoga, then after a very quick lunch I headed over to St Albans for the Grove House Chill Out Sunday. This event has been running for a few years now at the hospice, raising funds for their work in the area.
I was giving 15 minute Thai Foot Massages, which are always popular at these kind of events. I was there last year as well, and once again I was struck by how lovely everyone I met was. The atmosphere was great, I thoroughly enjoyed it all. And it didn't hurt that I managed to sneak in a back massage for myself as well!
Overall we raised £2,100 for the charity, a very worthwhile afternoon.