in Kent, UK
My 20's were spent exploring new places. I worked for a few years sailing and diving in Australia, the Caribbean and Central America. In 2014, I moved to the mountains in British Columbia where I learned about gardening and met who would become my mentor, teacher, friend and neighbour, Christine Sutherland RMT. For close to three years I lived, gardened and studied there in Nelson. We covered many forms of massage from pregnancy to palliative, wheelchair to sports. Having always had inexplicable draws towards both pregnancy and massage therapy, I thought it was a dream come true when I became Christine's assistant. Her teaching work took us all over - from Nelson to Vancouver and down to Guatemala, teaching in traditional midwifery schools, care homes and hospitals whilst learning much ourselves about different communities up and down the country. Our pregnancy massage courses reached Vietnam on weekday evenings via Skype and at weekends we taught at the local maternity clinic and Selkirk college. It was here in Nelson I completed my initial birth doula training with Doulas of North America, and with Christine, attended several births at the hospital. During this time I was a student, teaching assistant and general assistant - helping create content for Christine's YouTube channel and as she wrote her book 'Birthing in Good Hands'. For this publication we were massaging women throughout their pregnancies, some of their labours and postnatally, to identify and demonstrate the benefits of massage throughout the childbearing year. I learnt so much during this incredible time, but mostly about the power that touch can have and how integral it can be supporting the community throughout life's big transitions.
Since returning to England more than 5 years ago I have expanded my trainings in birth support with Red Tent Doulas and in therapeutic body work. Having come from a three year mentored traditional massage background, I have since branched into other styles of bodywork from JING Advanced Massage Training which infuses deep tissue massage with elements of Thai massage, Shiatsu, trigger point therapy, myofascial release, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Tai Chi to deliver a very slow, grounding and effective remedial style of body work. Called 'the JING method', it aims to create space in the body, bring balance to the system, and allow 'stuck' tissues to release gently. This work takes the whole person into account holistically- the mind, emotional body, the physical body's nervous system and soft tissues and their environment, which from my understanding and way of working with the body - are all inextricably interlinked and must be accounted for especially when it comes to healing.
Massage and bodywork clients get a tailored treatment depending on what they come and see me for. We conduct a full consultation and create a treatment plan from there - for whatever the reason, from reducing stress, to treating chronic pain, each session is as unique as the individual walking in.
When hiring me as a doula, birth clients get both a birth doula and a massage therapist. Massage treatments are closely knitted into my birth services to support the ever-changing body throughout pregnancy and after birth. Pregnancy massage treatments are included with prenatal meetings, unlimited massage throughout labour, and a postnatal massage treatment at our session after birth.