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London College of Massage: Ending the year with something new

IMG_20131201_100011 I recently attended the Beginners Introductory Weekend Course at The London College of Massage and can now say firsthand that the course is excellent – I recommend it for anyone who enjoys massage.  It is designed for complete beginners (such as myself) and is an introduction to basic massage techniques & contra-indications, without having to commit to a full study program.

I have previously written about The London College of Massage because they work with wonderful and knowledgeable massage practitioners – see my previous blog post here.

Following my umpteenth massage at the college (I honestly lost count), I was really eager to learn how to give a massage myself.  After discussing my growing interest in massage with Mark Salnicki, a good friend of mine and one of the Directors at the college, he invited me onto the course to find out if I have what it takes 🙂

The weekend course, led by Mark, was very hands on and practical.  Considering the course is tailored for absolute beginners, it covered a lot of ground, including:

  • A ‘seated’ neck, shoulder & head massage routine
  • A massage routine for the back of legs, back, neck & face
  • Towel etiquette
  • Contra-indications to massage
  • An introduction to Aromatherapy oils

I loved every minute of it – Mark is an amazing tutor, he is experienced and professional, but what I liked the most was his delivery, which was both easy-going and funny.  He connected with the whole class (there were six of us in total) and engaged us from the very beginning.  The course is set out so that the tutor demonstrates and talks through the techniques followed by the class then practicing the techniques on one another.  Mark’s instruction was clear and well-paced, I could see that not only were we all learning quickly, but that the whole class was having fun.

The type of massage that The London College of Massage teaches is ‘therapeutic’, which distinguishes it from ‘Intuitive’ or ‘Swedish’ massage.  Therapeutic massage includes all of the strokes and techniques from Swedish massage, whilst combining them with the sensitivity and holistic perspective of Intuitive massage.

We covered ‘Catwalking’, which is a pleasant way to begin and end massage sessions, as well as, Effleurage and Petrissage.  Effleurage is the name given to a gliding stroke, which uses the whole palm surface of both hands, working mostly up the body towards the heart.  Petrissage is the general name given to any stroke which presses, squeezes and / or rolls the muscles under the skin.  I personally really enjoyed both practicing and receiving the Effleurage massage – it is fun to do and so relaxing & rejuvenating to receive.

Towards the end of the course, we were taught about aromatherapy oils, and how they involve using the therapeutic benefits of essential oils, which is ideal for use in massage.  We were then able to formulate our own personal blend of oils to take home with us after the course.  My blend consisted of:

  • Lavender: A versatile and relaxing oil, which blends well with other oils and has a normalising effect on the body
  • Rosemary: A stimulating daytime oil.  It’s obvious strength is as an antiseptic and works as both a physical and mental stimulant
  • Bergamot: A refreshing and uplifting oil, extracted from the bitter orange

The fun and relaxing weekend was a great way to learn basic massage routines and explore my interest in massage.  On top of learning something new, I also received plenty of massages, which can never be a bad thing!  Following the course, I have re-read my course manual and continue to practice my new massage skills.  In fact, I think I’m ready for the follow up weekend!

IMG_20131214_222959 About London College of Massage

Founded in 1987 by Fiona Harrold, The London College of Massage’s aim was and still is to make massage widely available to all and to improve the standard of training and position it as a recognised complementary therapy within orthodox medicine. The London College of Massage has seen the power of touch transform the lives of many of their students. Massage brings a deep sense of peace through profound relaxation of mind and body. To experience this on an individual level is to begin to create it in the world around you. In this way The London College of Massage intend the study and practice of massage to enhance the quality of life for all. The London College of Massage is a well established school, over 20 years, that takes a personal interest in the quality of the qualified therapist and the standard of massage achieved. The experience of the Directors and tutors ensures that the reputation of the The London College of Massage practitioners is upheld. All of the The London College of Massage tutors have graduated at the school and have been selected because of their massage skills,  knowledge and understanding and their determination & commitment to make you the best massage practitioner you can be.

Mark Salnicki – Director & Lead Tutor

Mark has been with The London College of Massage since 1990 and teaches Beginners to Practitioner level as well as the popular Indian Head Massage workshop. Mark has also contributed to various books, most recently ‘Easy Massage’ published by Eddison Sadd.

Click here to find out more and sign up for the Beginners Introductory Weekend Course (£145 for both days).

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