I've always had an interest in massage and sports therapy for as long as I can remember. Having been a keen athlete in my youth and a professional dancer since I was 18, I soon realised the importance of looking after my body with regular massage to prevent injury so I could do my job to the best of my ability, and when injury did occasionally occur it helped hugely in speeding up my recovery.
When I landed a contract in London's West End performing in a show I wanted to create a way of earning an income when I was next out of a contract, but something that I would enjoy. So many of my friends struggled to find work whilst they were auditioning, so I wanted to create an income I could control.
I studied and then qualified as a Holistic Massage Therapist and began working on building a small business by working on colleagues in my show. Everyone seemed very happy with my treatments and my client base grew gradually through word of mouth.
When the show finished, the business was much larger and I found I could work around auditions and other jobs and it worked brilliantly. Most importantly I really enjoyed it.
However, the request from clients for deeper pressure and the limited 'full body' routine I'd been taught at college meant I struggled to help clients with injuries or other more complex issues, I risked hurting myself as I didn't possess the techniques to perform 'deeper' strokes, I just wasn't equipped to deal with that type of treatment. So I was constantly referring clients to other therapists. This was when the penny dropped! I can help them I just needed the correct training and tools.
Susan Findlay has been my massage therapist for many years and a great mentor to me, she suggested I look at some CPD courses at NLSSM to help me to further my skills. And so I did, and a whole new world of opportunity and knowledge opened up to me. I suddenly had answers to my questions and picked up skills which my clients noticed and commented on straight away. It also gave me the confidence to do my own research and try my own methods. I still felt like there was something missing in my practice, I knew so much more than I had previously but I still felt a bit limited.
So finally after years of nudging me in the right direction, Susan suggested I take the Sports and Remedial massage Diploma, which I did and wished I'd done a long time ago! It was as if everything fell into place and I can finally be the therapist I'd set out to be. The quality of teaching and support at NLSSM was fantastic and I was given everything I needed to get into clinic and finally help people to the level I'd wanted to. I still refer clients when necessary but they noticed a huge change in my practice and now I get referrals on a weekly basis. People come to me from all walks of life but I guess the majority are performers or people in theatre, they like the fact I know the way around a dancers body and the demand on performing eight shows a week.
Taking the Diploma at NLSSM was one of the best things I've ever done. It was certainly hard work but worth every second, it gave me fantastic grounding for what a good therapist should be and now I have a thirst for knowledge and want to keep on improving my practice and providing for my clients.