There are many reasons to be grateful for being a member of the Massage in Schools Association but one of the best rewards has been meeting and working alongside Sandra Hooper who first taught me the importance of positive touch for children.
Based in Brighton, Sandra is an experienced Massage in Schools Trainer who kindly agreed to write a foreword for my book Healing Touch for Children and has been a great supporter of my work in Japan with Cocoro charity. Sandra also has a beautifully illustrated website www.peermassage.com which explains the concept and benefits of peer massage for children. So, a very, very warm welcome to Sandra, a member of the Complementary Therapists Association, as Today’s Holistic Therapist.
What prompted you to train in complementary therapy?Â
I initially trained and worked as a primary school teacher before having my own children. I then decided to move to the field of complementary therapy and trained in Holistic Therapeutic Massage. In 2004, I combined both these interests together as an Instructor for the Massage in Schools Programme. I have gone on to become an International Trainer for the Programme, training therapists, teachers and many other health professionals in the UK and abroad
What therapies do you currently practice?Â
I continue to work as a massage therapist working from home in Brighton, whilst also visiting offices locally and in London to offer On-site massage. My next training for the Massage in Schools Programme is on 18th and 19th October 2012 and will take place at Jing Institute of Advanced Massage TrainingÂ Â in Brighton, East Sussex.
Describe one time when you felt that complementary therapy had really made a difference to someone.
Early in my career as a massage therapist, I was asked to visit a young woman who was suffering from ME. She was bed-ridden at the time and had tried many different treatments. At the end of the session, she said that the touch during the massage had enabled her to feel and connect with her legs for the first time in a long time and that that gave her hope for the future. She went on to make a full recovery.
In a completely different context, an 8 year old student in a primary school giving massage for the first time, answered the question â€˜how does giving massage make you feel?â€™ with this: â€˜It makes me feel specialâ€™.
Can you share any holistic tips that have worked for you?Â
The importance of time to be quiet, whether before, during or after a massage, at home or in school; we all benefit from taking the time to pause, whether we are giving or receiving massage. Also, my heated towels get a lot of very positive feedback . . . at any time of the year!
What path are you hoping to follow in the future?Â
I am looking forward to working on an exciting story massage project with Mary AtkinsonÂ … bringing both of our experiences and skills together to create some innovative work. Watch this space!