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Indian Head Massage Community Seminar 2020

Location: Purple Turtle Academy, Central Brighton

Date: Saturday 17th October 2020

Time: 9.45-4.45

Cost: £100 (£80 early bird booking before 31st March 2020)

To Book: please email:  


Following on from the success of our three previous annual CPD seminars, we are delighted to welcome top guest speakers from the industry. It will be a day packed with practical tips and techniques to enhance and empower your Indian Head Massage practice. We have listened to requests and arranged the day to cover chosen topics:

  • Chakras with Bridget Prusik
  • Using carrier/vegetable oils with Indian Head Massage
  • Hands free techniques
  • Giuliana Wheater’s Top 5 Techniques
  • Facial techniques
  • Inspiring stories from other practitioners
  • Q & A with our expert panel


This session will be run by Bridget Prusik, one of our Indian Head Massage Community specialists.

During this workshop Bridget will provide an introduction to the Chakra system so you have a greater understanding of how these vital energy centres can be used for self-help and also how the this knowledge can be incorporated into your Indian Head Massage sessions.

More about Bridget Prusik: Sea Holly Therapies and Training

Hands Free Techniques

This session will be run jointly by Amy Taylor and Mary Atkinson, co-founders of the Indian Head Massage Community. Many therapists are now incorporating hand-free techniques to protect their hands, and their career. Amy and Mary will share their top tops and encourage you to work on each other to enjoy the benefits.

More about Amy Taylor: Purple Turtle Academy

More about Mary Atkinson: Mary Atkinson Holistic Therapy Courses

Oils for Indian Head Massage

There has been a lot of interest on our Community Page about the use of carrier/vegetable oils in Indian Head Massage sessions. This session, run by an industry expert, will look at the history of oils in Indian Head Massage and ideas for different oils to use and how to apply them. There will be a chance to smell and feel a whole range of different carrier/vegetable oils.

 Giuliana Wheater’s Top 5 Techniques

This is a wonderful opportunity to learn hands-on from Giuliana Wheater, author of Indian Head Massage for Special Needs. Giuliana will demonstrate her favourite five techniques for releasing stress and tension, and increasing your happy hormones. Perfect for your clients of all ages and abilities. And you get to enjoy these lovely techniques too!

Facial Techniques

Clients absolutely love a relaxing and/or uplifting facial massage. Amy and Mary will share 10 top facial techniques to help you to add a little extra facial massage to your sessions. And you will be invited to share massage with others, so you can experience these beautiful techniques too!

Inspiring Stories from Community Members

We are constantly amazed at the wonderful ways in which our members are using Indian Head Massage. So we have invited 5 inspiring Indian Head Massage therapists to give a 10 minute presentation of their work and career path in completely different fields.

Expert Panel

There will be chance to ask questions to Bridget Prusik and Giuiliana Wheater, Indian Head Community Specialists.


What an amazing opportunity to gain knowledge from leading Indian Head Massage tutors and authors.

More about Giuliana Wheater: Therapies for ‘Special Needs’

More about Bridget Prusik: Sea Holly Therapies

Certificate of Attendance

You will receive a certificate for CPD points.

Networking Opportunities

There will be time to meet other therapists during refreshment breaks. There will also be a table for sharing business cards and leaflets, so do bring yours with you. You will be able to buy products and signed copies of books by Giuliana Wheater and Mary Atkinson. And we are planning a raffle with some fantastic prices too. We accept cash and cheque.

How to book and pay:

  1. Email for a booking form.
  2. Return this with details filled in and we will send you an invoice with details of how to pay.
  3. Once you have paid you will receive confirmation and receipt for your records.
  4. Note: Places are limited to 30 and your booking is not secured until payment has been received.
  5. Your place on the course will be reserved once the full amount is paid.
  6. Fees are non-refundable however you may transfer your place to a substitute delegate.
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Research Findings for the Benefits of Hand and Foot Massage

If you’ve enjoyed a hand massage and/or foot massage then you know that it can be a very calming, soothing and beneficial experience. We look at four published research studies that support anecdotal evidence. And if this inspires you to learn Hand and Foot Massage then we run an FHT accredited Hand and Foot massage day course. More details here: Hand and Foot Massage Day Course. Next date is Thursday 21st May 2020 in Brighton, Sussex.  Continue reading »

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Diploma in Indian Head Massage in Cornwall

Looking to study Indian Head Massage? Start the New Year with new skills by joining our Diploma in Indian Head Massage in Cornwall in January 2020. Numbers are limited to ensure a fun and informal course with the best tuition.  Continue reading »

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Indian Head Massage for Children

Indian Head Massage is a wonderful therapy to share with all ages – from young children to elderly people. One of our Indian Head Massage Diploma graduates, Tia Tamblyn, has a wealth of experience with Indian Head Massage for children. Tia Tamblyn answers common questions about how to adapt this popular therapy for young people.

Photo: John Hersey Holds in the World

When can you start sharing Indian Head Massage with children?

Techniques drawn from Indian Head Massage (IHM) can be used with even the youngest children – albeit adapted to ensure they are very gentle. They can be given while the baby is lying down or held in arms.  This would include gentle stroking and rubbing techniques, nothing firm or tapotement strokes.

I have used massage with all three of my children from when they were young babies, and I love that they continue to respond so positively to nurturing touch.

In terms of more formal or structured massage, I find that from about 4 years old, children are able to enjoy taking part in one of my Family Head Massage workshops, where parents work with their children to share techniques drawn from Indian Head Massage.

+++ If you are a therapist working with children always follow the Code of Conduct and Professional Practice of your professional organisation which includes: having an enhanced DBS Certificate in place, gaining parental consent and having a parent present at all times.+++

Photo by John Hersey

By about 4 years old, they are able to be calm and still for a longer period, especially within a space shared with other parents and children.

I have sometimes worked with younger children one-to-one when using the massage couch and have found that children love to lie on it, peek through the hole and we play some games to orientate and relax them on the couch before beginning any massage! This is always done with their parent present, often sharing techniques with the parent that they can then use at home.

What are the key benefits for Indian Head Massage for children?

I am always bowled over by how quickly and deeply IHM is able to calm children, helping them to relax and exist in a quiet space – which can be quite rare for some children in today’s busy and distracted world.

Experiencing positive touch – whilst also learning boundaries that exist with touch – can be wonderfully healing for children as for adults.

There is the opportunity to help children connect with their breath, and share techniques and mindful activities which they can then utilise themselves if they are experiencing stressful situations.

There is also the message that is given to the child: you are important, you are valued.

When a parent is working with their child, there is a strong undertone in the message that can be conveyed around dedicating the time to give a soothing massage to a child. My children love talking about which strokes they enjoy most and least, and love to feel that the massage has been adapted specifically for them.

How would you adapt the session?

An IHM treatment might well be shorter than a typical IHM – usually around 15 mins is enough for a four to seven year old. But be prepared to go for less time, or possibly more if they are really enjoying it or with the second or third treatment, once they know what to expect.

Children over seven years old often love a 30 minute session. But again, this needs to be flexible, and the same child will not necessarily feel comfortable with the same length of massage each time. You need to be very prepared to tune into their needs with each session.

In general, it’s a good idea to aim for lighter touch although my young children like some IHM strokes just as firmly as most grown-ups do. They will ask me to increase the depth of strokes if I’m not working hard enough!  It’s certainly a good idea to begin gently though, and make sure there is a very open dialogue during, as well as after, the session to check in with their preferences.

Photo by John Hersey

What is the most comfortable position?

I have found the most nurturing and comfortable position is for me to sit cross-legged, supported by cushions below my sit bones and on a yoga mat. I place a couple of cushions on my lap and the child lays out on the yoga mat with head on the cushions in my lap, then wrapped in a blanket. This is a lovely, cosy position for a child which also gives the message that they can relax and switch off.

Some IHM techniques would need to be adapted or left out when a child is lying supine, but the head can still be moved to each side.  I do also like giving IHM’s in a seated position as with adults, however I’ve found this works better as children get older (age 6+) especially for any prolonged length of time.

When is a good time of day/evening to give IHM?

Evening is always a wonderful time to give IHM, signalling the calming and relaxing at the end of the day and especially in combination with a Story Massage at bedtime.  That said, it’s lovely to give and receive at any time of day, and can help to calm the rhythm and tempo of the day with children.

Also remember that you don’t have to give a full IHM each time, with my own children I enjoy using just a few IHM strokes when there is a chance with individual children through the day.


What are best oils to use? Do you need oil?

When I run my Family Head Massage workshops – where children lie with their head supported by cushions on their parent/carer’s lap – we don’t use any oils. However, if I’m giving a seated IHM, or using IHM techniques on the couch then I would use a plain carrier oil having checked in with the parent/carer for any allergies.  I use essential oils in a diffuser, and children often enjoy smelling various scents, thinking about how they make them feel then selecting them for use in the diffuser.

Do you have any other tips?

It’s a good idea to explain the full IHM process before beginning – what you are going to do, what is expected of them (lying? sitting?  Eyes open/closed? and that it’s ok for them to move around/ask questions etc), what it might feel like, which areas you are going to treat, how long it will last for and when it will end – as it’s easy to make assumptions about what they know and expect.

Give plenty of space for questions before, and try to ensure there is an open dialogue so they feel comfortable letting you know their preferences for example with the depth of your touch, or strokes that they do and don’t like.  In my experience children are very happy to give their views, so I tend to ask a lot more often especially at the beginning of a treatment, in order that they feel comfortable telling me how they feel.

Photo by John Hersey

Don’t feel restricted to being too formal with Indian Head Massage for children: go outdoors on a lovely day – set up a blanket or chair amongst long grasses and tune into the sounds of nature; say poems or stories together as you massage; show children how to work with each other (with appropriate boundaries); invite children to make up their own IHM techniques and share them with you.

I find that sharing Indian Head Massage with children brings such joy to me, and it’s a huge honour to witness the connection between parents and their children as they carve out time to nurture each other during my Family Head Massage workshops.

And a note from Mary Atkinson

We hope you have found these ideas from Tia Tamblyn helpful – whether you are a therapist or a parent (or both!). And you may also be interested in my book Healing Touch for Children and my You Tube Channel Positive Touch for Children with Mary Atkinson.

Tia Tamblyn runs her Family Head Massage courses from Botelet, a beautiful venue in Liskeard, Cornwall. She will also be hosting a day course in The Story Massage Programme taught by Mary Atkinson and Sandra Hooper on Tuesday 5th May 2020.



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Personal Stories of Surviving the Japanese Tsunami

It’s hard to know where to begin writing memories of our return visit to Rikuzantakata, a city devastated by the North East Earthquake and Tsunami of March 2011. My husband, Richard, and I visited the area after a year the disaster with Cocoro, a small aromatherapy charity. We went back in September 2019 to mark the closure of the charity. We’re pictured below with others therapists from the charity.

Continue reading »

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Indian Head Massage Refresher Day – Brighton

Come and join Mary Atkinson and Amy Taylor for a brilliant day of learning. This post-graduate Indian Head Massage Refresher day course is open to all qualified Indian Head Massage therapists who wish to build up confidence and refresh and update their skills in seated Indian Head Massage. It is taught by two established tutors and co-founders of the Indian Head Massage Community. It will be an amazing day of learning from two experts in the field. 

Indian Head Massage Refresher Day

Date: Saturday 8th February 2020

Venue: Purple Turtle Training Academy, Central Brighton

Cost: £180 (includes all equipment, products, manuals, learning materials and CPD Certificate)

Time: 10am – 5 pm

To book: Please contact Mary Atkinson on or 01243 779600

Boosting your Skills and Confidence

During this Indian Head Massage Refresher day you will learn new moves, stretches and relaxation techniques to build on your current seated routine and explore how to add your own personal touches to your sessions. You will learn how to maintain correct posture and look at positioning of clients for comfort and safety. You will learn how to adapt your sessions, so they meet the individual needs of your clients – and how to offer sessions for varying lengths of time.

There will plenty of time to practice moves on each other, so you feel fully confident in sharing them with your clients. Mary and Amy will answer your questions and discuss issues that may be confusing you or holding you back from fully enjoying sharing the many benefits of seated Indian Head Massage.

Indian Head Massage Refresher Course Outline

  • New techniques, top tips and stretches to enhance your seated Indian Head Massage practice
  • Stretches and hand exercises to warm up your body for treatment
  • Hands Free techniques using forearms
  • Relaxation techniques to use with your clients
  • Energy protection
  • Self-evaluation of your posture for safe working practice
  • Adapting your treatment for the individual needs of your client
  • Q&A with Amy and Mary

Course Pre-Requisites

  • Learners must have prior learning in Indian Head Massage and Anatomy and Physiology
  • This course is awarded 6 CPD Points by the FHT
  • Post Graduate Advanced Certificated CPD course

Indian Head Massage Refresher Course Details

  • Accredited by FHT Federation of Holistic Therapists
  • One day advanced course
  • Investment cost £180 which includes all equipment, products, manuals, learning materials and CPD Certificate
  • No Case Studies required
  • Course time 10am – 5pm



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Healing Touch for Children Book

My book Healing Touch for Children is now out in a new edition – supported by a You Tube channel with demonstrations of the techniques. It only costs £4.99 from Amazon (or directly from Mary Atkinson) and is also available as a Kindle version at £2.99.

Continue reading »

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Let’s Join Hands for National Massage Day 2019

National Massage Day will be held on 1st October 2019 with Pro-Touch Awareness Month running for the whole of October. Here’s how you can get involved….

Continue reading »

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Free CPD for Holistic Therapists – 10 simple tips

Concerned about getting sufficient CPD points to meet the requirements of your professional body? Well, here are ten simple ways of achieving your Continuing Professional Development without putting pressure on your bank balance.  Your professional body will provide you with full details of the policy for CPD for holistic therapists. Many will also have templates to help you record your CPD activities. Continue reading »

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Indian Head Massage Techniques – Head and Face

Are you looking for a reminder of some Indian Head Massage techniques? Or would you like to learn some new moves? Here are a few video clips to inspire you.   Continue reading »

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