A few facts about me: I was born in Canada but spent most of my adult life living and working in Australia. In 2003 I moved to the UK when my wife took up an appointment at the University of Nottingham. Among other things, all this moving around has left me with a somewhat confusing accent, or so I’m told.
Like many therapists, I became interested in bodywork through trying to find solutions for my own problems. In my case this was chronic neck and shoulder pain and I spent years experimenting with physiotherapy, acupuncture, chiropractic and a few more. In the end what really did it for me was a particular form of deep tissue massage called Rolfing. I can’t say I was “cured” by Rolfing but the deep touch made me aware of my body and how I was using it more than anything else I’d tried. The massage helped – a lot – and my practitioner showed me ways I could manage my painful symptoms myself so I could start living the life I wanted again.
One day when I was visiting my therapist for a maintenance session I told him that I was thinking of changing direction with my work. He suggested I think about training to become a manual therapist which was something I’d never even considered before. Eventually I realised that the excitement and wonder I feel about bodywork was not a bad basis on which to build a new career. That was 20 years ago.
Rolfing training wasn’t available in Australia back then and my initial studies were into Remedial and Sports Massage at the South Australian Health Education Centre in Adelaide (now part of the Endeavour Group). When I was there, SAHEC was one of only two or three further education colleges in the country whose program complied with the new Australian vocational training standards. I didn’t know it then but, at 2000 hours, my massage course was comparable to the best available anywhere in the world at the time.
While at SAHEC, I had the great good fortune to be introduced to Bowen Therapy by Russell Sturgess, founder of Fascial Kinetics. Bowen couldn’t be more different from deep tissue massage but the results I saw from this deceptively light technique were just so impressive. After receiving my Diploma in Remedial Massage, I went on to gain practitioner qualifications in Bowen from two other internationally recognised schools.
Earlier in my career a lot of my work was with sporting clubs in Australia, mainly football. We’re talking Aussie Rules here, a spectacularly rough game for those of you who don’t know it, and the host of injuries I came across while treating these athletes gave me a whole new perspective on how to work with soft tissue in our bodies. This continues to inform my present work which is much more about helping with the everyday aches and pains we all develop as we cope with modern lifestyles.
In addition to my clinical practice, I have run workshops in massage and Bowen Therapy for several years now and am currently the UK and Europe instructor for an Australian Bowen training academy. In 2006 I went "back to school" to complete a post graduate qualification in adult education and training so I am better able to help people learn more about the fascinating world of manual therapy.