It was in September 2011 when I rediscovered my passion for massage therapy. Although I had qualified many years previous, I was the first to admit that I had got a little rusty and tired in the way I treated. I attended a CPD workshop run by Sue Bennett on ‘Acute and Chronic Shoulder Dysfunction’. Although a little daunting to begin with, as the weekend progressed I finally remembered why I had wanted to be a massage therapist in the first place and so began a journey that is ongoing.

I was only practicing part time when I went on this first workshop and was amazed at how out of touch I had become and how far massage therapy had progressed. Sue’s teaching was inspirational, introducing me for the first time to the Hendrickson Method. With new enthusiasm and eager to learn more, I booked a place on another workshop ‘An Introduction to the Hendrickson Method’ ran jointly by Sue and Giles Gamble. However, just days before the course started my job of twelve years in London suddenly came to an end. After years of commuting to London from the North East of England for work, I was now faced with a new beginning.

Not knowing what I was going to do, I needed some direction and with perfect timing the four day workshop arrived. Giles and Sue were amazing in their professional presentation and their incredible scope of knowledge and experience. As before, the weekend was relaxed and great fun. With the opportunity to reflect I rediscovered a belief in myself and was driven to learn more. I wanted to thoroughly understand how I treated and why.

I set about promoting my practice and simply letting people know I existed. Business cards and brochures were produced and the local enterprise group were consulted for much welcomed advice. Realising that through the LCSP I already had an outlet, I checked out their website and my profile. Searching for my details on ‘Find a Therapist’ however, proved unsuccessful. I live in a small village on the North East coast called Marske by the Sea, and unless you entered this exact place you were never going to find me. Obviously my profile needed some updating. I was put in touch with the very helpful Jeff Gray at the LCSP website. He showed me how to get the most out of the site and update my information so that it reached a wider audience and provide more background about my practice. Jeff encouraged me to make full use of the LCSP website by regularly updating my profile with any additional information or training and to add client testimonials to promote my practice. Listening to advice like this and learning to use the resources I have at hand has really encouraged me and helped get things moving.

Although still in its infancy, I am pleased to say that my practice is slowly picking up. Word of mouth really is the best form of advertising so getting involved with the local community has really helped. I offered the local running club ‘free’ post sports massage and stretching advice for their 5K road race series and training sessions. This has been very successful and opened up a new group of potential clients. I continue to attend CPD workshops, most recently in Leeds for ‘Chronic Headaches, Cervical Spine and TMJ Dysfunction’. I find the workshops are a great opportunity to increase your knowledge, refine your strokes and reflect on how you are working. It is also helpful to meet other therapists who are running and developing their own practice.

Next up is the start of ‘The Hendrickson Method Practitioner Programme’ in February 2013. As my skills and knowledge continue to evolve so my practice grows and evolves with me.

Martin Sharpe 2012