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holistic massage and bodywork from conception through to death – 2012 MTI annual conference
Drawing together fellow MTI massage therapists from all across the UK, this years’ annual MTI conference was a fascinating and informative event – themed around our changing massage needs from cradle to grave.
The theme for 2012 was inspired by William Shakespere’s text ‘The Seven Ages of Man’ and comprised six workshops reflecting areas of life we may come across in our work as holistic massage therapists and bodyworkers. The ‘ages’ covered in the workshops were Conception, Pregnancy & Birth; Massage in Schools; Growing up with Money; Becoming an MTI Teacher; Later Life and Postural Help; and Dying and Death. Each presented by experts in their respective fields.
The morning began with a brief overview from each of the speakers on the various workshops. I’d signed up to the two, polar ends of the spectrum. A hands-on session on conception, pregnancy and birth followed by an inspiring talk on the stages of death and dying.
As the first sense to develop in the womb, touch is vital to our development from a very young age. During the morning session we learned techniques to not only relax pregnant mums, but to help them connect with their baby in the womb. This was a great workshop, led by Suzanne Yates who specialises in offering training to therapists in conception, pregnancy and birth. We also came away with a greater understanding of the anatomical changes in the female body and also possible knock-on effects that may lead to discomfort in later life, following childbirth. Lots of fantastic insights to be able to share with our clients.
In contrast to this very practical morning session, the afternoon focussed on the passing of life and looked at how, as therapists, we could offer support on both a physical and emotional level to clients at the very end of life. Our speaker, Felicity Warner, runs an organisation called Soul Midwives specialising in offering holistic palliative care from the point where the doctors say they can do no more. This was a hugely enlightening topic and her knowledge and understanding of the phases of death was not only beneficial but also surprisingly uplifting.
In between sessions we there were plenty of opportunities to catch up with fellow therapists and exchange ideas. As with all massage events, our day was fuelled with lots of fantastic tea, cake and stimulating debate with our peers. I'm looking forward to next years event already.