My curiosity and fascination for science and the human body has led me on a lifelong exploration of study and personal enquiry. On this journey I have trained in a wide range of therapeutic and somatic trainings such as: shiatsu, dance/movement psychotherapy, reflexology, massage, anatomy and physiology, movement with awareness, to name but a few.
I began my working life as a laboratory technician and during that time was introduced to massage and different healing practices by a wonderful woman called Mrs Willis. This ignited my interest to go on and qualify in massage, aromatherapy and reflexology. I then moved to London and became part of the teaching team at one of the first ITEC massage centres – The Churchill Centre. In 1985 I came across shiatsu and was intrigued by the Chinese philosophy, traditions and the depth of bodywork. I decided then to make shiatsu my main focus and went on to teach at the British School of Shiatsu-Do in Finsbury Park for 15 years.
During this time I have practised shiatsu and given workshops throughout London and Hertfordshire, from private practice to voluntary organizations such as Age Concern, Women’s Institutes, Care for Carers’, Falls Prevention and a range of HIV+/Aids centres such as The London Lighthouse as well as actors at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Barbican.
I was then able to combine this with my love of movement with awareness and dance to become a dance/movement therapist, an EXTEND teacher (Movement for the over 60’s and less abled) and a somatic movement educator/practitioner. In the last few years I have taken my movement practice out into the landscape as I continue my explorations with Helen Poynor and Suprapto Sumarah.
I have always enjoyed studying anatomy and physiology as it inspires me and brings me a sense of constant wonder. I teach this from a holistic perspective whilst adapting to the requirements of the group. I have taught extensively throughout London including the City Lit, Roehampton University, Pilates Matwork and the College of Psychic Studies as well as teaching in Eastern Europe.
I take great pleasure in creating an environment that helps develop body-mind awareness. My overall aim is to help people improve their health and well-being and to support their personal development. It is my belief and my experience that when body and mind are brought together in an informative, inspirational and experiential way, positive changes in health, that are grounded in authenticity, can occur.
I have had the privilege of being taught by many wonderful teachers. The way I work has evolved and been inspired by: Shiatsu, the Five Elements of Chinese medicine, Dance/movement therapy, Feldenkrais Method, Body Mind Centering, Unstylised Movement in the Environment plus a wide range of other bodywork disciplines. Alongside doing work that I love, I dance, walk, swim, go to yoga and enjoy meeting and eating with friends.
I offer online and face-to-face treatments and workshops. My approach is warm and empathic and my style of teaching is interactive and experiential. Over the last 40 years I have worked with adults of all ages, abilities, and cultures for their general health and maintenance. In particular people with:
- Chronic health conditions: eg multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, pain and M.E.
- Stress-related disorders: eg anxiety
- Muscular-skeletal problems: eg back, shoulder and neck issues
I run workshops that combine therapeutic bodywork skills, anatomy and physiology, mindful movement and an introduction to the Chinese philosophy of health. I also give healthy living talks i.e. ‘Dodgy Knees’ to Women’s Institutes. I have enjoyed collaborating with other movement professionals to create workshops that integrate experiential anatomy with: creative dance, dance/movement psychotherapy, Laban Bartienieff Fundamentals and Feldenkrais ‘awareness through movement’.
Qualifications and Memberships
‘I had never had a shiatsu massage before and I found it very relaxing especially when I was doing that very strenuous play at the Barbican. It was just the thing after a matinee to get me going for the evening performance. I can highly recommend it’ Dame Judi Dench, (Royal Shakespeare Company, Barbican, 2001)
‘ I had severe neck pain and within 10 minutes of you working on it, it was gone. I think you are knowledgeable, skillful and resourceful and I know whatever ailment I come with I will leave feeling better.’ Jo. W.