Meet the Master: Amanda Watson

NO HANDS Masters have completed the full journey from zero strain bodywork, through potent and transactional bodywork to being able to offer truly Transformational Touch Therapy. Master Amanda Watson became a Master in 2016 and works in Wakefield. 

In her own words…

 Master Amanda Watson

“Although I originally qualified as a Massage Therapist in 1996, it wasn’t until 2013 that I first started training in NO HANDS. I had sustained injury to my wrists, hands, fingers and back, from my work with massage, so I hadn’t been able to work as a massage professional for a number of years. Despite that, I remembered how much I had really loved this work and within me I had always had a desire to return back to it.

I have been fortunate to have had work and jobs that I have enjoyed, that have been varied and have given me the opportunity to work with interesting and fun people and when I first qualified in massage in 1996, I was really happy to set up a small practice from my home.

Most of my jobs until then had been in sales and so I went part time, to grow my massage practice. I was able to take some time out, to go travelling and broaden my learning of massage. I learnt Thai massage in Thailand, Balinese massage in Bali, I studied some shiatsu, baby massage, neuro linguistic programming, counselling, reiki and lots more with a view to developing myself to be able to offer holistic therapy for my clients.

However, a couple of years into this work, is when injury from massage prevented me from continuing. I had to take time out from the massage and so took a different direction in my work. I worked as a training manager for BT, a national training manager for Allders Department Stores. Though these jobs were interesting, I felt that something was missing for me. This work seemed to have more emphasis on numbers and statistics than it did for the real live people. People matter to me and so I changed direction again and worked for Barnardos charity, initially as a youth worker for children with emotional, social and behavioural difficulties and then I worked to support families with multiple and complex needs. However, throughout those years, I hadn’t forgotten my work with massage and returning to it continued to come to the forefront of my mind.

Support in action
Amanda exploring the postural key of SUPPORT with fellow Master, Nathalie Scullard

I hadn’t seen the research and hadn’t realised that between 60 & 70% of massage therapists are carrying work-related injuries. I thought my injury was because I was doing something wrong, and so I thought if I retrained, it would be okay. With this in mind, I was trying out different types of massage to see if I could find an approach to massage that I wanted to train in. I hadn’t really thought that any of them were any different to what I had already done.

Around that time my daughter gave me a voucher for a massage that she had won in a school raffle – so I got myself booked in. When I arrived, the practitioner asked me some questions before giving me a massage. As soon as I felt this massage, I knew there and then, that this is what I wanted to do. That was the first time that I had felt NO HANDS massage.

After my massage, the practitioner told me that he didn’t offer this to all of his clients, but because I had told him I had a background in massage, he thought it would be okay for me. Well, thank goodness he did! I told him that this is what I was going to do. I remember, after that massage, I felt joyful and excited. At this stage, I didn’t even know that NO HANDS massage was completely zero strain for the practitioner.

When I decided to return to massage, I was starting a client base from zero as I hadn’t been able to practice professionally because of the injuries I had sustained. Fortunately, the process of rebuilding my practice was transformed by the business building tools that I learned as part of my NO HANDS training. NO HANDS gave me the ability and confidence to work with clients across a huge spectrum: clients who just love massage and kept coming back for more; clients wanting to be free from aches and pains; and vulnerable clients such as people with disabilities, learning difficulties, people at the end of their lives, people battling with cancer, people with anxiety, depression. The thing I love is that NO HANDS can work for pretty much anyone because we don’t put our clients in a “box”. Instead we work together with them to create a massage that’s just right for them, on that day, at that time.

Amanda with the “2016/17” Master cohort, from back (l-r): Nathalie Scullard, NO HANDS Founder Gerry Pyves, Ros May; middle row: Farhat Hussain, Sophie Crutchley, Beth Lloyd, Wendy Mills; front row: Amanda Watson, Sharon Lomax, Beth Hunt

NO HANDS is truly a transformational therapy both for the clients and the therapists. What would I say to other therapists? Well, it’s all been said before though the one thing that stands out for me is – Become a client and get regular massage yourself. Once you have felt this and know your truth, you will know the power of NO HANDS massage. Why wouldn’t you want to share it? Know your truth, create your vision and become your vision.

Since becoming a Master, I work in my clinic with my clients and I do so knowing that I am being the best that I can be for them. I feel settled and have found a sense of calm. On becoming a Master, I remember looking around at the sea of faces and every single one of those faces in that room had been some form of support for me on my NO HANDS journey. That said, there is still so much more learning for me and that really excites me. After all if I am not learning, what’s left?

I have had an amazing experience with NO HANDS. I have put into practice what I have been shown and it has worked for me. I have loved being an instructor and seeing students flourish with their own NO HANDS Massage. It felt great to become a supervising Master, knowing that I could continue to offer support for others. The cherry on the cake is the incredible people that I have trained alongside, the instructors and all those that I have worked with along the way. The community and the support has been there for me and it’s important for me to be able to pass the support on.”

Master Amanda Watson

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