Mastering your Clinical Practice…and your life?

The 2017 new NO HANDS Master cohort, with Gerry PyvesMastery in any area of life is no mean feat and is something which takes considerable perseverance, determination and commitment to keeping going, through good times and bad. It’s not an easy, “overnight success”, but achieving Mastery in any area of life is a wonderful achievement, an opportunity to celebrate a truly awesome accomplishment and almost inevitably spills over from your “area of Mastery” into all aspects of life.

Our courses have been designed and developed over 20 years to mean that the option every Massage therapist who wants it can be supported in their journey to clinical Mastery – and beyond…

This articles looks at the “five steps to NO HANDS Mastery” – written down they look pretty straight forward. In many ways they are – provided our old friends perseverance, determination and commitment remain close at hand. And how best to make sure they do? Support.

Support in action

Support, support, support. From courses, from peers, from family, from clients – Support is really the “uber key” to Mastery. And it gets more important the further you travel down the path: the closer you get to Mastery, to what we call “the last millimetre”, the harder it can seem. Having the right support around you means you can check out reality. Look at how far you’ve already travelled: it’s the people around us who can give us that perspective when our own worst critic – ourselves – is going into overdrive.

And trust us: if you simply keep going…putting one foot in front  of the other…doing the next stroke…seeing the next client…you will be getting closer to Mastery and we look forward to celebrating you as a NO HANDS Master when your time comes!

So, what are these five steps?


Step 1: Learn It

As with everything in life, first of all you have to learn the material for the first time. The practical ins and outs of how to a deliver NO HANDS Massage – starting with where to put your feet, where to put your arms, your hands.  Many of our students tell us it can feel like having to learn to walk again. The NO HANDS Roadmap shows each of these learning stages – from the basic safeties of working without strain or injury to client or therapist, right the way up to the transactional and transformational content covered at our Mastery level. The power of NO HANDS strokes means that even on the first time of giving a stroke on a course your client can take some a seriously powerful treatment. And that’s just the beginning.


Step 2: Understand It

NO HANDS training is very practical which means you can take what you’ve learnt on one of our courses straight back into your treatment room. And it’s in your treatment room that you’ll start noticing the bits you didn’t quite get first time around. There are always one or two! Sometimes a conversation with a colleague you did the training with helps – sometimes it’s sitting down with your course manual and going through it again. Sometimes it’s trusting your “muscle memory” and “playing” with the stroke until it feels right.

NO HANDS Massage training course

Rumour has it your nearest and dearest would love to have a Massage now and then, and as far as they’re concerned, the Touch they get when being a “guinea pig” for you straightening out an issue with a stroke is very welcome (especially when you’re so busy the rest of the time to give them many treatments!)

Clocking up your clinical hours is also where you learn the things that only come from experience – what your own style is, how you work best, how to be as prepared as you can for unexpected situations, how to honour the client on the table to the absolute best of your ability. It’s also where you have the thrill and privilege of watching your clients walk away with the “gold” they take from the simple power of receiving your Touch.


Step 3: Live It

You’ve done the training. You’ve worked it in your clinic. You’re getting some great results from your clients. And yes, occasionally, you’re still feeling like you’re hitting against a brick wall, which can be incredibly frustrating! You’ve already worked so hard – what’s getting in the way? Those strokes that prove elusive, perhaps a particular client who you struggle to connect with. Check out this video from Sal Khan of the Khan Academy which explains Mastery – and how these “brick walls” can easily creep in:

Within NO HANDS the space where you can really “check out reality” and both understand – and address! – your gaps is on the NO HANDS Mastery Programme. Meeting three times each year with the same group of committed therapists, whatever your “gap” is, there’s a supportive environment to find that missing key, that missing piece of the jigsaw that makes everything slot into place and lets you breathe a sigh of relief. You got it! And you didn’t just get it at a superficial level, this is about taking what you’re applying to your Massage into the rest of your life: if you spend your not-Massage time rushing around, are you truly going to be able to go Slow, go reeeeeeally Slow in your treatments?


Master Sophie Crutchley, shortly after becoming a NO HANDS Master in 2017

Step 4: Know It

When the time feels right (and it’s different for everyone), when you feel like each of your treatments is truly flowing and you’re at ease with this incredible approach to Massage then it’s time for assessment. Examined by a panel of your peers (NO HANDS Masters), the paradox of this exam is that time and time again therapists who have seen it as an exam, as somewhere they need to “perform”, have failed. And yet the therapists who enter the “exam” and truly meet the client on that day, in that place, in the reality of everything going on both for the client and the therapist – they are the ones who fly through their exam and emerge with their golden ribbon pinned to their breast [all new NO HANDS Masters are given a golden ribbon to show visibly they have achieved this awesome level of clinical expertise].

At this point NO HANDS is “in your bones” – and in everything you do. Whatever happens, whatever curve-ball turns up, your clinical excellence shines through – including knowing when the only way to honour the client in front of you is to suggest they don’t have a Massage. Because that’s what’s real.


Step 5: Thrive with It

Mastery doesn’t end with becoming a NO HANDS Master – in fact, most Masters will tell you that that particular milestone felt like it was really just the beginning. Being recognised as having attained this level of clinical excellence opens a whole new world of possibilities, including working directly with Gerry Pyves, NO HANDS Founder and Creator, and taking your work to the next level as a Transformational Touch Therapist.

Reaching a level of Mastery in one area of your life invariably creates ripples that travel throughout every aspect of your life – which can feel both thrilling and a bit unsettling. As was mentioned earlier, this is why the key of Support remains absolutely fundamental, in fact gets even more important, the further you travel along your own, unique journey. Support for yourself, support for your clients, support for others.

And maybe, just maybe, a sense that you’ve truly let your light shine and allowed yourself to be who you were born to be…



Comment ( 1 )

  • Robin Dalglish - NO HANDS Master.

    Wise words. A clear path. Achievable outcomes. Step by step. Client by client. Mastery is not a state, it is a way of being, a constant focus, occasional setbacks of course, but the flow is ever onward, towards freedom, towards potential, towards life. Just a massage? Well, yes, of course. Just a massage? What really? Well, no! A life journey. Touching another person with respect, and attention, deep training, and an open mind. This is massage therapist as catalyst, as companion, as witness. This is for you. Wow.

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