The second in our Meet the Master series is Master Wendy Mills. Wendy became a Master in 2016 just three years after starting her NO HANDS training – although a decade and a half since she first came across NO HANDS. In her words…
Wendy, give us a brief description of yourself
I was a State Registered Nurse for 23 years, working with adults and for the last 10 years of my career in theatres. Whilst I loved my work I was becoming disillusioned with the NHS and not being able to give the care to my patients that I was trained to give, due to time and financial constraints. When I started to look around to see what else I could do I came across the beauty industry by chance. I saw it as a way to earn money but also as a way to introduce people to holistic therapies.
I have had my own salon for the last 16 years employing 3 staff. I’m now at the stage where I’m ready to retire from the salon, but have a whole load more years in me yet for NO HANDS! I live with my partner of 21 years and have a grown up daughter. We live in the beautiful county of Herefordshire. I adore my cats and love all things history related. A few years back I did some intensive research into my family history and I just want to let you know that this is coming to you from Royalty! King Alfred the Great is an ancestor, my great x39 grandfather. So please, whatever you do, don’t burn my cakes. 🙂
What first triggered your interest in NO HANDS?
I watched Gerry give a demonstration at a Beauty Trade Show in Birmingham around 2002 and was simply blown away by it and the principles behind NO HANDS. I bought one of the first editions of his first book The Principles and Practice of NO HANDS Massage. I had only just started out in business, a beauty salon, and my training budget had been used up plus I couldn’t afford to be away from the business at that stage. How wrong was I to think in that way! What I now know is that I couldn’t really afford not to do the training for the sake of my business and health. It took me till 2013 to actually start my NO HANDS journey and at this point I was at the stage of either having to give up massage altogether because of injury and repetitive strain, or finding another way of doing it. Luckily NO HANDS saved my career and has had a massive impact on my life in general.
Has your practice changed since doing NO HANDS?
Before I started NO HANDS I had a few regular clients for Swedish Massage, but mainly I did beauty treatments. I actually didn’t market the massage side of my business to its potential as I didn’t want to hurt myself anymore than I was already.
My practice has now changed in that I have reduced the number of days I work in the salon offering beauty treatments, taking on extra staff to cover the times when I’m not there. I now work from home massaging 2 days a week, where I can see 6 clients each day if I choose to. So I see far more people for massage now on a weekly basis that I ever have before, with no injury to me.
In fact the more I see, the more revitalised I become and the more my life is enriched. I share other people’s life journeys, they are not just changing their health but changing their lives, which is a privilege to be part of. I entered the Mastery programme in 2014 which is where NO HANDS started to impact on my life not just my practice. I became an Instructor for NO HANDS in 2015, teaching the Transforming Touch and Practitioner Courses, helping other therapists to change the way they practice as well. I became a Master in 2016, getting my certificate in 2017 along with a fantastic group of other new Masters (Alaine Hah; Farhat Mahmood; Amanda Watson; Ros May; Sharon Lomax; Beth Lloyd; Beth Hunt; Nathalie Scullard, Sophie Crutchley).
What impact has becoming a Master had on you?
Becoming a Master has made me realise that I’m OK being me. I don’t have to prove myself to anyone else or to myself anymore. It’s given me the freedom to make my massage my own. Yes it still follows the principles and practice, the discipline and communication protocols of NO HANDS, but it’s my touch. My touch is what sets me apart from every other Therapist, and I’m very OK with being different. In fact I would say that I’m proud to be different. I’m also very proud of each and every one of our Masters and the difference that they make and bring to the world. Becoming a Master is not the end but the beginning of another journey. I’m yet to find out where that journey path will take me, but one thing is for sure I’m going to enjoy every moment of it.
If you could share one piece of information or advice with other Massage therapists (within the NO HANDS community or beyond), what would it be?
Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
I wish I had had the foresight to do my NO HANDS training 10 years earlier when I first came across it.