Isabel’s passion for massage has grown from the fact that she likes nothing better than spreading the word about it! From birth onwards it brings wonderful benefits. There are three key areas to her expertise:
- Remedial Massage & CranioSacral Therapy Practitioner
- IAIM Baby Massage Instructor
- Massage in Schools Programme Instructor and Trainer
As a mother of four children, Isabel knows first-hand how important nurturing touch and massage is to the healthy development of any child. And why it continues to play such a vital role in promoting physical, mental and emotional wellbeing throughout our lives.
“I’ve always had an interest in health and wellbeing and began working in the fitness field as a teenager.”
Isabel started her training in massage in her twenties, although she had to put it on hold when starting a family. Resuming her training in relaxing and therapeutic massage with the Northern School of Massage in the 1990’s, Isabel continued her studies to gain a diploma in Remedial Massage. Becoming fascinated in the emerging practice of Upledger’s CranioSacral Therapy, she did further bodywork training in that field.
Today, Isabel successfully combines several therapies and techniques to help her clients deal with a range of issues. These may vary from muscular aches and pains, to specific sports and other injuries, as well as headaches, migraines, fatigue, stress and anxiety. A comprehensive treatment programme includes showing her clients many self-massage techniques used to keep muscles healthy and pain-free.
Being a strong advocate of massage within the family, Isabel was delighted to discover the world of baby massage and massage in schools. She trained as an instructor of IAIM Baby Massage in 2004 and then became a Massage in Schools instructor that same year. In 2011 she began the process becoming a trainer of instructors in Massage in Schools and completed her course in November 2013.
“I knew the benefits of massage from a clinical perspective, but through these trainings I realised the important role that touch plays in our social interaction and what a great impact it can have. The Massage in Schools Programme gets us back in touch with ourselves and others and I find the simplicity and fun of it so inspiring. It is a simple tool that we can all use, which in turn aids a better society!”
Pauline Vallance (retired)
I have been working with the Massage in Schools programme since the first course in Scotland, in 2002. I have been fortunate to be able to introduce the programme directly into a large number of schools, (approximately 15) and indirectly, through training others, into many more.
I think what strikes me most is the tremendous variety of applications. You might think after countless times of going through the routine and other massage exercises, that it might start to feel a bit ‘samey’, but I’ve found that every session is different. Every class or group brings their own energy, ideas and personalities to the programme and that shapes how the programme will go. I always learn from the class with whom I am working, as it is very much a two way process.
I think that this process, as well as the skill of the massage routine, really helps build children’s confidence. They all feel a sense of ‘ownership’. Some of the suggestions from children include using it as an enterprise project, as a Mother’s day present, as a ‘massed massage’ at assembly, and as a way of bringing two schools together. Some of the massage routines they have devised include a ‘going to the cinema’ massage, a ‘pets we own’ massage, an ‘olden times ’massage and a ‘minibeasts’ massage.
The other aspect I really like is that it puts into practice some of the principles of being a good citizen i.e. respect for others, empathy, respect for differences and acknowledgement of feelings. These principles come across in a fun way, by doing and not by talking.
Lets hope that together, we can bring this fantastic opportunity to as many children as possible, all over Scotland.
Janine Ryan (retired)
I originally trained in Community Education in Edinburgh – qualifying in 1990. I then worked in youth work settings, adult education and went on to spend 10 years working as a home school partnership worker in both primary and secondary schools. During this time I increasingly found myself working on programmes with a health focus leading to a change of employment with the Health Promotion Department in NHS Lanarkshire.
My work within NHS Lanarkshire focuses on improving the health of children and young people and led me to the discovery of the Massage In Schools Programme. I have never looked back!
This programme is simple but effective having many benefits for children (as well as staff and parents). I trained as an instructor, have taught the programme to children both in and out of school settings and have jointly organised over 12 courses in South Lanarkshire Council.
My progression to becoming a MISP international trainer has provided me with a great opportunity to promote the programme, working with children and adults alike. I look forward to sharing my enthusiasm with others!