Our first virtual conference took place on Zoom on 17 April 2021. It was a learning curve for us all, but despite the odd technical issue, delegates, workshop leaders and stall holders all enjoyed the day and even benefited specifically from the online environment.
Our theme this year was Massage for the Modern World, held over from our cancelled 2020 event. Many of our original workshop leaders joined us again, but we couldn’t ignore the indelible impact of Covid-19, which of course featured strongly in our re-arranged programme.
Our keynote speech came from Brendan Beder, an expert performance and wellbeing coach. Brendan reminded us of the importance of taking care of our own wellbeing in these challenging times and how to adapt to change.
Morning workshops covered a range of topics that are high on the modern massage therapist’s agenda, including: MFR, Fibromyalgia, Stress, PPE, Muscle Testing and Oncology Massage. Our speakers included renowned cancer massage expert Susan Findlay, MTI tutors Eva Weltermann and Earle Abrahamson and practitioner member Jayne Burke.
Although we couldn’t share our usual delicious lunch together in-person, we had a feast of knowledge with a lunchtime talk from Jane Langston on Covid-19 Pathology, including how to work with post-Covid clients.
Our afternoon workshops continued the theme with sessions on post-natal rehab, marketing in a pandemic, MFR for self-care, breath and movement practices and a psychological look at Fibromyalgia. We were lucky to be joined by women’s health expert Jenny Burrell, marketing whizz and MTI partner Tor Davies, the ever-popular Ruth Duncan and member Maya van der Galien.
We shared afternoon tea with our regional reps, before wrapping up the day with the prize raffle. Our generous workshop leaders and stall holders once again donated hundreds of pounds’ worth of prizes and 12 lucky winners ended the day with a smile.
Special mention goes to membership officer Caroline Green who organised the conference at a pace, having only taken on the role in January, and learnt how to organise and run a virtual conference in that time! She was ably supported by marketing officer Jenny Hampton and director Karen Yarnell and the regional reps on the day.
Next year we hope to return to an in-person event at Solihull College, but we are considering holding regular virtual conference in future. Your feedback told us that you found the format valuable and it meant that those who are unable to attend live events got to participate in the conference, some for the first time.
Thank you to the following workshop leaders
- Brendan Beder, Keynote Speech on Career Wellbeing
- Amanda Oswald, Myofascial Release and Fibromyalgia
- Jayne Burke, Stress and the Modern Working Woman
- Susie Willsher, The Importance of Gut Health
- Eva Weltermann, PPE and Infection Control
- Earle Abrahamson and Jane Langston, Muscle Testing as a Monitor for Modern Day Injuries
- Susan Findlay, The Myths and Benefits of Oncology Massage
- Jane Langston, Lunchtime Talk on C-19 Pathology
- Jenny Burrell, Soft Tissue Strategies for Post Natal Core Rehab
- Tor Davies, Marketing in the Time of Covid
- Ruth Duncan, Self-Care MFR
- Maya van der Galien, Vital Motion
- Gray Caws, Buteyko Breathing
- Chris Newton, Inside the Head of Fibromyalgia
Thank you to the following stall holders
- Marian Hardiman, Silvan Skincare
- Andy Harrod, Songbird Naturals
- Hilary Brown, Handspring Publishing
- Steve Golbourn, Golbourn Training Solutions
- Amanda Oswald, Pain Care Clinic
- Sue Stretton, Healing Hands Network
- Charlie Preston, Physique Management
- Carl Newbury, Massage World
- Mary Fickling, Physiopod
Thank you to our regional reps
- Sharon Bull
- Nadia Faucher
- Niki Cope
- Laura Richardson
- Kit Adam
- Natalia Duncan
- Alasdair Sim
- Fran Higginson
- Kerry McKerchar
- Heather Newson
- Rebecca Chauhan