2019 Conference Reviews
Two reviews of our annual conference that took place on 11 May in Bristol. One from Wendy Shreeve, a member from the East Anglia region and the other from our Chairperson Earle Abrahamson.
Worth the Wait: MTI Conference 2019
By Wendy Shreeve
I was driving on the M4 towards Bristol on the day before the conference, the traffic was snarled up and I felt tired and hungry – was it really worth all this travelling for one day? Well, the answer turned out to be a resounding YES....
The venue was in a very attractive part of Bristol with easy parking (always a bonus) and I had plenty of time to socialise and look at the exhibitor merchandise before the event got started. I was pleased to find that a book I wanted was being sold by Lotus Publishing at a special reduced price and I also enjoyed sampling the Danish pastries – I only had one, honest!
The day started with an excellent keynote address by Dr Toh Wong about integrated health. His talk was interesting and amusing and highlighted the opportunities available for complementary therapists to engage with the NHS, at a time when social prescribing is to the fore.
For my morning workshop I chose the Hands Free session and felt privileged to learn from three trainers – Darien Pritchard, Leora Sharp and Craig Foden. We were able to work in pairs to practice skills in using our forearms in a skilful and sensitive way. I found it particularly helpful to think about how I use my body, depending on whether I’m aiming for pressure or more flow.
After this I was very ready for lunch as were those around me and we were treated to a good choice of hot and cold buffet dishes. This was one of many opportunities to meet with other like-minded people from all over the UK.
After all that eating, it was time for some exercise! I chose to partake in the Exercise Prescription workshop, and I was not disappointed, especially as we did it outside in the lovely garden of Engineers House. Tim Allardyce, the trainer, was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic and I felt much more confident about assessment and providing gentle exercises after this session. He encouraged us to practise in pairs and I’m sure we provided a good spectacle for those in the building.
At the very end of the day, when I was already reflecting on what I had gained, I received an unexpected bonus – I had won £100 to spend at Physique, in the raffle! I shall certainly enjoy spending that – thank you, Physique.
Thank you to all the team which made the conference possible. I certainly hope to go again next year.
Conference 2019 Review: Connecting Content to Careers
By Earle Abrahamson, MTI Chair
The magnificent setting of Engineers House in Bristol played host to this year's conference. In true MTI tradition the conference brought richness by connecting practices, and thereby providing opportunities for delegates to consolidate their knowledge and extend their learning.
Dr Toh Wong opened the conference in fine form by talking about the importance of an integrative health agenda. During his keynote address, he used the concept of entrainment, natural synchronicity, to demonstrate how natural it is to be in harmony. This provided the perfect backdrop for the conference theme which focussed on sustaining a happy and healthy career in massage therapy.
The all-day First Aid course kicked things off then morning workshops followed that enabled delegates to practise Hands Free Massage and the Alexander Technique, build confidence, learn to become a tutor, create healthy boundaries and focus on supervision as self-care. A scrumptious lunch followed, and delegates were able to visit the many exhibitor stands to better understand resources, products, and new software technologies.
The afternoon sessions extended the keynote address on integrative health and implemented live streaming to make content accessible to those who were unable to attend. Other workshops focussed on prescribing exercises, hospital massage, fertility massage, a mind, body, movement clinic and creating a marketing plan. The conference concluded with a raffle, giving away over £900’s worth of prizes.
The day ran smoothly and efficiently, thanks mainly to Katrina Breath and Jenny Hampton, who worked tirelessly to ensure that all aspects of the conference were managed and maintained. It is fitting to know that the MTI values and ethos underlie all that we do. We look forward, with anticipation, to the 2020 conference and know it will continue to provide attendees with purposeful learning and career development opportunities.