Training professional massage therapists with sensitivity, creativity and integrity


Bristol College of Massage and Bodywork

Address: Lower Ground Floor, 109 Pembroke Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 3EU
Tel: 0117 946 6371

About the School

Bristol College of Massage and Bodywork is a not-for-profit company, founded by Andy Fagg in 1986 to provide a high quality, person-centred approach to massage and bodywork at introductory, practitioner and advanced levels. From its warm and welcoming centres in Bristol and Worcester, the aim is to lay a strong foundation in the principles and practice of holistic and remedial and sports massage to a high professional standard. The tutors also aim to have fun!

The core professional training courses are the Holistic Massage Diploma, the Remedial and Sports Massage Diploma and the Indian Head Massage certificate. Alongside these there is also have a thriving programme of advanced workshops to support massage therapists in their continuing professional development (CPD), and introductory weekend workshops for beginners and those who wish to get a taster of the full training.

A number of BCMB tutors and graduates practice privately at the College in Bristol as therapists, including Sarah Mclellan, Tim Bartlett, Peter Kramer, Emma Conlon, Sandra Alonso and Alice Mould. Please contact them directly for more information.

The College also runs two very popular low-cost clinics for the public in Bristol, staffed by students and graduates. The students can boost their practice hours and gain valuable experience putting what they’ve learned each month into practice. The graduates can build their confidence, consolidate their skills on graduation, access BCMB’s broad and diverse clinic client base and are encouraged to take their clients with them when they leave!

Holistic Massage Diploma Level 4

HMD lead tutors Jeremy Dymond and Sarah Mclellan

This 11 month practitioner course comprises of 6 two day weekends (Sat-Sun) and 5 three-day weekends (Fri-Sun). There are two intakes a year in September and February in Bristol.

This living, vibrant style of massage practice and theory includes: detailed massage techniques for the whole body, stretches and mobilisations, body image and body reading, dynamic and safe body use for the practitioner, subtle energy; including the aura and chakras, professionalism, grounding, meditation and self-awareness and personal development work, ethics, first aid, client handling, practice management and business skills. Anatomy, physiology and pathology is taught in a practical, hands-on way and always closely related to massage practice.

There are many opportunities for students to practise and develop their massage practice throughout and after the course, including taking part in student clinics, the graduate clinic and supervision sessions.

Pictured are the HMD lead tutors Jeremy Dymond and Sarah Mclellan.

Find out more about Holistic Massage at BCMB

Sports and Remedial Massage Diploma Level 5

SRM tutors Adam Carter and Tim Barlett

This course is taught in Bristol over 12 months of 3 two day weekends, 7 three day weekends and a final day to complete the course. There is one intake a year in September.

The course provides students with an in-depth knowledge in how to manage a wide range of muscle and joint related problems. This includes integrating a variety of assessment, treatment and rehabilitation skills as well as covering the more specific area of competitive sports.

Key emphasis is placed on integrating applied anatomy and physiology, with clinical skills and practical techniques through case-scenario and group work. The tutors also teach good body mechanics and safe practices for the practitioner in using their own body. There many are opportunities for practise throughout the course, including the student clinics. The course also offers support for practice, business and personal development issues.

Find out more about Remedial and Sports Massage at BCMB

Pictured are SRM tutors Adam Carter and Tim Bartlett.

Indian Head Massage Certificate Level 3

IHM and Worcester lead tutor Sarah Cohen

This course is taught over five days in three months in Bristol, including theory and practical exams as well as assignments and written case studies. There are two intakes a year: one in Bristol in the autumn and one in Worcester in the spring.

Indian Head Massage draws from the Ayurvedic system of healing and has been used in India for over 1,000 years. It has evolved further in the West and is typically given as a seated treatment lasting 20 - 40 minutes. It includes massage to the upper back, neck, arms, head, scalp and face. Specific techniques aid deep relaxation, reduce stress and aim to restore physical and psychological balance.

The course covers: the history and background of IHM, effects of different massage techniques, client-centred treatments including client consultations, advanced techniques and preparation and self-care, relevant anatomy, physiology and pathology, Ayurvedic practice and chakras, and oils and their use with scalp massage. Unlike many courses, the tutor doesn't simply teach a routine: they teach an extensive range of techniques that practitioners can draw on according to client needs.

Students will also have the opportunity to work in the graduate clinic after qualifying to help build their experience and practice.

Pictured is IHM and Worcester lead tutor Sarah Cohen.

Find out more about Indian Head Massage at BCMB

Introductory Workshops

BCMB offers two day introductory workshops in Holistic Massage (Bristol and Worcester) and Thai Massage (Bristol only) aimed at people who are considering professional training, or who want to gain some massage skills to use with family and friends.

Find out more about Introductory workshops at BCMB

Continuing Professional Development

BCMB offers a wide range of in-house advanced workshops including Chair Massage, Massage and Pregnancy, Hands Free Massage, 3D Side Lying Massage, Deep Tissue Massage and Acupressure and Reflexology for Massage Practitioners. It also holds regular Massage Practice Days with the lead tutors for those who wish to refresh or deeper explore their technique.

A number of visiting experts (some non-MTI) come to BCMB to run their own courses:

  • David Lauterstein: co-founder of Lauterstein-Conway Massage School, Austin, Texas and author of ‘The Deep Massage Book’;
  • Darien Pritchard: founder of Dynamic Massage, pioneer of hands-free massage techniques and author of ‘Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology for the Massage Therapist’ and ‘Dynamic Bodyuse for Effective, Strain-Free Massage’;
  • Ruth Duncan: Founder of Myofascial Release UK, author of ‘A Hands on Guide to Myofascial Release’ and winner of the Outstanding Achievement Award to the Industry, 2014;
  • Rosalie Samet: Founder of Hawaiian Massage UK Training Centre.

Find out more about advanced workshops at BCMB

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