For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated and positively charged by my endeavours to channel healing energy through my hands to help relieve pain or stress in others and myself. It’s been an empowering meditation and a rewarding act of love. I feel a curious and wonderful parallel between this and my lifetime of experience creating music with my hands to heal, to inspire, to calm, to unify.
As a long-time musician, I have spent many years augmenting my musical earnings with graphic, web design and audio work. There is much I enjoy in this creative work but I am a very physical person and it all has had me sitting in front a computer far too much of the time. Since the turn of the millenium, I met two women who had studied massage at a school called The Art of Conscious Touch in British Columbia. I had a session with one of them and it was the most nurturing, healing, relaxing, multi-dimensional massage I’d ever had, totally in keeping with the philosophy of the school as she’d described to me. Her enthusiastic praise for Fiona Walker‘s teaching cinched the plan — I had to experience this training for myself.
I began the 250-hour course on Denman Island in July 2007. I spent an exhausting but rich and rewarding fortnight of 10-hour days in class learning hands-on technique and theory through the day and attending anatomy class at night. Fiona has studied a wide range of bodywork modalities over decades and her unique blend of all this technique and knowledge has, in turn, created an original style. Each session is adapted for the client’s current needs as the practitioner senses and also gleans from informed questions as posed on a client intake form and in discussion. The client can emerge from a session feeling that they have been cared for on many levels — physical, emotional and spiritual.
I spent the fall, winter and spring back in Toronto immersed in the study guide and booklist provided by the school. Under Fiona’s guidance, I applied myself to an ongoing exploration of anatomy, technique and bodywork theories encompassing traditional Swedish massage techniques, those of California’s Esalen school, the therapeutic application of sound and music, the Trager joint mobility and body re-education approach and Qi Gong (the ancient Chinese art of the cultivation and manipulation of energy).
During this time I completed 30 documented massages for my practicum and had regular anatomy study sessions with a dancer who volunteered her body for our exploration. I enrolled in Qigong classes at the Golden Harmony Kung Fu Dojoin Toronto.
In the summer of 2008, I returned to Denman for a final session of intensive study, learning more about anatomy,massage theory and technique, aromatherapy, reflexology, energy work, prenatal massage, chair massage,business practice and ethics.
I was certified in August 2008 by The Art of Conscious Touch, as a Holistic Massage Practitioner and am practicing all I’ve learned with great joy and satisfaction. Yet my enjoyment drives me to continue the study of bodywork, energy work, anatomy and pathology. It’s a fascination that keeps my brain enthralled, my soul inspired and my heart full — much like music!
I have since completed Levels 1 and 2 of Gary Diggins‘ Soundwork program. I have also taken a workshop by Tom Myers in the study of Myofascial Meridians and acquired Reiki I certification from Reiki Master Kathleen MacKay andReiki II with Dany Lyne.
I became a certified Thai Yoga Massage Practitioner in December 2010 and am now a Senior Practitioner. Click here or on the link above to the new Thai Massage page with full details on this unique and effective modality.
May 2011 saw my certification as a Yoga Instructor through YogaSpace, Toronto. Additionally, I have specialized training with Bibi Rahim-Hahn in teaching Flow, a slow, meditative style that is both physically strengthening and mentally soothing.
In the winter of 2016, I went to Chiang Mai, Thailand to study Therapeutic Thai Massage Levels 3 and 4, Thai Foot Massage and Thai Herbal Hot Compress Course at Thai Massage Shivagakomarpaj (Old Medicine Hospital).
Since August 2019, I have been engrossed in training to become a certified Trager practitioner. This is a psycho-physical movement retraining system developed by Milton Trager. Its techniques and philosophy are great additions to both my bodywork practice and yoga teaching. You can read all about it here: What is Trager?
Copyright 2014 Jennifer Gillmor. All Rights Reserved.