Mindfulness-based CPD Workshops
Are you feeling stuck in your practice? Are you looking for confidence, or feel you need new skills? If you are a massage therapist, physiotherapist, yoga/movement teacher, or any type of bodyworker, these CPD workshops are designed for you.
The mindfulness-based Continuing Professional Development workshops combine knowledge of anatomy with psychology, movement, manual therapy, philosophy and communication skills. They were originally developed to train postgraduate therapists at industry-leading, London-based sports / remedial massage company, City Sports Massage.
These CPD workshops are warm, gentle and caring investigations into the self. By exploring within, we can find deeply powerful, effective tools to heal both self and other.
The CPD Workshops
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a non-judgmental awareness of present moment experience. You might have found yourself driving long distances on ‘automatic-pilot’, without really being aware of what you are doing. In the same way you may have not been ‘present’, moment by moment, at many points in your life.
On auto-pilot you are more likely to have your ‘buttons pressed’: events around you, and your own thoughts, feelings and sensations (of which you might only be vaguely aware) can trigger old habits of feeling, thinking and behaviour that might be unhelpful, and may lead on to further, equally unhelpful negative thought patterns. By becoming more aware of your bodily sensations, feelings and thoughts, from moment to moment, you give yourself the possibility of greater freedom and choice; you do not have to repeat old patterns.
There have been many, many studies into the efficacy of mindfulness training, and it is now a widely accepted fact that the adult nervous system is capable of plasticity, and it is possible to change the structure of the brain through repetitive training.
What is the definition of a Bodyworker?
A Bodyworker is anyone who works manually with the human body to improve or restore health and well being – that includes Massage therapists, Osteopaths, Physiotherapists, Yoga Teachers, Doctors & Nurses.
How can mindfulness help Bodyworkers?
The practice of mindfulness can develop many qualities that might be relevant to Bodyworkers:
- Touch and manual sensitivity
- Self awareness
- Empathy/compassion for self and others
- Clarity of awareness of thoughts, feelings and sensations
- The ability to move calmly and fluidly between a broad view and narrow focus of the working environment
Mindfulness can help Bodyworkers by increasing awareness; and therefore creating more capacity to respond to situations with greater choice.
With greater awareness and sensitivity we can gain more positive feedback, build stronger therapeutic alliances, and develop greater confidence and intuition.
Do you teach intuition?
I teach practitioners how to be more aware of the thoughts, feelings and sensations they are experiencing, and learn to view them objectively. As long as those partaking in the CPD workshops are open, and prepared to work in a self reflective way, considerable success can be demonstrated within a relatively short space of time.
I believe that one of the reasons it is thought that intuition takes years to develop is because it takes most therapists many years for their negative and unhelpful internal dialogue to subside. They are therefore not ‘listening’ to all the information that is available to them. This dialogue, what neuroscientists term ‘self referential processing’, is often a self-defeating, distracting chatter not necessarily based upon facts or reality. Anxiety, or misinformation caused by this dialogue can prevent therapists from being fully present in their treatments, and therefore they miss out on information gathering that would otherwise contribute to the accumulation of experience that feeds the development of intuition. Therefore, teaching therapists in CPD workshops to be more still, present and empathic, might allow them to gather information more efficiently, and thus access their intuitive facilities more readily.
Where does Myofascial Release fit in?
Although working with fascia has been much documented in bodywork and massage therapy, what makes Jon Gee’s CPD workshops different is how the hands-on work is actually approached.
Jon’s CPD workshops include mindfulness-based Myofascial release techniques that effectively separate and mobilise fascial adhesions, restore function and develop body awareness. It is a slow, relaxing treatment that allows the therapist to conserve energy; whilst still delivering successful outcomes.
I wanted to say how much I enjoyed the Mindfulness for Massage Therapists workshop in June. As most of us said during the two days – the art of mindfulness is not rocket science and yet it is probably one of the most challenging and possibly important things you will ever try to do – and as you said, it is a lifetime of study and practise!
I thoroughly enjoyed your style of teaching. I loved the balance between the science behind it all and the practical sessions of mindfulness and I came away feeling much ‘happier’ about what mindfulness is and how important it is going to be to try to practise it, and make it a part of one’s life.
I had a deep sense of contentment and happiness during the practical sessions, really feeling how strong and beneficial the awareness sessions can be.
Thank you for your time, your energy and your care and consideration throughout the two days.
Thanks so much for giving the wonderful workshop yesterday.
I think people liked it very much and will have found something to take away with them to reflect on; and reflect on how to bring it into their practice.
You hold the space well, intrigue and instruct very well and give everyone space and time to talk. It was good to see people responding so well, they felt listened to.
Many, many thanks.
Jon’s CPD workshops have provided me with an expansive and yet stable framework for the implementation of more integrated overview of health. The principles I’ve taken away with me have since become an integral part of my own practice.
Jon’s use of language and simple analogies relating to the structure and function of the body made the concepts explored during the workshops easily applicable to practice.
Working with mindfulness, breath and movement meant that I really embodied the subjects we covered, which in turn made me a better teacher when it came to integrating this style of body work into my own practice.
Jon’s teaching methods are insightful, engaging and comprehensive. I would recommend to anyone wishing to enhance their practice and/or business…
The training at CSM is unlike any you’ll ever go through as a massage therapist. It’s not about learning sparkling new hands-on techniques, although that does form part of it – It will teach you to read the atmosphere of a room and tune in to what your client is going through so that you can deliver a treatment incredibly personal to that client. Building the principles of mindfulness into bodywork gives you the confidence to trust your instincts, trust what your hands are telling you about where they want to go, trust that the rest of your senses are giving you an accurate picture of what’s going on in the room. It’s all about working in the present moment, and enabling your client to be in the present moment, so that everything you do is effective.
I can’t tell you just how much I’ve come on as a therapist through being part of this fabulous team. I’m truly sorry to be leaving them all behind, but I know that the skills I’ve learned both in practice as a therapist and through the thoughtful, insightful workshops delivered by Jon will be things I’ll keep with me for the rest of my life – above and beyond work.
I can’t recommend this training highly enough – it’s been worth everything I’ve put into it, and more. I can’t see that anyone would come out feeling any different.
Jon’s mindfulness workshops teach a completely different approach to massage than the one I had learned so far, it does not focus so much on techniques to be applied, but rather in learning how to be present and connected with your client, how to read through your hands.
This new approach is just beautiful, it has made me a much better practitioner because it allows me to enjoy this constant exploration, and to learn from it every time…It has totally transformed my practice.
Since undertaking this, and other CSM workshops run by Jon Gee, I have found that my relationships with my clients, my trust in myself, and my willingness to experiment with new techniques has grown far beyond the bounds I would have considered possible…Previously I had found it so easy to feel out of my depth.
The mindfulness techniques I have learned have helped me to acknowledge unhelpful thoughts and feelings, and then to either let them go, or put them to one side for later consideration. I’ve learned instead to connect with my clients spoken and unspoken needs, and to work with them towards achieving their goals, with a sense of sure footedness and joy in the task at hand…to simply be in the moment itself with them, to let all other fears or expectations slip away, and trust that my hands and my understanding of the body will lead me to offer the best I can.
Now my client sessions are a joy and a discovery, and I feel much surer of my abilities to provide the right treatment…I can recommend wholeheartedly.
Pelvis image © Henrique Oliveira / Galerie Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois
Chest image © Tim Barnard