How NO HANDS® Massage Changed My Life And My Career

How NO HANDS® Massage Changed My Life And My Career

My name is Wendy Mills and I am a NO HANDS Massage Master and Co-owner of the NO HANDS Massage Company, along with Tigger MacGregor. You could say (like Victor Kiam and Remington), that I liked it so much I bought the company - well half of it anyway!

This blog post started as a "simple" description of the benefits of NO HANDS Massage, but I couldn't really just make a list without it sounding like huge marketing hype. It makes much more sense to tell you my story which is very similar to many other people who have trained in NO HANDS Massage - so here goes!

I started my career in beauty and complementary therapies back in 1999 and opened my own salon in 2001. My background was in nursing, so my heart lay with the complementary therapy side rather than the beauty side, being particularly drawn to Aromatherapy massage for the gentler nature of the actual massage.

It quickly became clear though that most of my clients really wanted their muscles mulched, so good old Swedish massage came to the fore. This bought great results for my clients, but was doing me untold harm. My wrists, fingers and thumbs were so sore after a day's work, despite trying all the usual mitigating measures, that after 10 years I was seriously considering giving up massaging altogether.

It was around this time that I received another flyer from NO HANDS Massage about their training (I'd been on their mailing list for 10 years since seeing Gerry Pyves give a demonstration and talk). I was so desperate, I thought I didn't have anything to lose by going on the training. So - I did!

Oh boy - that training changed my life, there was definitely no losing, it was all win win.

The very first course I did in 2013 (in those days was called Transforming Touch and was 3 days long), was classed as an introduction to NO HANDS and I learned a whole new way of working. I learned that you don't have to be in pain as a therapist in order to deliver a great treatment. The skills I learned in those first 3 days enabled me to carry on massaging, without pain and actually to give my body time to heal.

Giving my body time to heal before would have meant taking a considerable amount of time off work, 

which was just not viable financially or for me to retain clients. Now I could work and earn money, give my clients even better treatments and heal at the same time.

On that first course I learned how to apply the principles of NO HANDS massage to deliver a treatment on a client who was prone the whole way through. I'd heard the phrases "holistic" and "systemic" before, but never fully understood them till now. I received so much massage myself on the course, by being a client for other practitioners, that I came to understand that you don't have to have the whole body massaged in order to receive a full-body massage! Sometimes when the backs of my legs were being massaged I could feel release in my neck!

On other massage courses my experience was very different. I either gave the massage or received it as a student, and in both roles was very much "in my head" as to what I was doing and what I should be learning. On a NO HANDS course, there are 3 distinct roles - Practitioner, Client and Observer. I learned something different from each role. As an Observer I could be "in my head", watching and taking notes. As a Client I truly was a client, really feeling the touch and noticing how it made me feel. As a Practitioner I was "in my body" aware of my posture and feeling the client beneath my arms and responding to the subtle changes beneath them. The 3 roles gave a very rounded experience. The biggest thing I learned from that though, was that in order to be a good Practitioner I had to be a good Client first, I had to know what the touch felt like and how it allowed me to change.

After that first course my clients noticed the change too, not just in my massage but in me as a person. Even though this was a new concept for everyone, I was really confident in explaining it because I had experienced it myself. My clients loved it and were really keen for me to learn more! They looked forward to me going on a new course and bringing back something exciting for them to experience. I noticed that the results they were getting from their treatments were so much more powerful than before, longer lasting and not just on a purely physical plain either.

From that very first course I just knew I wanted to proceed to the next levels of training,

not just to learn something new, but to really embed and deepen my knowledge of prior learning too. The full Practitioner and Advanced training really took my touch to a whole new level. I was able to work deeper than I'd ever done before, with no strain on my part. I could also work at the other end of the spectrum with really light touch, and I came to realise that perhaps that's the deepest touch of all. My clients started asking for lighter treatments as they felt the huge benefits.

So after what is now 12 days of training, my whole massage practice had changed. I was able to offer my clients a variety of treatments, depending on what they wanted to achieve on the day, and all based around the principles of zero strain work. I didn't need new techniques or massage tools, just the underlying principles and practice of NO HANDS Massage. I could adapt it to meet most clients who walked through the door.

And just when I thought it couldn't get any better I learned how communication was central to all my work, and in fact life. The material taught, on what is now the Transactional Bodyworker course, is based around the principles of Transactional Analysis, how communication works, what happens when it goes wrong and how to get out of a difficult situation. This made my treatments really potent and was so empowering for my clients.

They started to take charge of their own treatments and it was so much fun co-creating their treatment plans. (Just to say at this point you don't have to be trained in NO HANDS Massage in order to attend the Transactional Bodyworker course - it's open to any professional bodyworker.)

I guess the other biggie that I learned throughout my training with NO HANDS, is how important support is. Not just the physical support that I needed to take during the massage in order to work zero-strain, but the emotional and mental support that I needed in order to run a successful business. For me that was the NO HANDS community. Life as a self employed massage therapist can be a lonely one, and generally once you've done some training that's it, you're left to your own devices to just get on with it. Not so with NO HANDS - if you want it there is support there all the way: Facebook, Instagram, loads of online resources, email, WhatsApp chats, phone, zoom calls and of course in person live training.

Ok, I can hear you say, so it's easy to see how it changed your career, but what about your life? Well, for one thing I learned to value myself and that I needed to put myself and my well being first in order to look after other people, including family and friends. The communication protocols I learned helped in my everyday life, not just at work. That's not to say that I don't make mistakes, but I can now see how a difficult situation may have come about and know how to put it right, if I chose to. Communication is at the heart of all our transactions, whether that's professional, family, friends, neighbours, trades people, the postman or whoever we come into contact with.

And of course my life changed from being a salon owner and employer to being solo self employed again working from a home clinic. Being an independent instructor for NO HANDS to a company trainer and ultimately company owner. Pretty big when I was thinking of retiring a couple of years ago!

So after all that - here's the list of benefits available to everyone, regardless of your depth of involvement with the Company:

● Able to work zero-strain without the risk of injury for as long as you want

● Offer a huge variety of treatments without having to train in other methods

● Offer a wide variety of depths of treatment from the very deepest to the very lightest

● Communicate well and safely with your clients

● Empower your clients to really own their treatments and then see them transform

● Huge enjoyment from the co-creative planning of treatments with your clients

● Self growth and development

● Support. Support. Support


About the Author

Wendy Mills was a State Registered Nurse from 1979 - 2001 and has been a fully qualified Massage Therapist since 2000. She was a self employed salon owner and employer from 2001 - 2021. Since then she has been working (semi-retired!) as a solo therapist from her home clinic.
She started training in NO HANDS massage in 2013, became an Independent Instructor in 2015 and a Master therapist in 2016. She became a Supervising Master in 2017 and a NO HANDS Company trainer in 2018. She became joint owner of the NO HANDS Massage Company in September 2022.

Also in Massage Warehouse Blog

Ditch the Discount! Why Discounts are Hurting your Massage Business (and what you should do instead)!
Ditch the Discount! Why Discounts are Hurting your Massage Business (and what you should do instead)!

July 10, 2024 6 min read 0 Comments

“Need more clients? Easy!… Just do a discount!”

That’s the well-intentioned advice that many therapists receive when they’re trying to grow their business. And it’s not totally wrong! You'll WILL get more clients if you give low-priced treatments and discounts. can actually be a huge mistake and end up hurting your business far more than helping it! Read on to see why that’s the case – and to find out what you could be doing instead.
Read More
Boost your Massage Therapy Business: Mastering Email Marketing Techniques. Plus Top 10 Email Marketing Tips!
Boost your Massage Therapy Business: Mastering Email Marketing Techniques. Plus Top 10 Email Marketing Tips!

June 26, 2024 7 min read 0 Comments

Read More
How to Elevate your Career – Massage Therapist Edition
How to Elevate your Career – Massage Therapist Edition

June 11, 2024 5 min read 0 Comments

Whether you are working in a spa/massage studio, you are a mobile Therapist or you work with agencies who find you ad hoc work, there are so many different paths you can take to elevate your career, keep busy and build your massage business.
Read More