Reiki & Shiatsu

I am always continually professionally developing no matter where in the world I am, keen to add a holistic aspect to my sports physiotherapy degree – what better than a spot of Reiki. How useful combined with pitch side trauma! Which elite rugby player wouldn’t be begging for a spot of Reiki along with a concussion assessment or a bit of pre match chakra opening whilst strapping an ankle…? Yes, I am currently an unemployed sports physiotherapist & no I can’t see myself gaining employment any time soon. I can only presume my confusing back catalogue of internationally obtained continuing professional development to supplement my wanderlust is not exactly catapulting my career.

I completed Reiki Level 1 in India last month, you can read about it here & here. It was focused on self healing. I would like to learn more about it & be able to incorporate Reiki into my treatments so I have been researching Level 2 courses. I found one in Pokhara & met with the instructor (obviously it turns out he wasn’t the instructor…). He is friendly, non creepy & has a positive encouraging energy.

Keen to expand my knowledge base I also signed up for Shiatsu.

I will be attending Osho Meditation centre for these courses. The cost is 32000NPR which also includes accommodation & food for 5 days as well as meditation & yoga every day. I am looking forward to starting this programme & hope the meditation & yoga bring me the peace I’ve been seeking.


Ayurvedic Massage in Goa, India

I am contemplating learning about Ayurvedic medicine & massage. Logically I know I should try the treatment before I sign up straight away to do a course. I priced a few places but it seemed to be mainly male masseuses. I never had an issue with male therapists before & throughout university I was mostly paired with males so felt no real difference with gender. An excellent therapist is an excellent therapist. My last two treatments by males, however, have been sub standard. In Malaysia I had a massage from a male who I’m sure was not trained (& it didn’t help that we had a language barrier & couldn’t communicate) & in England I had a Crania Sacral treatment from a male therapist & I could sense he was incredibly awkward & he made me feel so uncomfortable I didn’t enjoy any of the treatment & wanted to stop him during it. Keen for an easier life I am making the executive decision to stick to female therapists. As an open person, this is a shame, but I don’t want to sacrifice my comfort, time or money to prove I’m an open person.

The place I selected seemed to be busy & reputable with good reports from two of my friends. They had female therapists, a relaxing environment & it’s close to my hostel. We booked for later that day & chilled out on the beach before our treatments that evening. It was another beautiful day in Goa where we went to the beach, had a swim & didn’t do much else. This is the life!

When we arrived for out massage we were hustled to out treatment rooms. It was very dark & grubby with bugs crawling on the ground…. The therapist spoke little english & indicated for me to take my clothes off while watching me intently at close range. I felt very uncomfortable being rushed & oogled. Since language wasn’t an option for communication I made a few faces to convey me questioning why she was standing so close but this was also lost in translation. I just got on with it. She put paper sumo pants on me & ushered me to lie on the plastic treatment table which had no covers. I blocked my mind to all the hygiene issues.

The therapist started the massage using a lot of oil. It seemed that the strokes were mainly long, sweeping, full body moves. I requested several times for more pressure but gave up when she failed to respond. I don’t know whether this was a communication issue or she had applied too much oil to generate pressure. At the start of the treatment the therapist had to leave to get a mosquito coil & throughout the treatment I could feel new points where the mosquitos were biting me.

Halfway through the therapist stopped & indicated for me to turn on to my back to which I laughed. She had used so much oil I would surely fall from the plastic table to the dirty concrete floor & break my skull. I worried about what they would do with my body & if police would come to take pictures of my greasy naked contorted body at the scene*…. The therapist assisted my vulnerable bare body into position. I grimaced as she did the fast massage, surely she would snag my nipple piercing. This was not relaxing. Or deep & therapeutic. She used so much oil I felt saturated & dirty. I was glad when the treatment was over & I had to be helped off the treatment table.

She helped me wipe off the excess oil with a dirty rag then proceeded to use this to wipe off the treatment table ready for the next person. Gross. I quickly put my clothes over my oily body & scratched my nine new inflamed mosquito bites on my arms, torso & legs as I handed over 1000 Rupees/ £10.

I am certainly less tempted to study Ayurvedic massage after this. It wasn’t the worst massage but I did not enjoy it. Of course I won’t base my opinion on one massage, but it wasn’t a great introduction.

*I don’t have any pictures of my ordeal, luckily, but you can use your imagination if you like!

My 8 secrets for a cringe free massage

My office

My office

I work in the field of Sports Rehabilitation & massage, normally high end massages in luxury ski resorts or on the other end of the spectrum with sports teams. Looking forward to the upcoming ski season got me thinking about this & what may be some valuable insider information & words of advice for massage therapists everywhere.

Some of the chatter amongst my colleagues circles around when male clients get erections during treatments. I find this massively inappropriate, although hilarious because it is not happening to me of course. It has never happened to me. This situation has happened to my friends many times. Never me. Should I be offended?? I have a 0% erection record & I am determined to maintain this. I started calculating how many massages I have done & dreading that via the law of probability I had one approaching imminently.

I have thus constructed guidelines that I have been living by so I can avoid this situation. These are my tips for when doing massages in a client’s home/chalet. If you work in a spa or with a team you will also be able to adapt & implement some of the tips.

1>Always look sweaty, out of breath & flustered – made believable as you have had to haul your treatment table & kit in the snow for a 20 minute incline whilst more than likely lost & late. This is the client’s first impression of you so it should make a lasting mark. Out of breath panting could be added in a strictly non sexual manner.

2>Exude a simple innocence. A great opportunity to do this is when taking your shoes off. Try to do this when you’re still carrying your treatment table & kit bag. This will look exceptionally awkward & you will inevitably stumble over. This acts to remove any sexual inclination the client may have towards you.

3> Smile. It’s always great to smile. There is no need to be rude to the client. This also discards the mysterious air that men find attractive in moody cows.

4> Be a bit of a mess. This will lower the client’s expectations of you from your initial poor impression digging further the hole of unattractiveness that you want to be consumed by. It’s always helpful to set up your treatment table in a tiny box room, making it physically more difficult will aid in making you look like a hot mess. An unattractive hot mess. While you’re at it why not move the furniture, try to locate plugs & mess around with plug adaptors for your electric blanket.

5> Require pity. When calling the client to commence the massage be sure to look apologetic for your entrance & how long it took you to set up – despite it being a humanely commendable duration to do everything. By mentioning that it took you a long time the client will consider it to have been long & think even less of you. He may doubt your capabilities as a massage therapist, which is a risk. You should easily be able to redeem yourself via your treatment. This lingering sense of disappointment will abolish any sexual tendencies the client may have towards you.

6> The treatment. Carry out an excellent treatment as always. Never compromise on quality, your skills & professional reputation.

7> Chin alignment. At all times keep your head tilted downwards creating a multi chin effect. From the angle your client is at this will be wildly exaggerated & no man or beast would contemplate a sexual encounter with the likes of you.

8> Facial expression. This is your gift to freestyle with. Think unsexy & repulsive. Be as natural as you can with this. It is surprisingly simple to master these looks. In some cases this may actually be your neutral facial expression! So simple! They are highly successful in discouraging an erection.

I hope these tips help you to avoid those those flag pole moments. I can’t imagine the horror in having to deal with this situation – if you have experienced it, please comment & if you have any tips to add please share them.

Battered, bruised & a fully fledged Thai Massage Therapist!

After 2 weeks of intense training I am a Thai Massage Therapist!

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My body has taken a beating from being practiced on, poked, prodded, jabbed & stretched. It is astonishingly exhausting getting a 3 hour Thai massage every day!


I researched a lot of massage schools & Baan Hom Samunphrai Herbal Health Centre & School seemed ideal for what I wanted. It is a gorgeous hidden gem some 20 mins from Chiang Mai old town. It is a charming, rustic, peaceful retreat. They offer overnight stays to extended stays spanning months as well as an array of training courses from Thai Massage, Reflexology, womb lifting, acupressure & herbal workshops. I opted for the 80hr live in Thai Massage course (26,200baht/£510) to add another string to my Sports Rehabilitation bow.

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A typical day starts at 7am with Rasidaton (chanting, paying respect & Thai yoga). Breakfast is served 8am – 9am & at 9am we start training. We generally get taught a massage sequence & practice on each other with help from Homprang & her assistants. We train from 9am – 4pm with a 1 hour lunch break at 12pm. We are encouraged to practice in the evening again but we are all normally too tired to….

I found the course quite tough as there was a lot to remember: the sequence, my exact hand position, foot position & posture, the pressure I have to apply etc. When we would practice a new part of the routine it seemed daunting but it all came together & I was confident & happy by the last few days of the course.


We spent a day making herbal compresses & doing herbal compress massage with them. I really loved this & it’s not something I would ever have opted for previously. Compared to the strong & stretchy Thai massage that I had been getting daily the herbal compress was a hot, soothing delight! I will definitely go for a herbal compress massage in the future!

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I’m sure many interesting characters have graced this place in search for relaxation, peace & solace. They have many returning guests which is a testament to their hospitality. Everyone on the course I took part in felt that they would return at some point, myself included!


The meals are delicious traditional home cooked Thai dishes. To be honest, I didn’t know exactly what I was eating half the time although that didn’t stop me from tucking in! On the subject of food I am sadly being feasted upon by mosquitos. I am convinced I will contract Dengue fever. They just can’t get enough of this exotic treat. If I knew bug language I would post signs on my legs saying ‘These are not beautiful white lilies, they are private fleshy property’. I am permanently slathered in Tiger Balm. I am in a world of visually disturbing, itchy pain.

I have gorgeous pics I will upload in a few days – not of my legs 🙂


Farewell to yachting??


I’ve had a season of highs and lows.

I HATE starting new jobs & being relatively useless when I start. Surprising considering how often I inflict new jobs into my life.

Super yachting has been a judgemental time for me full of tellings off, disapproval and feeling like I’m not making a positive impact or being fully appreciated. I am a notorious approval and appreciation seeker. I want it. In buckets. I can’t give myself pats on the back, I’m self depreciating Irish through & through – I need everyone else to pat my back!

I have loved the insight into the industry: the glamour, the lifestyle, the back stage effort that goes into showtime, the people, the sights. I have cheered dolphins riding the bow, I have had a starlit bbq at anchor by an active volcano, I have basked in the glamour of chic celeb haunts and relished the seclusion in the middle of the sea. I have cherished the sunsets, sunrises, new people I have met & all the beautiful places we have been.

No regrets. The bad times melt away as always and I am left with wonderful memories and experiences to treasure for my lifetime.

It’s time for me to go home and reunite with my family & friends & to become a recognisable relative to my niece and nephews.


Bitches be yachting

I’ve made it to a shipyard in Italy to join my very first super yacht – on sticks. Trust me to meet my first yacht on a dry dock. Super yachting is a completely new industry to me.

Upon arrival to the yacht I instantly knew it would be a mostly vertical learning curve. The standards are so high in everything we do. The volume of things to learn and remember to do is a bit daunting, never mind everything associated with the marine aspect. I want to regress to my 2 year old sponge like mind self so I can fully absorb all this new information!

I think I will find it difficult to cope with the restrictive confines of working and living in such close proximity to my colleagues. Already I think it will be suffocating – and I am a positive and optimistic being! Not being able to get away from negative personalities will be tough for me. I am exceptionally skilled at getting far away from anyone with a negative attitude who could drag me down.

Here goes anyway. I’m throwing myself into a new experience. Bring on yachting!


Snakes & Ladders – my career ladder

January 2014

It looks like I’m getting itchy feet again after only being back in Switzerland for a month. I swear this condition is terminal.d6394e5ca3fe11e28ddc22000a9f15db_5

I’m starting to see superyacht jobs being advertised for the upcoming season….. I’m being sucked in by Formula One job advertisements despite my distinct lack in any aerodynamic or basic mechanic skill. There are also massage therapist positions in beautiful exotic resorts.

I will do my usual apply-for-everything-&-hope-for-the-best routine. I can only imagine where I will end up! I can’t wait to find out if it is a positive step on my career ladder or a snake to the depths of the slimey, scaley snake pits of hell…..