Qualifications, Skills and Experience
I'm a movement enthusiast, Yoga and Pilates professional, Exercise Referral Specialist for low back pain, pain educator and Somatic Movement Coach and one of a small group of UK Clinical Somatic Educators, also know as Hanna Somatic Educators. I have 8 years’ experience of teaching physical movement, and over 20 years of teaching experience overall (before going full time into movement/exercise therapy and pain management, I was a teacher of Modern Foreign Languages at secondary level).
In 2008 I qualified as a Level 3 Pilates Teacher with Modern Pilates. Modern Pilates is the 'clinical approach to Pilates', developed by physiotherapists, physiologists and respected teachers/fitness presenters. I have subsequently taken personal trainer modules in the following:
Hip and knee problems
Hip and knee diagnostics
Pilates in pregnancy
I began the Dru Yoga Teacher Training course in Autumn 2010 (postponing my studies due to pregnancy) and graduated as a certified teacher in February 2014. Yoga eased me through my pregnancy and birth in so many ways, and continues to be a positive part of my life. For me, yoga is not about being bendy and super-flexible. It is about moving and energising the body, and providing excellent stress management in learning to access the parasympathetic nervous system in autonomic relaxation. It is for EVERYONE, and can be as physically challenging or therapeutic as you want it to be.
GP Referral and Specialist Exercise for Back Pain
I am also qualified for GP Referral with Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) Level 3 Diploma and specialism in the management of low back pain at Level 4 in the REPs scale. I have learned about the many benefits to body and mind that come with exercise and strength training in the right doses, and that restoring functional movement patterns in activities of daily living is crucial in recovery from pain.
Somatic Movement and Clinical Somatic Education
I qualified as a Somatic Exercise Coach in October 2014 and after a 3 year training with the brilliant Martha Peterson of Essential Somatics I graduated as a Clinical Somatic Educator. I am thrilled to be educating somas to sense themselves better and move in a more co-ordinated, controlled and comfortable manner. Clinical Somatic Education, developed by Doctor of Philosophy and Feldenkrais practitioner, Thomas Hanna, draws on a rich tradition of somatic movement and inquiry.
Pain education, neurodynamics and the sensitive nervous system
I have attended several trainings in therapeutic neuroscience/pain education, pain management and mobilisation of the nervous system with, among others, David Butler of Neuro Orthopaedic Institute, Noigroup Learning how pain and central nervous system sensitisation works has been an indispensable part of my continuing recovery.
Cognitive Functional Therapy
After having undergone this myself, I have attended a workshop on it with the internationally leading clinical and reseacher of complex musculo-skeletal issues, Professor Peter O'Sullivan of Pain-ed. I draw upon the knowledge and skills I have learned through CFT in my daily life, self-care habits and in my work with others.
I practice Mindfulness as part of my own self-regulation, and have come to see that it overlaps with what I know from Somatic Education and pain science. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is well-recognised for its efficacy in mediating pain, stress, depression, anxiety among other conditions. In 2017 I undertook Teacher Training in Mindfulness with the respected UK teacher Suryacitta at Mindfulness CIC in order to enhance the toolbox of skills I use with/pass on to clients.
Continuing professional development
Martha Peterson has her Clinical Somatic Education graduates assisting at trainings, so we are able keep up to date with our skills in this way. I assisted at the Level 1 Essential Somatic Movement Teacher Training in Spring 2019 and am looking forward to mentoring new Essential Somatics students in the future. I am also a member of the Hanna Somatic Education Association. I read and take part in forums on Somatic Education, yoga, Pilates, massage therapy and bodywork, pain science and evidence-based pain management.
I was a virtual attendee at the San Diego Pain Summit in February 2018 and attended the Paincloud Convention in November 2018. I am currently studying the mechanics of the pelvic floor and diaphragm in Julie Wiebe's Piston Science and Female Athlete courses, and the providing for the needs of the middle-aged woman in Jenny Burrell's Menostrength course. In January 2020 I completed an accredited 2 day certification as a Mental Health First Aider with Mental Health First Aid England, in order to develop skills to provide first aid to people experiencing mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and psychosis, and signpost them to relevant services and information. I am currently adding massage therapy to my skills and am a student on the 1 year VTCT Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage Therapy. I am excited to be attending the hightly respected neuroscience- and research-based Dermoneuromodulating manual therapy training in the first ever UK course in May and September 2020.
As is evident from the training and continuing professional development record here, I am absolutely committed to keeping my skills sharp, and passionate about keeping my knowledge relevant and up to date. This has meant, at times, realising that some aspects of the training and learning I have done in the past doesn't stand up to scientific scrutiny and in fact in some cases, has been incorrect. This has been uncomfortable at times - but progress, change and improvement always is! My goal is always to deliver repeatable skills you can rely on and information/education you can trust. Learning never ends.
I look forward to sharing the best of my knowledge and skills and developing a successful therapeutic alliance with you!
Qualified in a range of mind-body practices and one of a growing number of Somatics Practitioners UK, Hanna Somatics Practitioners UK, Clinical Somatic Educators UK,
Hanna Somatics UK, Somatic Education UK,
Clinical Somatic Education, Hanna Somatic Education, Hanna Somatics, Somatics,
Somatic Movement Education