It seems as though my regular volunteering is paying off is some way. Obviously not financially or it would not be volunteering but in terms of contacts and opportunities.
The Indulgence Evening at the Thistle Hotel was an interesting experience since I had never been at such a large event before and although the first hour seemed like it would be a disaster with me standing around trying to attract people, or more accurately hoping I did not scare them away, and not having a single booking. This was made even more awkward by the fact that I was supposed to sharing a space with a Thai yoga massage therapist who had not turned up and was having to answer questions about a therapy that I do not practice. Fortunately I have read up on Thai massage so I was able to answer intelligently. The main question was “what is the difference between Thai massage and the Chinese form you do?” In case you are wondering my answer was: They are quite similar and share a lot of similar techniques but the significant differences are the philosophy they derive from and specific forms they take. Tui na uses the meridians and points of Chinese medicine while Thai yoga massage has its own Sen lines and has a lot of stretches based on yogic positions. It also seems from my reading that Thai massage is often done on a mat and takes the form of a ritual with a set, although variable, form while tui na is more like a collection of techniques with specific actions and the practitioner devises the routine according to the diagnosis he makes, what he feels and whatever conditions he finds himself in.
After this first hour of standing around and answering questions as best as I could I suddenly had someone approach and without so much as a question regarding what I was doing asked for a session and from that point on I was so booked up I was trying to take bookings while treating people, had one person ask for a double session, worked past the closing time and even had to turn someone away due to lack of time! What felt like a disaster turned into a great success. I would recommend better planning next time, so that people could pre-book and fill up the first hour so I could be busy, and raise funds for the charity, for the whole time instead of half, but all-in-all a success.
There is still another therapy day being organised by the Lelung Dharma Centre on the 19th May at the Duck Pond Market if anyone wants to meet me, ask any questions about my work or book a taster session. As usual you can book an appointment by contacting Connie Dusek at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07976 969 858.
Finally, in more exciting news I have been asked to present a talk and demonstration about tui na to the Hillingdon and District Therapies Group on the 14th June at 7.30 to 9pm in Ickenham United Reform Church. The cost of attendance is £5 and is open to therapists and non-therapists alike but a certificate of attendance will be issued that can count towards the Continued Professional Development of any professional therapists who are present. I have often wanted to get into the instruction and teaching side of this industry and this might be my first step. I am both terrified at the notion of public speaking and excited at the idea of my first break into teaching these skills. Anyone wishing to attend should contact Trish on 01895 638 336 or 07710 416 329.