‘SKILL’ September 2016


The on-line newsletter of the Northern Institute of Massage

(Founded 1924)

SEPTEMBER 2016                                                                                ISSUE NUMBER: 218


  • Patients with chronic back pain

  • Student examinations in Cork and Londonderry

  • NAMMT news and information about the AGM

  • A very special therapist-patient relationship

  • Alan Elliott MBE retires from the FFC

  • News about our therapist friends

  • CPD seminars, workshops and short courses 2017

  • The Advanced Remedial Massage Diploma Course

  • Sports Specific”: an up-grade to your current Remedial or Advanced Diploma

  • News and Information “From the Office”

Published for the students, past and present, of the Northern Institute of Massage Ltd.

14-16 St Mary’s Place, Bury, Lancashire BL9 0DZ

www.nim.co.uk e-mail: information@nim.co.uk






with Anne Littler – This seminar is now full.


OCT 15th ADVANCED TECHNIQUES FOR NECK SHOULDERS: Stress, posture, headaches & other common ailments Tutor: Dawn Bennett £90




Featuring Debbie Hale and her special patient, Terri, who is recovering from a life-threatening stroke: £50 only (includes a donation to Terri’s care needs). Current Massage Therapy & Remedial Students eligible to attend.



OCT 29/30th LUMBAR SPINE & SACRUM* (see note)

Professor Graham Smith’s expert 2-day spinal class – £200 http://www.nim.uk/product/prof-g-smith-lumbar-spinesacroiliac


DEC 3rd K-TAPING (Lower Body)

Our expert – Colin Pearson £90





* Professor Smith’s seminar is also a component of the Advanced Remedial Massage Diploma course (2017) which will count towards this award and need not be repeated next year.




Enrolments for the 4-Day Certificate in Basic Massage, Diploma in Massage Therapy and the Diploma in Remedial Massage are on-going all year round. Contact us for further details http://www.nim.uk/contact-us/


The next Advanced course starts at the end of January 2017. It is designed for Remedial Therapists who wish to consolidate and then build upon their current manual skills and theoretical knowledge. All the tutors are also current and very experienced practitioners – a condition upon which the Northern Institute insists when appointing its tutors.

Full details appear on the next page and enquiries are welcomed.


*Arthritis Symposium: all about Arthritis, the patient and the treatments. This is a practical day with presentations by sufferers as well as therapists. 29Th January

*Yoga for Athletes (and all sports people): a welcome return for Anne Littler who will demonstrate techniques that utilise Yoga to help with musculo-skeletal improvements for sports people of all ages and standards. 19Th February

*The Head & Temporo-Mandibular Joint: this promises to be an outstanding weekend for all therapists who wish to revise/reinforce/ learn more about anatomy, conditions, examinations and treatments from Northern Ireland’s most prominent practitioner, Micky Kerr DO. 2-days: 25 & 26 February

*Principles & Procedures of Rehabilitation: a 2-day seminar concentrating on recovery from serious and/or long-term injury, e.g fractures, ligamament injuries, disc problems, etc with Alan Stewart (Society of Sports Therapists), a much respected, experienced and well-liked tutor. 6/7th May

*Special Needs in Sport: exactly what it says: the how what why of managing the special needs of sports people. Presented by Nick Mulryan (Blind Sports Therapist and Chair of the Society of Sports Therapists Special Needs Committee) and Tom Turton (Special Needs Masseur at Olympics and World Championships). 21St May

All seminars and workshops have CPD certificates of attendance which are awarded upon completion of the seminar.

There will be more information about these and other forthcoming seminars and workshops on-line at www.nim.co.uk later in the Autumn and on our Facebook page.




Registrations are now being taken for the Advanced Remedial Massage Diploma Course starting in January 2017. This higher level professional qualification will enhance your understanding, your practical skills and your status as a Massage therapist.

Tutors for the course include;

  • Colin Pearson (Remedial and Sports Taping expert)

  • Paul Bradford (both a Physiotherapist and a Sports Therapist)

  • Dr Tracey Kaye (Osteomyologist & Belper Back Pain Clinic)

  • Eddie Caldwell (Massage, Manipulative and Sports Therapist)

  • Pauline Matthews (Research and former University of Central Lancashire lecturer and massage therapist)

  • Shaun Pennington (Advanced Remedial and Sports Therapist)

  • and special guest presenters including *Dr Stephanie Lippett. **Professor Graham Smith, *Alan Stewart (Sports Therapy lecturer in Glasgow) and *Dianne Richardson (Secretary of NAMMT and a multi-disciplinary therapist)

The course embraces the major joints of the body their common injuries and conditions and the subsequent treatments with first class tutors who are not only very well qualified but experienced and current clinicians in their own practices.

** Professor Smith’s October 2016 seminar will count as one of the required attendances for the course. Register early for this seminar; it usually fills up quickly.


For those whose interest lies in the sphere of sports injuries there will be the opportunity to add on several “sports specific” seminars and workshops with experienced and expert sports therapists. The additional seminars will entitle those who attend, an extra qualification in addition to the Advanced Remedial Massage Diploma, that of “Diploma in Advanced Sports Massage.” Remedial Massage therapists are also included in this new venture.

Please note also:

Practitioners already holding the Advanced Diploma may also apply to register for the Diploma in Advanced Sports Massage. Please contact NIM for detailed information.

Registrations for the course are now being taken. Contact the Institute for a prospectus and get more detailed information.

0161 797 1800 www.nim.co.uk information@nim.co.uk



Perhaps key to success as a therapist is the ability to treat patients with back pain – chronic or acute. Back pain patients represent a high percentage of our patients and if you treat a patient successfully the patient will refer other sufferers to you.

Just a few weeks ago (July/August 2016) the Daily Mail featured back pain and its treatments in successive Tuesday editions of the Health Pages. There was a survey of the problems experienced by patients, the sometimes difficulties facing the practitioner, the often negative effects of pharmaceutical drugs and the psychological problems that many back pain sufferers face, problems that can hinder healing. (See our blog on www.nim.co.uk)

  • A thorough examination: history, visual, palpation, movement and any other evidence, e.g. X-ray or scan results

  • An evaluation and then a discussion with the patient about the results of the examination. Do you offer treatment or do you refer perhaps to the GP or even to A&E?

  • If you can treat the patient, outline and discuss the treatment plan for that patient

  • From your techniques and skills select how the patient will be treated and which of your skills and techniques will best suit the individual being treated: rest, thermal therapy, deep relaxation techniques, electrotherapy, massage and mobilisations, manipulative therapy, K-Taping, exercise and so on

Professor Ling devised a whole series of exercises to integrate with his massage techniques and both have been known for two centuries as Swedish Massage and Swedish Drill. (Older readers will be familiar with Swedish Drill from school days or time with the Armed Forces, for instance).

Professor Ling’s point was that massage is a very good form of treatment but can be enhanced by the use of suitable mobilisations and exercises.

See our monthly BLOG on www.nim.co.uk for a fuller version of this.

NIM will publish a regular BLOG on the website. The first one concerned itself with the Law and how it may affect therapists with regard to complaints made by patients regarding treatment, inappropriate touching and suing for compensation. The second BLOG was a review of treating patients with back pain and the recent media article about chronic back pain.



The Association (NAMMT) is a national body that represents massage therapists (including sports) and manipulative therapists.

* The organising committee consists of currently practising therapists

* There are no paid officials nor any expensive offices

* All committee members willingly give their service without charge

* There is an excellent professional insurance scheme for members which is run for members by Balens, one of the UK’s leading insurers and which covers the UK and Northern Ireland.

The chair of NAMMT is Dr Mac Thacker (Osteomyologist) and a director of the hugely successful Belper Back Pain Clinic in Derbyshire.

The Organising Secretary is Mrs Dianne Richardson who is based at her multidisciplinary clinic in Derby.

The Treasurer is Mr Michael Berry of Colne in Lancashire.

These three are ably assisted by a group of committee members (including Christine Hunter, Pauline Matthews, Laura Mains and Tracey Kaye) each with responsibility for specific areas of activities affecting the members. Members interested in joining the committee should contact the Secretary for further information.


9th October 2016

Mercure Manchester Norton Grange Hotel at Rochdale

The Norton Grange Hotel is a superb venue with plenty of free parking on the premises. If last year was anything to go by, the catering is first class with a free lunch for attendees.

The AGM occupies the morning session and there are several presentations in the afternoon including our very good friend Phil Sheridan, an inspiring speaker.

Members are urged to attend what is an interesting and enjoyable day both professionally and socially. Meet the committee and meet your professional colleagues and friends and enjoy the day!

Contact: Mrs Dianne Richardson (Secretary): 24 Mount Street, Derby DE1 2HH

Telephone: 01332 349493 www.nammt.co.uk membership@nammt.co.uk



The Northern Institute collaborates with two institutions in Ireland. The schools provide the practical instruction and the Northern Institute provides the theoretical home study courses for the students. The Northern Institute also provides external examiners for the practical exams at the end of the courses and issues the relevant diplomas to the successful students.

The Northern Ireland School of Massage at Londonderry

The Derry school is under the guidance and supervision of Micky and Gina Kerr, both old friends and both former NIM students from the Blackpool era. They are ably assisted by Peter Finch. The school shares the premises with the long-established Bodywork Injury Clinic, one of Northern Ireland’s most prominent clinics for some 25 years. Micky is also a registered Osteopath and often presents his work at NIM.

The students were examined this year by our Principal, Chris Caldwell, who reported that the standard of the students was very good, both in terms of practical techniques and theoretical knowledge. This, of course, reflects on the expertise of the tutors.

It is always a pleasure to visit the school and note, as the years pass, how well many of the students develop into established and successful practitioners.

The Irish Institute of Physical Therapies at Cork

There have been two examination dates at Cork, June and August and the examiners were Shaun Pennington and Eddie Caldwell. There is always a great welcome from the Cork students who are so well instructed and enthused by Kieran Corcoran and his team. Kieran, too is a former student from the Blackpool days and, like Micky, he went on to become a registered Osteopath.

On both occasions this year, the pass rate was well over 90% with several truly excellent candidates. Again great credit must go to Kieran and Donal Twomey and their associates at IIPT. Praise also to Pauline Harris, the Administrator of this very busy college who keeps things flowing smoothly.

We send our congratulations and best wishes to the successful students at Cork later in the Autumn for their annual graduation ceremony; always an outstanding, “cap and gown” occasion.

Cork Graduation: Sunday 2nd October



We are looking forward to a rather special seminar on Sunday 16th October that will demonstrate the relationship between therapist and patient in the clearest and most dramatic way.

Debbie Hales was a good friend of ours from more than twenty five years ago. Our children, Chris, Rachel and David were members of Bolton United Harriers along with us both. We met Debbie and her husband, Ian, and their children at the track and at athletic events at various venues. The children became friends, especially David and Jason who were the backbone of their age group teams.

Marie and I ran, as did Ian, Debbie’s husband. Debbie was more interested in coaching. Ian and I used to go on twice weekly training runs with two other friends; usually a four mile circuit around Leverhulme Park. The training runs always started off as friendly affairs but the atmosphere always changed about a mile from the finish. Each one of us trying to out-guess the other prior to that final run in to the finish when things became less friendly and more competitive.

The years passed and we drifted our separate ways. Tragedy struck when Debbie and Ian were involved in an accident just off the pier at Blackpool. Debbie survived traumatic injury: Ian did not survive.

Several years afterwards Debbie arrived at the Northern Institute and successfully completed her massage course. She works full-time but combines massage with her work and has raised thousands of pounds for the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital by offering treatment to her work colleagues in exchange for a donation to the cause.

I will not reveal too much about how Debbie became involved with Terri, her friend. Terri had a severe stroke at Christmas time and was on life support at hospital in Bolton. Debbie visited Terri who was desperately ill and about to have the life support machine switched off. Debbie started some comforting massage on Terri and got a response! BY EDDIE CALDWELL

The rest of the story of Terri’s near miraculous recovery is the subject of a special one-day CPD at the Northern on Sunday 16th October. (For those who cannot attend we will publish on www.nim.co.uk after that date).






So many of you know our very good friend, Alan Elliott, and will hear with mixed emotions that he is retiring from the Forest Fitness Centre at Cinderford, Gloucestershire after some 34 years. And 26 years for his wife, Barbara.

That is 34 years during which he developed the activities at the centre into a nationally known and acclaimed establishment which contributed so much to the health and rehabilitation of the people of the Forest of Dean, the neighbouring counties and into South Wales.

Alan is a Massage & Manipulative Therapist, a practice he will continue but perhaps above all he is a great exponent of the value of exercise in treatment and rehabilitation. The Centre receives 300+ referrals from GPs each month ranging from children’s health problems to stroke and cardiac patients, to arthritic sufferers, patients recovering from road accidents, industrial injuries and falls.

Another area in which Alan and his wife Barbara have excelled is the treatment of Special Needs patients, some of whom, for example, he has trained to championship and international standards in weight lifting.

The Centre itself has been honoured by the Queen for its excellence and we were so pleased to attend the official ceremony carried out by Princess Anne several years ago.

As well as all of this, Alan has been a valued NIM tutor, specialising in exercise related treatments over many years both here at Bury and presenting CPE seminars at the Centre. I’m sure many practitioners all over the UK will fondly remember their time at the Forest Fitness Centre under Alan’s instruction especially the occasion when a 4.30 pm finish actually materialised at ten to six!!

Alan is not retiring from Massage and Exercise completely. He will still operate his clinic in Cinderford and continue to offer his expertise to NIM practitioners. WE wish him every success and happiness and look forward to his contributions to our programmes in the future. Alan has done so much for NIM’s students and for the massage profession over the years. We fully appreciate his work and value his friendship.



Many of our students go on to other branches of therapy, e.g. osteopathy, physiotherapy, sports therapy. Jennie Green (Liverpool) practices as a massage therapist and acupuncturist. She is also a tutor at the Northern College of Acupuncture in York where she teaches on the BSc degree course.

Jennie is currently looking for a remedial massage therapist (NIM trained) to work in the Liverpool clinic. She tells us that she has had several applicants (not NIM trained) who were not satisfactory. So, if you want to work with Jennie, an outstanding therapist, get in touch.

Contact details: Jennifer Green, 89 Russell Road, Liverpool L18 1DZ

e-mail: jen@jennifergreentherapies.co.uk 


We had a letter from a former student, Cristina Wells of Bournemouth, who qualified at Blackpool in 1989, asking for a NIM-trained therapist to whom she could go for treatment. We were able to supply contact details for another old friend, Charles Haslett, whose photo still adorns a wall at NIM. Older therapists will recall his amazing impersonations of Prince Charles and Manuel (Faulty Towers).


A photo of John Robson was sent to us, featuring John running on at Gala Rugby Club. John, a former student, used to b with Hibernian FC and he is a former medal winning athlete at the Commonwealth Games some years ago. We were happy tofeatured the photo on NIM Facebook. John I an excellent advert for the Northern Institute!


Two NIM-trained therapists are on short lists for awards this Autumn, one with a professional body and the other with a national magazine. More information will appear on NIM Facebook page when available….


Our very good friend, Alan Elliott, has announced his retirement from the Forest Fitness Centre, Cinderford, Gloucestershire. Situated on the edge of the Forest of Dean, Alan has hosted many courses and seminars for NIM over the last 30 years. Alan, however, is not retiring from therapy and he has definite plans for the future.

We wish him and his wife Barbara a happy and, no doubt, eventful future after such a long period of service at the FFC.


(We are always pleased to hear news of former students for inclusion in Skill)



Tel : 0161 797 1800

Email : information@nim.co.uk

Website : www.nim.co.uk


Recommend a friend to join our Massage Therapy Course or Remedial Massage Course and receive a £50 NIM voucher towards your next seminar/workshop when they enrol.

Ask them to quote your name when they register and your voucher will be sent out to you automatically. (Usual terms and conditions apply).


The Northern Institute’s second website is dedicated to the supply of on-line instructional materials to NIM students and to all massage and manipulative practitioners and sports therapists.

Please register now: it is free to register and it will enable you to look at what is currently available as CPE modules. Plus there is a free module available to all who register. www.nim-online.com


Please ‘Like’ our Facebook page in order to keep in touch with news from NIM. Please feel free to share stories, tips, photos etc about your clinic and treatments. Also, should you wish, please leave a review. Find us on Facebook –


Our Twitter page is https://twitter.com/Northern_Inst and to mention NIM in your tweets it’s @Northern_Inst – also, please re-tweet us, thank you!


As well as the usual polo shirts (colours available: white, navy, pale blue), we have hooded tops (£25 + p&p) and fleece jackets (£30 + p&p). They are navy blue with white & royal blue embroidered logo. All sizes. Please ring the office or e-mail to place your order or visit www.nim.co.uk


NIM accepts the following payment methods for all Courses, Seminars and Workshops –

**Cheque (payable to ‘NIM’)

**Credit/Debit Card (in person or over the phone)

**Cash (by prior arrangement)

**Paypal (for Seminar bookings/Merchandise available via www.nim.co.uk)

Also, increasingly, Students are wanting to use BACS as an option to pay their fees. If using this method, then please ring/email to register for the Course/Seminar/Workshop first.

Bank Transfer details:- Barclays Bank, Sort Code – 20-16-08 Acc No. 00593095 (Please use your own name as reference)


Vouchers are available from £10 upwards for any amount. They make ideal presents for that person who is difficult to buy for and can be spent towards the cost of Courses, NIM merchandise and/or massage treatments. Credit/Debit cards accepted. Contact the office to place an order.


Sat/Sun/Mon/Tues & Thurs 9.30am-4pm.

Weds & Fri 9.30am-12.30pm.

Please note that occasionally NIM may be closed so always ring/email to check before making a special journey!

**Remember, NIM can be contacted at all times via the website – www.nim.co.uk



Many of us use essential oils in our treatment rooms and patients appreciate them, especially oils that help them relax.

Please be cautious is your use. Some oils are very strong and must be used with a carrier oils that dilutes them and renders them safe and effective. Follow directions and guidelines: double or treble the recommended dosage does not mean that the become double or three times more effective and may do more harm than good.

Oils like cinnamon, ginger and origanum are very strong; use with caution.

Good oils include Lavender (to relax), Rosemary (a stimulating oil to lift the spirits), Peppermint (for the relief of muscle soreness) and Ylang Ylang (another relaxing oil).

Carrier oils are often very beneficial by themselves when used in massage treatments. My favourite is Coconut Oil but others like Sweet Almond Oil are equally good. I also have some non-nut based oils just in case like Flaxseed Oil and Evening Primrose Oil.

Avoid contact with sensitive tissues especially eyes (including your own).

Do not buy cheap oils look for THERAPEUTIC OIL, the highest grade of oil and the most effective. Many of the cheaper oils sound like a bargain but have probably been poorly processed and a lot of the goodness removed.

RECOMMENDED: www.whiteroseoils.co.uk Have a look at their website.