Ian Holland
Therapeutic Massage


Ian Holland

I've been practising Therapeutic Massage since 1979. I trained in London, taking the ITEC diploma there between 1976-1978, before returning to my native Glasgow and setting up in practice.

Back then there was virtually nobody working in Scotland as a massage therapist and John Smith's bookshop had Massage memorably filed under 'Fringe Medicine', alongside Acupuncture, Homeopathy and Chiropractic. Changed days indeed.

Originally I'd taken an Honours degree in Psychology at the University of Strathclyde before moving into the Alternative Health field. I'd had the traditional type of academic education, and came out at the end able to talk the hind legs off a donkey, but unable to do anything with my hands. Massage therefore appealed initially as a 'practical' approach and a balance to all the 'mind' education I'd had. It can also often make a difference quickly which makes it very satisfying to do. I'm not though selling Massge as a cure-all and more often than not effective treatment can take some time.

I also trained in Postural Integration, a form of deep connective tissue manipulation, and then in Pulsing, a wonderful style of 'rocking' massage. I also took courses at the Centre for Bio-Energy in 'Energy Distribution' and Dynamic Relaxation.

In 1983 I helped launch Connections Magazine to promote alternative medicine in Scotland. After 20 years it's still running and I continue to co-edit the publication.

Between 1982 and 2003 I promoted the 'Scottish Alternative Health Exhibitions', which gave a platform to many of the foremost thinkers in the field such as Jan de Vries and Patch Adams. These shows fulfilled a huge need in the Eighties and early Nineties, to introduce people to the range of alternative therapies becoming available, but which the public in general knew little about.

I've always enjoyed teaching and have run introductory classes in Massage since 1980 and have been the senior tutor on the Scottish School of Herbal Medicine's Massage Diploma course for the last 10 years.

Argyll & Clyde Health Board have employed me to train nurses in Massage techniques and I have also worked for Glasgow Health Education Department on various health initiatives.

I have appeared on television and radio several times and have written a number of articles on massage and other alternative health subjects.

As well as treating thousands of regular clients I've been lucky enough to be called in by the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Andrea Corr, Francis Rossi, Terence Trent D'Arby and the Beastie Boys - an eclectic bunch overall. All of them utilise massage both for relaxation and the treatment of muscular problems while on tour.

For the future I intend to keep practising massage therapy until the day I die. The idea of folding up my couch the day I turn 65 seems absurd, I enjoy the work too much. Besides I have 3 children to support aged 13, 10 and 7!

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