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Irish Massage Therapists Association

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  • 1 Apr 2021 2:00 PM | Stas Bernasinski

    Judith Ashton, founding and honorary member of the IMTA, gave this talk at a TEDx event in Dun Laoghaire at the end of 2020 during the Covid pandemic.

    Judith Ashton talks about the negative effects of touch deprivation on people's wellbeing especially during times of isolation. Positive touch is vital for healthy function and beneficial for the immune system. At a time when everyone is missing aspects of touch that we took for granted, we can can find ways to cope at such times. Judith Ashton has been working with massage and touch for the last 40 years. Her main interest being the emotional effects of touch as a powerful healing tool. She has a wealth of experience in this area and has trained many nurses and carers both here and abroad. She has worked with many cancer support services and people at the end of life. She is also a psychotherapist, funeral celebrant and teacher of meditation.

    NOTE FROM TED: While some viewers may find this talk helpful as a complementary approach, please do not look to this as a substitute for medical advice. This talk only represents the speaker's personal views and understanding of touch and health which remains an ongoing field of research. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx​

  • 26 Jan 2021 3:50 PM | Anonymous

    Since March, while many therapists have seen their workloads reduce dramatically, surprisingly some massage disciplines are increasing in popularity because of COVID restrictions. In recent months while many spa resorts and treatment rooms have been forced to close, the reality for people working with seniors, the elderly and people with disabilities is that their needs have increased and the demand for massage and rehabilitation is greater than ever.

    According to Nicola Ryan owner of Sangoma Training, a bodywork training specialist based in the midlands, there has been an increased interest in specialised training courses because of the current Covid restrictions. "For many nursing homes and care facilities Covid restrictions have really limited the services they can offer their clients" she says. "Before COVID many nursing homes or care facilities would have relied on regular visits from external practitioners for physical therapy and massage treatments for their clients. These treatments are so beneficial for clients and help to prevent further injuries and issues. But since Covid external visits have been severely restricted leaving staff to care for clients with little or no support. A few months ago I noticed an increase in demand for Sangoma Training courses relating to treating senior or elderly clients and clients with disabilities. Speaking with colleagues who are working with clients in their own homes or in residential facilities it has been hard to see people suffer and deteriorate because their normal care has been disrupted and limited" according to Nicola.

    As a result many care staff have found themselves trying to upskill and compensate for the loss of services and are looking for support to maintain care for their clients. "The benefits of massage for older people and people with disabilities is so impactful but it requires extra knowledge and expertise so that everyone is comfortable, confident and avoids injury" according to Nicola. "Initially I was surprised by the interest in my specialist massage training given the current situation but it has been really heartening to see my colleagues going that extra mile for their clients."

    For more information about specialised massage training at Sangoma Training log onto www.naturalhealth.ie

  • 6 Nov 2020 10:43 PM | Anonymous

    Please assist IMTA to Lobby our government for greater recognition of the role of massage in people's health and wellness, as an adjunct to other health professionals. Please sign the petition linked here and share it with clients, family and friends. 

    Petition: Open therapy clinics for Mental Health and Chronic Pain

    Also, please email all TD's in your area. We have included a sample email here that you can edit if you so choose. 

    We understand not all massage therapists or all clients will deem their treatments essential and that is correct, but there are many individuals out there that benefit greatly from their treatment and suffer extensively without it. 

    Kind regards

    IMTA Committee

    Dear (TD's name),

    I am writing to you on behalf of my practice/clinic and profession, (insert name of practice/clinic) and also as a member of the Irish Massage Therapists Association (IMTA).

    I feel that my profession needs to be considered as an essential service, which is a serious adjunct to the Health Service. I treat individuals with chronic pain and am able to reduce stress and assist with mental health issues. My treatments vary from pain management to enabling individuals manage their own mental health issues through relaxation. During the last lockdown, many of my individual clients who relied on me to manage these issues had to seek medical support that invariably meant medication and visits to their Doctors.

    Currently, members of the IMTA are placed at the same level as beauticians and hairdressers. Aside from being required under the existing regulations, to close for the next 6 weeks, IMTA members are more concerned on the deleterious health effects on our clients. This is more about the health benefits and not just the problem of the lack of earnings that are needed to keep the practice/clinic afloat.

    During the first lockdown, the IMTA, our voluntary governing body, drew up stringent COVID-19 guidelines based on our existing code of practice to allow us practice safely. To my knowledge there currently has been no issue with spread of COVID-19 from a massage treatment.

    I do not wish to put anyone at risk and I take my COVID-19 guidelines which I have implemented in my practice/clinic very seriously.  I limit contact between clients and do a full clean of the therapy room between each treatment. In worse case scenario, we have solid systems in place for contact tracing. The health of my clients, myself and my family and community are paramount.

    I am of benefit to the health service from numerous points of view.

    I am the support that is currently needed to help the HSE and not hinder it.

    I appreciate you taking the time to consider this matter. Attached is a letter from a client of mine highlighting the support I provide for them and how they suffered due to lack of it during the last lockdown.  


    (name and address)

  • 27 Mar 2020 8:00 AM | Stas Bernasinski

    Updated: 09 May 2020

    This is a collated list of official or useful sources and resources relating to the COVID-19 pandemic in Ireland, brought together as a concise source of reference. Provided for information only, no other claim is made by the IMTA to the links provided.

    Members of the IMTA may contribute with additional useful links/resources by leaving a comment (login required).


    Contact HSELive - We're here to help, phone: Callsave 1850 24 1850

    Older people can contact ALONE on 0818 222 024

    Financial Support

    COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

    Employees and Self Employed: How to apply for Jobseeker's Payment

    Illness Benefit for COVID-19 absences


    Revenue announce measures to assist SMEs experiencing cashflow difficulties arising from COVID-19

    COVID-19 Business Loan, Microfinance Ireland supported by the government

    Citizens Information: Social welfare payments and COVID-19 (coronavirus)

    Citizens Information: Lay-off, short-time working and redundancy


    Gov.ie Latest Updates - COVID-19

    Gov.ie Latest Updates - Department of Health

    Gov.ie Roadmap for reopening society and business (01 May)

    Gov.ie Reopening Business - key steps & financial supports (09 May)

    Gov.ie Community Call - How you can volunteer

    Gov.ie Getting Through COVID-19 Together - Mental wellbeing & coping

    COVID-19 Communication Pack for Communities

    COVID-19 Health Surveillance Monitor (Ireland) - live status updates

    Ireland's COVID-19 Data Hub

    Health Service Executive (HSE)

    Coronavirus Home Page (single best resource of practical information)

    Coronavirus Ireland latest updates - including maps and reports

    Coronavirus (COVID-19) posters and resources

    How to clean your hands

    HSE - Be On Call For Ireland

    HSELive - HSE's contact helpline

    Your Mental Health.ie

    Minding your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak

    World Health Organization (WHO)

    Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic home page

    Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public

    Coronavirus disease (COVID-2019) situation reports

    Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Situation Dashboard

    How do I wash my hands properly?

    Other Organisations

    RTE News - Coronavirus

    Health & Safety Authority

    Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC)

    European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)

    Other Supports

    ALONE - supporting older people

    ChangeX - the best ideas for your community

    Jigsaw - mental health for young people

    Local Support.ie - community-based support groups, volunteer-led

    RTE Operation Transformation - staying well in mind & body, while apart

    Global COVID-19 case tracker dashboards

    Illustrate This - Illustrating Ireland's Data

    Johns Hopkins University - the original global tracker dashboard



  • 1 Feb 2019 9:22 AM | Aubrey Gowing

    Welcome to the IMTA!
    Whether you are a newly qualified therapist or a seasoned professional the IMTA exists to represent you. We are a community of like-minded, caring practitioners intent on collaboration and providing support to therapists and assurance to the public they serve.

    We aim to support therapists by providing members with:
    A forum for communication
    Regional meetings
    Group discounts for practitioner insurance
    Collaboration with selected health insurance providers to provide clients with treatment rebates
    An event calendar to keep you informed about work opportunities, charity and training events.
    Through representation at national and international level regarding legislate directives
    Setting out guidelines for training, health and safety, a code of ethics and standards of practice
    Keeping up to date on GDPR and record keeping
    Recommendations for Continued Professional Development

    These elements of best practice serve to protect the industry, the individual and the public. By promoting a high standard in all areas of practice, we strive to insure the public is in receipt of safe and effective bodywork. We recognise and support our members in meeting the diverse needs of a public that is increasingly aware of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and the role massage plays in promoting positive change.

    As part of our on going work to serve our members, we are delighted to welcome you to the associations newly launched website. We look forward to your exploration, participation, interaction and of course feedback. This new platform has some wonderful functionality. We invite   you to make full use of the facilities by contributing to group discussions, posting on and regularly  checking the events calendar and commenting on blog posts.

    Let us all show what can be achieved through support, education and positive representation within our industry!

    Kindest regards,

    Aubrey Gowing

    President of the IMTA

Irish Massage Therapists Association

Email:  info@massageireland.org

Phone:  +353 86 377 3801

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