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A warm welcome to Devon School of Massage and Bodywork

Lorraine wanted to share her skills and passion for Massage with others and so Meridian School of Massage and Bodywork in the Midlands was born in 2014. Lorraine moved to Devon 4 years ago and Devon School of Massage & Bodywork was formed. The School offers high quality and fully accredited diploma training, inspiring you to become a confident and competent massage practitioner at the beginning of your journey into touch therapy. Introductory workshops for beginners to the field; advanced professional development training for qualified practitioners; bespoke training to support carers and care workers (residential and day service providers) are all provided. Lorraine also collaborates with other practitioners to provide workshops for those wishing to explore the synergy between movement, meditation, massage touch, mindfulness (to name but a few!).

If you are interested in our full range of Birmingham courses, please go to



Courses are now being developed in North Devon and if you have a specific question about training possibilities in the beautiful south-west do contact me.


Introductory Workshops

Title: The Joy of Massage - An Introduction

Details:  Supporting each other with listening touch.  A day to explore and practice massage.  You will also learn some of the theory behind massage and how to look after your own body whilst massaging.  A fun, relaxing and informative day; you will be well supported in your learning and you don’t need previous experience.  Some qualified massage therapists who have not practiced for a while come along to this workshop to brush up on existing skills and to re-kindle their confidence in practicing again.  It is open to all

Tutor: Lorraine Horton
Date: 24th March 2018
Time: 10am - 4.30pm
Venue: The Link Centre (formerly Learn Devon), Belvedere Road/Twin Lanes, Ilfracombe, North Devon EX34 9JH

Fee: £45

Exploratory Workshops For All.

Title: The Health Well presents 'Our Mindful Body'

Details:  A workshop for sharing and exploring. Following the very positive and humbling comments made by participants about our first workshop, we have decided to get another off the ground.

This workshop presents: A mindful approach to listening to the body that we live in - something we are often too busy to do. We aim to create a safe, supportive space to gently explore and engage in topics around self and body awareness, stillness and sharing. We will be using mindfulness meditation and touch therapy approaches to support our exploration. Clothes do not need to be removed and no doubt we will be sharing much laughter!

Joanna Parsons (BMus, MMT, MTA) is an accredited Music Therapist and a long term student and practitioner of mindfulness meditation. For the past 10 years she has worked with a wide variety of clients as a private practitioner using music therapy and mindfulness approaches to address a number of individual/group strengths and needs. She is presently working in an education setting and is focusing her current studies on community health.

Lorraine Horton (BA, MTI, MLDuk, FHT, CNHC) has been a massage practitioner and bodyworker for 25 years and has been a teacher in the field for 12 years. She has worked with a wide variety of clients seeking touch therapy for many different reasons. She is also employed by the NHS to explore the use of touch therapies in working with people with sensory integration and communication difficulties. Lorraine is currently conducting research into the use of touch to communicate compassion within the care field.

Jo and Lorraine came together to form The Health Well which offers opportunities and moments to explore the synergy between bodywork, touch massage, mindfulness, music and other forms of expression relating to our life, bodies and minds - and any other aspect of 'us' that feels ripe for exploration! We facilitate groups and one-to-one exploration.

Date: Wednesday 10 May 2017
Time: 7p - 9pm - come at 6.30 for a cup of tea!
Venue: Portland Art Studio, 8-10 Portland Street, Ilfracombe EX34 9NL

Fee: £15 - please call Jo on 07763433310 or Lorraine on 07967521397 to book

Advanced Workshops for Qualified Practitioners 

Title: Introduction to the fascinating world of Myofascial Release Therapy

Details:  Continuing professional development training day for qualified practitioners (massage, other bodywork disciplines, chiropractors, physiotherapists, yoga and pilates teachers etc are all welcome).  There will be a look at what fascia is, its importance in all bodywork, an introduction to theory with the majority of time spent on techniques for you to practice and incorporate into your existing work. To attend you need to be qualified (minimum level 3), including anatomy, physiology and pathology in your field.  

Tutor: Lorraine Horton
Date: Saturday 5th May 2018
Time: 9.30 am - 5pm
Venue: The Link Centre (formerly Learn Devon), Belvedere Road/Twin Lanes, Ilfracombe, North Devon EX34 9JH

Fee: £80


Professional Massage Therapy Training - Fully Accredited by MTI and FHT

Title: Massage Therapy Diploma Level 4 Course

Details:  Professional Training in Holistic and Therapeutic Massage

Course Accreditors: Massage Training Institute and Federation of Holistic Therapists (See Links Page)

Duration: One academic year, part time

Lead Tutor: Lorraine Horton
Date: Starts 29/30 September 2018
Time: 9.30 am - 5pm
Venue: The Link Centre (formerly Learn Devon), Belvedere Road/Twin Lanes, Ilfracombe, North Devon EX34 9JH
Cost: £1900 - can be paid in instalments
Deposit: £382 ... IMPORTANT ... Please download and check the application form (here) before paying as there is an application process. Thank you.

Application: Please call Lorraine on 07967521397 if you require assistance or download the application form here.

To pay Deposit, click here:


The Qualification (MTI Level 4)

Syllabus and Course Content:

Massage Theory, Practitioner Body Use and Self Awareness

  • Benefits of massage and a historical context
  • Appropriate environment for massage work
  • Application of theory and practice from research
  • Self-awarness exercises
  • Intention and intuition in massage work - developing your 'felt sense' 
  • Self-massage skills
  • Looking after your body; avoiding over-use and using movement, rhythm, body weight and forearms
  • Body posture in anatomical terms; body reading
  • Reflecting on your own reactions and awareness when massaging; becoming a reflective practitioner
  • To support this, you will be writing a self-reflective journal throughout the course
  • Massaging with mindfulness

Massage Technique:

  • Wide variety of massage techniques, including soft to advanced deep tissue work, stretches, joint mobilisation, stillness and a combination of all of these to intelligently meet individual client need
  • Use of oil and massage equipment
  • Physiological basis of contraindications to massage
  • Exploring subtle energies
  • Developing sensitivity to client's response to massage 
  • Listening with your hands as well as other senses
  • Taking part in supervised clinic practice with unknown clients
  • Completing a minimum of 50 hours massage practice

Therapeutic Relationship with Clients:

  • Equality and diversity issues and access to massage for all
  • Rapport with clients - active listening and communication skills: practicing non-judgement
  • How to create a safe space for clients to expressing feelings and emotions
  • Development of a therapeutic relationship with each client
  • Techniques to aid stress management
  • Supporting each client in between massage sessions: Aftercare and information

Professional Issues and Practice Management:

  • Assessment of individual client needs and wants: developing, negotiating, evaluating and adapting treatment plans to meet changing needs
  • Appropriate referrals to other professionals
  • Clinical Record Keeping
  • Legal, ethical and ecological issues
  • Setting up, managing, marketing and promoting massage
  • Business planning, assertiveness around pricing

Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology for Massage Therapists:

  • Underpinning knowledge: anatomical terms and language, concept of balanced health, pathology and the main causes of disease, physiology of stress
  • The anatomy and physiology of cells, tissues and systems of the body such as skeletal, muscular and myofascia, skin, nervous, digestive, urinary, reproductive and how they work as a whole
  • Application of all of this knowledge to massage practice, combined with your intuitive and felt sense

The course is not only about becoming very knowledgable and capable massage practitioners who meet the individual needs of each client; it is also about your own personal learning, development and exploration and we actively encourage this.

Upon Qualifying:
You will be able to register with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council - this is a Government recognised body where sufficiently qualified therapists can voluntarily register


Student Experiences of the Diploma Course:

"As a total novice, once I had decided to embark on this path I obviously needed to get an appropriate qualification that would provide me with the knowledge, skills and certification to allow me to start up my own business.  I scoured the internet and was bombarded with options.  I decided that if I was going to be truly credible with future clients I needed a truly credible course to attend.  I discarded "be a masseur in 2 days" options because I could not get my head round how that could actually happen.  I wanted both depth and breath of skills and knowledge.  This was going to be a total career change for me and I had to go with something that was going to give me the best chance of success.  The course itself turned out to be amazing.  Don't get me wrong, a combination of no knowledge and being out of the learning environment for more years than I care to remember made it a challenge, in fact it was very hard at times.  What got me through was the support of my fellow students and the positivity of the tutors with their constant "can do" approach.  There was an effective mix of hands on bodywork together with the more classroom based learning associated with the anatomy, physiology and pathology elements of the course.  These took place in a most comfortable and good natured environment with lots of laughs along the way"  A Parsons, Massage Therapist, Newcastle, Staffs

"I felt really privileged to have the opportunity to learn from Lorraine.  She is a natural, wise teacher and the course reflects her deep knowledge and experience of holistic therapy.  It is about far more than just teaching technical skills - it gives you a real understanding of what holistic massage really means, about respect, listening, being non-judgemental, honest and open ..... and it's also about laughing and having fun.  The course is also just as much about personal growth and self-awareness as about technical learning.  It was great having the opportunity to explore myself - who I am, how I am, what motivates and moves me.  And I found that as I grew personally, my skills and confidence as a massage therapist developed too.  The course was wonderful and one of the best things I have ever done"  SO, Shropshire


Workshops for Carers and Supporters

Title: Bespoke training for Carers (paid or unpaid) and Supporters; Residential and Day Services

Details: Short half day and full day courses for those in the role of carer or supporter when those you care for would benefit from massage and touch work - quality one-to-one time.  Training can also be provided in care and nursing residential settings and day services.  This training aims to support staff and carers become more aware of:

  • the importance of the quality of their touch when supporting everyday and personal tasks
  • the importance of the role of touch in communicating 
  • how touch supports the development of a closer relationship with those we are caring for

This training also enables care staff to explore and practice touch with this awareness in a safe and supporting learning environment.

Course are bespoke to meet the needs of the carer/home/service - please contact Lorraine to discuss your specific needs

Tutor: Lorraine Horton


The Diploma course is accredited by the Massage Training Institute

and the Federation of Holistic Therapists