Darien was the first UK massage trainer to name this approach Hands Free Massage, when he began developing it over 25 years ago. He has been a professional bodyworker, massage trainer and author since 1977.
For 25 years he trained massage professionals (of which 5 years was part of a University Degree course) and has been teaching Professional Development courses for qualified massage practitioners since 1988.
He founded and ran the Massage Study Centre (Adelaide, South Australia, 1981-89) and Cardiff School of Massage (Wales, UK, 1991-2001). He has also taught massage on a University degree course in South Wales and was a guest trainer for blind massage students for 20 years (Royal National College for the Blind, Hereford). He has taught advanced massage courses and offered individual coaching for massage practitioners since 1988.
Darien has been a pioneer in focusing on good bodyuse as an integral part of massage training; looking after your hands and body and using them well to deliver massage, which in turn helps to maintain one’s massage career. He has pioneered Hands Free Massage – the skillful, sensitive use of the forearms and elbows to save the practitioner’s hands. He brings an attitude of supportive encouragement to his teaching and coaching.
Simultaneously, he developed RhythmMobility®bodywork, combining elements of massage and the Feldenkrais Method® with his love of rhythm. This promotes rhythmical ways of encouraging release, re-energising and rebalancing the body.
Darien has written massage articles and textbooks and worked for national organisations and massage councils helping to raise the status and standards of the massage profession. He has recently published Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology for Massage (a student text), which is available through his website. (This is a rewrite of a textbook co written with Su Fox 20 years ago.) He also wrote the career-maintenance reference book ‘Dynamic Bodyuse for Effective, Strain-Free Massage’ (2008), due out in a new edition Effective, Strain-Free Massage in 2022.
Darien brings an attitude of supportive encouragement to his teaching and coaching. His approach has been influenced by the study of Yoga, Tai Chi, creative dance/movement and training in the Feldenkrais Method® of movement awareness, and informed by gaining a Certificate in Education (double distinction).
Alongside his massage career, Darien has run Feldenkrais classes and workshops since training in the 1980s, and more recently, Keep Moving classes – stretch and strengthen – (seated) classes online.
Since 1988, he has taught the bodywork element in the Voice Leader’s Training, run by Frankie Armstrong, president of the Natural Voice Network. Darien has nurtured an interest in movement, rhythm and release through dancing and playing music. He has worked with dancers on greater ease and flexibility in performance, run courses on Dancing for the Joy of It (helping people to discover the ‘dancer within’), and designed a programmes for actors on the physical embodiment of character (‘I Feel a Character Coming On’).