Advanced Hands Free Massage Training Course in Bristol – 8 days


An essential training that builds on your previous knowledge, helping you acquire new skills to support the longevity of your massage career.

– How to replace the use of your hands for just about anything you do during table, chair and side-lying massage
– How to skilfully and sensitively apply firm pressure with your forearms and elbows
Dynamic bodyuse to support you

Prevent overuse and strain of your hands, wrist and shoulders
Protect your body from the long term effects of your profession thereby extending your career
Expand your repertoire

Best thing you’ll ever do! My practice is transformed and clients are delighted. Love it! The course has given me the confidence in both my skills and stamina and it’s showing in bookings, which is amazing!!!” – Jessie Docherty

“I’ve decided to take the plunge and quit my NHS job. ​I’m​ so excited to be a full-time massage therapist​. The course is given me the confidence in both my skills and stamina and it’s showing in bookings​,​ which is amazing​!!​”Helen Johnstone

“The 8 day training really does change your practice. The course itself is well paced with plenty of time between classes to practice and develop the skills. There are plenty of follow up videos and a well illustrated manual. Stop thinking about it and take that leap of faith. You will not regret it.” – Carmen Zahra

“Thank you for the beautiful course.
It has changed my working life and will keep me going for many more years!”
– Maya van der Galien

FHT Accredited Short Course logo

You have invested in learning massage in the past and now it’s time to take it to the next level and invest in your long term future. 

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Darien Pritchard Hands Free Massage

This 8 day training (FHT Accredited) is designed to save your fingers, thumbs and wrists … and the rest of your body too!

Learn new tools to replace the use of your hands for just about anything you do in a massage! Say ‘bye bye’ to using your hands for effleurage, petrissage, stretches, mobilisations and seated massage. Expand your repertoire and freshen your approach.

You’ll learn how to skillfully and sensitively apply firm pressure with your forearms and elbows, which is more effective and safer than using your hands

Posture plays a major role in this and we therefore instil correct and dynamic body use to support you, thereby further helping you to maintain your career.

You become skillful, sensitive, dynamic, adaptive and effective with these new techniques!

For your clients, this results in receiving a better and more effective treatment.

The course assumes and builds upon a developed feeling for pacing and fluidity in massage, and monitoring and adapting to the client’s build, comfort and responses.

Who is this course for and group size

  • CPD Workshop for Qualified Massage Practitioners, Aromatherapists etc
  • Mostly people who attend this training are experiencing pain in their backs, wrists and hands
  • Others are wanting to learn new skills and learn how to work on more deeply without causing their body any harm
  • Anyone who wants to expand their massage repertoire and learn over 60 new things to incorporate into massage
  • You must have a minimum nationally recognised Level 3 body massage qualification such as Swedish Massage, Sports, Aromatherapy – also open to osteopaths, chiropractors etc. This is a Level 3 Advanced massage course.
  • There are only 12 places available on the training which ensures individual attention for all attendees

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“Thank you again for the most wonderful course, it’s the best training I’ve done in years! Yesterday I gave two 90 minute sessions back-to-back, and I hardly had any back ache and actually felt energised rather than exhausted. It’s a miracle! “
– Sarah

Advanced Hands Free Massage Training covers

  • A range of forearm and elbow techniques that can substitute for and extend ‘classic’ massage techniques with varied pressure for table, chair and side-lying massage
  • The soft forearm (the fleshy inner forearm) for effleurage, petrissage and applying widespread general pressure. The soft forearm is firmer and uses less effort than using your hand
  • The hard forearm (the ulna) and the bony areas around the elbow for applying focused pressure in an appropriate, skillful and sensitive way in order to save your fingers, thumb, knuckles, wrist, lower back and shoulders
  • Using the whole forearm for mobilising parts of the body, for applying stretches
  • All of these ‘tools’ for oil, non-oil massage and seated massage (on an ordinary chair, which can be adapted for massage chair)
  • How and where to best use these new ‘tools’
  • How to moderate the pressure applied
  • How to monitor and adapt to different client builds, tensions and their responses
  • How to blend Hands Free techniques smoothly into massage sessions
  • How to support all of the above with dynamic bodyuse, rather than working too hard with your arms and shoulders
Darien Pritchard Hands Free Massage
FHT Accredited Short Course logo
Darien Pritchard Hands Free Massage

I now feel totally competent as a massage therapist, love hands free and I no longer have the worry that I’m going to have to give up, as I no longer have wrist, thumb and finger pain which was a real worry for me.

Leora was fabulous! She is so enthused by what she is teaching. She was wonderfully attentive to our use of Hands Free and I felt confident from day 1 that it would be a great course. For me now there is no other way to massage, it has changed my life completely, I feel confident I can deliver a good massage and know I do from client feedback. I also love that I get a lot closer to clients in a way.

And thank you to Darien Pritchard, my original teacher, BCMB for all my CPD courses last year and Leora Sharp for the life transforming Hands Free training I’ve just completed.”
– Helen Watkins

Basic outline of the training

Darien Pritchard Hands Free Massage

Below is the basic outline of what you will learn. There are opportunities on all days to:

  1. Warm up
  2. Learn new techniques or adapt previous learning to other parts of the body
  3. Adapt movements/techniques according to client’s build, tensions and responses to the techniques 
  4. Add these movements/techniques to your familiar massage style (consolidated and integrate)
  5. Monitor bodyuse and change it as necessary to prevent overuse and strain
  6. Self, peer and tutor assessment/feedback
  7. Recap learning

Session 1 – Using the ‘soft forearm’ (fleshy part) for broad, sweeping movements

Day 1 & 2
– Reflections on where you are at in your practice and how you body responds to giving massage (reflective practice)
– Introduction to the principles of Hands Free Massage, including body dynamics/bodyuse – Part 1
– Exploration of techniques/ideas (no oil, seated partner work)
– Soft forearm on the back, shoulders, gluteals (oil, on table) for  broad, sweeping movements.
–  Learning to become skillful and sensitive with the soft forearm and to begin sensing with it – feeling for structures and tensions and monitoring and adapting to the client’s responses
– Introduction to the principles of Hands Free Massage, including body dynamics/bodyuse – Part 2
– Soft forearm on the back, shoulders, gluteals + arms and hands (oil, on table)
– Soft forearm on the legs and feet (oil, on table)

Session 2 – Using the ‘hard forearm’ (ulna) for broad focused and sliding pressureDarien Pritchard Hands Free Massage

Day 3 & 4
– Revision of day 1 and 2 and reflective practice
– Introduction to principles of using the ulna for massaging (no oil, seated partner work)
– Stationary and sliding pressure on the back (oil, on table)
– Muscle review
– Cross-fibre sliding pressure on back, arms and legs (oil and no oil, on table)
– Broad focused pressure for specific muscles and areas of tension on back, arms and legs (oil and no oil, on table)

Session 3 – Using ‘precision Hands Free tools’ (elbow and surrounding bones) for very skillful and focused pressure

Day 5 & 6
– Review course content to date (as much as is possible, depending on the group needs)
– Introduction to the principles of the ‘precision tools’ – Part 1 (seated with partners, no oil)
– Introduction to the principles of the ‘precision tools’ – Part 2 (seated with partners, no oil)
– Fine tuning the precision tools for very specific work on ‘knots’/points of tension on legs and back (oil, on table)

Session 4 – Stretches, Mobilisations, Side-lying

Day 7 & 8
– Revision of principles of the ‘precision tools’ (seated with partners, no oil)
– Stretches and mobilisations (seated no oil and on table with and without oil) including a revisions session later in the day
– Client side-lying with and without oil, including stretches and mobilisations
– Course review

Darien Pritchard Hands Free Massage

..and all the way through the training you learn correct body dynamics/posture to support your movement AND Hands Free techniques for seated clients. PLUS you’ll receive lots of massage throughout the training.

Other information

  • No ‘gung-ho’ manner: These are strong, powerful tools, which can deliver bruising pressure to clients if they are used without care. Therefore, using them skillfully and learning how to adapt each technique to a range of builds, tolerances and reactions is a core part of the training. The tutors reserve the right to dismiss students from the course who consistently use these tools in an unnecessarily ‘gung-ho’ manner.
  • This course does NOT cover: using the knees, legs and feet, because these work best when the  client is lying on a low table or a futon on the floor (as is done in many Eastern massage traditions).
  • Class size: This will vary depending on where the course is run. Participants receive satisfactory individual instruction, and also have a range of fellow students to practice on, under supervision of the tutor.  Average class size is 8 – 12 students.
  • Class times: In general, each training day is from 10am – 5.30pm (which might vary depending on location) with morning and afternoon tea breaks and 1 hour for lunch.
  • FHT Accredited Short Course

Dates, fees, payment scheme and booking terms

Duration, Dates, times, location

4 sessions of 2 days each, over several months = 60 hours / 40 CPD points.

2022/23 Dates

  • Mon/Tue 5 & 6 Dec 2022
  • Sat/Sun 14 & 15 Jan 2023
  • Mon/Tues 20 & 21 Feb 2023
  • Sat/Sun 11 & 12 March 2023


Course fees & inclusions


  • 8 days of tuition (excluding catch up sessions if you have to miss any learning time)
  • Training manual
  • Session related handouts
  • Moderate student support and supervision throughout the course. Extra support is available for which tuition fees apply
  • Access to online videos during and 2 months after the course
  • FHT Accredited Short Course
FHT Accredited Short Course logo

Paying for your transformational training

Pay the full amount upfront

£15 deduction if you’ve done the 3.5hour taster, on the lead up to this training.

Payment scheme – incurs an administrative surcharge of £40.

  • Deposit on booking – non refundable £250 + admin fee £40 = £290
    (£15 deduction if you’ve done the 3.5hour taster)
  • Payment 2 – £240 due 5th Sept 2022
  • Payment 3 – £240 due 5th Oct 2022
  • Payment 4 – £240 due 5th Nov 2022

Terms of booking

General terms

  • Deposit on booking to secure your place is non-refundable.
  • Full payment must be completed 1 month prior to training and we are unable to offer refunds after Nov 5th 2022.
  • If you wish to cancel your place before Nov 5th 2022, you must notify us by email no later than Nov 5th 2022. Your payments will be refunded, minus your deposit and an administrative fee of £40.
  • If you wish to cancel your place after Nov 5th 2022, the full fees are still payable, unless we are able to fill your space. We may be able to transfer you to the next training course, subject to the course being confirmed to run and there being spaces available. An administrative fee of £40 is applicable. A further supplementary fee may be applicable, for example, if the course price changes.
  • If an extenuating circumstance occurs and you cannot continue the training (e.g. a bereavement of a close family member, or any serious illness is discovered and unknown to you at the start of the training, or an accident occurs) a doctor’s certificate will be required. You will be able to transfer to the next training subject to the course being confirmed to run and there being spaces available. However, this will be at our discretion and an admin/supplementary fee will be applicable.
  • Full course attendance is required as the training is only 8 days.
  • If you cannot attend some of the training for reasons out of your control, you are required to make efforts to catch up. This can be done in 2 ways; 1. You can meet with a fellow learner for a catch up session and you are required (by means of a video) to show a good level of competency or understanding of what you missed. 2. You can organise private tuition with your course tutor, the cost of which will be discussed with you at the time.
  • If the training needs to be rescheduled, you will be transferred to the rescheduled training. If you cannot attend some or any of the new dates, other teaching arrangements or refunds can be negotiated.
  • If the training needs to be cancelled completely, for whatever reason, all monies paid (including the deposit & admin fee if paid) will be repaid.

Pandemic related protocol and terms (if the country returns to pandemic status)

  • If we need to reduce group size, 50% of the group will attend the first day of the session in person, with the other 50% joining on Zoom. We will then swap over the next day.
  • If you are unwell due to a pandemic related illness, streamed teaching via Zoom will be possible.
  • Government guidelines will apply, as will the guidelines of the College where the course is held.
  • If quarantine needs return and you book a holiday, please be sure to take this into account so you don’t miss any of the training days.



Tutor: Leora Sharp
Co-tutor: Darien Pritchard – if the course fills with more than 8 people, Darien will co-teach the February & March sessions.

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