Advanced Hands Free Massage Training Course in Bristol, Essex & Sheffield – 8 days


New tools to replace the use of your hands for just about anything you do in a massage,
with correct body use to support you.


How to skilfully and sensitively apply firm pressure with your forearms and elbows.

Prevent overuse and strain of your hands and protect your body from the long term effects of your profession.

“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

“Best thing you’ll ever do! My practice is transformed and clients are delighted. Love it!”
– Jessie Docherty

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Darien Pritchard Hands Free Massage

This 8 day training is designed to save your fingers, thumbs and wrists … and the test of your body too!

New tools to replace the use of your hands for just about anything you do in a massage, with correct body use to support you AND how to skilfully and sensitively apply firm pressure with your forearms and elbows.

Expand your repertoire and freshen your approach, learn be more effective when applying pressure (posture plays a major role in this) thereby helping you to maintain your career.

You will learn to become skilful, 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.

Give your hands a holiday and save your career

Who is this course for

  • 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
  • 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.

Course duration

4 sessions of 2 days each, over several months = 60 hours contact time and 40 CPD points

“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

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Advanced Hands Free Massage Training covers

Darien Pritchard Hands Free Massage
  • The soft forearm (the fleshy inner forearm) for applying widespread general pressure – this is firmer and uses less effort than using your palm
  • The hard forearm (the ulna) and the bony areas around the elbow for applying focused pressure in an appropriate, skillful way in order to save your fingers, thumb and knuckles
  • The whole forearm for mobilising parts of the body, for applying stretches and working with the client on their side
  • All of these tools for oil, non-oil massage and seated massage (on an ordinary chair, which can be adapted for massage chair)
  • A range of forearm and elbow techniques that can substitute for and extend ‘classic’ massage techniques for varied pressures
  • How and where to best use them
  • How to moderate the pressure applied
  • How to adapt them to different client builds, tensions and responses
  • How to blend them smoothly into massage sessions
  • How to support this with good bodyuse, rather than working too hard with your arms and shoulders
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

Course Content

Darien Pritchard Hands Free Massage

This course focuses on forearm and elbow techniques which can be blended into a ‘normal’ oil massage with the client on the usual height massage table, and with the client seated in an ordinary chair (which can be adapted for a portable massage chair). In each weekend, there will training on:

  • using the forearm/elbow skilfully and sensitively to be most effective with least strain
  • dynamic bodyuse to support the work of your forearm/elbow
  • learning to feel with these massage ‘tools’
  • monitoring and adapting to the client’s build, tensions and responses
  • blending Hands Free techniques smoothly into massage treatments

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 skilful 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 focussed 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 skilful 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
– Brief demo only – ‘Minor’ Hands Free tools and working on the table with no oil
– 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.

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.

Dates, fees, payment scheme and booking terms

Dates, times, location


  • Sat/Sun 29/30 Jan
  • Sat/Sun 26/27 Feb
  • Mon/Tues 28/29 Mar
  • Mon/Tues 25/26 Apr

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 1 month after the course

Payment scheme

  • 1 x £200 non-refundable deposit to secure your place.
  • 2 x £325 by 29th Nov 2021 and 14th Jan 2022.
  • You can also pay the full course fee on booking (£850).

Terms of booking

General terms

  • If you wish to cancel your booking you must notify us (by email) no later than Dec 29th 2021 and your payments will be refunded, minus your deposit and an administrative fee of £25.
  • If you need to cancel after Dec 29th 2021, the full fees are payable as we are unable to offer refunds after that date, unless we are able to fill your space. We will try transfer you to the next training however, this might not be possible and a supplementary fee will be applicable.
  • If an extenuating circumstance occurs and you cannot continue the training (e.g. the passing of a close family member, or any serious illness arises unknown to you at the start of the training) a doctor’s certificate will be required. You will be able to transfer to the next training – however, this will be at our discretion and a supplementary fee will be applicable.
  • If you cannot attend some of the training for any reason, you can organise private tuition, the cost of which will be discussed with you at the time.
  • If the training needs to be rescheduled or cancelled, you will receive new dates as soon as possible. If you cannot attend some, or any of the new dates, other teaching arrangements or refunds can be negotiated.

Covid related protocol and terms

  • To provide security for course tutors, fellow learners and your clients, we can only offer this training to those who have been double vaccinated, with the second vaccination no later than Dec 29th. You will be asked to provide proof of vaccination at a later stage (available on the NHS website).
  • If the situation arises, due to Covid related circumstances, streaming of teaching via Zoom will be possible e.g. limiting numbers for a particular session. In this case, part of the group can attend the first day of the session in person and then swap the next day.
  • If you need to isolate, we can stream the teaching to you.
  • We will be adhering to the BCMB Covid Guidelines.
  • It may also be necessary to wear appropriate PPE and maintain social distancing, depending on the latest government guidelines. You can bring your own or purchase from the college.
  • If you intend to book holidays to countries which will require you to quarantine upon return, please be sure to take this into account so you don’t miss any training days.



Tutor: Leora Sharp
If there are 1-8 attendees, Leora will teach alone

Co-tutor: Darien Pritchard
If there are 9-12 attendees, Darien will co-teach

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