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Andy Fagg (co-founder of MTI) Retires

Andy Fagg is a name I had heard a lot at college; he founded BCMB (Bristol College of Massage and Bodyworks), which is where I studied massage.

He was also one of the founders of MTI (Massage Training Institute)

This year seen MTI turn 30! And we celebrated at the annual conference but Andy decided this was also the year he would retire.

He explains that he felt it was best to retire before he lost the passion for what he does. Massage has taken him on an adventure and he has sculpted the way massage is taught over the years.

He started out like a lot of us in a non-massage related career.

Studying math at university he didn’t know what to do next so he joined the civil service. Hating his job when his wife suggested quitting her job and going travelling he decided to do the same. They set off for a year and travelled for 18 months.

While they travelled through the Himalayas Andy suffered frost bite. After getting medical treatment and having some skin removed Cathy massaged his feet. Andy noticed besides how amazing it felt but that it also sped up his recovery.

This sparked his interest and he bought a book for him and Cathy to learn from and practice on each other.

A course while traveling helped with this new found interest and he decided to learn more when he got back to the UK.

When they retuned home Andy found a course that was over 3 weekends and signed up. This was purely for interest and he didn’t think at that time about it being a career.

Cathy got a job that led them to Bristol, unsure what to do Andy decided to go back and study teacher training to become a math’s teacher at schools.

Over time people heard about Andy doing massage and requested appointments, he never advertised as a therapist it just happened. One day a colleague in work asked is he could teach her to massage and in 1986 he found himself in a front room with a few friends teaching his first class.

When his wife told him they were expecting their first child this led Andy to question even more what he did and if teaching math’s was really for him, what did he want his son to be led by – someone who hated their career? or someone who had passion for their work?

This led him to take the leap into massage – he asked his tutor for advise and she was happy for him to teach what she had taught him.

A year into teaching and his tutor contacted him about setting up a group to teach differently. This involved a group of like minded people that could see a different way to massage and breaking away from routine but instead massaging from the heart, linking creativity to structure and theory with practice. This was how MTI was born.

He was chair of MTI for 8 years and Director for 6 years.

Massage training over that time changed. What started as a 3weekend course grew to 6. Andy had to employ assistance but found it hard to let go of control.

Eventually he learned that if you share information and work as a team that you could step away and things still worked the way you wanted them too. I think this a great lesson for many of us to live by.

In 1996 the syllabus changed and the course became a year long, one weekend a month.

Andy was there through the journey, he was lucky to be part of such huge changes in the massage world and witness it evolving first hand.

Andy has spent a long time documenting, setting policies and procedures in place before he can go to make sure the legacy stays for all that he believes in. He explains that it is a good time to pass on the flame to others now before he is burnt out.

I think we haven’t seen the last of Andy, as his heart is massage so although he has retired and plans lots of traveling he may still be found popping in to visit.

BusyHive wish Andy all the best on his next adventure.

Below is Andy’s top tips for therapist – I think it is something we can all take on board.

Andy’s top 5 massage tips

1. Trust yourself.

You’ve got the best massage qualification in the UK. You are good enough.

2.  Show up.

Keep appointments. Be organised and clear

3. Scarcity has value

At the start of each year put the holidays in your diary. If you restrict supply you it will increase demand.

4.Look after your body.

I don’t care it you walk run dance do tai chi yoga what ever you enjoy but do it

5. CPD

Don’t trust anybody who claims to be the only personal in the world who claims to know to do something. They probably just rehashed other people’s stuff, put a label on it and charged a load of money. Do trust you gut. If you feel excited by the prospect of a workshop that’s what will bring you clients.

I hope you find inspiration from Andy’s story as I have and realise anything is possible if your heart and mind are aligned.

If you have a story to tell or something you would like more information about please get in touch –

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