Sounds a strange title for an article, doesn't it? We have published an article entitled "Amatsu and the Great British Bake Off!" in issue 90 of Massage World Massage. In case you missed it, here it is!
Jane Langston took part in an interview with Tiffany McEvoy recently, and the interview can be seen on her website
When you were a kid what did you dream of becoming when you grew up?
My first ambition as a child was to be a physiotherapist – I was very good at working out when and where people hurt. My father was a violinist and often had painful shoulders, and I worked out that I could feel where the tight muscles and sore bits were by feeling the pulls in his back and shoulders. I went on to spend a week’s work experience at a physiotherapy department within my local hospital and was rather disillusioned, even at a young age, that all back-aches seemed to be treated the same. I thought it was odd that people’s injuries were caused by different factors so therefore needed a more individual approach than what seemed to be offered at that time. Soon after that, I was admitted to hospital for some tests. I asked one of the young doctors where my blood was going in those little tubes, and he was most inspirational to my career path, as he took me to show me the laboratories. After that I was hooked – I was to be a biomedical scientist!
You were a biomedical scientist and then you changed to Amatsu Therapy – what made you change to such a different career path? How did you know it was time for something new?
I had a small injury to my neck which caused me some dizziness that didn’t resolve with time and tablets. I was recommended to go to an Amatsu practitioner by one of my hospital colleagues who had treatment for migraine. My symptoms improved but that wasn’t the stimulus for such a change. My 6 year old son came with me to one appointment as he was on school holidays. He was a hyperactive child, who had for years suffered severe asthma and a weakened immune system, which resulted in numerous hospital admissions for overwhelming infections including pneumonia and also atypical tuberculosis. Antibiotics were usually needed either weekly or fortnightly and my husband and I were permanently exhausted with caring for such a sick young man. Anyway, at this appointment, my Amatsu practitioner asked me why my son looked so ill, and when I explained, he told me to get off the couch and let my son have my appointment. To all intents and purposes, to an on-looker, the Amatsu practitioner moved David’s arms and legs about a bit, pressed in a few places around his chest and tummy, and held his head – nothing special really. But the effect was nothing short of miraculous. My angry little boy who had been so ill, sat up and smiled, and then spent the rest of the day smiling and singing to himself! My husband and I were most surprised at the instant change in behaviour, but what surprised us more was that he didn’t need any antibiotics the next week… or the week after… or the week after that! And I have to say that my son is now 23 years old, and has only had two lots of antibiotics since he was six!
My scientific brain was buzzing with questions when I saw my son’s improvement. How did that happen? What scientific basis was there for the treatment? And, how can I learn this?
My Amatsu practitioner was setting up a training school to teach Amatsu and when he found out I was keen to learn, he signed me up on the course immediately. I have to say that I just wanted to learn the therapy rather than practice it, but as the course started in 1999, and I realised that I was passionate about it, and had to turn it into my career.
My day job as a biomedical scientist had taken a quieter path at this point. Nursing a sick child didn’t fit with a full time career, so I was doing locum work, fitting it in with my son being well enough to leave at school. By changing my laboratory hours, I was able to work part-time in the laboratory whilst also running a small clinic from home in the evenings, and at a health food store one day a week. I gradually cut down my lab hours, until it was just a chore to keep the biomedical science job going. I went full time as an Amatsu practitioner in 2003. I assisted my Amatsu teacher in subsequent courses, and qualified as an Amatsu teacher in 2003 too, finally setting up my own training company in 2005.
You have very varied career paths – what do you see as being the common thread underlying them?
Although it may seem that I have left the scientific world and crossed over into alternative medicine, this isn’t strictly true. Amatsu therapy needs firm foundations in anatomy and physiology – my speciality. It uses detailed assessment procedures to work out which part of the body to treat first, and this mirrors the detailed pathology tests and diagnostics I used in the laboratory. Investigation is key to both jobs. I have been a “studyoholic” all my life, and this hasn’t changed. I read and research around a subject still, and my head is often stuck in a book, usually about anatomy and physiology.
I have always enjoyed teaching; coaching gymnastics as a teenager, having small tutorial groups and overseeing MSc projects as a biomedical scientist, so it was a natural progression to teach Amatsu. I love to see the light in a student’s eyes when they grasp full understanding of a subject and I love to help them to achieve that. My teaching of Amatsu has enabled me to enjoy a rather creative method of teaching – hands-on practical work, finding analogies and metaphors to help understanding, and lots and lots of laughter! Teaching adults doesn’t have to be dull, I find that fun and laughter gives the best atmosphere for learning.
Even my childhood passion of gymnastics and dance has come in handy in Amatsu Therapy as an appreciation of body movement is key to our treatments.
We live in a world where women are constantly told to find their “One True Passion”, which for
multi-passionate women can lead to years of searching and feeling unfulfilled, as well as feeling guilty for not being able to settle for any one thing. How did you overcome these messages and allow yourself to embrace your different interests?
I have been brought up to follow your dream. My parents were very proud of everything that my brother and I did and achieved. This gave me a confidence to work hard and enjoy my chosen path whatever it may be. The fact is, that the path that we may need to take will have forks in the road, when you have to make new choices. And circumstances may mean that career paths take unexpected twists and turns. The passions and goals we had early in our careers may not be relevant as we mature, so a change in career is imperative. Don’t get stuck in a rut!
My life took turns as my son was ill. I embraced the opportunity to learn a new career that would fit in with looking after my family, and would give me a better quality of life. I was lucky to have a supportive husband who backed me up and supported me in my career change, and I helped him do the same a few years later when he decided to leave his job and follow his dream. Team-work!
What’s the most critical piece of advice you’d offer to a woman who’s just starting out on her own multi-passionate career path (or paths!)
I would recommend researching all the paths open to you, and a few that may seem closed! Spend plenty of time looking into opportunities and sleep on your findings. Don’t rush into things. Seek counsel from learned friends, but don’t listen to the nay-sayers. There will always be people who are jealous of you, and what you represent, i.e. your wish to change your life. Those people will be energy vampires, and drag you down. Ignore them. Instead speak to the broad-minded friends who look beyond the here-and-now, and listen to advice from people who have changed their lives for the better, or have previously trodden the path that you are thinking of taking.
And finally – how can our readers get in contact with you?
Watch what happens at The Amatsu Training School with our new video
Lorna Clansey-Gramer has kindly sent us this blog article detailing her self-discovery whilst performing the Arm Mentor Test. Thanks Lorna!
I first learnt the arm mentor test, like most students of Amatsu, to say I
found it hard would be an understatement! The initial physical contact with a client,
the lift and positioning of their arm that came from my whole body, the importance
of a lightness of touch and then, and only then, the test! And I still
had to remember to apply the right amount of pressure, in the right direction
for the right amount of time. Phew! Not easy! And then repeat and repeat. And
repeat. It was through that practice that my arm mentor test gradually started
to resemble something akin to Amatsu as opposed to an ungainly and embarrassing
dance routine! Then I was fully introduced to 'real' people -
clients who had little or no experience of our therapy. I felt as though I was
starting all over again!
'So' I would say to my
client ' I am going to raise your arm in the air and then I am going to say 'Hold'
and at the same time apply a little pressure to your arm and I'd like you to
keep your arm where it is'
Then the fun would
'No, I'm going to lift
your arm. Just let me do the lifting'. The client's arm becomes a dead weight.
'Ok, so don’t relax your
arm completely. Just allow me to take most of the weight'. The client's arm
flies up to well past the 89 degrees we know makes a good testing position.
'Alright, let's just try
that again'. The client is now very confused. I am watching the minutes tick by
with no assessment yet completed.
Finally, the arm is in
'I'm going to say 'Hold'
and I'd like you to keep your arm in this position. No, sorry, not yet... that
wasn't the test. I was just saying that WHEN I say ' Hold'.. Oh. No.
Never mind. Don’t worry. Let's start again'
Does this sound familiar?
I had floppy arms and
rigid arms. I had people who wanted to help. I had people that were impossible
to position. I had clients who would insist on resisting. But of course this
was all part of the learning journey.
Fast forward to today and
I am working with a client who is learning to play tennis and having some
difficulty. As we talked I was prompted to recommend a book to her that I read
almost ten years ago when I was training to be a life coach. This book is The
Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey. It may seem like a strange title to
have on the reading list of a coaching course but it really is a special little
book. As I recommended it to her, I remembered some of the teachings from it
and I had a mini 'lightbulb moment' as I realised how it related to Amatsu and
to the arm mentor test in particular.
In the book, Gallwey
repeatedly refers to what he calls, Self 1 and Self 2:
Self 1 is the ' conscious
teller' aspect of ourselves that, in tennis, would say:
'Bend your knees. Concentrate.
Keep your eyes on the ball'
Self 2 is the 'unconscious,
automatic doer', the part of ourselves that carries out an action.
is that Self 1 does not trust Self 2 to complete a task as it would without
interruption - naturally, fluidly and effortlessly. So Self 1 bombards Self 2
with instructions until all possibility of natural, fluid and effortless
movement has disappeared. The result is a very frustrated, stressed and tense
tennis player - or Amatsu practitioner.
I realised that when I was listing everything
that I was going to do in the arm mentor test, both to myself and to my client,
my Self 1 was engaging with their Self 1, both of us over thinking,
anticipating and acting to try to achieve what they thought I wanted!
As I recommended this
book to my client the other day, I realised that after being qualified for
almost 4 years, I approach new clients very differently. My Self 2 seeks out
and trusts their Self 2 in an arm mentor test. By this I mean I don't say
anything. I give no instructions or explanations. I just raise their arm and
say ' Just keep that there for me' And do you know what? Nine times out of ten,
they do just that. Sometimes they ask what I'm doing, but mostly they don't and
it gives us both the chance to enter into a flow of natural body movement
without conscious effort. It means my sessions are more peaceful, less rushed
and more enjoyable than before. And OK, it certainly still requires practice
and Self 1 occasionally arrives to give Self 2 a bit of grief, but I am pretty
sure I prefer Self 2 to be in the driving seat. I know it's not easy,
particularly if you are new to Amatsu, but the practice and repetition over and
over really does allow Self 2 to emerge more freely.
So in your next session
with a new client, why not put aside some of the verbal instructions and trust
in your wise and very capable Self 2?
WINNER SWEEPS NATIONAL
AWARDS" - Press release
The UK Winners and Runners Up for the prestigious
national What's On 4 Me 2013 Awards in association with Ideal Weight were
announced at the glittering Awards Ceremony at Earls Court in London - and Jane
Langston and The Amatsu Clinic Rickmansworth are amongst them!
What's On 4 Award programmes are now in their seventh
year and celebrate the best activities from throughout the UK - both for kids
and adults - as nominated and voted for by the UK public.
The Amatsu Clinic
Rickmansworth is a Winner in the Best
Relaxation, Retreat or Getaway Provider category sponsored
by The Womens Business
Club - which means that they are in the elite of
Activity and Event Providers in the UK, as nearly 1000 nominees competed for
these prestigious Awards. amazingly, The Amatsu Clinic Rickmansworth was in the
final four for the Best
Beauty, Lifestyle or Wellbeing Service sponsored
by The Pussy Doll
Palace. Its sister company, The Amatsu
Training School Ltd, also based in Rickmansworth, was thrilled to be Runner Up
in the Best
Skill or Academic Learning Provider sponsored
by NEVASIC. Quite a
This year, the awards
cover 12 categories from Most Inspirational Coach to Volunteer of the Year.
Thousands of nominations and votes have been received from around the UK so this
Finalist position is a great achievement.
The Amatsu Clinic Rickmansworth was established
in 2010 by Jane Langston and Jo Chapple and now operates in Hertfordshire,
Bedfordshire, Suffolk and Northamptonshire. The Amatsu Clinic Rickmansworth is
now staffed by Jane Langston, Gina Croft and Taz Faruqi and is the flagship
clinic, offering a service 5 days a week, and an opportunity for students of the
Amatsu Training School to observe sessions as part of their training.
A visit to The Amatsu
is a unique experience
because this highly effective, ancient Japanese physical therapy realigns your
physical structure, thus improving the efficiency of your muscles and your
body's functional organs and improves movement. The Amatsu
always aims to deliver real value for money for its clients because
they deal with the root cause of the problem, not just the symptoms.
Unlike many other therapies, Amatsu addresses the whole
body and works with the body’s soft tissues e.g. muscles, fascia, ligaments etc.
by using the practitioner’s natural body movement to correct structural
imbalances within the body. Amatsu balances are suitable for people of all age
groups and those with limited mobility.
The Amatsu Training School Ltd was established in
2005 and has enabled over 70 practitioners to achieve success in learning this
amazing therapy. Already an award winner, the teachers are Jane Langston and
Taz Faruqi, with trainee teacher Gina Croft. A new intake of students will be
starting their two year part-time training in January 2014.
Both The Amatsu Clinic and The Amatsu Training
School are affiliated to Amatsu Therapy International and the Institute for
Complementary and Natural Medicine.
Jane Langston from The Amatsu Clinic Rickmansworth
and The Amatsu Training School Ltd, said: "We were so delighted to reach
the finals of these prestigious awards, and we thrilled to be winners and
runners up in so many categories. Many thanks to our students and clients who
voted for us. We strive for excellence in both the clinic and the training
school, and it is wonderful to know that this has
Each and every activity, community group,
entertainer and volunteer from throughout the UK has had the opportunity to be
nominated, thus ensuring these awards are a true representation of views and a
reflection of their eagerness to reward the very best! From 14th August 9th
October, voters logged onto www.whatson4me.co.uk to vote for their
favourite from all of the UK nominees who qualified. From these online votes,
the nominees with the highest number of votes have been revealed as this year's
The winners were announced on
14th November 2013 at Earls Court, London, at the glittering Awards Ceremony
attended by over 200 finalists, guests and VIPs.
What's On 4 Me owner - Marilyn Bradshaw - adds:
"We’re thrilled that What’s On 4 can provide such a prestigious platform to
reward such worthy activity and event providers form around the UK. The Winners
and Runners Up are totally dedicated to making a difference to people’s lives,
and I’m am extremely proud to be associated with them
One of my clients write this article and I found it hugely moving. It shows how important natural movement and natural rhythms are to the body, in creating integrated and flowing movements. I hope you are as inspired as I was reading it.
CHARIOTS OF FIRE
Do you believe in the power of music? The power to heal? To make your
body respond when nothing else works?
I do. I’ve experienced it.
I have Parkinson’s Disease. Simply put, it is caused by a lack of a
chemical, called Dopamine, which is usually produced by the brain. Symptoms
vary from person to person but characteristically include an inability to walk
and to negotiate doorways, the freezing of muscles, particularly in the legs,
arms and face, and lack of balance.
Although the symptoms are of a physical nature, they are caused by a brain
malfunction whereby messages sent by the brain do not reach their intended
Parkinson’s Disease is not inherited. It cannot be contracted from
someone else. It is not caused by the environment nor location nor work
conditions. We don’t know what triggers it. Frankly, anyone can get it. Parkinson’s
is not really a disease as it is not passed on to others.
Oh, and there is another thing. There is no cure and it can only get
Enough of the negativity; let me tell you about the power of music.
One day, soon after the Olympics, I was at a party in a garden
and someone began to hum the theme tune to the Chariots of Fire film. You know
the one; where the boys are running in slow motion through the ocean. You are
probably humming it now.
It had an immediate effect on my movements. Whereas before I had been
shuffling along with the aid of a stick, and sometimes immovable, now I strode
across the grass in time to the tune, stick discarded. The difference was
extraordinary. Over the next couple of weeks I experimented. I found that this
tune worked every time but it had to be someone else humming Chariots of Fire,
not me. At a residential course a month later there were three hundred
delegates. By the end of the week, there must have been a quarter of them
prepared to hum to help me get to and from the conference rooms. With the
musical background I was walking normally again.
I have since tried other songs but nothing works like Chariots of Fire.
Why? I can only guess that it is a combination of the rhythm and the visual
aspect of the slow motion film. I still have trouble negotiating crowded places
like restaurants and supermarkets. Doorways are a particular problem but if I
can persuade someone to hum that tune, out loud, in public, I’m off like a
So, one day, when you see a person shuffling very slowly or at a
standstill, with a walking stick, just try it. Just hum the Chariots of Fire
Theme so they can hear you. You may transform their life.
John Ward 2013
WOW! WE'VE BEEN NOMINATED FOR ANOTHER AWARD!
- Most Inspirational Instructor or Tutor
- Best Skill or Academic Learning Provider
We still need more nominations, so please click here
to nominate The Amatsu Training School Ltd. In nominating and/or voting you could win 2 VIP tickets to attend the glittering Awards Ceremony at Earl's Court, as part of the event on 14th November 2013 ~ joining the winners and finalists at the champagne reception and enjoying free entry to the Ideal Home Show at Xmas! The 3rd National Annual Awards in association with Ideal Weight reward, celebrate and recognise those companies, organisations and individuals providing the very best lifestyle and "Me Time" activities, classes, events and support for adults across the UK. Nominating our companies would promote the work that we do and raise the profile of Amatsu to the public.
We are delighted to say that we have added an online payments page to our website, making payment for deposits, courses and CPD courses easier and simpler. Debit and credit cards may be used via PayPal. Just go to our Payments page
Wishing all of you a Very Merry Christmas from The Amatsu Training School - Here is a video clip of the students of 2010 performing some "Amatsu" version of the 12 Days of Christmas!