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?
Website for The Amatsu Clinic is www.theamatsuclinic.com
Website for the Amatsu Training School is www.amatsutrainingschool.com
My email address is [email protected]
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