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Massage Therapist/ Practitioner

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Colette Lassalle

00:00:02 I’m Colette Lassalle and I’m a massage therapist and reflexologist. My job involves treating, giving massage to people who come with all sorts of problems: chronic injuries, acute injuries, aches and pains of all sorts and conditions, as well.

00:00:21 The most important moment for me is when I managed to convince my father to let me come over here to the UK at the age of seventeen and a half. That was such a mega feat for me because it was my signature to freedom, basically. So, that was great for me, the world was mine, I had wings, I could do anything. I arrived here and with just £10 in my pocket and a suitcase.

00:00:48 I started working in hotels so I worked for the Savoy and the Ritz and served the rich and famous, basically. And I was determined to do loads and loads of work earning as much money as I could so I could do loads of travelling. I went to Australia for six years…for six months and I worked there in a bar in a restaurant. And then I roamed the world, basically. And then I decided to come back to London. By the age of 26, 27 I knew that I was missing out on higher education.

00:01:19 I got into a degree and I did a degree in Latin American politics and history and Spanish and at that point I was very clear I wanted to be a Greenpeace activist or an NGO worker and then I realised that although my degree was extremely interesting and I was really passionate about what I was studying, there was absolutely no job opportunities. So, I went into teaching by default, I would say, and I taught mainly Spanish and French and I really, really disliked it. I was not happy at all.

00:01:53 I realised seven years ago that I could not go on doing a job that was not satisfactory to me and all along I was craving for something alternative. I wanted to be connected with the spiritual and the body. I started training in Swedish holistic which is the basic massage course that you have to do with loads of anatomy and physiology and over the years I started building up. I did Indian head massage, I did reflexology then I did sports massage and then finally I did Thai yoga massage. This September I’m going to train as a feng shui consultant because that’s another passion of mine and I discovered it 10 years ago so I started doing it as a hobby and learnt a lot about it but never actually trained. So from next year I’m going to start integrating it with my body work.

00:02:46 What I’ve learnt is that I’m never too old to retrain. That‘s a definite thing. That there was no need to panic at times when by the age of 21 I still did not know, you know, what I wanted to do and was there something wrong with me when I started seeing people around me having like proper jobs. So, I learnt to relax in that and I learnt to see life as an ongoing journey.

00:03:17 When I found that I was on the right path, it felt harmonious. It felt real, it felt like it was me and I was at peace with myself having chosen something that was really from my heart rather than my head. So, I realised that I was actually earning money doing something that I really love for the very first time in my life. So, yes, it feels wonderful. It feels very peaceful. It feels right.


Colette Lassalle works as a massage therapist in Bristol. She arrived in the UK at the age of 17 with just £10, worked in hotels then travelled around the world until her late twenties when she decided to return to higher education. She then entered teaching by default, and after finding this did not make her happy, she decided to follow her interest in massage.

More information about Therapy professionals n.e.c.

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

10%  male 
90%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Job holders in this unit group plan and apply physical and therapeutic treatments and activities to assist recovery from physical and mental illness and to minimise the effects of disabilities not elsewhere classified in MINOR GROUP 222: Therapy professionals.
Entrants usually possess an accredited degree or postgraduate qualification. Training can take between two to five years depending upon the chosen method of study. Courses provide a mixture of theoretical study and practical experience. Membership of professional bodies may be mandatory in some areas.
  • Prescribes diet therapy and gives advice to patients, health care professionals and the public on dietetic and nutritional matters for those with special dietary requirements or to prevent illness amongst the general population;
  • Diagnoses and treats disorders of vision and eye movements, monitors subsequent progress and recommends further optical, pharmacological or surgical treatment as required;
  • Manipulates and massages patient to discover the cause of pain, relieve discomfort, restore function and mobility and to correct irregularities in body structure;
  • Adopts a holistic approach in assessing the overall health of the patient, and treats by inserting needles under the skin at particular locations according to the disorder being treated;
  • Administers aromatic herbs and oils and massage to relieve pain and restore health;
  • Assesses and provides treatment for people with mental disabilities, or those suffering with mental illness, stress, and emotional and relationship problems;
  • Diagnoses and treats behavioural problems in animals.
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