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Spotlight on - Mark Dudley - Yoga Teacher and Massage Therapist

This week the Spotlight is on our newest addition to the Centre, Mark Dudley! Mark is a qualified Yoga Teacher, massage therapist and Bowen Technique practitioner who will be teaching Yoga classes at the Centre every Friday at 10am, as well as offering one to one massage therapies. Mark has recently moved to Devon from London where he had a busy clinic and large client base, and now he hopes to build up his client base here in Devon.

Prior to becoming involved in bodywork, Mark was working as a travel writer with credits in The Independent, Independent on Sunday and Daily Express.

Prompted by the changes brought about by Vipassana meditation, he undertook a science-based Access course at the Guildford College of Further Education in 2003. The unexpected enjoyment he gained from study motivated him to go on to a BSc (Hons) in Therapeutic Bodywork at the University of Westminster, graduating in 2008.

The emphasis of his training was on clinical practice and Mark now does a lot of remedial massage work. Mark’s interest in the Bowen Technique began principally with being curious about light touch, and whether this could be as effective in dealing with long term chronic conditions as the deeper touch to which he was accustomed. In 2010, following several sessions in the Bowen Technique from Anneke Loode of the Bowen School for Healthcare Practitioners, he completed the practitioner training, qualifying in 2011.

His interest in Yoga began in February 1999 when he met Brenda Brown and attended his first yoga class in Woking, Surrey. It was the philosophy of yoga as well as the physical aspect, which Mark found really interesting. Since then he has also developed a meditation practice, motivated by a further two ten-day Vipissana meditation retreats, as well as a number of mindfulness-based meditation retreats at Gaia House in Devon.

Becoming a yoga teacher seemed a natural progression. Mark completed the two-year teacher training course with Rosamunde Jordon and Marilyn Freedman at Morley College in 2009. The influence of this course was the philosophy and approach to yoga of Vanda Scaravelli (Awakening the Spine), an approach he finds really helpful in his own practice.

So What is Therapeutic Massage?

Therapeutic Massage uses all the benefits of a massage along with the neuromuscular work as explained below. It might also include deep tissue work

when restrictions are found a little deeper below the superficial musculature. Massage therapy can be useful for anyone with physical or psycho-physiological trauma, for example those doing sports and physical activities, as well as those who have a stressful/inactive job or lifestyle.

Some of the benefits are as follows:

• Brings about a sense of well-being.

• Restricted movement becomes easier.

• Increases awareness of compensatory patterns such as tight hamstrings affecting the lower back.

• Obtains relief from chronic postural habits resulting in symptoms such as stiff neck and shoulders.

• Encourages blood flow and soft tissue release.

Below are some of the healing techniques Mark uses:

Muscle Energy Technique: Muscle energy technique (MET) allows either a single muscle or a group of muscles to be contracted against resistance. This enables a state of relaxation to occur (post isometric relaxation) after which the muscle/s can be brought to a new resting length.

Myofascial Release: Myofascial release is a lengthening of the connective tissue. This connective tissue, also known as fascia, is continuous throughout the body and connects all the muscles. If shortened, it can lead to pain and dysfunction.

Positional Release: Positional release entails moving the part of the body where the pain occurs into a position of ease so that neurological resetting can occur. This can lead to a partial or total resolution of the initial problem.

Neuromuscular Technique: Neuromuscular technique (NMT) is both an assessment and a therapeutic tool. One of its aims is to deactivate myofascial trigger points. Trigger points are small, dysfunctional areas within a muscle that can refer pain to other parts of the body.

Bowen technique: Bowen therapy, also called Bowenwork or Bowtech, is a form of bodywork. It involves gently stretching the fascia — the soft tissue that covers all your muscles and organs — to promote pain relief.

Specifically, this form of therapy uses precise and gentle, rolling hand movements. These motions focus on the muscles, tendons, and ligaments, along with the fascia and skin around them. The idea is to reduce pain by stimulating the nervous system.

Mark is registered with the Complementary and Natural Health Council (CNHC), the Complementary Therapists Association (CThA), and is fully insured. Marks Vanda Scarravelli Yoga Class is every Friday at 10am at the centre. To book a one to one appointment with Mark or attend his Friday Yoga class you can email Mark at or call 07813105741.

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