Professional Beauty

Q&A with Meghan Mari and Rachel Fairweather, founders of The Jing Institute: Professional Beauty UK Interview

The Holistic Conference: Professional Beauty UK

Q&A with Meghan Mari and Rachel Fairweather, founders of The Jing Institute

When and why did you decide to set up The Jing Institute?

A good question! The best things always start as the twinkle in somebody’s eye, the soft focus dream that eventually becomes reality -and Jing is no exception. The seed of the idea for Jing was born many years ago in the mid nineties when Rachel, a UK trained massage therapist, became increasingly dissatisfied with the level of training available in the UK and started looking around for good CPD courses that would take her further. Her search took her to New York where she was able to indulge her love of massage with the many fantastic professional and high level courses out there including a degree level education encompassing both Eastern and Western bodywork.. In the landmark millennium year 2000 she wandered into a famous spa in New York city while looking for employment as a therapist after massage school and was given a job by the manager – a certain Meghan Mari! Rachel’s dream had always been to return to the UK and set up a company that provided the type of massage education she wanted but was unable to find. Fortunately Meg was also up for that dream and the pair returned to the UK to run their first courses in 2003. As the great quote goes “from a small seed a mighty trunk may grow” and the Jing explosion took off with a bang –now in 2013 we run around 40 different 2-3 day workshops plus a degree level course (our acclaimed BTEC level 6 in advanced clinical and sports massage). So we had a dream and just ran with it and have never looked back. We joke that we are like the pair from the Monkees song – “daydream believer and the homecoming queen” (you decide which of us is which!)

What do your courses entail?

Wow! Well I can safely say that you can expect everything and anything to happen on a Jing course. We believe that learning should be interactive, stimulating and above all FUN so we do everything we can to get the techniques and concepts into our students’ heads in the best possible way. So of course we teach GREAT massage techniques – everything from Hot stone fusion to pregnancy to advanced courses that teach you trigger point and myofascial work to get people out of pain within 1-6 weekly treatments. You will NEVER be sitting in a boring lecture on a Jing course as the learning is 90 percent hands on – but you may find yourself painting muscles on a partner, playing silly games to help you remember techniques you have learned, doing an anatomy dance, taking part in a meditation, or making up questions for a massage pub quiz! The bodywork we teach is serious but the way we teach it is with fun and laughter. You have been warned!

Why do you think advanced massage techniques can have a positive impact on your business?

Both Meg and I feel very strongly that the general level of massage taught in the UK at a qualifying level is often not enough to give therapists the skills to earn a good living and start a viable business. Our courses all ultimately aim to give therapists the skills they need to succeed and have the life they desire. Advanced massage techniques grow your business as they make you a different therapist than your competitor down the road and truly enable you to give the client what they need. This is particularly true with our advanced clinical massage courses that aim to get people out of pain quickly and easily – there are so many people walking around with bad backs, herniated discs, carpal tunnel, neck pain, sporting injuries and other pain conditions and therapists just don’t feel skilled or confident in treating them effectively. Our courses give you that confidence – we know these techniques work as we use them ourselves in our clinics and have been getting great results for many years. What works for us has worked for our students and will work for you too! The strength of Jing courses lies in the fact that they are designed by massage therapists for massage therapists. We know too well all the pitfalls in the business and want to help you avoid them!

What was your goal for the Jing Institute, and do you feel you’ve achieved it?

What a great question! Our goal at the beginning was always to start a revolution and to raise the level of massage therapy in the UK – I guess you could say we have achieved that by our development of the BTEC level 6 – a degree level course in advanced clinical massage that is unparalleled in the UK. And our dream was also to create a community of passionate, positive like- minded therapists – as the Jing community grows from year to year (we have now trained several thousand students) you could also say we have done pretty well on that one! Yet we will always feel that there is more to achieve and strive for – as CS Lewis famously said “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”. Meg and I will always be dreamers who want to help others achieve theirs. Massage is a wonderful profession – the healing power of touch is phenomenal –so no we will never achieve our goal because the goals will always be changing and growing! The aim of a teacher would always be to spread a message far wider than you can alone and to see those changes persist into the future – as Confucius said
“If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if in terms of ten years, plant trees; if in terms of 100 years, teach the people.”

So we will have to wait and see for another 100 years if we have achieved our goal!

What was the biggest problem you overcame and the key lessons learned?

The Chinese pictogram for “crisis” interestingly means both danger and opportunity – Meg and I are both really positive people so there have been tremendous challenges along our 10 year journey with Jing which I guess we could have labeled problems but I’m not sure we ever really saw them as that – just circumstances that needed to be dealt with. Whenever times are hard I always think “Well what else am I going to do?!” and I don’t really have too many good answers to that so we just have to get on with making things work. My key lesson is that you don’t always get things right the first time – you just have to give it your best shot- and be quick at listening to feedback and making changes.

What can we expect from your session on the 25th February?

Who knows?! You’ll have to come and see to find out! Thought provoking comments, laughter, bad jokes, maybe some audience participation, free popcorn! – but most of all some great tips on how beauty therapists can improve their business through advanced massage techniques. We have lots of Jing students who are beauty therapists who love doing massage and have added value to their lives by learning our techniques – we will talk about pregnancy massage, great hot stone fusion skills, the magic of onsite and seated massage and of course our flagship skills for getting clients out of pain quickly and easily.

What discussions do you hope to provoke with your talk?

Ones that are heated, passionate, excited, full of laughter and carry on in the pub afterwards!

What are you most looking forward to at the conference?

Being there, meeting new fellow members of the great massage tribe!

To Book Your Place for the “From Beauty to Business: How to revolutionise your business with advanced massage techniques” talk at Professional Beauty please CLICK HERE

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