Q&A Questions with Alastair McLoughlin
1. Tell us a bit of background about yourself… (Why and how did you get into the industry? What did you do before?)
Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away – Well it was in the early 1980’s (it seems long ago) that I changed from a career in photography to learning therapeutic massage. I’m sure the change in career was borne from the need to have a more fulfilling profession. Helping people is a great reward in itself, and that has continued to be the case these past 40 years. Other techniques for helping people evolved over the years and added to my ability to help more and people.
2. Are there any challenges you have had to overcome as a therapist? How have you overcome these?
There are many challenges in our profession. Relating to people in pain can be difficult sometimes. They don’t always know how to communicate what they feel. They don’t always realise when they feel better. Building your professional reputation in your locality, is an ongoing process and takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight. Personal referral is always the best way for people to get to know who you are and what you do.
More recently, relocating to Germany, there are even more challenges to face – besides the obvious language and cultural differences.
Building an international reputation with therapists in many countries and multiple languages is, once again, a challenge that takes time, patience and perseverance.
3. What interests you outside of work? (How do you normally spend your spare time?)
I enjoy many genres of music and developing my skills playing the guitar. I also enjoy visiting and exploring the many beautiful towns of Germany and discovering their history. Even exploring the town in which I now live and I find many famous people, including Albert Einstein, Elvis Presley and General Patton, all visited this town in the past decades.
4. What is your seminar about and what can viewers expect to come away with?
My seminar is about a subject that is often excluded from many bodywork courses: ‘Why Scar Tissue Shouldn’t Be Ignored.’ It is my hope that this brief exploration of this special type of tissue will help stimulate your interest in why the treatment of scars is often overlooked, but why scars can affect your treatment results if not addressed.
5. What is it about your topic that appeals to you and why is it useful for therapists?
Many years ago, I realised that scars have a restrictive effect on joints and tissue mobility. It’s so obvious when you look at them closely. Scars also created numb and desensitised areas and they can hold negative emotional states for some clients. ‘How could I change and improve these effects?’ – this was a question that prompted me to investigate and study their effects more closely – and then come up with a suitable treatment protocol that could be easily taught to practitioners.
6. What would be your one piece of advice for therapists wanting to grow and develop their therapy practice?
You can’t help everyone – so be kind to yourself.
Do the best work you can. Learn more and explore new ideas.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things.
Listen more than you talk. Empathise.
7. What do you consider to be the most important traits for a therapist to have?
Inquisitiveness. Persistence. Patience.