Cultivating passions

Dawn - webpage image black and white circleIn the fifth in a series of interviews with 2019 FHT Training Congress expert speakers, we talked with Dawn Morse about sport, training and the benefits of dry cupping.

Tell us a bit of background about yourself…

After working for several years in administration for Electronic Data Systems, I realised that my passion lied within sport, fitness and health, as during this time I was a long-distance runner and a keen gym goer. After much consideration I took the opportunity to study as a mature student for a degree in sports and exercise sciences.

During this time, I completed several industry short courses alongside my degree, which included personal training and sports massage therapy. Studying additional short courses while completing my degree enabled me to setup a personal training and sports massage therapy clinic upon graduation.

I was self-employed for around seven years, running my personal training and sports massage clinic, along with several group exercise and yoga classes, when an opportunity to move into teaching was provided.

Dawn teaching

Initially, I continued to run my business while working part time for both Swindon College and the City of Bath college. I was then offered the opportunity to teach and become the programme leader on the University of Bath Foundation Degree in Sports Therapy.

I learned a tremendous amount while teaching on the sports therapy degree programmes, and it was fantastic to be able to help so many students through their study and to see them passionate about starting their new careers.

Unfortunately, both government cuts and University reorganisation had a detrimental effect on our department. I took this as positive opportunity for change and founded Core Elements, which provides sports massage and sports therapy-based qualifications and short courses that are accredited by the FHT.

Dawn Yoga Pictures 015

Give us an insight in to your normal day-to-day schedule…

There are several different branches to Core Elements, so every day is different and provides variety, which is great.

For instance, a typical Tuesday will start with delivering our morning Hot Yoga class in Malmesbury. I’ll pop home and shower, reply to a few emails and will then spend the afternoon treating clients in my home-based sports massage therapy clinic.

I will then pop back into Malmesbury to pick my children up from afterschool activities. After which, I’ll spend a few hours in my office working on admin for our courses, classes or upcoming workshops.

Fridays, however, are a contrast as we often have training courses running on this day of the week or over the weekend.

A typical Friday will start, after a morning coffee, by checking that my kids have everything they need for school. I’ll then travel to the Jury’s Inn Hotel, to ensure everything is set and ready for the upcoming course. After that, I’ll re-read through the power-point slides and presentation materials for the day’s course and will check that all handouts are ready for the group. I’ll then meet the group and start the day’s training course. Lunch break is usually spent by having a quick walk to get fresh air and then checking and replying to emails.

As I love teaching, delivering courses and meeting new people, the training days always fly by and before I know it the course is over. If this is a one-day course, I will then dismantle the room and take all equipment home with me, ready to be stored for our next course.

What interests you outside of work?

I know it’s a bit of a cliché, but I enjoy relaxing and spending time with my family, especially after a busy day.

I also enjoy taking time out for exercise, which depending on the day may be the gym, running, road cycling or yoga.

Plus, I love reading and like to stay up to date with industry reading and, of course, a good crime novel or thriller.

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What is your Training Congress seminar about?

My seminar for the Training Congress focuses on dry cupping therapy and includes both theory and practical demonstration. Discussion will specifically focus on the western application of dry cupping and integration within sports massage therapy.

What is it about your topic that appeals to you and why is it useful for therapists?

Dry cupping is a fantastic modality to add to a therapist’s skillset as it’s such as versatile tool to use. For instance, it can be used with static application or with a variety of movement patterns. It’s also great for time efficiency and for taking the pressure off a therapist’s hands.

What will attendees of your seminar expect to come away with?

Attendees should come away with an understanding of the benefits of dry cupping therapy from a western perspective and how it can be integrated within their current role as a therapist, to help increase effectiveness of their treatment, time efficiency and reduce pressure on their hands.

The seminar will also discuss how this medium can be used as a standalone treatment and within combination therapy.

Are there any other seminars in the programme which look particularly interesting to you?

There are many really interesting seminars on offer during the two days. A few that I would be keen to attend are Emma Holly’s seminar on scar tissue on day one; Jane Johnson’s on posture on day two; and Rachel Fairweather and Meghan Mari’s on myofascial release for fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions.

What would be your one piece of advice for therapists wanting to grow and develop their therapy practice?

To be you and focus on your own strengths and personal interests. Avoid copying others and focus on what interests you within the therapy world, as this will help you to cultivate your own passion and enable you to stand out.

Take the time to network with other therapists and, if possible, work with a mentor during the early years.

Finally, attend seminars such as those at the FHT Training congress, when possible, as they are fantastic for picking up tips, developing ideas and meeting likeminded people.

Learn more

Join us at the 2019 FHT Training Congress from Sunday 19 to Monday 20 May at the Holistic Health Show, NEC Birmingham.

For more details about the talks and to book, visit


Wise words

Wise words - Jane Crabtree

Jane Crabtree, head of complementary therapies, The Royal National College for the Blind, talks about teaching visually impaired students and making the New Year honours list.

Read Jane’s ‘On the couch’ interview on page 66 of International Therapist – Issue 112 Spring 2015.

Members, you can also log in to read your issue online

Image: Dollar Photo Club