It was my absolute pleasure to interview my good friend, colleague and mentor John Holman who created the most amazing massage tool I know of and work with – Hydrotherm; two warm pillows for clients to lay upon, supported at the lumbar spine by a sufficient bolster and the cervical spine with headrests. The thoracic spine is cushioned whichever way it curves and contours by the warm water pillows. The massage takes place with the client laying supine throughout, without the need to turnover and the massage is delivered with no stress to the Therapist! Now if that introduction alone has not captured you, then here’s an overview of what we discuss…The business of massage and the art of learning and retaining credible information that makes us muscle experts! Captured yet..?

Listen in, as this is a man who questions what he hears, reads and sees as well as rising to the challenge – “There’s no money to be made in Massage!”

In 1976 John took over a 300 year old bakery that was making £5,000 per annum and with 100 employees and 14 years transformed its annual turnover to £1.76 million!

As a regular recipient of massage John became fascinated by it and his own Therapist uttered the words in the challenge above and he has spent the last 27 years proving it is possible but theres a method to it!

John is the only Therapist I know to learn a subject one year and teach it the next let alone that subject being anatomy! ‘The language of Anatomy is not universally agreed’ says John when training Therapists in the subject making it a topic that is open to uncertainty. John began his therapy work in a private health club ‘clients would get broken in the gym and fixed in my clinic!’ he mused. John wanted to work alone after so many years, with 100 employees and became booked one year in advance as a Massage Therapist! He decided to reinvest in the clinic which underwent refurbishment and now employs a further two Therapists to increase accessibility and named it Massage Matters – something John and I wholly agree on is that massage is no longer a luxurious treat but a necessity in todays world!

We discuss money and what to base your charges on. You’ll learn a few gems in Johns reference library and who he takes the time to listen to.

We agree on the importance of regular massage as a Therapist and how that develops your skills and keeps you as a Therapist at your optimum!

Retaining information was one of the skills I wanted to ask John about as it gets harder to do as an adult – ‘I seek soundbytes of information, things that amuse me and odd facts.’

I also turned to my own team of Better Wellbeing Therapists for their burning questions and John enjoys answering them;

Jennifer Hadley – Naturopathic Nutritionist & Hydrotherm Therapist
Would you consider having a graduates forum to share Hydrotherm experience, be it a ‘virtual’ team to lean on each other and not feel isolated in our practices? We can go on and support each other. To discuss cases, best insurance, suppliers, business ideas and recommend reading all under the watchful eye of our teachers, who pop on for reassurance and guidance?
Amardeep Rinky Matharu-Lal Dressmaker & Hydrotherm Therapist
How do we get hydrotherm out into the big market place, a lot of therapists and people just don’t seem to know about it?
Heather Botting – Hydrotherm Therapist & Hypnotherapist
It would be interesting to know what John’s dream is for Hydrotherm, is he where he wants to be with his company or is he still chasing a dream?
We end the interview with the impact that John would like to have on the massage industry…
A big thank you to John Holman for such a great chat and insights learned and I look forward to the next one!
Here is Johns book and learning recommendations;
  • Simon Sinek Ted Talks:
  • Anything written by anatomist Frank H Netter
  • Myofascial Pain & Dysfunction Trigger Point Manual
Book a year in advance at
Here’s the PODCAST link, enjoy and share with Therapists you know!