Finding my feet

1996 I was looking to break away from the corporate world, to create a new life for adventures and starting a family. In a small classroom in Panmure, Auckland, New Zealand I discovered massage, I had no idea of the journey that lay ahead.

I chose massage over becoming a physiotherapist as I was more interested in prevention, though soon discovered that much of the work of a massage practitioner is helping people with pain, tension and stress that they already had.

Over the past 25 years as both a practitioner and teacher I have witnessed growth and change. Observing a client move freely with less pain and seeing students achieving success and going on to share their new-found knowledge and skills.

In 2000 my first son was born and looking back I really had no idea. No idea of how important the early years were, and how I, as a parent, could influence his growth and development. I had been taught a little bit of baby massage during my other training – so I took every opportunity to massage him.

I studied Infant Massage in 2002 which opened my eyes to the importance of touch and I began to understand early development. Since then I have taught many parents how to massage and connect with their babies, we have shared stories, laughed and cried. I watched them grow in confidence and I learnt so much from each baby.

When my second son was born in 2003, I felt more equipped and enjoyed massaging him from day one.

In 2014 I moved with my family from New Zealand to Oxford, UK. This move across the world gave me the opportunity to train with leading experts in Europe, the UK and USA.

Both personal and professional experiences were the catalyst behind becoming an author and professional speaker. Unable to work face-to-face during the pandemic I embarked on a journey of research and discovery.

I had found, like many practitioners, that physical ailments and discomforts often result from poor posture and lack of movement. Given we all have one thing in common – being bipedal and using our feet to transport and move ourselves this is where my curiosity lay. However, rather than looking at the adult foot it seemed to make sense to go back to the beginning – could I help prevent ‘adult-ills’?

It became clear during my research that there was more at stake than just what was happening for adults. I read articles and papers about the struggles of children with developmental delays, learning and behavioural challenges, and increasing numbers with anxiety related symptoms.

Searching for answers I discovered that these ‘struggles’ may result from something happening, or not happening during early development. Wanting to understand and makes sense of this I embarked on more training, this time in reflex integration and movement.

Working with families, helping and guiding parents in the first year through TOUCH and MOVEMENT can help prevent delays and challenges. My goal is to change the approach for parents and professionals alike to one of being PROACTIVE rather than reactive. Building strong foundations and connections during the period when a baby is finding their feet is when this can happen. 

Going right back to the beginning, where I started my journey, and my passion for prevention resulted in my book ’Finding Their Feet’. It is about the beginning of the journey, creating a solid foundation for a more resilient and healthy approach to life. And it is so much more than just about the feet, read more here.

I now life in Perth, Western Australia and am excited to be bringing my knowledge and work to this part of the world.

With ‘Finding Their Feet’ informing individual parents, carers, health practitioners and educators, I am on a mission to share the importance of the FEET and their link to building RESILIENCY in our children.

I love getting audiences up on their feet, especially those who are passionate about the first 1000 days, early development and bringing sustainable change to the children of tomorrow.

Babies use their feet every day from birth. This journey from womb to walking is full of ‘resiliency-rich’ moments. From the age of two, a child will take 5,000 steps each day on average. By the time they are thirty, they will have taken 51,100,000 steps, which could be as much as 40,000km (25,000miles).

Our feet play such an important role in our lives yet from the time we are born, they rarely receive the attention they deserve or need.

Finding Their Feet - Free Sample Chapter

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Finding Their Feet – Every Parents Guide to Milestones and Movement by Bernie Landels

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