Jon Matson-Higgins – Principal, Senior Tutor & IQA
I was born and raised in Peterborough and moved to London in 1992 where I worked in a very demanding high profile job. Eventually, this lifestyle took its toll on my health and well-being – an all too familiar story these days.
It was because of this that I decided to give up my life and career in London, and move to Brighton for a more relaxed and peaceful lifestyle by the sea, and cherish the time with my family and friends. I love being by the sea and on the edge of the South Downs National Park and have found this incredibly calming and energising.
Before moving to London I was training as a nurse and realised very quickly that the general route was not for me. Instead, I went on to train in body massage at Peterborough City College. In 2006 I re-sat my qualifications, and have added new therapies and treatments since developing my skills and knowledge of the holistic, complementary and beauty industry.
Without even realising it, holistic health and the holistic approach has always played a part in my life, it was after my Reiki ‘attunement’ that my life pathway changed, and over the years my personal growth has been incredible. This wonderful energy has helped me to develop calmness and stillness and has helped me to recognise compassion for other people’s needs and give me the understanding for me to be a better person, practitioner and tutor. Also teaching me that being a dyslexic is not a problem, but a gift.
I have met many wonderful people on this very exciting journey and I have realised how powerful the gift of holistic energy really is and how rewarding life can be as a holistic practitioner and tutor. I was honoured to be awarded Commended Tutor for the Federation of Holistics Therapists in 2012. In 2015 I was humbled when the Federation of Holistics Therapists made me a Fellow Member, also in 2015, I was awarded FHT Excellence in Practice – Advocate. I am also registered with the Reiki Federation as a Reiki Master Teacher.
I have worked within the training industry since 2002, training people of all ages and with very different learning needs. Brighton Holistics is the highest accredited complementary therapy training schools in Sussex with all courses being accredited by the International Therapy Examination Council (ITEC), Vocational Training Charitable Trust (VTCT), the Federation of Holistics Therapists (FHT), and Qualsafe. I’m a great believer that training should be fun and informative. I hold a City & Guilds Certificate in Education & Training (CET) Level 4 and am also a qualified A1 Assessor and Internal Quality of Assurance Officer I am also registered with the Institute for Learning (IFL).
Historically I have sat Management Committee for UK Reiki Federation as Vice-Chair and as a member of UK Reiki Council
We are currently working on a very worthy and important Community Project based in South Africa, for further information on this project please click here and help if you can, every little helps.
Ryan Matson-Higgins – Deputy Principal & Assessor
I’ve worked for Brighton Holistics since the very start, offering administrative support to Jon and the team and helping out where I could. Over the years I have become more involved and have started to train more and more, and now teach many of our short courses like Bamboo Massage, Hot Stone Massage and Advanced/Deep Tissue massage as well as our Level 3 body and sports massage qualification courses. I am also a qualified assessor and have been assessing for about 4 years.
I love being able to actually help my own clients with their aches and pains and making them feel better which often changes their lives as well as being able to pass on the knowledge I have which means other people can do the same.
I also work part-time as a long-haul cabin crew and as part of my training I have completed a full first aid qualification and do annual refresher training as well as regularly dealing with first aid situations on board. I have found that I became very interested in first aid and the importance of knowing what to do in emergencies and love to be able to pass on that knowledge in the hopes that it will help other people. Being a fully qualified first aid instructor for Brighton Holistics, I hope that I will be able to teach as many people as possible these important life skills.
Donna Winwood – Reflexology Tutor
I was born in the Caribbean and moved to London then onto Essex where I grew up.
I left school to work as a Nursery Nurse for a holiday company before joining the NHS as a cervical and breast screening manager.
After having children I realised I wanted to spend time with them so returned to work with pre-school children within a private nursery where I was a deputy manager. I continued to work with pre-school, primary age, and children with special educational needs as my family grew up. I continue to teach parenting classes and work with families providing advice and support through schools.
Having had an interest in alternative holistic therapies I decided to retrain in 2007 following an introduction to reflexology and a personal experience of its benefits. Since then I have continued to train in other holistic practices including palliative care.
In 2011 I began volunteering with the local hospice offering reflexology, I went on to be involved in the forefront of developing community services for the local hospice and visiting people in their homes providing relieving therapies for patients with life-limiting illness and their families.
I have also been running my own practice offering a range of complementary therapies since 2008.
Ginny Taylor – Reflexology Tutor
Originally from Tunbridge Wells, I have lived in both the South East and Norfolk and now enjoy life in Uckfield where I have my own clinic. I qualified as a reflexologist in 2003 and have been practising reflexology continuously ever since.
I wanted to be a nurse when I left school but became a training manager for a global medical insurer and whilst there, gained Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development membership.
I am passionate about complementary therapies and how they can help you feel better and improve the quality of life. It has been intrinsic for me and I have found various treatments invaluable when recovering from illnesses and accidents throughout my and my family’s lives.
After a career break for children, I was, like many other parents, wanting to find work that fitted around school hours. I saw a small local advert for reflexology and following a gentle push from my family and a psychic oven cleaner (that’s another story!), I qualified as a reflexologist in 2003.
Continued professional development is important to me and I’ve furthered my reflexology skills with professional courses including hot stone and facial reflexology, foot reading as well Usui Reiki II and crystal healing.
I have a very bouncy Cocker Spaniel who enjoys long walks more than I do. I am also a trustee at a local volunteer centre in Uckfield where I help out in my spare time!
With over 16 years of experience in reflexology, I am delighted to be part of the team at Brighton Holistics to help train the next generation of therapists and look forward to meeting you.
I’m also the area Ambassador for the Association of Reflexologists (AoR)
Jenny Wood – Complementary Therapy Tutor
I was born and raised in the Brighton area. My working life began by qualifying as a dental nurse at Guys Hospital in London, and over the years in dentistry, I worked in post-operative recovery and as a Dental health educator.
In 1990 I married and in 1997 gave birth to my son. After having him I got involved in education and studied as a Dyslexia and Dyspraxia specialist at the University of Brighton, I have worked for many years in a large primary school as nature and pastoral support leader. I am still actively involved in the school as a parent support worker and until recently was a school governor.
I decided a few years ago that I needed to have a change of direction and to be my own boss. I went back to the University of Brighton and studied for a science degree in complementary healthcare, it was during this time that my passion for many therapies came to the fore particularly interest in Reflexology and Aromatherapy. I have studied Chinese medicine and find that I use my skills a huge amount in my own practice.
I hold a Level 5 diploma in Soft Tissue therapy which incorporates sports massage and run my own busy practice in Eastbourne.
I came into soft tissue work partly by accident! With a corporate background, I had a desire, as many of us do, to leave the rat race.
I was very much into fitness and decided to train and gain a qualification as a personal trainer. It was whilst I was waiting for the course to start that I looked around for something to compliment it.
Whilst I was working as a PT and growing my fitness business I attended a year-long soft tissue course.
I threw myself enthusiastically into practice seeing double the number of ‘practice’ clients I was expected to see.
Very quickly I realised not only did I enjoy helping people in this way more but I also had a natural aptitude for it.
I now specialise in identifying and treating injuries and believe the best way to develop as a therapist is to treat and gain hands-on experience. Academic knowledge is useful but nothing beats directly acquired knowledge. I no longer work as a PT myself but instead enjoy a strong working relationship with a number of other fitness professionals whose trust I have gained by working with and ‘fixing’ their clients.
Denise Power – Sports Massage Therapy Tutor & Assessor
As a child I always wanted to be a nurse, so after leaving college I started my General Nurse training at Hastings School of Nursing which eventually became Brighton Institute of Nursing and Midwifery.
I gained my qualification and joined the Nursing Register in 1995, with my first position being in Radiology, Trauma and Orthopaedics. During this time I developed a keen interest in the muscles, bones, function and movement of the human form.
In 1997 the opportunity arose to take a position in the Operating Theatres where I was able to get to know the human form both inside and out!
In my spare time I enjoy Obstacle Course Racing, Marathon running and Bootcamp fitness. However, these activities take their toll on the body and I eventually managed to strain a calf muscle for which I sought the help of a Sports Massage Therapist. I was so impressed with the effects of the treatment that I wondered if it was something I could learn to do, once again using my caring nature to help others.
I signed up for the Level 3 Sports Massage Diploma at Brighton Holistics and on meeting Jon, Ryan and the team I knew I had made the right decision.
I have since studied Sports Massage up to Level 5 so when Jon approached me with the suggestion of becoming a Tutor at Brighton Holistics I felt it would be the perfect opportunity to share the knowledge that I have gained on my alternate career path, helping others to help others!
Eugény Couture – Aromatherapy Tutor
Eugény graduated in Holistic Massage from the Bristol College of Massage and Bodywork in 2013 (MTI), and in Aromatherapy from the Jotra institute in 2014 (ITEC). She was immediately employed as an In-House Aromatherapist for the cosmetic brand, Amphora Aromatics, where she got to film promotional movies, write press articles and also develop new cosmetic ranges as well as helping to improve existing ones by making their composition greener. This work allowed her to receive a series of awards delivered by the specialised press.
Moving forward as a freelance Consultant Aromatherapist, she accepted a position of Head Therapist for a renowned Spa in Bath, where she helped launch the new venue, secure business and spent the following 2 years travelling and appearing in the press and on stage, all while still delivering treatments, managing the therapists team in the Spa and qualifying in more holistic therapies as part of her continual professional development. Keen to challenge herself further, she finally moved in Hove in 2017 and now runs a successful complementary massage practice from the Tree Of Life Integrated Health Centre in Hove.
Simone Stevens – Aromatherapy Tutor
Originally from West Sussex, I have lived in Brighton for over 12 years now.
I studied Public Relations at the University of Lincoln and since gaining my degree have worked in PR, marketing and digital for the beauty industry. Over the last 12 years this has given me an opportunity to work with many well-known natural and organic skincare and wellness brands, whilst gaining a detailed understanding of essential oils and other natural beauty and wellbeing therapies.
A few years ago, I decided to take this passion to the next level and have since qualified as an aromatherapist and also in body massage. Now providing treatments and creating bespoke aromatherapy products, whilst still having a hand in the world of beauty and wellbeing marketing and communications.
I also continue to develop in holistic therapies such as facials, reiki and crystal healing.
Sue Matson – Course Bookings & Administration
I have been involved with Brighton Holistics since day one, offering support to the Brighton Holistics team when and where i can.
I have recently retired and now have more time, so have taken more responsibility and will be dealing with all the course bookings administration.
I also help Jon & Ryan with the South African Community Project.