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I've set up this page to help provide you with more information about my work as a LGBTQ+ Specialist Advanced Clinical Massage Therapist, what my sessions look like and to explore some of the key ways I use my specialism to work with your body and health needs.

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About Me

about me


My name is Ana.  My pronouns are she/her/they/them. I’m Advanced Clinical Massage Therapist specialising in Transgender patients.  And very proudly, I founded Silk.

Many years ago before I was a massage therapist, I worked in frontline trauma.  After years of service, I bowed out and was left with this deep need to heal and be soothed.  As a Queer person with my own issues and experiences of trauma around my body and my identity, I struggled to find wellbeing support.  Not only were the practices on offer non-inclusive and lacked clinical awareness of LGBTQ+ specific and prevalent health issues, but the ways in which wellbeing practices were delivered were at complete odds with everything I knew about how to work with trauma.


Trauma doesn’t adhere to “no pain no gain”. It adheres to quite the opposite - it’s needs gentleness and trust, it needs to feel seen in all its parts, and it needs its nervous system to be made safe again.  But the opposite was happening.  LGBTQ+ people weren’t able to access wellbeing service due to a lack of awareness around health issues we as a demographic faced.  I realised that it wasn’t just my own trauma which wasn’t being considered in the wellbeing world, but the trauma of others too. 

As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I was deeply familiar with the devastating impacts of marginalisation.  I had grown up on the end of section 28 and whilst the legislation was no longer active when I was in high school, its  claws had lingered in education and impacted my teenage years.  Difficult feelings around my body and identity had set in and now, in desperate need of soothing and care, I found the wellbeing world ill equipped.  


There was no talk of embodied trauma.  There was no conversation around the ways in which Queer peoples bodies may need a different level of awareness.  No one was talking about how to work with skin grafts from gender affirming surgeries.  No one was talking about how hormones change the muscle tissue.  No was talking about how fear of homophobia and transphobia in healthcare shadows ahead of you and puts your body into the sympathetic nervous system before the practitioner even touches you.  No one was talking active consent.

Years after the AIDS crisis, it felt like lessons still had not been learned and the wellbeing industry still wasn’t talking about Queers.  We still weren’t seen and our well being needs were still being missed.

From my spare room, I embarked on the clinical hours necessary to qualify as a massage therapist.  I completed all my case studies on Transgender clients; many of whom are still my clients to this day and by the time I graduated, I had a waiting list and a fully booked clinic.  My work remained centred around the needs of LGBTQ+ people and I brought in my experiences working in frontline trauma to create a style of massage which soothed the nervous system whilst providing clinical relief of pain and tension.  I became the anti-deep pressure poster child!I experimented with all the things we get told not to do as massage therapists - I introduced safe topics of conversations for nervous clients such as Pokemon, internet cats and the best flavours of bubble tea.  I played lofi, death metal and Bach. I stopped tucking towels into peoples underwear and instead wrapped them up in blankets like burritos.  I explained peoples pain patterns to them and showed them how to do the lowest energy level stretches from their bed.   I welcomed sex workers and created an environment where they could talk honestly about their bodies.  Nothing was TMI.  It all worked and I became very busy because despite how out there some of my ideas were, my clients were leaving pain free.

5 years on I am a specialist in Transgender bodies, have written chapters for textbooks, co-wrote on the worlds first qualification in LGBTQ+ bodies for manual therapists and was awarded the FHT’s Inclusive Therapy Business of The Year.  My practice left my spare room and I moved to a city centre clinic to continue my work.  It grew and grew, with clients flying in from all over the world and my work being used internationally across manual therapies.  In 2023, the idea to open Silk started up and I started to daydream about something which could hold more practitioners, more practices, and serve the wellbeing needs of LGBTQ+ community in all the ways they deserved.

Back at the very start of my massage career, my teacher Michael Gibbons said to me “anyone can learn massage techniques, but it is how you interpret them which makes the difference.”  That has always stayed with me and Silk is my interpretation. I believe wellbeing should be for everyone but that this is only possible when we make deliberate and active efforts to break down the obstacles that keep marginalised communities out.   I am so proud of Silk and everything she is.


Ana x

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