Published: September 24, 2020 | Updated: September 24, 2020

“I love what I do” says Claire as she practises the Light Touch in her garage massage space

Claire Cannie, Light Touch Massage Therapy: “It’s the most rewarding job I’ve ever done.” Picture: Dorset Biz News.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

How many people can genuinely say they love their job?

Step forward Claire Cannie.

The 35-year-old mother of two runs her own business, Light Touch Massage Therapy.

She specialises in prenatal, postnatal and deep tissue massage therapy and bodywork.

Two years ago Claire gained the Wellmother Diploma, regarded as one of the most rigorous pregnancy massage qualifications in the world.

But it’s taken 17 years to reach the point where Claire can fully declare: “I love what I do.”

Poole born and bred she worked in insurance and then Dorset Probation Service before having her first child, Phoebe, now aged seven.

And life changed.

Claire said: “The job became a lot harder mentally and emotionally and took its toll.

“I went off and completed a pregnancy massage course.

“I felt I could build a massage career around my probation job with a view to eventually leaving the service.

“That was 2014 and Light Touch Massage Therapy was born.

“It was hard, working days at probation and then, in the evening, mobile appointments massaging pregnant ladies.

“But the massage business grew and I began working at an osteopath clinic on a Monday evening and Saturday morning as well as doing mobile appointments.”

In 2016, Claire’s second daughter, Amber, now aged four, arrived.

Claire decided to leave the probation service and take up more hours at the osteopath clinic in the evening while doing mobile massage appointments by day.

For good measure, Claire also created the Dorset Bump to Baby Show with a friend.

The event, which ended up at Bournemouth Pavilion, attracted 70 pre and postnatal related exhibitors with talks and workshops.

So to this year.

Claire, who was still doing mobile and clinic-based appointments, underwent major abdominal surgery.

The week she was due back at the clinic coincided with the start of the lockdown.

Like many, the following nine weeks spent with her husband, Stuart, and two daughters proved a turning point.

Claire said: “As with many families we reassessed our priorities and what was important to us.

“Not one for sitting around we decided to convert part of our garage at home into a massage space.

“It means I don’t have to do mobile appointments anymore and can work from home as well as better controlling the environment I’m working from.

“When we given the go-ahead by the government to continue, I launched the opening of my new space and left the osteopath clinic.

“I now work solely from my massage space in Upton.

“I have people coming to me who are not pregnant and need to relieve tension in their neck and shoulders, particularly office workers or people who get headaches or have injuries.

“My pregnant ladies want relaxation but also help with specific problems such as sciatica, SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunction) and Carpal tunnel syndrome to name just three.”

Claire uses massage balms crafted by professional aromatherapist Olivia Chapman in her Bridport workshop under the brand name Oleo Bodycare.

“I’ve always had lots of compliments about them and I’m looking to develop closer links with Olivia,” said Claire.

So, back to that question of loving the job.

Claire said: “It’s the most rewarding job I’ve ever done.

“To have someone enter my room, in pain or stress, and to see them walk out feeling revived, able to move, relaxed and so appreciative.

“I have wonderful reviews on my Facebook page and a very loyal following of clients.

“I feel exceptionally lucky to have been able to build a life for myself that revolves around my family and creates a great work/life balance.

“Not that I feel my work is work because, yes, I do love what I do.”