JULIE KEEPS UP THE PRESSURE AT WORK
(Evening Advertiser 6th
Julie Nicholls knows all about the stresses and strains of
running a business.
Her business is to help others overcome these problems.
Called Natural Therapy,
the potential of her firm has already been
recognised by Livewire, the business organisation
for young people
sponsored by Shell. Livewire has presented Julie, 25, with an award
best new business in North Wiltshire.
Julie, a registered general nurse launched the
business last autumn
under the wing of Great
Western enterprise- the Swindon-based small
business help organisation.
She saw a gap in the market for remedial
massage and realised many people
needed help overcoming the
pressures of modern business life, from stress to
injury. So far she has worked mainly on an individual basis but
hopes soon to sign up with local firms to help employees. She is
also going to
work soon from the chiropractic clinic in Swindon
Road, Stratton St. Margaret soon.
Belgian-born Julie had to submit her business plan to the Livewire
judges before being
entered for the award. Remedial Massage, she
says, has long been ignored as a way
of relieving stress and helping
conditions such as arthritis and back pain- as well as relaxing
stressed-out business people.
Anyone wishing to find out more can contact Julie on 01793 495551
JULIE IS CARD SHARP
(Evening Advertiser 10-2-95)
Natural therapist Julie Nicholls has come up with an alternative
gift for Valentines day,
guaranteed to relax the most stressed-out
Julie has teamed-up with Swindon-based graphic
design firm The
Drawing Room, to produce
gift vouchers which can be used for
Remedial Massage to treat arthritis, back pain,
repetitive strain injuries or stress. The vouchers, priced £17,
for sale in
Holland & Barrett, Pulse and the
Clinic, in Stratton St Margaret.
They can be exchanged for a one-hour treatment and Julie, a former
registered general nurse,
who has worked in Swindon for two years,
believes they are a good introduction to
Natural Therapy. “I’ve
treated people aged between 19 and 85 and it is really beneficial,”
said Julie, who works from the Chiropractic Clinic and from home.
“I’m launching these in
time for Valentines day because what could
be more beneficial than helping someone get
rid of their tension.”
She approached Alan Read and Charlotte Devulder
who run The Drawing
Room and asked
them to design some cards. They came up with a number
of ideas from which she chose
BUSINESS WAS REAL TONIC FOR NURSE JULIE
(Swindon Business - business news - July 1996)
Enterprising Julie Nicholls is well on the way to achieving her goal
This 28-year old has already made her mark on the business world
by being the North
Wiltshire winner of the 1994 Live-Wire Business
Start-Up Awards and more recently a
finalist in the Wiltshire
Business of the Year awards organised by the Evening Advertiser.
Julie set up and runs the Natural Therapy Centre at the Bentley
Centre, Stratton Road,
She is qualified in remedial massage, which is recognised to help
back and sciatic pain,
arthritis, sport injuries and stress. Julie
is also a qualified nurse but decided that working
in the health
service was not for her because she wanted her own business.
She began working for herself at the Chiropractic Clinic in
Swindon ,before last year
moving into the Bentley Centre and finding
12 other alternative therapists to
join her. Now, she alone has a
135-strong client list which is growing all the time.
She said: “My long term ambition is to find suitable premises
that can be turned into a
devoted centre for alternative therapies.
We have just completed our first year here and the
best thing that
has happened is that we are now becoming known. My aim is to win
new client every week and so far I have managed to achieve that.”
The two therapy rooms that Julie rents at The Bentley Centre are
all the therapists who have been allocated time slots
to use them.
Julie is keen to develop her business with companies
by taking the
Centre’s services to them, instead of the client
coming to the centre. She also
offers clients a mail order service
for orthopaedic aids, herbal products and food
supplements as well
as gift vouchers for any of the therapies available.
GENTLE MANIPULATION IS THE KEY
Trager Approach techniques used today were created
and developed over a period of
65 years by Milton Trager, who himself
continued practising until he was 89.
They combine gentle, relaxing manipulation called tablework, with
called Mentastics. In tablework the person receiving the treatment lies comfortably on
special padded table wearing loose clothes.
Each person brings with them an individual history.
Their body is
unique.The qualified Trager
practitioner is aware of this and will treat a
person according to what they find.
and gentle manipulation of limbs and joints the
practitioner works through natural paths of
No attempt is made to put strain or fore on the
receiver's body and
the movements induce
deep relaxation, increased physical mobility
and mental clarity.
The aim of the tablework session is to promote a state of mental and
in the person receiving the treatment by
releasing built up patterns
of tension in the joints and muscles of
EASE YOUR PAIN AT A TOUCH
Mental Gymnastics promotes good health
Singers Neil Sedaka and Linda Ronstadt have
more than finely tuned
voices in common.
Their bodies also sing from the same song
thanks to a little
know relaxation technique.
The Trager Approach aims to relieve pain
by correcting he cause of
problems, rather than treating the symptoms.
Therapist Julie Nicholls, who practises the technique
at The Bentley
in Stratton Road, Swindon,
helps her clients regain
physical, mental and
Neil Sedaka says in a testimonial on the Trager website:
“I am most
enthusiastic about Mentastics , I am always left with a feeling of
lightness and freedom of movement.
While Linda Ronstadt says: “Trager works is an invaluable aid for
It relaxes the throat muscles and positions the larynx
for extended range
and better breath support. I rely on it.”
Whether you are trying to improve your karaoke skills
alleviate aches and pains
the unusual technique is worth
experiencing. There are two aspects of Trager- one where
is passive and the other in which they are active.
The passive aspect is usually
referred to as the tablework, and the
active aspect is called Mentastics.
The technique was the brainchild of Milton Trager,
who, in spite of
being born with a
congenital spinal deformity in Chicago 1908,
achieved the athletic, graceful body of a
dancer and gymnast.
He discovered the approach while he was training to be a boxer in
his late teens and began practising on thousands of people.
It sounds strange that a
soft touch, almost like a stroking action,
can ease back pain just as well as a good,
deep massage. But as
Julie explained, the client has more to do in her sessions than
lying back on the massage couch.
Julie, who trained as a nurse but became a Trager therapist nine
said: “Mentastics is like mental gymnastics and is an
I ask the client to think of their pain, for
example in their back, and recognise
the way it feels when there is
no pain". It sounds simple but it really helps.
If the client can
explain how it feels they are on the right track to
finding out the
cause and correcting it.”
After the Mentastics segment of the
treatment, the client
the massage couch where Julie starts to work her
magic. It feels as
though she is literally stroking away the pain, coaxing the body to
“Forget about no pain, no gain.” Julie said. “Trager is more about
no pain, more gain.
We have to learn to take pauses in life. You can
lose track of the goals
if you don’t take a step back every now and
After one side of the body has
been worked on, Julie holdsup a
mirror asking the client to see how they look.
It may seem odd, but
when you know what she is talking about you realise that
side is visibly lengthened, as though the bones and muscles are able
After the session, which costs £20 per half an hour, you are left
an almost floating feeling- and seemingly about three inches
For more information call Julie on 01793 495551
GENTLE LEGACY OF A
(Evening Advertiser Tuesday
28th July 1998)
In 1925 a young boxer began
developing a more gentle massage system.
SHIRLEY MATHIAS meets one
of the UK’s 14 practitioners: -
It’s called “psychophysical
integration” and it
was devised by a Chicago boxer who later
Former nurse Julie Nicholls, of
the Natural Therapy Centre in Shrivenham Road, Swindon,
is one of
only 14 people in Britain who are qualified to do it professionally. Actually it’s muscle
and hands-on therapy named after Dr Milton Trager, who discovered it
and intuition when he was
an 18-year-old fighter in
training to be a professional
in the ring.
Dr. Trager, who spent most of
his life developing and teaching his touch therapy alongside
medical practice, died a year ago at the age of 90. His system uses light,
hand contact and gentle manipulation instead of the heavy
pressure of other massage
systems. The aim is to influence and
interrupt deep-seated psychological and emotional
patterns which can
cause bad posture, distortion of muscles and joints and eventually
physical pain. The therapy also improves
Julie, 30, is planning a series
of introductory and training courses to introduce the unique
to Swindon people. She has helped to sort out
everything from bad backs and bad
temper. She hopes other people will be
interested in becoming Trager practitioners.
Julie is the only one
in Wiltshire, “and there’s more work in this area than I can do,”
she said. Julie, who was born in Belgium
and has worked in Switzerland, came to
Swindon five years ago to be
with her boyfriend Chris Brown, who is now her husband.
Treatment sessions last for at
least 90 minutes. Her first introduction to
is on Saturday, from 9.30am until 5pm.
More information from Julie
Nicholls, Natural Therapy Centre, The Bentley Centre,
Swindon (01793 495551) or visit
THE TRAGER SYSTEM WORKS
The Trager system aims to
release tight muscles, locked joints and even taut emotions
manipulating the body within a pain-free range of movement. No massage oils are used
the client doesn’t even
need to undress completely. Besides the gentle massage,
clients are taught Mentastics – Trager’s
word for mental gymnastics,
a system of
effortless movement sequences designed to maintain and
enhance the improvements
which are produced on
the massage table.
“It’s more of a lesson than a treatment,”
said Julie. “Pain is the last symptom
appears and the first to disappear.
You might well be left with
injured muscles, even though you
aren’t feeling any
more pain, so it
is important to know how to maintain the benefits of the treatment.”
SHAPE UP WITHOUT THE STRAIN
(Evening advertiser August 2002)
While many of us risk strains or even pulled muscles with punishing
sessions in the gym,
there is a therapy in Swindon that offers
increased physical and mental well-being without
the burn. Trager and Mentastics are innovative therapies, originally from
combine gentle relaxing manipulation of the
body-Trager, with self-care mental
Key benefits of Trager and Mentastics include
reduced stress and
suppleness, deep relaxation, increased energy
levels and recovery from injury. Students
of the therapies and people just wishing to find out
more about them gathered at Lainsmead
Primary School in Eastern
Avenue for a day-long workshop, organised by local Swindon
Julie Nicholls, 34.
The workshop was led by the Austrian Trager and Mentastics
instructor Hadi Stieg-Breuss,
who helped the students explore
movements of their arms, hands, back and heads.
Ms. Nicholls, who practises as a therapist in the Bentley Centre
in Stratton Road,
said the workshop was a success.
“I’ve run several of these workshops since 1997. They’re a lot of
fun, very relaxing and people who
have not done Trager or Mentatics
before, say that
the day really puts them in contact with their
“Trager and Mentastics look at the individual’s body,” she
continues, “If the person is suffering
any pain, it seeks to help
them change the ways in which their bodies work for them. It’s about
moving so you feel effortless.
“The principles of Trager study weight, space, breathing, pauses
and movement. It’s about
how to get into positions without having to
force them. If a person has pain, they hold on to
that muscle, tense it, stress about it, even get depressed and that pain can rule their
“We help them to look at what’s happening in their bodies and
ways in which moving
differently may help - if you move more freely,
life can feel wonderful. Julie plans to hold
another workshop in
November and would like to hear from anyone who would like
part. The session will be open to everyone, children included,
must be old enough to follow movement directions.
For more information contact Julie on 01793 495551
NO NEED TO SUFFER
(Evening Advertiser 1st August 2006)
Do you put up with pain because you think it’s just part of life?
There is an alternative,
reports Graham Carter.
Have you heard the one about the 90 year old woman who went to the
doctor’s complaining of a sore knee.
The doctor told her that it was only expected that
such an old lady
should have aches and pains.
“Well, that can’t be right,” said the old lady.
“because I’ve had my
other knee 90 years as well
- and that’s perfectly all right.”
Julie Nicholls doesn’t tell her clients this story to
get a laugh.
She tells them to make a point
about the alternative treatments she
offers which go under the umbrella of ‘Natural Therapy.’
And the message is that you don’t have to suffer. Julie says that
many of the problems people
have are a result of stress, or
something that has occurred in their past - what you call a hang-up.
And this can manifest itself in may different ways, from seemingly
unconnected niggly ailments
to major emotional and psychological
But Natural Therapy is all about treating causes, not symptoms.
Take neck and shoulders.
“People think it’s only natural that the
stress they have ends up in their neck and shoulders,”
“If you look at people, you can often see them walking about, all
hunched up as
if they are carrying burden of their problems on their
“But if you relax your shoulders and raise your head, it’s possible
to make the stress slip
away and disappear. “It’s wrong to think
that it has to end up somewhere in your body.”
Julie’s therapy is based on the technique she trained in
originally, called Trager, although
she has now added various other
strings to her bow by applying what she has learned from
people with more complex problems, such as post traumatic stress
Listening skills, a common sense approach and a
gift for ‘reading’
her clients’ situations
are just as important.
Other techniques she can use include Eye Movement
and Reprocessing (EMDR), in which clients follow the movement
fingers with their eyes. This is believed to help by alternatively
left and right sides of the brain.
All these approaches are straightforward and
stress-free but the
they have in common is they turn the idea of ‘no pain, no
on its head. They tackle problems not by meeting
them head-on in an unpleasant
way but by extracting positives and
building on them.
Expect an ultimately enjoyable experience.
Whether you are trying to address
a physical or emotional problem,
the treatment often involves gentle manipulation
of joints and
Julie holds a limb, tells the patient to let her take the weight,
and encourages them
to relax. This seems easy. but Julie is
extremely adept at ’reading’ your level of
relaxation-and just when
you think you’ve “let go” she shows you that you haven’t.
Eventually, by making you more and more relaxed, you reach a feeling
After this the trick is to “capture” this feeling Julie trains her
clients to reproduce it at will,
although it may take some practice
and might require a few sessions.
The technique can
even be used for people who are faced with
specific problems, such as job interviews or
having to make a
In the end, Julie’s approach succeeds because it addresses
practically and logically. without
requiring that leap of faith that is necessary in other
Natural Therapy can take the weight off your shoulders - and in
ways than one.
To find out more phone Julie Nicholls on 01793 495551or visit