Tag Archives: Circus


Happy Birthday Pauline!

Pauline Palacy was until a few years ago in no particular order, my cradle teacher, my flying trapeze teacher and one of my volunteers to practice on when I was training in massage and aromatherapy. Many of those who volunteered to be my case studies can not be named because they were patients at the in-patient mental health adolescent unit I worked at at the time.pauline

I am proud to have had Pauline as a friend over many years, starting from the days when The Circus Space was in North Road in Islington and if caught flyers would have their feet poking out of the door at the end if they made it to the catcher!

I have many happy memories of classes with Pauline who always had a great sense of humour and a huge font of wisdom built up over her years both as performer and as a teacher. I also believe that I was the last person ever to catch Pauline one day at TCS’s new home in Hoxton Square.

It was in Cradlepauline1, an individual class that I worked most closely with Pauline, and a number of flyers over the years, Rachel, Sarah, Sam, Charlie and Jane. I think I have missed one or two out!

Pauline also Came to mine and Ceri’s wedding in Trumpington, Cambridge. She can be seen here with Jane, my last cradle partner. I still sometimes wonder how far we would have gone had I not injured my knee! I know that there are many people I know and probably even more that I don’t who like me learned so much from Pauline and owe her a massive debt of gratitude.

I will end my saying a massive thank you to Pauline and the other volunteers when I was doing my massage and aromatherapy training. I also want to wish you a very happy birthday Pauline!


The Anatomy of Rest

Just been listening to this on BBC Radio4 and was struck by some of the figures from the survey they did on rest. 70% of people who responded felt they didn’t get enough rest. Also there were massive differences in what people did to rest. I can relate to that given that I used to do circus skills


as my main way to rest and still do some today. Reading came top of the list, followed by being in nature, Being on your own and music were next, both more popular in the younger age group. #5Doing nothing in particular, #6Walking, #7 Having a bath or showering, #8 Daydreaming #9 Watching TV and #10Meditating or practising mindfulness.

I haven’t yet looked at the results closely enough to see if they say where having a massage fits into the list but I know that for my clients both in Trumpington and in Central Cambridge it rates highly and some of my clients would if money was no object come every single day!

Massage especially when combined with Aromatherapy can be so much more than just resting for an hour or whatever the duration of the massage is. It can qualitatively enhance the quality of both rest and sleep outside of the session.

Do you get enough rest? When you do is it effective?

If the answer to either of these questions is no and you live in or near Cambridge,  then perhaps you should email dave@cambridgearomatherapy.com or phone 07939273569


Circus Space 25 years on.

I went to evening classes at The Circus Space,   (Now the National Centre for Circus Arts) for a little over 20 years. I loved my time there and as about five people there were case studies for my massage and aromatherapy training, it gave me a great insight into working with athletes. Make no mistake, some of those who train in circus are top athletes even if they never gain the recognition that those who go to the Olympics etc. do.

Yesterday I returned there for the first time in about four years for their 25th birthday party. I was one of about ten or twelve who remember the original building. It was wonderful to see so many old friends and to catch up with what they are all doing. Also a relief to hear so many people saying that there were lots of faces they couldn’t put names to! As one of the oldest there at 59 I feel I have some excuse!

So to all those whom I enjoyed playing with be it balancing, flying, cradle or any of the other disciplines I toyed with over the years, (That means most at one time or another) it was such fun and if you were there and I didn’t talk to you sorry. If you couldn’t make it I missed you, Especially Pauline who was my teacher for so many years and the Dudes.

Massage for rehabilitation.

This week I saw a client who had torn his anteria cruxiate ligament in a car crash. I can sympathise because I have torn the same ligament in my left knee though pursuing a somewhat different activity!

After his knee buckled under him he put his hand out when he fell and also fractured two bones in his wrist, something I have not done! This prompted him to have surgery on his knee which is something I have toyed with and would probably have had done if I wanted to go back to catching for flying trapeze!

The client as well as getting some pain in the relevant limbs also had back problems due to sleeping in awkward positions as a result of his injuries.

I used a combination of oils for both relaxation, increasing blood flow to the muscles in the area and tissue healing. Lavender, Roman Chamomile, and Rosemary were three of the oils used.

As usual I did a full body massage but I spent more time on the affected limbs and the back. With this type of injury, regular massage can be very useful in aiding recovery. I also suggested some stretching of the ham strings which were very tight. The client had been very active playing both football and basketball prior to the accident but like many had not really done enough stretching to balance out the muscle building work he had done.

I am looking forward to hearing from him again and finding out how he is doing. I know at least another eight or ten people who have had this injury, some of them gained it in the same way I did myself! Most but not all have had repairs done. One was back in action performing after three months but that was with around two – three hours of physio daily! Unless covered by specialist insurance which performers often have few are likely to be able to afford this and outside of those with the motivation to perform the will to go through such an intensive programme!