Gill Tree launches a campaign to make the UK a Pro-Touch Society

Gill Tree launches a campaign to make the UK a Pro-Touch Society

Gill Tree,  founder and owner of Essentials for Health, one of the UK’s most successful massage Schools, has now turned campaigner. Gill has launched a major initiative to boost the massage industry in the UK and encourage the UK to become a more Pro-Touch Society.  She is gaining support for the campaign from practitioners, professional bodies within the CAM industry and is in dialogue with charities supporting people with long term conditions. 

Gill has written the Pro-Touch Society Manifesto and conducted research into benefits of encouraging appropriate touch for individuals and society as a whole.

“We need to create a cultural shift that recognises the crucial importance of touch for our mental and physical wellbeing and embrace the professional role of the Massage therapist as a catalyst for the release of stress, tension and stimulated good health”. Gill Tree

The Manifesto is created with the view that Massage is not a luxury, reward or treat for the few, but an essential, cost effective and often cost saving therapy for health establishments.

“Half of all GP appointments, and £7 in every £10 spent on health and social care, is taken up caring for people living with long-term conditions. As the population  ages, the proportion of people affected and the demand on health and social services will continue to rise. A growing body of evidence shows that, done properly, a system that supports people with long-term conditions to manage their own health has benefits for the person, their health and for health services.


The Manifesto seeks to raise the professional status and recognition of the Massage industry and to influence society to become a more nurturing and pro-touch. Gill is pushing for Massage to be more frequently considered particularly for chronic (long-term) conditions where GP’s have identified gaps in their effectiveness. These include: Arthritis, back pain and other musculoskeletal disorders, stress, anxiety and depression, cancer, heart conditions, stroke, irritable bowel syndrome, skin conditions and insomnia.


Massage provides a preventative role in health care whilst also reducing the symptoms of many diseases and disorders. It is widely used in managing back pain, has a role to play in reducing absenteeism at work and is employed in specialist hospitals in assisting in recovery from treatment and surgery. It can raise self esteem and self worth amongst the sick, mentally ill and elderly and is widely provided throughout the UK in hospices often by massage therapists who volunteer their time to improve quality of life and reduce the pain and suffering of the terminally ill.

“At least one in four people in England are thought to have used complementary or alternative therapy in the past year. In recent surveys, 85 per cent of medical students, 76 per cent of GPs and 69 per cent of hospital doctors have said they feel that complementary therapies should be made available on the NHS.”

6 key areas of work will begin to:

1.  Make Massage and other touch therapies more accessible in a balanced health care system via the National Health Service and Private Medical Health Insurance

2. Raise the professional status of the massage industry and increase the recognition for the way the industry is contributing to and supporting society

3. Build a statistical awareness of the economic and therapeutic value that massage has in society and organise a campaign to educate society to demonstrate how Massage and touch are not a luxury

4.  Reduce the limitations and damage caused by regulations and ‘duties of care’ that prevent instinctive and natural touch in our institutions and by service providers

5. Reduce and prevent inappropriate touch through empowering the receiver to say no

6. Provide a mechanism for ‘Massage For All’ to ensure the vulnerable and poor in society still have access when needed and make massage and the power of touch accessible at the point of need

The first wave activity is a petition to bring about a House of Commons debate with the goal of making prescriptions for Massage Therapy to be available from GPs

Gill celebrates 21 years at the helm of Essentials for Health this year; she hopes her work for making the UK a Pro-Touch Society will be a legacy she will be remembered for.

Your readers can begin to support this work initially by signing my petition and sending it out to family and friends

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