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Well Mother Teachers

Due to the increasing interest in the Well Mother approach, in 2006 Suzanne began a teacher training programme. Due to increased demand a new teacher training programme started in May 2014. Any new teachers would need to apply individually For more information on the teacher training programme

The first teachers came from the UK. However, over the years, Well Mother has developed internationally and there are now teachers who support Well Mother work in different languages and in different countries. Suzanne usually does the bulk of the teaching on the longer courses, especially for Shiatsu practitioners. However, increasingly other teachers are offering foundation courses or teaching days on some courses, especially for midwives.  Other teachers may teach half to a full day on the courses or act as an assistant to Suzanne on larger groups. Teachers also run workshops in their local area and offer CPD – on going supervision and study groups for those who have already attended a Well Mother training. Anne Badger developed the Infant Massage course with Suzanne Yates and they co -teach this course in Bristol, UK.

Suzanne Yates

Suzanne Yates BA (Hons), PGCE(PCET),MRSS(T), DipHSEC, DipAPNT, CNHC registered, AOBTA honorary member, Founder of Well Mother

suzanne_yates_smEven though it has been over 30 years since I discovered shiatsu, I am still amazed by its power and simplicity. It reaffirms for me how important it is to stay connected with the traditional wisdom of our ancestors, and be able, in this high-tech world, to tune into our bodies and work with our own healing power. I am also in awe of the impact of our time in the womb on the whole of the rest of our lives. Working in the maternity period for me is not just important for supporting women but also for the baby at the beginning of their life. Working with my students and other non pregnant clients, I find that the experience of pregnancy and birth is always relevant. My passion is in integrating eastern and western approaches to provide holistic maternity care and collaborating with relevant health professionals to do this.

As well as my clinical work in Bristol, I run training courses world wide for massage/shiatsu therapists, midwives and childbirth educators. My first book “Shiatsu for Midwives” was published in 2003 and since then I have published “Beautiful Birth” for parents and “Pregnancy and Childbirth” for practitioners working with maternity clients. I am  currently developing other texts and resources.

Longer biography for Suzanne Yates Contact Suzanne

Teachers in the UK

Heidi Armstrong IIHHT MTI MRSS (T), Bath

Heidi teaches Massage and pregnancy courses, as well as Reflexology and Pregnancy. 

I have been working as a complementary therapist since 1993. I started studying Shiatsu in 1995 qualifying in 2001 and going on to do postgraduate training including a pregnancy course with Suzanne Yates and the Well Mother organization. It seemed only natural for me that part of my work would focus on pregnancy as my journey into becoming a complementary therapist started after the birth of my first child in 1992. I have worked with massage, aromatherapy and reflexology. The main focus of my work now is shiatsu. Through out my next two pregnancies I found receiving treatments helped enormously for me to integrate the emotional transitions and support my health.

To be able to assist and teach such inspiring work with Suzanne and the well mother team is an exciting part of my work. I started teaching for the Bath school of Shiatsu in at the begining of 2006 and teach all levels from the foundation to third year where I teach the pregnancy module of the course. As well as teaching for the Bath school and for Well Mother, I run a successful private practice including specailist pregnancy work, Birth Preparation classes and baby shiatsu. Tel 07746374507

Anne Badger, Bristol

Anne runs the infant massage courses with Suzanne

Hello my name is Anne Badger and I help teach on the APNT Massage in Pregnancy courses, baby shiatsu and CPD days in Bristol. I also co created and co teach with Suzanne on the Infant Massage course. I initially trained in Aromatherapy at ITHMA in London in 1994 and became really interested in pregnancy, labour and postnatal work when I had my own children in 1997 and 2000.

As well as offering pregnancy and postnatal massage I also have been making up aromatherapy blends for use in labour and the early postnatal period for over ten years and I offer birth preparation sessions. I trained with Suzanne in 2000 and became a Wellmother teacher in 2006. Massage has always played such an important part in my children’s lives and I am keen to promote this in the other aspects of my work. I teach baby massage and baby shiatsu classes and am an instructor with the massage in schools programme. My contact details are email: Tel 07706 094 6986

Gail Bovenizer, Dublin

Gail organises and assists on the courses in Ireland

I am a mother of two schools-going twin girls and have been running Harmony Yoga Ireland since 2003. Harmony Yoga Ireland specialises in classes and teacher training for Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond. Gail has been working in the Holistic field for 9 years and has qualifications in Pregnancy Massage and Pregnancy Yoga, Infant Massage and Baby Yoga, Yoga Kids and Massage in Schools.

Gail is an International trainer for the Massage in Schools Association and also in training to become an International Trainer for the International Association of Infant Massage. Gail Trained in Pregnancy Massage in 2004 and has been pioneering it in Ireland ever since organising annual training courses in Dublin and CPD days. She assists and teachers with Suzanne on the Pregnancy Massage courses in Ireland and also runs Foundation Days.

Nicola Endicott BSc (Hons), Dip HSEC, MRSS (T), Dip Wellmother, Dorking, Surrey

During her own pregnancy and birth, Nicola found the knowledge gained through her training with Wellmother and the experience of giving Shiatsu to pregnant and post-natal mothers, invaluable. She is inspired to help other women benefit from the Wellmother approach.Nicola qualified as a Shiatsu practitioner in 1994 and became a member of the Register of the Shiatsu Society (MRSS). In 2003 she completed a one year postgraduate course in Shiatsu for maternity care with Well Mother.

In 2006, Nicola joined the Wellmother teacher training programme and later qualified. In 2009 Nicola became a registered Shiatsu teacher with the Shiatsu Society (T). She now teaches the Well Mother introductory course for shiatsu practitioners and courses on healing the menstrual cycle. She also runs CPD for therapists in London. Nicola has run a private Shiatsu practice for the last 19 years and currently runs practices in Belgravia (SW London) and in Dorking, Surrey, where she lives with her husband and son. More information about Nicola can be found on her website

Samara Hawthorn, Wales

I am Samara Hawthorn, and I really love working with Suzanne! Her work, presence and depth of knowledge has bought a richness and depth to the way my path has evolved with women, babies and birth. I am constantly inspired by her work, and continue to evolve and learn through her teaching and mentoring.

After the birth of my daughter over twenty years ago, I felt deeply called to support women and babies as they birth in beauty, a calling that has grown and blossomed. I discovered Shiatsu and fell in love with the depth and simplicity of safe and healing, holding, touch. I trained as a Shiatsu Practitioner, and in 2001 went on to discover Well Mother, and Suzanne’s teachings. I have taken every opportunity to learn and absorb from her since then, and continue to do so.

I am also blessed to have had the opportunity to apprentice to with Maureen Mitchell, Spiritual Midwife in Oregon, USA, attending many home births, and assisting with antenatal and post natal care and classes. Giving me strong roots on my midwifery path, which I feel is a thread in the weaving of this life’s journey.WellMama_MG_0699

I live and work as a Doula and Shiatsu practitioner in Wales, with my family, where I am holding space for the Birth House. I have attended over 100 births, often sharing loving touch of Shiatsu to nurture a safe and intimate connection with women, babies and their families. I also weave Pre, Peri and Post natal therapy into my work.

In 2015, I founded Well Mama – a channel for my work with the Childbearing Year, and home of The WellMama Way – Holistic Doula Training.

I continue to deepen my work, learning deeply from every woman, baby and family I serve, and am deeply grateful for the opportunity I have to support the midwives in the Domboshawa Birth House, in rural Zimbabwe, learning traditional midwifery skills and sharing my shiatsu practice.

Sally Ibbotson, London

I’m Sally Ibbotson and I am one of the Teachers who has been training with Suzanne in order to teach on the APNT Massage and Pregnancy courses. I live in London and work in London and Sussex – you’re most likely to meet me, either assisting or Teaching, on the London-based Well Mother courses and CPD events. As well as my Pregnancy Massage work, I also practice Shiatsu and teach Qi Gong. I am also a teacher of Anatomy and Physiology (BTEC and ITEC). I look forward to meeting you!! Tel: 020 8961 1604 Mobile 0798 004 6815

Teachers in the US/Canada

Shuddhabha, Montana

 I  love shiatsu.  I love the positive impact, kind, appropriate touch has, on people’s lives. I love how it brings me into contact with people in a direct, physical way. I love the new hope of feeling better. Something that was restricted is freed. Improbable movements become possible. New ways of living open up.

I treat men women and children, with a whole range of ailments, but I specialize in women’s health. I treat women throughout pregnancy, and have been fortunate enough  to work as a birth partner.  I have always been drawn to the process of change we experience in our bodies as women, and the potential for growth. I also love helping babies have as calm and beautiful entry as possible, into this world.

I did the Well Mother Maternity Diploma 2002 and the Well Mother teacher training in 2006. I first came across shiatsu while living in Spain in my 20’s.  After an intensive course of treatment I realized that I wanted my work to be doing shiatsu. The process of becoming a shiatsu practitioner has been a constant current of change and flow in my life since then and I graduated from the three year training at the Shiatsu College UK in 1996. In 2010 I was on a road trip from Montana to Utah. I was expecting to have a holiday and possibly and adventure, but instead I fell in love all over again.  This time with the clear huge lakes, the wild mountain places and my future husband. And so I decided to stay. I left a business (Bodywise Natural health centre) which  I had set up in Manchester in the UK, with my friends 16 years earlier, where I  had worked successfully  as a shiatsu practitioner and shiatsu teacher.

I live in Polson, Montana, USA .I have a general shiatsu practice at Yoga Heart Studio. I am also Ordained into the Triratna Buddhist Community in 2000. I consider myself very fortunate to be able to earn a living from such meaningful and enjoyable work. As I am new to the US I am building up my work here but look forward to teaching more of the Well mother approach.

Contact: tel 1-406-203-2471 working at Yoga Heart Studio, 314 Main Street, Polson, Montana 59860 and The Warehouse, 725 West Alder St. Suite 2, Missoula, Montana

Justine Sipprell, Toronto

I am a mother of two that was literally blown away 17 years ago by the effectiveness of Shiatsu during my first 36 hour labour.  I wanted every pregnant women alive to receive massage and Shiatsu and most of all to receive acupressure during each contraction.

I worked as a Shiatsu practitioner for Brighton Body Positive for a couple of years, until I gave birth to my second child, left the UK and moved to Spain. While living there I met an amazing group of women and helped establish a birthing group called Da-a-Luz. I have since returned to Spain to teach Shiatsu techniques to other birth practitioners from all over Europe.

In 2002 I discovered Suzanne and Well Mother. I was so excited to find someone who was teaching Shiatsu specific to pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period. I completed my teacher training with Suzanne in 2007 and started to run courses and even a ‘retreat’ for midwives and doulas. From 2002 to the present I have used shiatsu at the births I have attended and have always had fantastic feedback. However the birth turns out, Shiatsu supports the pregnant women to take ownership and feel in control of HER birth.

I moved to Toronto in August of 2013 and am trying to support the development of the Well Mother  approach. The way women are giving birth in this city is rapidly changing. The first birthing centre was opened in Feb. 2014 and more and more women are choosing midwives over OB’s. The home birth rate is also on the rise and post natal care is being seen as necessary rather than important.

I am currently teaching monthly birth prep class for couples and am planning a course for Toronto’s doula’s of which there are many.

I can be contacted on 1 647 962 1563 or email me at

Teachers in Austria

Alexandra Gelny, Vienna

Alexandra assists Suzanne’s courses in Vienna and runs the Midwives courses in the German speaking world. She also teaches the Shiatsu practitioners courses in Vienna

Shiatsu is a way to feel the resonance of life – for the client as well as the practitioner. So, for me it only felt natural to support pregnant women and the new life coming into being within them with Shiatsu.

Well Mother and Suzanne’s approach to maternity work was a wonderful discovery and I have been learning from her since 2011 with great passion. I have now been assisting Suzanne in her workshops and look forward to teaching myself within the Well Mother organisation in German, English and Italian.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I run my own Shiatsu practice in Vienna and accompany pregnant women and their partners during pregnancy, birth preparation and postnatal recovery, as well as their babies. I have also been working a lot with women and couples who are trying to have a baby.

In addition to Shiatsu, I work as a coaching and counselling professional. It is great to be able to complement the holistic bodywork with dialogue and reflection when appropriate – it can often be a valuable support for my clients to gain clarity or develop new perspectives.

Contact:  email


Marina Morton

marina1I am the director and principal teacher at the Shambhala Shiatsu Schule in Vienna, Austria. I first invited Suzanne Yates to teach Well Mother courses at my school in 1999.  Until then, little was taught in the field of shiatsu and pregnancy and yet a great majority of my students and clients were women. At that time my second born son was one year old. I remember thinking:  if only I had known all the things I learnt in the Well Mother courses before I had given birth to my two children!

Suzanne has been teaching twice a year at my school ever since. Until the last couple of years, I have been the translator during all of the courses and have assisted Suzanne in her teaching as well as introducing some of the work in my own shiatsu training classes.

I have been practising Shiatsu since 1987 in Vienna. Further studies in TCM, the extraordinary vessels and developmental work with babies and adults have helped me deepen my understanding for my daily practice. Supporting pregnant women  and babies and working with the extraordinary vessels has become an important part of my shiatsu work over the years. For me it´s the best way to be directly in touch with life and “being in touch” is my passion.


Teacher in France

Aline Duclos, ToursAline-Duclos

Aline teaches midwives courses in France

I find great joy in being able to use shiatsu to accompany people in their lives. With its simplicity and subtlety, I find shiatsu is based on expressing consideration towards others as well as one’s self. I work as a Shiatsu practitioner in Tours, in a multi-disciplinary practice at Langeais which includes midwives. I love training medical staff to learn about Shiatsu. I now assist Suzanne in her midwifery training in France as well as running my own courses for midwives. It was during my own two pregnancies, when I began learning about yoga, haptonomy and meditation , that I was led to study shiatsu. Already during my shiatsu training I was very drawn to maternity shiatsu and studied with Suzanne Yates and Well Mother during the first training in France in 2006. Very quickly I was fortunate enough to be able to practice shiatsu in the Maternity department at Pithviers hospital where I worked for 7 years. There I gave shiatsu antenatally, postnatally and did birth preparation sessions for couples as well as attending many births.  I trained the staff there and eventually handed over my work to Gina Debrito and Sylvie Allard, two other students of Well mother. email : Website : mobile : 06 68 87 48 13

Assistant teachers

The following are teachers in training, who currently assist Suzanne on some of the courses. They also run various courses on their own: mostly foundation days, shiatsu for midwives and revision workshops.

United Kingdom

Lucy Trend, Glasgow

Lucy first discovered what a wonderful treatment Shiatsu is for pregnancy in 2003 when she took the Well Mother Diploma course with Suzanne. Since then Suzanne’s teaching has continued to be a great inspiration and the Well Mother approach has not only enriched her general Shiatsu practise but also led her to specialise in working with fertility, pregnancy, birth, babies, menstruation and menopause. Lucy has assisted on the Massage for Pregnancy course in Glasgow and is looking forward to assisting Suzanne on the Shiatsu for Midwives & Birth Professionals Diploma course at the University of the West of Scotland in 2014/15. She teaches the introduction to Shiatsu for pregnancy in shiatsu schools in Scotland.lucy2

Lucy is a teacher level member of the Register of the Shiatsu Society MRSS(T) and a member of the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC – the Department of Health recommended regulatory body)

Lucy has been practicing and teaching Shiatsu in Glasgow since 1997. Her background is in dance performance and movement therapy. She qualified as a Shiatsu therapist in Montreal, Canada in 1996. She has also trained in Thai Massage with Thai masters in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand and runs Thai Massage Training Scotland.” contact:


Gina Debrito, Paris

I love working with shiatsu and I also include work with auryvedic massage in my treatments. Working with pregnant and birthing women is my passion! I attended Suzanne’s first course in France in 2006  and was so inspired by her approach, which was exactly what I wanted to do with shiatsu, that I started organising and attending Suzanne’s shiatsu training in Paris from December 2006. I now assist her in this training and also in the Shiatsu for midwives courses which run in Paris. I was fortunate enough to take over Aline’s work at Pithviers with Sylvie Allard. I share a clinic with two midwives in Paris and do shiatsu and auryvedic massage, which I also teach.

Sylvie Allard, Paris   sylvie

I love working with shiatsu and pregnancy. I attended the first course in Paris which Gina organised while I was pregnant with my third child and it was a special time for me. I was able to use Suzanne’s work immediately during my birth and received shiatsu from Suzanne during my pregnancies. I followed each module with my pregnancy and my son Leo attended with me the baby shiatsu module! I now organise for Suzanne to teach the Extraordinary vessels in Paris and I run my own Shiatsu for midwives courses. I was fortunate enough to take over Aline’s work at Pithviers with Gina Debrito which we did for a number of years. et son site


Johanna Garnitschnig, Vienna

As pregnancy is an important and often challenging period of change in women´s lives, I find Shiatsu a wonderful holistic treatment which includes physical, emotional and psychological as well as spiritual aspects. Since my first course with Suzanne in 2000, the support of women in pregnancy has become more and more the main focus of my work. I appreciate the Well Mother approach, finding it very important and helpful to have knowledge of Eastern and Western theories, ways of thinking and methods of treatment. Working the Extraordinary vessels has opened new dimensions to me. Experiencing how helpful the Well Mother approach is in maternity, I like passing it on to other Shiatsu practitioners and professionals who work in the Johanna_Garnitschnigmaternity field.

I qualified as a Shiatsu practitioner at the European Shiatsu Institute (E.S.I.) in Austria and Germany in 1998. Two years later I started the Well Mother diploma course. Since 2011 I assist Suzanne on her courses in Vienna.

At the same time I started my Shiatsu training, I began to study psychology at the University of Vienna. After my degree I did a postgraduate programme in health and clinical psychology. For more than ten years I worked as a psychologist in the social sector.

In my Shiatsu practice in Vienna I enjoy accompanying and supporting women before and during pregnancy, in birth preparation and the postnatal period.

website:   email:

Belgium and the Netherlands

Véronique Van Outrive

Veronique-Van-OutriveVeronique’s passion is to integrate shiatsu with western medicine. She works with independent midwives in Belgium and accompanies pregnant women and their partners during pregnancy, birth and postnatal recovery. She teaches midwives Shiatsu skills for labour and how to integrate the Oriental approach of labour and delivery into their work: ‘It’s about learning to connect and feel what the body of the woman needs in order to stay connected with her wisdom and baby.’ The holistic approach at Well Mother inspires her in her work. Originally trained as a paediatric and intensive care nurse, she worked for 12 years on the intensive care ward of the University Hospital of Antwerp (UZA) in Belgium.  More and more she felt the need to support people from the holistic view (including emotions and bodywork), instead of only using the medical approach. By travelling a lot in the Eastern countries she saw that is about the complementarity, working together to improve care. That’s why she started to study shiatsu. She trained as a shiatsu therapist in 2004 and did the Shiatsu and maternity care diploma with Well Mother in 2009 and studied with Suzanne in 2010- 2012. She supports Suzanne in her teaching. She can teach in Dutch, French and English. You can contact her:  Heuvel 68,  B-9320 Erembodegem, Belgium Tel: +32/478/32.38.16 email: Site: