Octopus Alchemy Bodywork

True flow comes from paying attention to the whole body – outside as well as in.


Darren Ollerton of Octopus Alchemy.

I work with people and their bodies through Thai-massage – an ancient form of bodywork that is dynamic and profoundly rejuvenating on many different levels: the physical, emotional, energetic and spiritual. Coupled with the intention of the practitioner to observe and listen to your body and to encourage you to tune in to what it needs you to hear, makes this a potent form of bodywork for helping change how you are in the world.

I think my strength in bodywork comes from a place of feeling and understanding the consequences of being ‘disembodied’ and of understanding the frustration of experiencing your own body when it isn’t working ‘correctly’ or when we perceive it as faulty or imperfect in some way. To those ends, I have personally explored a number of different approaches to working with the body: across yoga, qi gong, Ayurvedic massage, shiatsu, sports massage, lomi lomi, romi romi, acupuncture, holistic massage, embodied-relational psychotherapy, deep bodywork and osteopathy – I’ve worked with my current osteopath for over five years and must pay enormous respect and love for her influence and inspiration to how I understand my own body and others.

After graduating in sociology and politics a few years ago, with the bulk of my work being about understanding the different approaches of western medicine and alternative systems to the body, health and disease processes – I knew that I wanted to work with bodies myself. I had traveled extensively in Thailand four years earlier and remember the relief of being able to experience massage three or four times a week and how the dynamism of the Thai style was so sensitive and restorative. Training in Thai Massage was an obvious decision – and on a recommendation from a friend, I took up a place with Ralf Marzen at the Mudita School of Thai Massage.

Mudita has been a fantastic introduction to the art of Thai Massage and I’ve gained some solid principles of working with people in that particular style. This way of working is coupled with my own philosophy and techniques I’ve picked up along the way from other healers and research. I have come to understand the benefits of working with the body on a number of different levels: spiritually, emotionally, physically and energetically. I’ve been very influenced by insights from bioenergetics and moved by seminal texts such as Alexander Lowan’s ‘The Language of the Body’ and ‘The Art of Somatic Coaching’ by Richard Strozzi-Heckler. I try to make my sessions as therapeutic as possible, by welcoming people into a safe space where they can completely off-load and re-connect compassionately with their bodies, their unique stories and embodied-narratives, that are often obscured and muffled by the noise in our heads and the outside world.

To date, I’ve had some very powerful sessions with my clients – deepening both of our experiences of what embodiment and healing means. I’m full of gratitude for the ability to work with others – which, along with the satisfaction of helping change how they experience and are in the world, has also brought about great insight into and empathy for my personal process and understanding of the glory, complexity and subtleties of my own body.

To date, I have also attended a number of four weekend intensives at the Entelia Institute in London with Silke Ziehl on her ‘Deep Bodywork’ course – an education grounded in the principles of Reichian Bodywork and body psychotherapy. In the new year I intend to study with Jez Hughes of Second Sight Healing – to expand my knowledge of shamanic work and practice to bring new energy into my bodywork.


What other people have said about Darren’s practice:

‘Darren is an attentive, intuitive and a responsive therapist whose touch is mindful, strong and caring. I felt very held and totally able to surrender into a deep state of healing and peace. Darren brings his whole presence and power into the session and easily guides the client into profound transformation.’

Guy, Brighton.

I had my first official bodywork session with Darren today and can honestly say it was an incredible experience. He is attentive in his touch which I was very grateful for.
He works with a fluidity and prowess that truly speaks to the time and energy he has put in to honing his skills in bodywork, as a therapy but also as an art form.
I highly recommend Darren and thank him deeply for such a healing experience. True relaxation is hard to come by these days and I feel blessed to have had this opportunity to do so. Five stars doesn’t quite cut it!

Joseph, Crawley.

I’ve just had a multi-sensory healing session with Darren and have emerged newly confident, full of energy and flexibility. Darren always meets my body’s resistances with high levels of competence and care and has worked sensitively alongside my Western medicine choices over several months to provide me with deep healing experience. There is humour when I have needed it too and a strength and power that has helped me process and shift several important issues, in my body, my heart and my head. Highly recommended.

Abby, Brighton.

‘Darren’s massages are powerful and beautiful. Not only is he talented, he also treats you with genuine warmth, kindness and respect – these qualities are what makes his massage treatments so unique and addictive!’

Caroline, Brighton.

‘I had a Thai massage treatment with Octopus Alchemy, I felt comfortable from the start and was welcomed into a very safe feeling and relaxing space. Darren was very knowledgeable, caring and understanding. It was also great to try out the bio mat. I felt more relaxed than I have done in a long time and came away feeling very positive with new inspiration & motivation for my own healing. Thank you!’

Jasmine, Brighton.

You can find many other reviews here.

Massage rates:

I run a number of different ‘clinics’ with varying pricing options – it’s worth staying in touch via facebook or registering for my email list via octopusalchemy@gmail.com, to make the most of the different offers and discounts that crop up frequently. In all of my treatments, I use a ‘Richway Biomat’ as a therapeutic tool to compound the effects of the massage.

Concessionary rate: It’s important to me that people are able to access massage because of need and not because of prosperity. If you can’t afford these prices, please contact me to discuss a concessionary rate or other ways to pay.

Normal price structure:

1.5HR treatment:

Full cost: £55

Concession: £45

2HR treatment:

Full cost: £65

Concession: £55

Block book of four 1.5HR treatments:

Full cost: £180 (Save £40).

Concession: £153

Block book of six treatments:

Full cost: £270 (Save £60).

Concession: £230

Recommend a friend:

Recommend a friend for a treatment and if they book, you pay £35 for your next treatment and they pay only £40 (new referrals only).



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