Jo Briley

During my twelve-year career in education, I worked with children in both mainstream and special needs settings, predominantly with deaf and hearing-impaired children. I qualified to Level 2 in British Sign Language (BSL) and gained many more qualifications, skills, and experience working with children with a range of additional needs.

 I trained to be a Baby Massage Teacher with Touch-Learn in 2011. I am incredibly passionate about positive, respectful parenting and have delivered Infant Massage to hundreds of families since 2011. I strongly believe that Baby Massage is the corner stone to building early positive relationships between parent/caregiver and baby.

My interest in sign language led me to appreciate the benefits of supporting early communication with babies and toddlers so I devised a simple, yet effective, Baby Signing programme based on BSL. This programme complemented my positive-touch classes perfectly. It never fails to amaze me when I see toddlers communicating through sign language to their parents/caregivers, giving them an insight into their world and their needs and feelings

I joined the Touch-Learn Team as a Trainer in 2012 and have always loved the ethos of the company so I was thrilled to take on the role of Director in 2021. I am impassioned about delivering high quality training, sharing my knowledge, skills and experience with both professionals and independent teachers setting up their own businesses.

In my spare time I enjoy keeping fit, hiking, baking, and walking my dog.

Deborah Green

I first began to practice yoga around 2003/4 and faced many physical & mental challenges. I believed yoga was not for me as I was not very flexible and yes, I actually believed that yoga was only for the bendy AND I was way too impatient with the whole idea of just sitting there & breathing. Surely you have to keep moving? Stillness? Really???

But I was so drawn to the whole practice. I would be uplifted, relaxed yet energised & I always felt sooo good after I had moved & opened my body, breathed & released tension. I kept returning, again & again.

Over the years I’ve become a “forever student” of yoga and I continue to learn, and it is now a huge part of my life. I have undertaken Advanced Yoga Psychology with Ashley Turners’ 300 hr Yoga Psyche Soul which delves deeper into the emotional & mental health benefits of Yoga.

I am extremely proud to have gained certification with the highly respected Deepak Chopra as a Primordial Sound Meditation Teacher. For more details about meditation & specifically 1.2.1 sessions with me, please have a look at my meditation page.

Continuing from this I studied with a truly wise Meditation Master, Dev Om, who I hope to continue to learn from. I was utterly drawn to his kind character, values and authenticity & feel proud to have gained my Meditation Teacher Certification with him which covers many meditation methods & styles.

Since I began teaching, I have worked with a wide variety of wonderful people… From clients who need tailored programs to help with osteoarthritis, to Football Clubs (Burton Albion & Derby County), Foston Women’s Prison, and very gentle sessions where the focus has been on breathing, relaxation & meditation to more dynamic & energising sessions.

I love being able to teach and share yoga & meditation to such a diverse range of people who have various needs and ailments. It can bring so much relief, from pain, stiffness, and stress.

The years of experience has taught me that there is no “perfect pose” … we adapt yoga to suit the person. and we NEVER compare ourselves.

Freya Mahal

I’m Freya, a midwife, a wife & mum of two. I qualified as a midwife in 2005 and set up Expecting Classes in 2010, running private antenatal courses and hypnobirthing classes both online & in person. I’m also on the board for IIMHCO (international integrative maternity health care organisation).

I’ve journeyed with thousands of parents through ‘Expecting’ and wanted to continue that journey so I trained in infant massage & baby yoga with Touch-Learn. I’ve loved teaching these classes and I absolutely love the ethos and approach of Touch-Learn. 

It’s a privilege to be part of the Touch-Learn family! As well as being ‘with woman’, I love a decent cup of coffee or gin with friends, being outdoors (with my dog, Bear), working out, growing veg & camping!

Anita Thomas-Epple

I am an enthusiastic ambassador for baby massage, and other positive-touch programmes and have been for many years and am passionate about respectful, positive parenting. 

I was Director of Touch-Learn from 2003-2021. During that time I worked tirelessly to improve professional practice, both within Touch-Learn, and previously in my advisory role with the charity: The Guild of Sensory Development. 

I have taught parents and professionals in the UK and abroad for many years. In addition to teaching, I have lectured at the University of Wolverhampton and Staffordshire University. 

In 2008 along with my colleague, Pauline, we collaborated with the University of Dundee (Psychology Dept) in carrying out research into maternal benefits arising from infant massage and were delighted to contribute to the academic underpinning of the benefits arising from their training programme.  In 2008 we trained 25 professionals in Bucharest, Romania, who work with vulnerable mothers, foster parents and childcare workers to become Touch-Learn Baby Massage Teachers. 

In 2012 I published research into the innovative practice in teaching and learning undertaken by Touch-Learn International Limited, leading to excellent completion rates and student experience compared with HE. Also in 2012 I was nominated and was the finalist for the prestigious Trainer of the Year Award with the Nursery World Awards.

I am a published author of many books and professional journal articles and have made appearances on both television and radio. As a proponent of life-long learning I achieved a Distinction for my Masters Degree (Education) with Staffordshire University. My thesis research: An Investigation into Teaching Methods Used to Train Infant Massage Teachers to Enhance the Sensitive Service They Provide for Their Clients.

After recently retiring as Director of Touch-Learn I now have additional time to undertake voluntary and charitable work and is the Vice President of my local Rotary Club and Secretary of the Patient Participation Group at the local GP’s surgery.  In my spare time I enjoy completing Daily Telegraph cryptic crosswords, travelling, yoga and cycling with my husband on our tandem!


Epple, A. (2012) Student Retention on an Infant Massage Teacher Training ProgrammeInnovative Practice in Higher Education, Vol 1, No 2 Staffordshire University


Books Published 

Thomas-Epple, A, Carpenter P (2017) (2010)  Teach Yourself Baby Massage and Yoga (New Editions) Hodder and Stoughton, 

Epple, A, Carpenter, P (2011) Baby Massage: All you need to get you started Hodder and Stoughton (Flash Series), London

Epple, A. Carpenter P (2009) The Pocket Book of Baby MassageDitto International Ltd, Milton Keynes

Carpenter, P. Epple A (2009) Infant Massage: The Definitive Guide For Teaching Parents Ditto International Ltd

Epple, A & Carpenter, P (2007) Teach Yourself Baby Massage and Yoga Hodder and Stoughton, London

Carpenter, P. Epple, A. (2007) Rhythm Kids: Fun-Time Exercises for Babies Ditto International Ltd  


Professional Associations

Fellow of The Higher Education Academy, Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, Member of The Institute for Learning, Member of The Association for Infant Mental Health, Member of the Institute of Directors, Member of Rotary International, Anita Thomas-Epple, MA Ed, PgDipHPE, PgCHPE, FHEA, MIfL, FHEA, MIoD, MIPTI