How does it work?
How often should I get a massage?
How soon can I exercise after a massage?
What happens in a massage appointment?
How are you different from a physiotherapist?
How are you different from a personal trainer?
Typically, a personal trainer is someone who gets you to sweat and burn calories.
A strength & conditioning coach delivers focussed sessions based on your specific longer-term needs, such as developing agility in a particular sport.
I watch how you move and identify areas that aren't doing as much as they could, then I help you target that area and understand how you can activate it, so that it starts to happen even without me telling you.
I cannot diagnose any injuries or conditions.
What I can do is use massage techniques to release tension that might have caused an injury, or that might have resulted from an injury, and that might be preventing you from doing your physio rehab exercises comfortably.
I can also help you do your rehab in between your physio check-ups - checking you are doing your exercises correctly, whilst keeping the rest of your body strong and mobile, so that one injury doesn't lead to another!
Can you help me lose weight?
However, over years of working with people and studying the science of nutrition and physical exercise, I believe that focussing on weight loss sets us up to fail.
I believe that health and fitness are possible at every size, and the longer I spend in the fitness and wellbeing industry, the more passionate I am about the importance of enjoying being in our bodies - an approach totally at odds with driving a person's weight down at all costs. Over time, being comfortable in our bodies leads us to being more active - and being at peace in our minds leads us to make more mindful food choices - which can ultimately result in weight loss in the longer term.
There are plenty of trainers who specialise in rapid fat loss programmes, so if that is something you feel you need, you will be in better hands with them!
Again, a lot depends on how your body responds to massage, and what sort of exercise you are doing.
In general, I would avoid scheduling your massage within 2-3 days of any intense sessions or competitions - although, many people benefit from a short, light treatment pre-event. This won't be the time to be addressing any niggles or injuries though!
If possible, dedicate the rest of your day post-treatment to absorbing the effects of treatment, and ideally plan a lower-intensity session for the day after. Those are great times to be working on the mobility and stretching, and anything else you never normally have time for!
It depends on how much you do, and how your body feels!
For an acute injury or pain, I would recommend starting with a weekly massage for at least 3-4 weeks. For chronic injuries or pain, I recommend a minimum of 6 weekly treatments, though people will often see a reduction in their pain within 3-4 weeks.
For maintenance, if you exercise 2-3 times a week, one massage a month might be enough. If you exercise 4-5 times a week, I would recommend a fortnightly treatment. If you exercise more often, or particularly vigorously, you might benefit from a weekly treatment.
Massage offers so many benefits that there may be other reasons you want a regular massage. For many of us, it's one of the few times we switch off our devices and enjoy an hour to ourselves - or maybe you just sleep better after a massage - so beyond the physical benefits, a regular massage can be part of your mindfulness or self-care routine.
I've got a whole, detailed blog post on that here:
In short, I take a case history and we discuss your aims for treatment, then I normally leave the room to allow you to remove whatever clothing is appropriate.
The hands-on treatment itself usually includes myofascial work, trigger point work, and stretching; it may also include the use of tools I am qualified in using or dry needling (Western medical acupuncture), with your consent.
After the hands-on work, I will leave the room for you to get dressed, and then return to go over any relevant self-care suggestions.