My Journey Into Massage
I often get asked “Have you always done this?” so, I thought I would share my journey on how I became a sports massage therapist.
It was a complete career change for me. I had worked in IT for a number of years for a big corporation. I had done a variety of roles including database development and project management. I enjoyed the problem solving and customer facing aspects. Over time though, I felt it wasn’t where I wanted to be long term.
At the time, I spent a lot of time driving (predominately round the M25!) and working on client sites which inevitably meant working on a laptop balanced precariously on a filing cabinet or edge of a desk. I used to regularly experience chronic neck and shoulder pain. I had tried a few massages at spas then I found an amazing massage therapist who just seemed to know where to find all the areas that needed ironing out. I found the treatments so beneficial. It got me thinking that I would love to learn more about massage and be able to offer others the level of relief that I had experienced.
I attended a visualisation workshop ‘Mindstore’ presented by Jack Black. An incredible weekend. One of the activities was to write down future goals and to think out of my comfort zone. This was a great opportunity to really think about what I wanted to do and I kept coming back to massage therapy.
There was a great magazine at the time called ‘Eve’ which always had inspiring articles about women who had left their careers in the city to start up their own business. I read an article on becoming a sports massage therapist. My eagerness grew.
Catalyst for Change
One day, travelling to client site I was stuck in traffic on the M25 (again!) somewhere between Heathrow and J8. There was a slogan that someone had graffitied on some boarding at the side of the road. I must have passed the slogan countless times but this particular day I was stationary for some time right beside it. It read “why are you doing this every day”. The message resonated so strongly – it really was a light bulb moment.
Qualifying in Sports Massage
I enrolled on a couple of evening courses in Swedish Massage and Indian Head Massage to learn the basics and I eagerly practiced on willing friends and family.
After some further investigation and talking to therapists already in the industry, I enrolled on a Sports and Remedial Massage course with the Oxford School of Sports Massage in 2007. I loved it! It was a 10 month course and it was intense. We would meet for one weekend a month at the University Sports Complex in Iffley Road and it would be packed with theory and practical. In between would be assignments, reading and lots and lots of practice. It was only after completing that course, that I felt I had sufficient knowledge and expertise to embark on my new career in massage therapy.
Leap of Faith
After qualifying in sports massage, I saw an advert for a clinic in Thame. I left the world of IT and worked at that clinic for 13 years. It was a fantastic opportunity to be part of a successful clinic. I also set-up a treatment room from home. In 2014, I joined the team at Elite Physical Medicine in Aylesbury, offering sports massage at their highly reputable physiotherapy clinic.
Looking back, it was a huge leap of faith and I am so glad I did it. Every day, I love the work that I do. It is so rewarding. I have learnt so much over the years and one of the things that I really enjoy about the work is that there is always an opportunity to learn more. I feel very privileged to work with so many incredible people who each have their own stories and to be part of their journey. I still personally enjoy having a massage and always find it a positive experience and knowing the benefits that it can achieve continues to be my motivation for providing the treatments that I do.