A day in the life of… a sports massage therapist

Have you ever wondered what a typical day may be like in the life of a therapist? You can find out just that in our regular ‘A day in the life of…’ feature, found in every issue of our membership magazine, International Therapist. This is one of many ways we celebrate the wonderful work of FHT members.

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In our Winter issue, Sheree Phelps, MFHT, gave us a glimpse of what she may get up to on a typical working day. Read Sheree’s ‘a day in the life of…’ below:

8AM I normally wake up, have a quick read of the paper and go through my social media while lying in bed.

10AM After pottering around the house, doing laundry and having breakfast, I head down to the gym (three out of five days a week) and have a swim, then a body balance or aquafit class. I’m not always this disciplined – having such a physical job, I take each week as it comes.

11.30AM I set my room up, pop the heated bed on and send out messages to any new clients who came the day before to see how they have been since their treatment.

12PM I see my first client of the day for dry needling. My client has had a tremor in his left arm for more than three years. He’s had every test, prod and poke a doctor can give and they have shrugged their shoulders at what to do. After treating his family, they asked me if I could help. The results so far have been outstanding. After one session of dry needling his flexor and extensor forearm muscles, he had 10 hours without the tremor. The second appointment gave him two days’ relief, and the third, a whole weekend. We are continuing with one appointment a week and monitoring the progress. I may never know what started it, but if I can help slow or stop it, then it will be my greatest achievement.

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1PM My next client is a 78-year-old golfer who’s lost range of movement in his swing. A few simple sports massage treatments on his hips and glutes and he’s back on the course. He is my oldest client and even brought his wife along to meet me, so she could thank me.

2PM I have a mountain biker who always presents with new injuries, niggles, twisted kneecaps or delayed onset muscle soreness from his last ride. A regular in the clinic, he has referred many clients from the biking world to me.

3PM I’m jumping in my car, driving to a client’s home, while eating half a sandwich and drinking Pepsi Max (which keeps me going on long days).

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3.30PM I reach my client’s home and offer treatments, mainly for relaxation and lymphatic drainage. Her dog, Lulu, sits in with us and watches my every move. Lulu is happy to see me because I bring her a carrot each week as a treat.

4.30PM The other half of my sandwich is downed and often my client gives me a slice of whatever she has baked that day for me to have on the way home. I do love my clients, but not just for the free cakes!

5PM The first of the evening clients come in. This one is off to New Zealand, cycling the length of the two main islands for a charity, the Pilgrim Bandits, and raising money for ex-service personnel and wounded soldiers. I give him sports massage before and after his training.

6PM I often have a relaxation or pregnancy massage client in, and they feel ready to sleep when they go home. Some of them even bring their pyjamas to go home in. I don’t blame them, with the candles burning and dimmed lights, my treatment room is rather cosy.

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7PM I tidy up, clean the room and pop a towel load in the wash, then head home.

8.30PM I’m grabbing some dinner, not always the healthiest, but I try my best. I round up my day, replying to any messages and returning phone calls.

10.30PM I collapse into bed, grateful for the clients I have and the help I’ve been able to give. I smile, knowing that in the morning I’ll be waking up to a job I love.

 

Not yet an FHT member?

Join today and enjoy more articles like this in our online reading room and quarterly membership magazine, International Therapist. As a member, you can access lots of other benefits, too, such as tailor-made insurance policies and a listing on our Accredited Register of complementary therapists, independently approved by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care (eligibility criteria apply). Click here to learn more about the benefits of being an FHT member

 

 

Lavender farm fun for Chester FHT Local Support Group

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The Chester FHT Local Support Group enjoyed a visit to a lavender farm in Rainford, near St Helens, writes group coordinator Dee Kelsall.

We had a great turnout, with a group of 15, and the weather was glorious.

Attending a lecture, we learned about the growing of the plants, as well as the quality-control methods used at the farm. And we heard the interesting background story of the frankincense that is also distilled on the farm.

After going into the fields and picking lavender, we had the opportunity to take the lavender into the laboratory and watch it being distilled into oil.

In addition, we visited the rescued animals at the farm, had a farmhouse buffet lunch and visited the shop.

We look forward to returning to the farm this year and welcoming new members.

 

Find your local group and feel part of a therapy community!

Local groups are a valuable hub for all those with a passion for therapies. Come along to hear from excellent speakers about the latest therapies and business ideas, take part in outings and social events, enjoy treatment swaps and share best practice.

 

We hope you enjoyed this article, which was first published in the Winter 2019 issue of International Therapist!

International Therapist is the FHT’s membership magazine. Published on a quarterly basis, it offers a broad range of articles – from aromatherapy and electrolysis, to sports injuries and regulation updates. The magazine is a membership benefit and is not available off-the-shelf or by subscription.

Join today to start receiving the leading magazine for professional therapists.

 

 

 

 

International Therapist Issue 127 (Winter 2019)

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This issue includes articles on the following:

  • Deactivating trigger points with soft tissue release, by Jane Johnson;
  • An interview with leading academic, Professor Sarah Stewart-Brown;
  • Developing the first NHS approved complementary therapy school, by Gwyn Featonby;
  • Skin peels and the importance of best practice, by Dermalogica’s Candice Gardner;
  • How massage techniques can help clients with fibromyalgia, by Jing’s Rachel Fairweather;
  • An introduction to runner’s knee and techniques that can help, by Dawn Morse; and
  • Patient-reported outcome measures relevant to therapies, by Nicola Brough and Professor Sarah Stewart-Brown.

Plus a look at the 2018 FHT Conference and Excellence Awards; an essential oil profile on cypress; the latest FHT local support group news; a day in the life of Sheree Phelps, a sports massage therapist and 2017 FHT Excellence Award winner; Maureen Bonner, MFHT, reflects on meeting a US-based oncology massage expert; the latest research; medical A-Z; an interview with Angie Buxton-King, award winning healer and founder of the Sam Buxton Sunflower Healing Trust; a preview of the 2019 FHT Training Congress; a chance to win an Absolute Aromas Aroma-Mist Diffuser and Breatheasy Essential Blend, and lots more…

Don’t miss the opportunity to win a year’s free membership and a £100 John Lewis & Partners gift card by completing our 2019 Member Survey, on page 49.

Landing from Thursday 24 January. You can also login to read this issue (from Thursday 24 January) and past issues online at fht.org.uk/membersarea

International Therapist Issue 126 (Autumn 2018)

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This issue includes:

  • A look at amputation, its impact on clients, and how therapies can help;
  • An overview of the lymphatic system and its importance, by Yvette Jordan;
  • Approaches to facial touch and the science behind it, by Dr Katerina Steventon;
  • Deconstructing the concept of challenge, by Dr Phillip J de Prez;
  • Injuries in young athletes, by Dr Lance Doggart and Sarah Catlow;
  • Working in a hospice as a paid reiki practitioner, by Hilda Kalap;
  • Homemade product recipes, for a body scrub and massage oil, by Karen Gilbert;
  • Pointers for therapists working with terminally ill clients, by Jane Duncan Rogers;
  • A look at the warning signs of breast cancer and its impact.

Plus the Michael Pittilo Award-winning essay, by Benjamin Low; an essential oil profile on clary sage; the latest FHT local support group news; an insight from a therapist supporting people in her local community, by Annette Roachford, MFHT; the latest research; medical A-Z; a day in the life of Geraldine Flynn, semi-permanent make-up technician and 2013 FHT Excellence Award Winner; an interview with new FHT President, Christopher Byrne; a preview of the 2018 FHT Conference; and lots more…

Don’t miss the opportunity to win one of two annual subscriptions of In the Moment magazine in our members’ competition and a £20 Amazon gift card and copy of Words that Touch, in FHT spiral no. 28.

Landing from Thursday 18 October. You can also login to read this issue (from Thursday 18 October) and past issues online at fht.org.uk/membersarea

Massage therapy assists in elite para-athlete recovery

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Massage therapy can improve sleep and muscle tightness to aid recovery in elite para-athletes, according to a study published in BMJ Open Sport and Exercise Medicine (Kennedy et al, 2018).

In a mixed methods study, scientists invited nine members of Team Roger C Peace, an elite para-cycling team from South Carolina, USA, to receive one hour of massage therapy each week for four weeks, before switching to every other week until the respective athletes left the team or the two-year study ended.

Seventeen massage therapists were recruited, who on average had been practising for 14 years.

To monitor progress, the athletes agreed to complete a questionnaire before and after each massage session, with closed and open-ended questions on athlete goals, stress, sleep, muscle tightness, spasticity and pain. Additional information was collected from programme feedback and treatment notes from the massage therapists.

The results at the end of the study revealed improvements in sleep and muscle tightness from baseline, which was supported by individual testimony from the athletes describing how the massage had assisted their recovery while training.

See the full open-access study at fht.org.uk/IT-124-paracycling

References

For full references, go to fht.org.uk/IT-references

Photo by Seth kane on Unsplash

 

We hope you enjoyed this article, which was first published in the Spring 2018 issue of International Therapist!

International Therapist is the FHT’s membership magazine. Published on a quarterly basis, it offers a broad range of articles – from aromatherapy and electrolysis, to sports injuries and regulation updates. The magazine is a membership benefit and is not available off-the-shelf or by subscription.

Join today to start receiving the leading magazine for professional therapists.