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Student Spotlight: Louise’s Leap into Sports Massage

Which course did you study?

I studied the Sports and Deep Tissue Massage course with Peter Cummings as Jackie retired that year and came back after I qualified.

When did you complete your course? 

The course was September 2020 until June 2021

Why did you choose to study at the school? 

I chose this school because the study days worked with me, unlike the other place I enquired with. This school offered me to come up and have a look around which I appreciated. The website was great too.

I had always had an interest in massage. I needed to change career due to my son starting school. My previous job 14 years as a Dental nurse could not offer flexible hours, no help with school runs. I went into home care in the community part time before ending Dental nursing and will still do this until I’m busy enough to stop. I didn’t want to compete with the local salons doing relaxing/holistic massage. I was happy to learn how to help people with their knots and tight tissues to make them feel better.

Your greatest piece of advice for anyone thinking of joining the course. 

If anyone is thinking of doing the course, speak to the people at the school, who are very helpful and go
for it. Pete is a great teacher, very down to earth, makes you feel relaxed and at ease. Makes explanations easy to understand. But make sure to learn the muscles. I was always buzzing after class with the new things such as techniques learnt and couldn’t wait to talk about it and try them out again. Doing practise on friends and family was invaluable, gaining confidence trying techniques and getting used to all the massage. There is nothing more rewarding than helping someone feel better and get over an issue or injury. That will also boost your confidence. I tended to overthink some clients and feel lost. But I could speak to Pete or my classmates who were all happy to help. I had to remember to simplify my mind, remember we deal only with the soft tissues.
Learning the different techniques from the basics of the Swedish massage to the different sports techniques for tight tense muscles and knots was great, was motivating. All the benefits of massage are very encouraging. I found Active Release Techniques can work really well. My class was a nice small class of 7 pupils mostly all from different careers, all different, but we all got on so well and still keep in touch.

Tell us about your journey/career since finishing your course?

I started up my own business from my own home and offer mobile appointments too. I had a downstairs
spare room to start with. Then my husband who is a builder, built me a specific massage room attached
to the back of our home, where we used to have an un-used conservatory. This was better for access,
looks great and clients can use our parking area.
I set up a Facebook page and Instagram page for my business. Then registered my business on google
which is free. That way I will always show up on a map and any similar words people may search for. You
can also put some pictures, Facebook links on there too. I then had a basic Website made which I may a monthly fee for them to manage and host.

I went on to qualify in Myofascial Dry Cupping Therapy as it can work well alongside Sports deep tissue massage, also help with scar tissue, have the same results as massage, can also treat knots. One of my clients finds this more beneficial for himself. This was a live online course with tutor support, I used my husband for my person to learn on for the day and had to send some videos of treatment to show understanding and technique to get my certificate. But there is nothing better than a face-to-face hands on course.

I am now booked onto an Oncology massage course, which is safe massage for clients with cancer, post cancer. I know I can treat these clients as long as I have a Drs permission. But this seemed a good thing to have. It’s also very relaxing and can be used on anyone. I have started the theory. It can be done in my own time and is with the Cambridgeshire wellness clinic. I could also have the opportunity to refer with a Therapist in town who does specific scar work therapy.

I have also booked onto a Reiki Level 1 day course. To learn for myself and can treat friends and family, I then plan to move onto the Reiki level 2 where I will be able to treat the public. People have commented on feeling heat coming through my hands and feeling so much better after massages that I felt several things kept pointing in that direction. So, I thought I’d go for it.

What are you most proud of so far? 

Contact Details
Business email:
I am based near Fakenham.
8 Hares Close
Little Snoring
NR21 0NZ

What services do you offer? 

I Offer Sports and Deep Tissue Massage, Maintenance massage, Swedish massage, Myofascial Dry Cupping Therapy and Myofascial release massage.
But generally people come to have a massage that will help any tight areas they have, so I tend to start with Swedish to warm up and relax the muscles, then treat as needed. I may suggest using cupping or Myofascial release on another appointment.

I have had clients come to me through word of mouth from my practice days and as I have gone along getting more and more word-of-mouth recommendations. Whether that’s verbally or even
recommendations through Facebook if someone has asked for massage recommendations. Also quite a lot through the internet, through a search, finding my website. I get most enquiries through WhatsApp and text, also a lot from email enquiries through the website. Facebook and Instagram are free to set up a business page. I started taking Cash or Bank transfer payments, as clients are happy with this. I now also have a Sum Up payment machine this year, clients can pay by phone or card.

Your go to place for inspiration, and why?

When learning the special tests I would often got to YouTube and watch Physiotutors mostly but also watch other videos too. I also came across Bob and Brad (physiotherapists) which were very helpful. Another major go to for massage techniques is Rebel Massage, she is a tutor who makes her own massage balms. She is fantastic. A Class mate also follows her and told me about LexFitness. This is a body builder and therapist duo going through tests, techniques etc. They are funny, factual, and informative, a great combination. So I follow them now for inspiration.

I have found Stretch and Grow. He has great stretch and flexibility exercises. Also Tom Morrison, he teaches how to move better, become strong and flexible. He has programs for all
body parts and for disc issues. Functional Patterns is insightful, how the correct exercise moves can help posture, even with scoliosis. These people also tend to be found on Instagram and Facebook as well as YouTube.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

In 5 years, I see myself with a successful business, no longer needing to do my part time care job. 

This tax year has been busier than the last. I also sold some Christmas vouchers and a valentines voucher this year too. So my business is a slow growing one, but definitely growing, with more and more word of mouth clients which is invaluable. I can choose my own hours to work around my family life. I am happy to work some evenings which is certainly an appeal to the hard-working clients. Also being able to offer mobile appointments is good too.  I’m most proud of being able to do this for myself, especially being able to have helped people get over painful issues.  I have had a level 6 Massage lady come to me for several treatment’s herself, which was daunting to start with. But she took some of my business cards and refers clients to me if she cannot fit them in or have times suitable for them. I have had some clients find me after being told by their Chiropractors that they need massage. I am amazed at the people I have met from different careers that I most probably wouldn’t have met before.

What makes your business stand out?

I stand out as a business that clients come to if they have tight areas or an issue. They don’t seem to think of having a relaxing massage for this. I also appeal to people for offering some evenings. I still have one child at nursery who will start school in September. So, I will then be able to offer more hours. I currently open on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays during school hours when she is at nursery and my son is at school. And offer evenings Monday to Thursday and manage bookings as I like from 6pm until 8pm for the last booking.  I hope to soon be able to stop my two evening shifts in my Care work. It’s not the easiest time to start a business after covid and with wages not being enough for many. But onwards and upwards, it is slow but always improving. So that’s great.

Any other advice?

Always remember to look after yourself. Stretch, try, and keep good posture, strengthen hands if need be. Try not to be to thumb heavy if you can. I need treatment on myself every so often as well as trying to self-treat, which I managed in the past. I think we have been taught in such a good way.  I did struggle a bit to begin with, the closest thing I could relate to was Imposter syndrome. I think being my own business starting anew in this new field. But experience helps. The more issues you can practice on when learning will help.

Canva is a great app where you can do free online advertising to your social media, they do other things too such as business cards, but I got mine from Vista Print.

Some people think Sports Massage is only for sporty people, so it’s good to talk about how it’s for everyone.  The youngest client I have seen is 15 years old who attended with parent. The oldest client was 80 years old. I seem to appeal to all types of people, more women than men.

I Haven’t looked back, so glad that I took this path. The best of luck to anyone else.

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