Hi, welcome to the blog. A number of years ago I trained and practised in sports massage whilst working as a trainee architect and studying at West Kent College. The time came when I had to make the choice of which career to pursue full time and Architecture won. A couple of years back I decided I would like to take up my massage skills again in order to diversify from my architectural work. It soon became obvious that in order to set up a fully insured practice I would need to go back to college to obtain the necessary qualifications and join the FHT. I have recently completed studies to gain my qualifications in A&P (anatomy and physiology) and swedish/body massage. Alongside studying and continuing with my architectural practice I have built a new studio/treatment room and am now up and running. I am returning to college next term in order to study further in sports/remedial massage and injury diagnosis.

Contact me:

Mobile: 07850 716584 : Tel: 01732 300635 : E-mail me

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Gillingham Agility Weekend Show

Another trip out For the Body Mechanics trade stand but this time I was definitely going to find time to compete with my sheltie Kizzy in between treatments.

This is Tamzins home turf so it was nice to join forces once again and share the work load.

It was nice to be able to get on the show ground a day early, on the Thursday, to set up and have a good chill out before opening up the stand on Saturday morning. The wind was gusting on the day of arrival so although we managed to get the gazebo up ok we had a bit of a sleepless night worrying whether it would be halfway across the show ground by morning!

Friday morning and a nervous peek out the caravan window revealed that the gazebo had stood fast...phew!

After a slow start on Saturday morning things started to gather pace with a steady flow of customers for both of us, some new and some repeat customers from our previous show. It's such a shame that the Agility season is drawing to a close just when we were getting established with the beginnings of a following. It's probably going to be the Easter show 2011 before Body Mechanics sets up its trade stand again, but don't forget we're always happy to treat people at my studio in Kent or Tamzins home in Dorset in the interim.

Sunday turned out to be a perfect summers day with business still brisk and the last customer leaving around 6.00pm.We were packed up and on the road by about 7.30 and home in about 3 hours..........exhausted.

A very enjoyable last trip out with the caravan for 2010. Kizzy and I even managed a few good rounds of agility, bless her cottons.

Another successful weekend for Body Mechanics. Thanks for all your hard work Tamz, and thanks to all our customers from both of us.

See you all next season, or before if you come and see us! You'd be very welcome.............

Equestrian Boot Camp

Thought I'd try a new kind of event for the Body Mechanics trade stand and was lucky enough to get an invitation to attend an Equestrian Boot Camp from my good friend and top dressage trainer Wizz Clack.

It was a three day event from Friday 3rd Sept through to Sunday, so I went along on Thursday to set up my treatment tent in advance. I had an indoor pitch so was able to get power for my heated treatment table which turned out to be a winner!

There were 20 riders at the camp who all had a half hour sports massage included in their weekend package. I was delighted to be able to treat 19 of them with about 10 booking in for follow up treatments on the Sunday.

All in all it turned out to be an exhausting weekend but thoroughly rewarding with some great feedback.

Special thanks to Jane for organising the event and Ronnie for keeping me fed and watered with some fantastic home made food....................especially the CAKES!

I had a great time with a great bunch of people who were all very friendly and welcoming. I'd love to do it again and if invited would only do one thing differently.........................take my caravan so I don't miss out on those boozy evenings in the club house!

Thanks again, hope to see you next camp.

Hope to post some pics later

Thursday, 26 August 2010

WOW! What a weekend!

Setting up the trade stand for the first time went better than I expected and in a couple of hours we were ready for business.

We opened at 8.30 on Friday, probably a bit early with hindsight as most people were busy doing early runs and trying to get their heads round running several dogs in 18 rings!

By about 10.30 there was a trickle of interest and we had our first customers. We were up and running..............yep and I mean RUNNING!!! Our booking sheets were suddenly filling up at a rate of knots. Lunch became a banana and an energy bar on the run and we came up for air as our last customers for the day left the treatment tents just after 7.00pm! PHEW!

Saturday was pretty much a repeat of Friday except we had bookings from 8.30am! We still didn't close till after 7.00pm. It was an early start again on Sunday and apart from a slight lull late afternoon, when everyone was packing up ready to leave for Dogs in Need, the last customer left just after 6.00pm.

Well, that wasn't quite what we expected!

A huge thank you to everyone who came along to give it a try in spite of our "out of the way" location and the inclement weather. A lot of our Friday customers re-booked for the Sunday which I think speaks for itself. The feedback has been very positive and we already have bookings for our next stand at Gillingham in September.

Tamzin and I got a huge buzz from the whole experience and found it immensely satisfying and would do it all again tomorrow. Well, probably not literally tomorrow as we were exhausted, but in a nice way.

Being back at our day jobs is kinda dull...................or as Tamzin put it in a recent e-mail, "I'm climbing the walls"!

We are really looking forward to our next outing at Gillingham and catching up with our customers, new and old.

Thanks again for your custom at the KCI and all your wonderful comments since.

Andy and Tamzin

Sorry there're no pics.....................we forgot. But if anyone's got any please send them in and I'll link them to the report.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Jill Parker at her Best!

Jill's been coming to me for sports massage for almost 9 months now, sometimes on a weekly basis, with the aim of keeping her muscles in the best possible condition in order to reach the top of her game competing in Triathlon. She has reached that point in the amateur section, as you will see from the report below, and is on the cusp of making the transition into the elite sector. The training regime is grueling, I don't know how she does it, I feel exhausted just thinking about it! Keep it up Jill, congratulations on an awesome result!

Jill with her winner's medal

Here's how the day went...........
On 24/25 July there was a whole weekend of triathlons taking place at Hyde Park building up for when the Olympics will take place there in 2012.  The main race was the Elite World Series Championship where professional elite athletes had travelled from every corner of the world to compete.  As this is the top elite championship only the top 5 from each country were selected and unfortunately, as all the top British girls wanted to race, I did not make the cut this time.  However, not wanting to miss out on racing at the future Olympic venue I signed up for the amateur race taking place on the Sunday.
On the Saturday I watched the elite ladies race, and they were phenomenal, I know I wouldn't have come last in that race, but I'm still a way off competing with the best of them.
On Sunday I got ready for my first amateur race in a while.  Prior to the race I'd put quite a bit of pressure on myself, I'd been racing with the elite ladies for quite a few races now so wanted to prove to myself that i definitely belonged there.  There were loads of people racing in the amateur race about 1,600 in total and all the waves were mixed up between ages and genders.  I think there were only around 6 girls in my wave.  This was frustrating as it was impossible to know how you were doing against other girls in your age group but it did chill me out and i was quite relaxed when I got in to the Serpentine to start my race.

I was determined just to relax and enjoy this race as much as I could and found myself feeling very calm in the water waiting for the starting siren to sound.  The klaxon sounded and we were off and miraculously, I went into the lead with two other people.  Apart from the weed in the shallower parts of the Serpentine, which I had to remove from my goggles a couple of times so I could still see where I was going, the swim, unusually for me, was a dream.  I was nice and relaxed, got into a really good rhythm found lots of clear water so no hitting and kicking or argy bargey and exited the water third in my heat in 20:51.

Unlike elite racing where the transition area is nicely laid out next to the swim exit with loads of room, for the amateurs it was a 500m run to a large field with all the bikes racked up on the slope of the hill.  I had a terrible position but soon I had picked up my bike and was doing a flying mount onto my bike and powering round the perimeter road of Hyde Park.  It was impossible to know my position and with my bike computer refusing to work it was impossible to know my speed, so I just focused on putting my head down and racing as hard as I could.   With so many athletes on the course it was great motivation flying past loads of people, I loved it.  Especially motoring round the corners and chicanes where people were breaking for too much, I was able to zip round quickly on the inside of them.  A few men did not like being overtaken by a girl so tried fighting back, which just spurred me on to overtake them back again and this 'cat and mouse' chasing kept my concentration and my speed high.  I had my coach, Michelle Dillon screaming for me on one corner of the bike course and my husband Matt and friend Andy and his family screaming for me at the bridge over the Serpentine so I focused on getting to them as fast as I could to motivate me for the next part of the course.
Before I knew it 5 laps of the bike (around 37km I think) was over, I'd completed it in 59:52 and I headed back to transition hoping that this time my run legs would be fired up for a fast run.  The run was 4 laps of the Serpentine and I was feeling good and wanted to give it my all.  On the run course the crowds were huge and cheered us on every inch of the way.  At the end of the first lap I was feeling great, running fast and soaking up the atmosphere.  Matt was cheering at the first part of the run lap, Mish half way through and Andy near the finishing straight so I focused on getting to each of my supporters round every lap.  I was feeling fast but the run was getting harder with every lap.  Coming to the end of the third lap where the huge crowds had gathered I was starting to lose a little momentum when the commentator must have picked up on my time splits.  He started shouting over the tannoy for everyone to look to the side of the finish shoot where I was passing through ready to start my final lap.  He was shouting, "Look at the lady coming through in the black tri suit!!! This is Jill Parker from Team Dillon and she is tearing up the field...she's speeding past at an amazing pace... give her some encouragement as she flies past!!!"  The crowd picked up on this and started cheering "Go Jill" as I raced past and even the other athletes who I was overtaking starting giving me great encouragement too.
This really lifted me.  With all this attention I had to look fast even if I felt like I was dying.  So I focused on getting to Matt, then to Mish ignoring the pain in my legs and then before I knew it I was running over the bridge and down the slope towards the finish line.  The crowds were cheering me on down the finish shoot as I finished the run in 38:02 and crossed the line in a total of 2:02:58 smashing the previous course record by 8 minutes and winning the ladies race overall by around 5 minutes.  Great to be back to winning ways.
I attach a photo of me after the race posing with my medal and my recovery compression GC Tech Sports socks - nice ;0)
My next race is London at the excel centre on Sunday - this is against the crème de la crème of all the top British athletes, wish me luck, I'll need it!!!!!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

KC Festival

The first trade stand event for Body Mechanics is looming up fast and I must admit I hadn't realised quite how much stuff I needed to get together to fully equip the gazebo. Still, both Tamzin and I are looking forward to our first outing hoping that we can provide a really useful service to competitors on the Agility circuit. Who knows we might even be able to help them keep up with their dogs!!
So whether someone is looking for some relief for an aching, over stretched muscle or just a relaxing, re-energising massage I'm sure we can help. Thanks to all those who've already shown an interest in coming along for a treatment.
We've already booked a second trade stand at Gillingham weekend later in the year. It's the club Tamzin belongs to and as she lives just up the road, it makes perfect sense.
Ultimately we'd like our stand to become a regular on the circuit but I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Out in the field - KC International Agility Festival

Something else which occupies a great deal of my time is Dog Agility. Whether competing or judging, most weekends between April and October are spent on the competition circuit, mainly in this country, and occasionally abroad.

The Kennel Club International Agility Festival which runs from 13-15 August will soon be upon us, and it's at this show that Body Mechanics makes its debut in the field. I'll be teaming up with another sports massage therapist, Tamzin Grimes, to run two fully equipped treatment rooms for the whole event. We'll be offering a variety of treatments including injury specific sessions or just a completely relaxing and re-energizing full body treatment.

I've known Tamzin for almost twenty years,  we get along really well and should make a good team. We look forward to providing a comprehensive and professional service at our first KC event.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Body Mechanics is up and running

After six months of working weekends, with the help of Al and Michael, the new massage studio is finished at last and open for business. I am delighted with the finished result. Feedback from clients has been very positive saying that it's a very relaxing environment with a modern feel. It has full showering facilities which should prove a big plus with those wishing to take an early morning treatment and go on to work. My client base is steadily increasing and I am hoping that business will build to enable me to split my time equally between massage and my design studio, we'll have to wait and see. 

I enjoy the time I spend in the massage studio it's very relaxing after the pressures of running the design studio, it certainly keeps me fit! 

That's all for now, my next post will be to give you the heads up on teaming up with a colleague for the first trip out in the field for Body Mechanics.