Why choose Physiotherapy as a career?
It began back in 2002 when I had Shiatsu massage and Acupuncture in Japan. I couldn’t sleep for a couple of days because I did my back in wakeboarding, and this old bloke fixed me up within about 2 hours. Wow – that’s something I’d love to be able to do, I thought.
Back in London I never really pursued massage – I was told that Rock climbing and Shiatsu just wouldn’t work, and was far more interested in Climbing at that time. When I met Lynne in 2009, and I mentioned this story, she said, well, just go and learn massage – you might as well. So I did, just as a hobby.
I like knowing how things work, and knowing how the body works is a very cool thing. At that point, I had no view to doing anything related to bodywork as a career. That really developed from seeing my fellow classmates, seeing what they were planning and doing. At that point, I realised, well, if they can do it, why not me? The only thing that is keeping me behind a desk, or chained to a day job is me and my fears.
A few years later, having moved to the Peak District to pursue Sports and Remedial Massage as a career, we ended up being a part of the London Olympics. I spent a fantastic couple of weeks in the Velodrome with a few very talented physiotherapists. During this time I realised that my knowledge of the body was in some cases, better than theirs. I also realised that they got to go on some very cool CPD workshops, and that the only real way I could get on them, the only way I could really progress in that sphere was to get a degree in Physiotherapy.
So on getting home from the Olympics, I phoned around some local universities, one of them somehow agreed to taking me on, and all of a sudden I was a Full time student again. 3 Years later, with more than 1000 clinical hours under my belt, I’m now a Qualified Physiotherapist along with having been a Sports and Remedial Massage Therapist for the last 6 years, and am very much looking forward to the challenges ahead of me.
Do you have a specialist area? I could answer “legs” or “shoulders”, but to be honest, everything is so connected that you can’t actually differentiate from one body part to another anymore. I really enjoy working on a specific body part, and then going along a chain of fascia. I explain what I am doing, and why I am doing it, which often elicits more questions, which I then attempt to answer to the best of my knowledge.
So I suppose that my specialist area is actually the continuing education of clients about their bodies, how they connect together as a functional human and how to get the most out of their body.
Along with my massage qualification I have also passed some Continual Professional development courses, learning from Leon Chaitow on his Breathing Pattern Disorders, Noah Karrasch with fascial unlocking of the knee, and a long weekend with John Gibbons, learning advanced therapy techniques, along with lots of theoretical and practical knowledge of the SI joint and hip movement. I also did a course on strapping and taping with one of John’s associates, and have been involved with the guys from Rocktape, helping out on trade stands at various events.
I’m looking forward to continuing my development this year and next with courses in Clinical Pilates and Accupuncture.
Future aspirations: Having finished my physiotherapy degree, I’m kind of looking forward to not having to go to university again. Though having said that, I really do like the idea of a Post Graduate Certificate in manual therapy, or an additional qualification in Sports and Exercise Medicine or Strength and Conditioning.
What sports are you involved in personally? Fell running. I never thought I’d say that. When I moved up to Derbyshire I thought – yeah, loads of gritstone, I’m going to be climbing loads! Well, I have been climbing, but not as much as I thought. Truth be told, it’s a lot easier to stick on a pair of shoes, hop out the back door and thrash around the hills for a couple of hours than to organise a day climbing. I also get out on my mountain and road bikes – more road biking these days though.
Other interests? I’m a bit of a gear geek, having worked in an outdoor shop for a couple of years, my fascination with new fabrics, cuts of jackets, plastics, grips on shoes and the functionality of how things work interests me a lot.
I’m proud to be a full time volunteer on Glossop Mountain Rescue Team which enables me to use my outdoor skills in the service of the community.
Time in the gym is often sneered at in some outdoor circles, but I think it’s an excellent tool to help overcome weaknesses. I’m very interested in corrective exercises, and the use of specific functional fitness that helps sports people get better at what they love. I’m not particularly enamoured with going to the gym for the gyms sake, though I see why people do that, but going there in order to make yourself better for living, working and playing. Yes, I like that.
Favourite place? No one place. The Isle of Wight, where I grew up, in a tree in the garden, on the beach, or in a boat. Kawatana in Japan where I spent some of the best years of my life, on the Rhinogs in Wales where I spent more family holidays than I can remember, running down the peaty paths of Kinder or Bleaklow. Wherever it is, there is always movement.
Favourite saying? Fall down 7 times, get up 8. What normally happens in a fell race.
Ichigo ichiee. One meeting, once in a lifetime. Basically, everytime you meet someone, that is the only time you will ever meet them at that point in your, or indeed their life. Each moment is precious and unique
Wakeiseijaku. Another Japanese saying. Peace, respect, purity and tranquility. By Sen Rikyu, legendary Tea ceremony master.
Find the problem. Fix the problem. Mark Twight. He’s said a lot of stuff, and a lot of it is fantastic and very quotable, but this is perhaps his most succinct one which fits for all walks of life.
Tim writes a blog about his fell running adventures, races and about gear he tests – read his personal accounts at testedtodestruction.