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Another favourite treatment?

In 2006, when I qualified as Beauty Therapist there were two treatments which I absolutely loved.  You probably realise the first one was Massage, but the other has been popping into my mind more frequently for a while now.

So, a few weeks ago, I asked my husband to go up into the attic to look for a particular box, (because knows his way about up there!) I was expecting that it might be long gone…but I just had a feeling I had held onto it. For “in the future”.

A few minutes later I had two heavy boxes to open. What I was looking for was one particular book, but I was delighted to see a few more “tools” I’d forgotten about, which instantly brought back memories.

During my training, clients would come into the college for treatments, and we’d be assessed. It used to be that those clients were allocated to us based on which treatment we needed to be assessed on, rather than clients choosing their therapist.

I remember one lady who still regularly asked for me as her therapist for this treatment and it was a wee bit awkward explaining it couldn’t always be me – but it was lovely to know that she enjoyed my treatments so much!

“I like that Jill tailors my treatment and routine to me. I always look and feel 10 years younger.”

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Yes, Facial Treatments! I loved the massage element, but also the analysis of choosing the product and/or blend to match my client’s skin and so enhance the results.

I can still remember the smell of the salon and of the products we used – mostly in a pleasant way – although I was fussy about the choice of products (and therapist) touching my skin.

To be honest, I’m even more particular now when it comes to skincare. I’ve completed in-house training with several big-name cosmeceutical and skincare brands, and learnt about their systems and ingredients – but I still prefer to use something I’ve whipped up myself!

All this has me wondering if now’s the time for me to bring my holistsc facials back?

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Jx

No-one Owns Massage

Massage is an ancient therapy which has stood the test of time because it is effective and adaptable for everyone!  

There are a plethora of modalities including Swedish Massage, Deep Tissue, Relaxation, Therapeutic, Remedial, Sports, Hot Stone, Rolfing, Heller, Myofascial Release…and many more.

These modalities all have something in common – they have been derived from the use of touch as a method of healing, developed from many cultural origins and there are many overlaps in the methods and techniques which are often a combination of structural and energetic concepts, placing value on the important connection between the mind and body.

Massage is effective in producing responses through your nervous system through its interrelationship with all your body systems and it has a normalizing effect on your body’s energetic processes.

Although many of you know me as a “Sports Massage” Therapist, I’ve gradually been circling back to where I began as a therapist, and what Massage Therapy really means to me.

I’ve always believed that no single modality “owns” massage and one isn’t superior to another. In my opinion, whichever type of Massage you favour, your massage will be most effective when it is tailored to you as an individual by a therapist who listens and understands.

I value the benefit of regular Massage Therapy on the body to help you keep moving well – most forms of musculoskeletal discomfort respond, at least temporarily. And on the mind the use of massage for anxiety, depression and day-to-day stress is beneficial in conjunction within a holistic approach. I also believe that Massage can help us balance your own personal energies and boost your spirit.

It’s important to me to share this with you simply because this means that I will be able to provide a much more effective service to you when I am being authentic to myself and my beliefs as your massage therapist.

Jx

How does this post make you feel about Massage Therapy? Do my beliefs surprise you?

Makeover Madness!

Sometimes it’s a great idea to have a bit of a makeover to feel refreshed and rejuvenated…The pandemic certainly pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me incorporate my running hobby into part of my work.

But some makeovers are only meant to be temporary…

Over the last few months, I have worked directly with almost 30 runners from a variety of backgrounds and with a selection of goals, the trend has been of improvements in speed, strength and confidence which has been amazing to be a part of!

However, those same last few months I have been extra focused on programming the workouts, the miles, the minutes, the pace, the strength. But something had been missing.

The most important focus on the love and enjoyment to be gained from running! Where I began with my Smile Repeats campaign, and Runner Reboot at the beginning of this year were a much truer refection of my ethos:

Where the science meets the spirit.

I have also been missing working 1:1 with people – my massage clients! I wrote here previously that I wasn’t feeling aligned with some of my clients expectations – but I realise now that the vibe I was sending out in the few months before lockdown began was actually miles away from the holistic and person-centred approach which attracted me to Massage Therapy in the early 2000’s.

It’s all too easy it is to fall back into doing what’s expected–from clients and from my peers and if I’m being honest – this has been the case for Massage too I feel like I have stepped further away from my own values as a Therapist, and I’ve let myself be put in a box.

I don’t think I was designed to fit in and it’s time to get my balance back!

I’ll be launching a new Massage Service in the very near future – I’ll explain more about the what and especially the why soon…

AH! That’s better. Thanks for sticking with me – I’m proud of what I have achieved throughout the last 18 months and I have worked with some amazing clients – but I intend to continue to evolve because I know that I provide the best services by respecting my own values and being my most authentic self.

Jx

PS. If you aren’t on my email list and would like to be first to hear about what’s coming up, here’s the link to subscribe:

A touchy subject?

We currently exist in a society where touch tends to be avoided…😷 and we’re missing out on experiencing the benefits it can have, especially when received in the intentional and meaningful way massage provides.

Did you know that there are physiological reasons behind why touch makes us feel good?

When we receive touch a signal is sent to our brain, which then triggers the release of oxytocin – as well as two other happy hormones, Serotonin and Dopamine.

The intentional, informed ‘touch’ of Massage Therapy has been proven to lower the hormone cortisol – a key component in our stress response. Obviously handy in emergencies but when present long-term it’s harmful for our overall health.

Massage is a valuable element in health care, because it has been shown not only to decrease pain and tightness in muscles, but also to help relieve symptoms of anxiety and stress. Where there are fewer physical symptoms to treat – those sore muscles – much of the emotional benefit we receive from a massage is due to the positive effects of touch itself.

Perhaps it’s time we stopped considering Massage an indulgence, but another equally useful therapeutic tool which also helps bring back connection into our lives?

What’s your perspective on this?

P3

No, this is not a post about “Charmed” the 90’s supernatural TV drama…but I could have used a wee dose of confidence magic on Friday…

The Lovely Natasha from The Planted Mindset Podcast had invited me to be her guest to discuss Periods , Perimenopause and Progress and the time had come to press record.

If you know me, you’ll know public speaking isn’t one of my top skills! However, I needn’t have worried, Natasha and I had a great chat on the value of tracking your cycle making modifications to training to suit where you are in your own cycle to get the best results.

I’m sure lots of us would love a magic wand to help us through our training sometimes, and although we don’t have psychic powers, we can certainly make predictions by looking at patterns based on our tracking.

Anyway, here is the link to listen to the episode, do let me know if you find it interesting!

You can find Natasha’s website here too – https://www.sassy10.com/

360 Degrees

2021, new year, same old lock down! Closed down again. This time I had an idea but no strategy on how to get it out of my head and into the word as an actual THING.

I’d started following a business coach after seeing her spoken word performance on Instagram. I loved the way she highlighted the fact for me that I didn’t have to stay in my self-imposed massage therapy shaped box…I do have more skills to offer, and I also have the desire to use them. Before I knew it, I’d joined her Tribe!

The beginning of my breakout was my #smilerepeats campaign – if you joined me in this THANK YOU!

It was important to me to show that my coaching philosophy is not just about miles, pace, and distance.  Loving your running and taking enjoyment from your training is even more important.

Although, if you’d told me back in January, I’d now be running my own private running programme, Runner Reboot, supporting 14 runners of varying abilities to add structure, gain strength and have confidence in their running, I would’ve said, “No way, you’ve got the wrong girl!”.

But here I am.

That daydream I had after the marathon has become a real part of my life. It may have been Sports Massage that started this ball rolling but looking back I can see the other patterns – the importance of strength and conditioning AND of how my mindset played a part.  

Which sums up quite nicely how the name Runner 360 came about – This is the name of my Facebook Group (we also have Team Runner 360, where my 1:1 Clients get to hang out) This name represents 360 degrees, or a full circle with no beginning or end, your body, brain and attitude and everything in between.

Because as runners we aren’t just using our legs!

In January I wasn’t brave enough to even call myself a coach.  Today I am proud to be both a Sports Massage Therapist and Running Coach who believes in training where the science meets the spirit to help you become stronger, run for longer and LOVE every single mile!

Not The End.

P.S. Yes. I still offer Sports Massage too !https://jillfairbairn.com/sports-massage/

AND Information on working with me to boost your running is here https://jillfairbairn.com/boost-your-running/

P.P.S If you made it through all 5 days , you’re fabulous! Thanks for reading my story.

Lockdown

The universe answered my need for a rest with the emergence of covid …and I was forced to close my business for “3 weeks to flatten the curve”.

It soon became clear this was going to be a much longer break than anyone had anticipated.

Having some extra time on my hands it was the ideal time to update my skills. I signed up to a 5 day challenge run by Strength and Conditioning Education, which took me out of my comfort zone and reminded me that I had much more to offer.

I enrolled onto their Level 4 Strength and Conditioning Coach programme and subsequently joined the Elite Coach Mentorship with a small but powerful network of knowledgeable and supportive coaches.

As we moved in and out of lockdowns and levels, I continued to link up gaps in my knowledge, make new connections and was able to re-think some old ideas and beliefs…I considered all the work I had been doing to rehab my hip and to help my hand, and how this fitted in with what I had learnt through the coaching courses. I could see a way I could help my clients even more.

Deep down that seed of an idea that I had after the marathon had blossomed into something I was excited about, and I kept coming back to it – but I didn’t have the self-belief or courage to believe it could be anything other than just another daydream.

What would people think of me if I tried to do something different? I could already imagine the “who does she think she is” and “you’ll be alieanating lots of your clients”…”no-one will be interested”.

But at the end of the day – I am much more effective in helping my clients when I absolutely LOVE what I do…

(part 4 of 5)

#notaphysio

Somehow, I’d gone from happily working with proactive, positive, active people looking to keep their body feeling fresh and ready to go, with the aim of continuing enjoying their healthy lifestyle, into attracting people who wanted me to “fix” their long-term issues with a single massage…although this was never a promise I made!  

It was becoming increasingly frustrating for me to feel as though I was somehow letting clients down by not being effective in providing something that wasn’t even in my job description. It wasn’t even my responsibility!

Feeling a bit burnt-out

I’m a notorious people-pleaser and it was becoming too much pressure….doing the best I could but also continually reminding clients that I am not a physio/doctor/magician or that they might need to do something more to help themselves, a sports massage isn’t a magic spell!

Obviously, I hadn’t been clear enough in my message of the service I was able to provide, and because I was always going the extra mile for many of my clients – because I do care about people – it seemed this was giving out the wrong signal.

They don’t teach that at Sports Massage school.

Working with my regular clients was still so rewarding, and it pretty much was what was kept me in balance, but with more experiences grew more understanding about other people’s expectations – and also my own boundaries and limitations.

Just as I was starting to think I might need a little time-out, something MASSIVE happened…

(Part 3 of 5)

PS Did you know I still do offer SPORTS MASSAGE? You can find more information here https://jillfairbairn.com/sports-massage/

Also information on working with me to https://jillfairbairn.com/boost-your-running/

Thumb-gate!

Following my marathon daydreaming I was keen to learn a bit more about updating my Massage skills…did you know I used to be a Beauty Therapist?  

I loved massage but I wasn’t really that interested in polishing, pedicures and pampering. Sports Massage sounded like an ideal move, after all – wasn’t that what had helped me so much?

Unfortunately, I took a bit of a tumble and fell off my high heels at a wedding reception. I blamed the trail half marathon earlier that day but, white wine admittedly was never my friend!

I sliced right through a quite important tendon in my right thumb as I landed.

Sports Massage went on hold until I knew how my hand was going to heal – again, massage really helped around the scar and I was strict with my rehab exercises (looking back now it’s easy to see another pattern forming…)

It took 6 months from Thumb-gate until I finally began retraining.

Sports Massage had helped me so much, I was excited to share my skills with the world and I began to work from Galamoor House in a four-hour slot, sharing the clinic space, and I began to build up a good reputation and just a year later I was now the sole Therapist in my own clinic and working full time, which suited me…. I really loved my work!

I absolutely love working with my runner clients who popped in regularly for their maintenance massage. As well as the physical benefits and “fresh legs” massage really seemed to boost their mood and motivation …

But something else was beginning to happen in my clinic and I needed to work out why it had started… and ultimately, how to change it…

P.S. I gave up on high heels after that…and wine!

(Part 2 of 5)

How did I get here?

Not many of you know the story of how I first started my business, so over the next few days I’m going to tell you some stories.

Rewind back to 2016, which seems SO much longer ago than it actually is!

I had had been training for my first marathon – Edinburgh, and everything was going smoothly. My long runs were getting longer, I was on track to finish close to my goal time … following the plan to the letter…then one day after a recovery run, I couldn’t lift my right leg.

It just would not work. A meltdown followed, naturally, because I had put so much effort into my training and I was devastated thinking I wasn’t going to be able to run.

For the next 7 weeks I attended numerous Sports Massage sessions, committed to pool running 4-5 times a week plus targeted rehab exercises. I am quite determined when I have decided I am going to do something…

Eventually, I was allowed a test run, and three miles later and I was still in one piece, not moving nearly as quickly, but feeling normal again. Just in time because I had less than 2 weeks until the marathon.

The big day finally arrived, it started overcast and cool, and I completed the marathon, but it was a real effort to keep running after mile 16. The day had become a scorcher and I’d hit the wall, the finish line was a welcome sight!

After some amazing Fish and Chips on the way home, in my sunburnt haze I started to turn over the events of the last few weeks and some possibilities began to form in my mind …this was day my idea first began…

(Part 1 of 5)

After the Edinburgh Marathon

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