Are you Proactive, or Reactive???

People proatively check in to see their dentist every so often in order to check up on the health of their teeth and ensure everything is as it should be….

Why not be proactive and schedule a check up with your therapist, or a ‘maintenance’  sports massage session, to keep your body operating in an optimum, pain free manner!

Don’t wait until that minor ache in your back has developed into a major debilitating condition before reacting to it.

Scheduling a sports massage session every couple of months could help to deal with any potential issues before they develop.
Too many times I see people with back pain who have waited and waited, taken no steps to combat it themselves and eventually have ended up at the docs, prescribed strong painkillers, told to avoid all sorts of activities, had MRI’s, taken lengthy periods off work.

All of these factors do nothing but create a vicious cycle that can play into more pain, more disruption from daily life.

Deal with it early, get advice on: 
– what may be the issue
– what YOU can do to help remedy the situation
– how pain does not equal damage
– how YOU can control you symptoms

Plus you get a nice hour of sports massage therapy to look forward too 👍🏼😎

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Todd Hargrove: Why Do Muscles Feel Tight?

Why Do Muscles Feel Tight?

Here I have copied the opening paragraphs to a great blog post by Todd Hargrove on the topic of muscle tightness. It seems as though every person I bump into complains of some part of their body felling ‘tight’.

What is this ‘tightness’ and what does it mean? Read below for Todd’s insight……..


“Why do muscles feel tight? Does that mean they are short? That they can’t relax? And what can you do about it?

Here are some of my thoughts about why muscles feel tight and what to do about it.

(Update – See bottom of the post for recent research confirming some of the speculations in this post.)

Tightness is a Feeling, Not Just a Mechanical Condition

When someone says they feel tight in a particular area, they might be referring to several different complaints. So I try to find out:

  • Are they talking about poor range of motion?
  • Or maybe range of motion is fine, but movement to the end range feels uncomfortable or takes excess effort.
  • Or maybe the problem isn’t really with movement, but just that the area never reels feels relaxed.
  • Or maybe the area feels basically relaxed, but has some vague sense of discomfort – a feeling that is unpleasant but too mild to be called pain.

This ambiguity means that the feeling of tightness is just that – a feeling – which is not the same thing as the physical or mechanical property of excess tension, or stiffness, or shortness. You can have one without the other.

For example, I have many clients tell me their hamstrings feel tight, but they can easily put their palms to the floor in a forward bend. I also have clients whose hamstrings don’t feel tight at all, and they can barely get their hands past their knees. So the feeling of tightness is not an accurate measurement of range of motion.

Nor is it an accurate reflection of the actual tension or hardness of a muscle, or the existence of “knots.” When I palpate an area that feels tight to a client (let’s say the upper traps), they often ask – can you feel how tight that is?! 

I often say something like:

Ummmmmm …… no. It feels just like the surrounding tissues.

But I completely understand that it FEELS tight in this area and you don’t like it.

I don’t like the feeling of tightness either so I want to help you get rid of it. But the feeling of being tight isn’t the same thing as that area actually being physically tight. Make sense?

This actually does make sense to most people, and they find it mildly interesting. I want people to understand this because it might help them reconsider a misconceived plan they may have already developed for curing their tightness – such as aggressive stretching, fascia smashing, or adhesion breaking. So now they are willing to consider an approach that is a bit more subtle than driving a lacrosse ball halfway through their ribcage.

Why do muscles feel tight if they are not actually tight?

So why would a muscle feel tight even if it physically loose?…………………..”

Follow the link below to continue with the article at Todd Hargrove’s blog site!

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IAAF World Indoor Championships – Birmingham 2018

IAAF World Indoor Championships

Birmingham 2018

I am very please to have been asked to provide soft tissue / sport massage therapy at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham in 2018.

World Indoor Championships

“The 17th IAAF World Indoor Championships in Athletics will be held in 2018 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. This will be the city’s second hosting of the event as it previously did so in 2003.”

I am excited to expand my experience of working in Athletics and get to work providing sports massage and helping some of the athletes push on to achieve their goals! This will be a massive event and the whole of the Country will be behind it, I am looking forward to spending time at the arena and taking in the atmosphere of the Championships.

I was involved providing sports massage / soft tissue therapy at the Junior European Championships earlier in 2017, where Team GB produced a record medal haul. Lets hope that Team GB can pull in the medals next year!

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Client Testimonial: Eric Lichaj, Nottingham Forest & USA International

Eric Lichaj

Client Testimonial

“Alex has helped me through a full season of calf, hamstring, glute and quad soreness. He knows how to manage my body to decrease my recovery time after training and to keep me in peak condition for games.”

Eric Lichaj, Nottingham Forest & USA football player.

Eric is a player that I worked extensively with throughout the 2014-2017 football seasons both in my position at Nottingham Forest and in my private clinic. I would work with Eric daily throughout the football season, which places an extremely high demand on his body.

Through the consistent work and great understanding of how his body reacts to the different stressors of the football league we were able to tailor his sessions for maximal results for him.

A great player and a great professional!

To read more reviews of Central Sports Massage then please follow the link below:

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Motion is Lotion!

Regular movement helps to keep our joints strong and our body’s pain free.

Whether this is due to a mechanical process or for neurological reasons, the fact is, if you want to reduce your risk of pain & discomfort and want to keep active and mobile well into your later years you need to:

– Move often
– Use your body’s full range of movement
– Take the stairs
– Run to the shop
– Wrestle with your kids
– Climb things
– Hang from things
– Lift things
– Dance to your favourite songs

Being physically healthy doesn’t have to involve hours in a gym. Find something that suits you and have fun with it!

At Central Sports Massage we can help you:

-keep your body in great condition by working to keep your muscles loose and hydrated.
-We can incorporate mobilisation techniques that can help you keep your joints in great condition.
– We can assist you with your flexibility with specific stretch techniques aimed to maximise your range of movement.

Get in touch to book your session and let us help you keep living right!

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British Athletics – Training Day

British AthleticsBritish Athletics Training Day

I recently attended an end of season training day with British Athletics. The day was hosted by UKA head Physical Therapist Shane Kelly.

The training was held at the Loughborough University based Seb Coe High Performance Athletics Centre. It brought together the doctors, physios and soft tissue therapists that British Athletics use to provide medical cover throughout the season at training camps and events.

British Athletics HiPAC

This was a great opportunity to come together with such an experienced and proficient group of professionals.

During the day we had presententions relating to the British Athletics approach to hamstring injury management. Whilst also getting hands on for two practical sessions lead by British Athletics’ two full time soft tissue therapists.

These sessions focussed on the anterior hip and the foot and ankle. They were especially relevant to trackside therapy with a lot of active release techniques. These techniques can be utilised to create quick results that can enable an athlete to continue to perform. It was great to have a large number of experienced therapists all sharing ideas. As a result, I definitely picked up a few new ways of approaching certain areas that I know will compliment my style of work.

All in all it was a great training day and I look forward to continuing my work with British Athletics going into 2018!

British Athletics Stadium


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Working with the Performers!

Northern Ballet

I was very happy this month to have teamed up with the Northern Ballet company to provide post show sports massage treatment for one of their principle performers, Javier Torres, after his performance in ‘The Little Mermaid’ at the Nottingham Theatre Royal.

These tours come thick and fast, with numerous performances per day. The demand on the performers is great, so much so that they have numerous performers cast for each principle role. This allows them to rotate the cast to give the individual performers time to recover between shows and not overload themselves.

Just in the same way that sportsmen utilise soft tissue therapy and sports massage to aid their recovery and prevent injury, stage performers undergo just as much physical stress and as such require the same level of work behind the scenes to keep them fit and able to perform to their peak levels.


“A recent study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research took a look at classical ballet from the perspective of it being a sport. They selected previously published research and examined professional ballet dancers along a series of fitness parameters:

Aerobic capacity – Professional dancers were found to have lower demands on the heart than non-professional level dancers, perhaps due to physical adaptation from the volume and years of training.

Muscular power and endurance – Ballet dancers demonstrate higher vertical jumps than the average population and also a greater adaptation to long periods of demand on their muscles.

Muscular strength – While dancers demonstrate greater strength in their hips than other populations, they are generally wary of strength training due to the aesthetic demands of ballet.

Anthropometry – To meet the aesthetic requirements of ballet, dancers frequently keep their caloric intake very low possibly predisposing them to bone density problems and injuries.

Flexibility – Dancers, on average, display a much higher capability than average.

Agility – Not much information on dancers and agility could be found by the study, but dance training was found to increase agility in athletes in other sports.

In conclusion, the study found classical ballet could be compared with other high-intensity interval training, but unlike athletes in sports, ballet dancers are not always physically prepared for the demands put on their bodies.” (


On a personal level, I thoroughly enjoy working with a wide range of populations. It allows me to observe different movement patterns and the effect that this has on the musculature of the body. Each sport, dance, occupation and so on, places different physical demands on the body and I find it fascinating to see how the body adapts to these demands!

When working with professional footballs at Nottingham Forest I learned very quickly the areas that commonly caused players problems. With that, I also identified the best way to apply therapy to alleviate these issues. This is the same for the large number of runners that I regular treat. Now, as I begin to see more and more dancers, I am starting to recognise similar patterns and I can begin to adapt my treatment process to optimise results.

I hope to continue to work with members of the Northern Ballet company when they are in town!

Dancer Masge

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Client Testimonial: James Wall, British Arm Wrestling Champion

Client Testimonial

Client Testimonial

“Thank you Alex for a superb session. It’s been a couple of days since the treatment. The tension in my shoulders and back has really improved. Looking forward to the next session in four weeks time.”

James Wall, British Arm Wrestling Champion.

James is a client that I have treated on and off over the last 7 years. Most recently he has become heavily involved in competitive arm wrestling. The combination of the sport specific demands and heavy resistance training place a lot of strain on his body. He now comes in regularly to help maintan the wellbeing of his body and to keep him able to train with full intensity and purpose.

With the right training and an efficient therapy program in place, we hope for him to progress well into the high level professional European events in 2018!


To read more reviews of Central Sports Massage then please follow the link below:



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Need some Christmas inspiration????

Christmas is just around the corner now!

It is the time that you start racking you brains for gift ideas for all of your family and friends….what could you get that they don’t already have!!!

What better present to give to a loved one than a one hour gift voucher for Central Sports Massage?!


Gift Voucher

What’s more, when you buy a gift voucher for someone, you will receive £5 off your own session at any of our Nottingham or Melton Mowbray clinics!

Get in touch on

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Twitter: Central_Massage

Soft Tissue Therapy

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‘Sports Massage’ or ‘Soft Tissue Therapy’???

Mel Cash is the founder & principle tutor at the London School of Sports Massage.

This is the college that I attended and gained my qualifcation.

Here, he speaks about about his feelings and the shift from ‘Sports Massage’ to ‘Soft Tissue Therapy‘….

Sports Massage

“Perhaps the worst mistake I have ever made was calling my first book “Sports Massage”. It should have been called Remedial Massage for Sport, but my publishers thought that Sports Massage sounded more contemporary (it had never been seen in print before). I hoped at the time that sports massage would become synonymous with remedial massage and mean the same thing, but how wrong I was!

Sports and remedial massage therapy

Five years ago when the London School of Sports Massage upgraded its training course to a BTEC level 5 qualification, we decided to continue to call it Sports and Remedial Massage and hope that our emphasis on remedial (which the Oxford English Dictionary defines as “giving or intended as a remedy or cure”) would be understood. But there are 2 problems with this:

  1. “Sports massage” is getting a reputation for being quite crude and brutal as there are still some organisations and schools providing poor quality training.
  2. Using  the word massage  in the qualification title implies that that’s all we do, which is not true. Our scope of training means it is possible to provide highly effective treatment without applying any ‘conventional’ massage techniques. Massage is just one of the tools that we draw on.


Soft Tissue Therapy


Remedial soft tissue therapy

Every 5 years, our qualification has to be renewed with BTEC. There was very little change to the course content this time round, but I feel that it is becoming increasingly important to have a title that truthfully and accurately reflects the range of skills that our graduates possess by the end of their training. Remedial Soft Tissue Therapy is a more accurate description of what we do now.

When I started as a therapist, nobody had heard of the term sports massage, but in just a few years it became a recognised term. If you used the term ‘soft tissue’, people used to think that it had something to do with toilet paper, but now we often hear about deep tissue massage and people seem to know what it means.

Nowadays I don’t think people will be scared off by the term soft tissue therapy, but instead are more likely to be enthusiastic because they want something different and better than the ‘average’ sports massage they may have experienced.

I believe now is the right time to start calling ourselves ‘Remedial Soft Tissue Therapists,’ and I’m sure that this will become a commonly recognised term if more of us use it.”

In a further interview he goes on to say….

“We have also seen changes in the training of physiotherapists over recent decades, which has made musculoskeletal physiotherapy become predominantly exercise-based,with limited, if any, hands-on treatment techniques that we use to such a great effect in Soft Tissue Therapy.

Soft Tissue Therapy has evolved to fill the vacuum that has developed in the treatment of minor and chronic injuries in mainstream healthcare today. It has risen to a much higher clinical level than the ‘sports massage‘ we started off with in the 1980ies.”

Soft Tissue Therapy



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