As somebody who lives with constant aches and pains from years of poor posture, lifting too much in a particular job, carrying children through pregnancy and after, breastfeeding and of course from using my phone too often I have been looking for a good place to get a sports massage along with tips and advice. You may think this is an easy thing to find but honestly, I have seen my fair share of chiropractors, massage therapists etc and hadn’t yet found one really local, with affordable prices, free parking and that made me feel fully comfortable… That was until today. I was invited to have a 1/2 hour sports massage session at the Optimal Sports Therapy Centre who recently relocated to new premises in Hatch Warren, Basingstoke and this is how I got on…
About Optimal Sports Therapy
Optimal Sports Therapy has in fact been running for around 13 years but they were slightly limited in the services they could offer and the flexibility due to their previous premises/location. They have recently moved to their very own, barn-like feel building which has provided them with the opportunity to expand their business and the services they can offer.
“The Optimal Sports Therapy Centre, Basingstoke, offers a wide range of treatments and corrections. Treatments are aimed to speed up recovery, restore function and help you return to your normal daily activities at work, leisure or sport”
Optimal Sports Therapy
The experienced team can offer deep tissue massage, sports therapy, and strength and conditioning services all of which are tailored to your personal needs. The team currently consists of:
Seb – Sports injury specialist
Jamie – Sports massage therapist
Erin – Sports therapist
Chris – Strength and conditioning therapist
The Optimal team work with a diverse range of clients, from elite athletes to those that are less active, with their eldest client in their 90s and the youngest being in their teens. You certainly don’t need to be “into sport” to have a sports massage.
Optimal Sports Therapy Centre Review
The centre is located at the top of Hatch Warren in a business park, next to The Portsmouth Arms pub. It was easy to find but one tip I can immediately give is not to listen to your sat nav when it says the first right as this takes you into the pub car park which, granted, is next to the centre but divided by bushes. It is, in fact, the second right and from there the centre (Hooper House) is clearly signposted.
Parking is free and they have 6 marked spaces for you to use, one being an accessible space next to the ramp which leads up to the front door.
I really loved the look of the building. As mentioned above it has a barn-like feel to its aesthetic which makes it feel really welcoming. As soon as I walked in I could clearly see the waiting area to my left.
The main area of the centre has a variety of gym equipment and to the right are the two treatment rooms. Everything was very clean, tidy and organised.
The Sports Massage
I had my sports massage with Jamie. He greeted me very warmly and immediately put me at ease. He asked about my aches, how old my children were (to get an idea of how much I carry, how long ago I was pregnant etc) and how my mobility is. From here he asked me to carry out a few arm raises to determine where there were restrictions in my movement and to gain a good idea of where my body needed the work. Having somebody taking the time to get to know you and what’s going on with your body without rushing, speaking harshly or pulling you around is really important to me. I have been in treatment rooms with other therapists over the years and if I am made to feel uncomfortable from the get-go, I will continue to feel that way throughout the session and typically not return. There’s a lot to be said for a good bedside manner.
I also really liked the fact that Jamie asked if I’d had a sports massage before and told me it can become painful and to just say if it gets too much. I can tolerate quite a bit of pain and am used to massages but somebody else may be new to a service like this and not know what to expect. I think it’s really professional of a therapist to highlight what is going to happen and to ensure that the client feels comfortable enough to say ‘please stop’ if they need to.
As I’ve said, I have had quite a few massages previously but what I enjoyed about this session was the fact that I could feel the areas being targeted but there wasn’t any searing pain or discomfort. Jamie worked through my muscles to break down those knots in a way I hadn’t personally experienced before. I think taking the time to just focus on certain areas rather than covering the whole back really paid off.
He is clearly extremely knowledgable and could massage and chat and explain what he was feeling in my back, neck and shoulders. I know this may sound strange as I am talking about a sports massage but I genuinely think I could have fallen asleep if the session had gone on longer. My muscles, having been so tense and tight to then being relaxed just made my whole body and mind relax. When I stood up I could instantly feel the difference. I was honestly shocked that a 1/2 hour treatment could achieve so much.
Jamie then gave me some tips on fitting in some neck and shoulder exercises each day just to help to keep my body moving and to help to eliminate any future pain and advised that I drink more water today to keep hydrated and flush out those toxins. As you can probably tell, I walked away feeling chilled, envigorated and pain-free.
To book a session with Optimal Sports Therapy you can either phone up, fill in their handy question box on their contact page or book online here. Prices vary from £60 for a 1 hour new client session to £50 for an hour sports massage and £30 for a 1/2 hour massage. You can read through all of the treatments they offer here.
I think a centre like this is just what Basingstoke needs. Having struggled to find a good all-round sports therapy service I feel that Optimal Sports Therapy has now filled that gap and I will definitely be using them again in the future.
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