Welcome! Meet Hannah Nicklin…
At 17 years old I had a chair pulled away from me when I went to sit down. Then a couple of years later I had restricted movement in my right arm after looking after someone who had drank a bit too much. Even now I constantly have very tight shoulders and lower back problems.
Why am I telling you this? I want you to know that I strive every day to keep my body pain free and the dull aches at bay.
I want to pass my knowledge on to you and I am passionate about helping others.
I want to:
- reduce your aches and pains, through self help methods at home,
- let others feel and know that pain and discomfort is not something that should be tolerated as part of getting old or having children,
- hold a space for people to open up and feel safe in a non-judgement environment
- and provide a service where you will feel more like you, without the weight on your shoulders, aching lower back and tight calves.
…this is my story…
It was first thing on a Sunday morning and I had drunk too much the night before.
Someone pulled the big heavy wooden carving chair away from behind where I was standing, just before I sat down.
I found myself falling and realised too late that the chair had gone and the force I had put into slumping into the chair, had instead transferred into falling hard on the wooden floor boards. It really hurt and brought tears to my eyes, but I couldn’t say much when my friends all stood around me laughing.
We went on a school hill walking trip a couple of weeks later. It was miles of walking up and down undulating hills, jumping across marshland and bogs, carrying a backpack and sleeping on a roll-mat on the uneven ground at night.
My back was in absolute agony. It was no surprise that when I got home I could barely stand up straight.
The morning after I managed to make it downstairs from my makeshift bedroom at the top of the spiral staircase, by clinging onto the banister. Then I reached across and held on to the nearest dining chair to get across the kitchen. They thankfully had high backs and I was able to use them for support. It must have been a sight to watch, a 17 year old in such a poor slumped over position, unintentionally moaning in such pain with each step.
The frustration and inability to be able to move properly and the pain that came with it, is something I’ll never forget.
Back at college, I found myself giving my friends back and shoulder massages whist they lay across chairs. I used my knowledge of what worked on me, to help them. I did a lot of self massage on myself too, to try and release any of the areas which were sore, mostly with my hands but I also started to use a tennis ball too.
Fast forward a couple of years…
…to university. At the end of a sailing expedition with some sixth-formers, one had drunk too much and was starting to cause a scene by getting out of the taxi as we were leaving. He was only small and I managed to grab hold of him with my right hand and swing him back into the cab. My shoulder must have been caught in the wrong position as something didn’t feel right on the drive back. I thought I had only ‘tweaked it’.
It ached deeply inside the joint and no matter what I did, it just didn’t seem to ease off or get better.
Driving became an issue as I had problems holding onto the steering wheel when changing gears. Using my right arm was got increasingly difficult. Lifting my arm to brush my long hair and put it up for work every day was absolute agony. I sought help and went in for key hole surgery so that the shoulder specialist could look inside my shoulder and see what was wrong, for this they needed to dislocate it to see inside the joint. They found nothing wrong but the problems with my shoulder didn’t completely go away.
In 2018, a couple of years, after leaving the British Army and having 2 children, I decided to pursue being a massage therapist. I wanted to help my family who I saw were constantly complaining of an aching back from gardening too much, or swollen fingers with pins and needles after working out, or complaining of an aching back after sitting at a desk for long hours.
I qualified in both ITEC Level 3 Diploma and ITEC Level 4 Certificate in Sports Massage at the Cotswold Academy.
I learnt through my training that my shoulder issue could have been managed through treatment around my rotator cuff, and I would have avoided it being dislocated through surgery. It reaffirmed my need to share what I know so that I can reduce the chances of others suffering through the same thing.
The term ‘knowledge is power’ is so true and I want to share the knowledge I have. We all have aches and pains and what we would really appreciate is help to keep them at bay between appointments. I have started to create little doodle self help guides for you to use. I talk you through what I’m doing during your appointment too so you can better understand how our bodies work and everything links together.
I also believe that the mental aspect of having a massage is extremely important too. It’s important to know that you are not alone and are truly heard.
Having had my back and shoulder problems, I understand your need to guard any sore areas for fear of returning back to that time when it was agony.
I’m always open to chat about it during your sessions. I always work in your pain level threshold of 2-3, #1 being a light massage and #5 being deep pressure which makes you tense up and wish you hadn’t spoken out. It’s so important, especially when you have tender and sore areas, that I work with you to make sure it’s a gentle yet effective massage for both your body and your mind.
My door is always open, for a chat or a sports massage,
Hannah Nicklin, Sports Massage Therapist, Moreton-in-Marsh