About Holly Mc

I’m Holly, a fitness instructor, personal trainer, massage therapist, assessor, tutor, and pre and post natal exercise specialist. Born and raised in rural Northumberland I am passionate about the outdoors, health, fitness, and general wellness. I believe it is important to look after body through exercise and nutrition, and finding “me-time” to look after your own physical and emotional well-being. Along side providing health and fitness advice, I also offer coaching and lifestyle advice; helping clients work through their stresses and reducing daily pressures through coping mechanisms which are easy to access and perform. As I come to add content to this blog, you will get to know me through everything from the food I eat, the exercise I do (and don’t do), the books I read, how I like to spend my free time (yes, free time!), and probably a lot more along the way. I’ll be sharing more information shortly but for now, I wish you a very enjoyable day!

Small Changes Add Up

I’m not sure what happened, maybe I was just sick of feeling lethargic and a bit soft but yesterday I started making changes…

Nothing big or scary, nothing that took too much thought or any tracking but I did some things that were slightly different to recent days and already I feel better.

What did I do?

I DRANK MORE WATER – instead of my favourite guilt pleasure, diet fizzy pop, I ditched it for water instead.

I CONTROLLED MY PORTIONS – I was much more sensible about portion control and instead of thinking “I’m starving, I’ll fill my plate”, served up a smaller meal and it was definitely enough.

I BY-PASSED THE SNACK – I had a sandwich at lunch time but I didn’t get the usual extras I might have previously – no crisps, no afters. Just a sandwich and water.

I FILLED UP ON FRUIT – Oh my word, I forgot how satisfying and tasty a bowl of fruit is! I cut up some of my favourites – apple, banana, strawberries, melon, blueberries and grapes into a dessert bowl to trough on in the evening.

I WORKED ON MY BUSINESS – After Isla went to bed I sat and worked ON my business, looking at where I am, where I want to be and what I need to do. I would usually plonk my butt on the sofa and watch rubbish on TV or some instagram stories (Yey for Mrs Hinch).

These things all happened without me trying hard, feeling like it was a chore or like I was missing out.

I actually feel like I had a really awesome day!

Today I am going to continue with more of the same, keeping the above things going and making better choices, small changes to the things I normally do.

What choices will you make today that are good for you?

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FAQs of a Sports Massage Therapist

FAQs

During my day-to-day life as a SMT (Sports Massage Therapist) I have been asked many questions both about myself and about general elements of massage so I thought I would answer a few of the most common questions in this post. Here we go…

“How long have you been doing this?”

I started out in Sports Massage in summer 2016. Having previously trained in fitness instruction, personal training and pre and post natal fitness, sports massage seemed like the next natural step for me.

I set up the clinic in Oasis Health Club in September of 2017 after having my little girl in the May of that year and choosing not to go back to my full time job as a Regional Trainer for Apprenticeships in Fitness & PT.

I am hoping to get into teaching sports massage in the near future.

“What should I wear for the treatment?”

This is all down to your own personal comfort. Some clients like to wear shorts, others are happy to have treatment in their underwear. I would generally recommend that if you are coming for sports massage where I may be assisting you in stretching the muscles, particularly the legs, you may want to make sure you have a pair of shorts with you. If you are attending for more of a general purpose deep tissue massage (to reduce everyday aches and pains) then coming along in your regular clothes and stripping down to your underwear for the treatment is absolutely fine. I give you privacy to get changed/undressed and onto the couch, I also provide towels so that you remain as covered up as possible throughout treatment, to make you feel comfortable and at ease.

“Do you ever get clients that make a lot of noise?”

Sometimes, yes. Sometimes there are elements of treatment that are unavoidably painful (more in sports massage that deep tissue) and clients can’t help but let out a little yelp, though 9 times out of 10 I would say it’s more a swear word than a noise, lol.

I have some clients who love to chat all the way through a treatment and others that like to be silent – I follow your lead as far as conversation is concerned. There may be times that I have to talk to you in order to monitor pressure and your response to the treatment, if you chose to be quiet throughout then a quick yes or no may be all I ask.

“How often should I get a massage?”

There are no hard and fast rules for this but as a general guideline I would always recommend regular massage of around every 4 weeks to stay on top of any tension, aches or pains. If I feel that you would benefit from a follow up treatment sooner than this I will recommend it at the end of your session explaining the reasons why.

I hope this has covered some of the information you would like to know about me and the services I offer. If there is ever anything you would like to ask please don’t hesitate to drop me an email, text or message on my Facebook page.

 

What to expect in your first massage treatment.

Contemplating a sports or deep tissue massage? Been filled with horror stories from friends or colleagues about how painful it will be?

What should you really expect? Let me tell you about your first treatment at HM Health and Well-being.

My clinic is based in Oasis Health Club in Ashington, if you’re travelling by car you’ll find a large, free car park to the rear of the building or, if you fancy, pop your car in for a mini valet with the lads in the Nisa car park – they do a cracking job!

The gym building is light green in colour and has a hairdressers attached to the end of it.

As you enter the gym you’ll be greeted by one of the gym reception staff, a lovely bunch of girls who will offer you a seat to relax in if I am busy when you arrive.

I will meet you for you appointment and take you up to my room which is located on the first floor. Once comfortable in clinic you will be asked to complete a client consultation form including any medical issues, medications or concerns (you may have completed this prior to arrival). We will then discuss your form and your reason for attending the clinic to assess the best method of treatment for you.

During the consultation I also ask if you have had sports or deep tissue work previously and how you found it. If not I explain the following: Sports Massage and deep tissue massage can generally feel quite uncomfortable. Discomfort which is bearable is fine during treatment however, if you feel at any time the treatment is too much for you please just let me know. Any feeling of real pain (beyond bearable diacomfort) can be counter-productive to goals of the treatment.

All clients are also informed that treatment may leave them feeling a little tender to the touch for the following 48 hours or so.

The idea that a massage has to be horrendously painful in order to be beneficial is a myth. Generally speaking, a massage (sports or deep tissue) should cause you no more pain than you are experiencing from your presenting symptoms. You can poo-poo all those telling you it will be hellish!

Once we have discussed needs and treatment I will explain how I would like you to be positioned (this may change through the session) and them leave the room for a couple of minutes allowing you the privacy to change/undress. I provide towels etc for you to remain covered up and never leave a client feeling exposed. Should you wish to bring shorts or similar along with you that’s fine, if you’re happy in underwear that’s cool too. In addition to this – I have no judgement on anyone, shape, size, race, sex, whether you have shaved your legs, only done a half leg tan, whatever. I don’t mind. I am not interested in your appearance, I am only interested in helping alleviate your symptoms and having you in as relaxed a state as possible.

I tend to use oils and/or waxed during treatment which will be applied initially with a light pressure, warming the superficial layers of muscle and allowing me to get a feel for where I need to focus my attentions. As the massage progresses, the pressure will become more firm as and where necessary. This will be explained to you as I work as well as asking how it feels.

Please don’t be afraid to say if you feel the pressure is to heavy at any point, I would rather know to be able to provide you with the best service I can than have you leaving feeling you have been savaged. That’s not what I an here for.

If you would like to chat during the treatment that’s great, I love to get to know my clients. Equally, if you chose to be silent I respect that this is time you have taken out for yourself and only ask questions as I need to in order for me to decide course of action.

On completion of treatment I recover the area I have been working on with a towel, removing any excess product. I then step out of the room allowing you time to get yourself up and dressed again, letting you know to open the door once you are ready.

I then check to see how you are feeling – you may feel a little light headed or “spaced” which is a normal response to treatment and will pass fairly quickly. You can also expect to feel quite sleepy following treatment. Again, this is very common and just the natural response of the body.

I provide aftercare advice at this point, reaffirming the tenderness you may feel, any stretching or strengthening exercises I feel would be beneficial and I also advise to avoid any heavy exercise for the 24 hours following treatment. This is purely due to there being a slight increase in injury during these activities immediately after.

There is also an opportunity for you to ask any questions. Don’t be shy, if there’s something you would like to know I am fairly sure it has been asked before. I also give you the details you need should you wish to contact me following treatment should you have any concerns.

Everything spoken about during your appointment, and associated to it, is entirely confidential.

Payment is taken following treatment via cash or card (gift voucher etc).

If you would like to make another appointment straight away we ca get you booked in, or if you would like to see how you recover from the session then that’s fine too.

I hope this covers any concerns or queries you may have about coming in for your first treatment. I promise to make you feel as comfortable as possible; a relaxed and informed client is my main aim.

Any questions you may have please drop me a text or email – 07771522312 or hm-health@outlook.com.

Additional January Hours

Hi All,

Alongside some additional evenings which I have added to my booking system, I have also added Sunday mornings for this month only (January 2019).

If you are looking for an evening appointment please text or email me directly as I do not add evenings to my booking system – my availability for these can change week to week.

Thank you for your continued support!

Happy January xx

Annual Leave

Hi All,

Just a quick note to let you all know I will be returning to work on Friday 4th January following some lovely (and much needed) time off over the festive period. I understand many of you will be first time visitors to this site after receiving vouchers for treatments for Christmas; bookings can be made on the booking page – hours shown are Mondays, Thursdays, Friday evenings, and Saturdays. Should you require an alternative evening please text or email.

 

I wish you all the very best for the New Year.

See you soon

H x

Dieting; take two…

Not going to lie, IIFYM was a massive fail for me. It was just too much effort to log all of my foods and the work out what I could or couldn’t have to fit my macros. I lasted all of a few days and then went back to eating whatever I wanted.

A couple of days ago I saw a post from a friend on Facebook raving about an app he was using and how quickly he had lost weight with it so I thought “You know what, I’ll give it a go!”.

 

I downloaded Lose It! to my phone and started tracking my food. For those of you familiar with MyFitnessPal it works in the same way – tracking meals and snack, as well as being able to manually add exercise. The difference with Lose It!??? It breaks down your calorie allowance into the designated meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. If you go over your allowance on one meal it will reduce the calorie allowance for your other meals, if you are under on your allowance it will add these calories to your remaining meals #winning! Also, you have a weekly calorie allowance made up of your daily allowance and this works in the same way as your daily meals – go over one day, reduce another day. This makes it super easy to save calories through the week to have a treat at the weekend (or whenever you chose to have it).

The app uses manual and barcode entry for the foods you eat and if you need to add food that aren’t on the app it takes seconds.

This is my go to app now to help in my weight loss mission! The basic app is free, give it a go it you need some visuals to keep you on track.

New Year, New Diet…

It’s been almost 8 months since I had my baby girl and I’m yet to lose the extra pounds I gained in pregnancy and the first couple of months adjusting to an entirely new way of living with this brand new, tiny human.

I’ve never been one for crash dieting and would never recommend it as yes, you may lose weight whilst you’re dieting but you are much more likely to put that weight back on and more afterwards. It plays havoc with your metabolism and generally leaves you feeling badly done to and as though you’re missing out, leading to the inevitable binge and guilt cycle….

With this in mind, I’ve decided to try IIFYM (if it fits your macros).

MACROS – The 4 micronutrients from which all calories come from; Protein, Carbohydrate, Fat, and Alcohol. Per gram they hold the following calorie value:

Protein = 4 calories

Carbohydrate = 4 calories

Fat = 9 calories

Alcohol = 7 calories

 

With IIFYM you have a set amount of each of the macros allocated to consume daily (alcohol is not a daily allocation, it is to be avoided).

My macro breakdown is set out as below (I had someone else work this out for me):

Protein = 125g

Carbs = 205g

Fat = 60g

This gives me a calorie goal of 1860 cals per day, which is a calorie deficit from what my body requires to do all of my daily activities and maintain weight. Without a calorie deficit there would be no weight loss. As long as I hit my macros (+/- a max of 3g on each) and calorie goals each day I can eat what I want. Sounds ideal.

I’ll be doing all my weights and measurements as soon as I get a new battery for my scales, as well as taking some “before” pictures for a good gauge of how I’m progressing.

Wish me luck and look out for updates! Xx