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!

Update on Working Hours and Maternity Leave

Hi Everyone,


Just a quick post today to give an update on the hours that I will be working over the next few months, holidays that are booked in and a bit if general info about how I plan to continue working through my pregnancy.


First, working hours:

Regular working hours: Monday and Thursday 9am-4pm | Saturday 9am-3pm | Friday & Sunday Closed.

I will aim to work on evenings, 5pm through to 8pm, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays though these may not always be available I will try to do as many as possible to accommodate everyone wanting appointments.

I have dropped my Friday evenings. I’m sorry to do this but after working a full day on a Thursday and then a full day on a Saturday the Friday night is just too much, plus if Dan has been away all week working I feel awful walking straight out the door as soon as he gets home on a Friday. I hope you all understand.

As well as the above hours in clinic, I will be limiting my working hours in terms of replying to messages for bookings etc. Bookings can be made online, all availability is shown when you go through the booking page (or via “Book Now” on my Facebook Page). Messages received after 5pm Monday-Friday, or after 3pm on a Saturday will be replied to the next working day. I will no longer be replying to messages on a Sunday unless it is an emergency. The reason for this change is in order to protect my family time, and again, I hope you all understand.


Maternity Leave.

I have had a few people asking about what I will be doing about my maternity leave and in all honesty, nothing is set in stone. I hope to continue work as usual up until Christmas when I will take my annual leave as usual – closing on Thursday 19th December until after the New Year. How my pregnancy is progressing will determine whether or not I do a couple of weeks in January, baby Pickering is due 30th Jan 2020.

The amount of time I take off will also be determined by how delivery and recovery go for us and how we settle as a family. I only had 4 months off work with Isla when I was ready to get back to it but I can’t guarantee that it will be a certain amount of time we need this time round. I will keep you updated through February/March.


Thanks for taking the time to read through all of this information and I appreciate it’s not the most exciting read! I look forward to seeing you all on the run up to Christmas for your sports, deep tissue, pregnancy, Indian head massage, cupping and reflexology treatments.


Lots of love

H xx


New Treatment Coming Soon!


Exciting times! Reflexology will be added to the HM Health & Well-being treatment menu within the next month or so!!

Reflexology is a system of massage used to relieve tension and treat illness, based on the theory that pressure applied to specific spots on the feet produces changes in corresponding parts of the body. For example, pressing on the tips of the toes triggers the brain reflex and affects the brain.

There are reflex areas on the feet that correspond to all systems of the body. Pressure applied to reflexes is thought to marshal the body’s innate healing forces and to help normalise body functions.

This is an incredibly relaxing treatment which is beneficial for all types of issues from aches and pains to sleep problems and more!

Notice of Temporary Changes

Please read to the end.

For the foreseeable future I will be reducing the session length of massage treatments to a maximum of 45 minutes.

This is to look after my own health and continue to provide a high standard service.

If you already have pre-purchased any one hour sessions (block bookings or treatments bought from third party sites), I will honour these bookings no problem at all – please TEXT or WHATSAPP me to book on 07771522312.

The 30 and 45 minute massage treatment options will still be available through the online bookings page as well as 60 minute personal training sessions.

Thank you for your understanding and continued support xx

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?

FAQs of a Sports Massage Therapist


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