Ok, so I love people. There, I’ve said it. I’ve got a genuine love for mankind, I think we’re amazing, and with these fantastic skills I’ve been given, I find myself on a mission to help as many individuals fight the good fight with their amazing bodies too.
I trained at the highly respected Oxford School of Sports Massage, a year of intensive study of anatomy and physiology as well as massage and advanced soft tissue techniques culminating in a level 5 BTEC Professional Diploma in Soft Tissue Therapy, one of the highest levels of clinical massage therapy currently available in the UK (unlike the more usual level 3). I operate out of several locations around the Reading area, but the majority of clients I now see at my treatment room based on Donkin Hill in Caversham, North Reading….. introducing Mending Muscles!
Being a long term sports fanatic, and still regularly playing tennis, surfing, skiing and running, I am a firm believer in sports and deep tissue massage as a way of keeping the body functioning at it’s optimal level, whether you’re into sport or not. For years I experienced crippling neck & back pain as a result of a gynmastic’s accident, but visiting endless osteopaths, chiropractors and physiotherapists only seemed to provide me with temporary relief. My troubles were thankfully finally solved by a talented and caring sports massage therapist who not only got rid of my pain and stiffness through muscle relaxation and mobilisation, but restored my postural functionality through strengthening, maintenance and education – looking back now, I think that was when I found my true calling as I now find myself doing all those things for others, a truly wonderful gift to have.
I’m a stickler for compliance (how dull I am!) – I am fully insured, I am a qualified Emergency First Aider and I am a member of my professional body, the Institute of Sport & Remedial Massage (https://www.theisrm.com) so all the i’s are dotted and the t’s crossed!
And my promise to you if you decide to come and see me? I will always be professional and caring, I will always have complete respect for you, your privacy and your body, I will use the most up-to-date and advanced techniques in my field to fix any issues I have the power to treat, and I will do it in the most effective and efficient way possible with my extensive knowledge of anatomy, posture and movement (that I would be delighted to share with you if you are interested to learn).
I look forward to meeting you.
Fees & Info
*Please note: Whilst Mending Muscles is not generally a mobile service, if clinics are held away from the Caversham location by specific arrangement, each treatment will incur a £5 surcharge to cover the cost of travel/additional time
|Treatment||Duration||Weekdays||Weekends if agreed
|Initial consultation & treatment|
(including postural assessment)
|Treatment thereafter||45 minutes||£40*||£50
(by specific agreement)
|Kinesio taping & strapping||15 -20 minutes||£5-£15||£10-£20
Payment: by cash or cheque only please
Opening times: Mon 10-7.30pm, Tues 8.30am & 3-6pm, Weds 8.30am, Thurs 8.30am & 4-7.30pm, Friday 8.30am and 5-7pm; adhoc Saturday mornings by special arrangement
Location: my treatment room is based within the Hair @ 51 salon, 51 Donkin Hill, off Henley Road, Caversham, North Reading, Berkshire, RG4 5DG (next to Dream Doors, near Caversham Tiles/A W Cycles)
View in Google Maps
Parking: there is some off-street parking immediately in front of the salon, otherwise street parking is available on Donkin Hill itself
Telephone: 07947 828150
Cancellations: if you are not able to make your appointment, please ensure you cancel by phone at least 24 hours in advance, otherwise you will be charged the full fee as I will have booked that time out in the diary for you and potentially turned other clients away. Thank you.
What to wear: loose comfortable clothing is best – a loose pair of shorts (alternatively underwear, or a bikini if preferred for ladies) for lower back/leg treatment works well. Ladies, sports bras are not ideal if treating your neck/shoulders as they do not allow full access (whereas a normal bra does!)
Early arrivals: if you arrive early for your appointment, it is likely I will either still be in clinic with another client or I will be in transit from another clinic elsewhere. So if the salon is open, please feel free to come in and take a seat whilst waiting for me – if the salon is not open, I assure you I will arrive by the time of your appointment
Late arrivals: if you are running late for your appointment, please let me know and if I’m not seeing someone else directly after you, I will try and accommodate you. Otherwise I’m afraid your session will only run until the original booking finish time and you will be charged the full fee
Contraindications: the following restrictions/ contraindications apply to soft tissue therapy, and it is imperative that you tell me about any reasons why treatment should not take place prior to booking an appointment as they may spread or exacerbate the issue (feel free to discuss any such issues with me on my number above if need be)
- open wounds or cuts/scratches or skin infections including local contagious, irritable skin conditions, boils or abcess, fungal infections such as athletes foot (red flaky skin that might be contagious)
- acute inflammation (redness, heat, excessive pain, swelling in the localised area)
- bleeding disorders such as haemophilia, low blood platelet counts and by those taking blood-thinning medications such as Warfarin
- any deep vein thrombosis, blood clots or significant varicose veins (light massage may be possible if minor)
- fractures or weakened bones (such as from osteoporosis or cancer), where there has been a recent surgery or Myositis Ossificans (as a result of extended recovery from a broken bone or trauma)
- systemic contagious or infectious diseases, including the common cold and significant fever
- acute conditions requiring first aid or medical attention
- severe unstable hypertension or unmedicated elevated blood pressure
- acute flare-up of inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis
- recent burn
- lymphangitis (recognisable by a dark line running up the limb towards the lymph nodes)
- uncontrolled diabetes
- cancer patients should consult their oncologist for approval before having a massage that involves deep or intense pressure
- pregnant women should also consult their healthcare provider, especially in the 1st trimester as massage is not recommended
Offers: Wellness PT/Caversham Park Tennis Club discounts may be available on request
Your First Appointment: before your first visit, you may wish to familiarise yourself with the content of this page. Please allow 60/75 minutes for this session, which includes a medical history and physical assessment as well as your treatment (thereafter treatments are usually 45 mins unless otherwise agreed).
What to wear: loose comfortable clothing is best, a loose pair of shorts (alternatively underwear, or a bikini for ladies) for lower back/leg treatment works well. Ladies, sports bras are not ideal if treating your neck/shoulders as they do not allow full access (whereas a normal bra does!) Unless you would prefer not to, I am likely to ask you to remove some items of clothing to access the specific area(s) in question, but I preserve your modesty at all times by using towels to cover any exposed areas, and of course am led by you on this to ensure you remain comfortable at all times.
The assessment: as noted above, if I am treating you for the first time, I am obliged to ask you a number of questions about your medical history and lifestyle before assessing and testing you physically – all information is given in confidence, all records are kept securely and every precaution will be made to ensure you are a suitable candidate for soft tissue therapy (please note I cannot be held responsible for any reaction/ decline in functionality as a result of critical information being withheld from me prior to treatment) Once I have completed the admin, I will assess your posture, ranges of movement and pain levels in order that I may gleen more information as to any issues you may have and how best to treat them. You can be as involved in this as you like, but most people seem to quite enjoy learning about how their body works and find it fascinating, as do I – happy to share this information with you in a way you can understand, it doesn’t have to be an endless stream of medical jargon!
The treatment: likely to be a mixture of seated, standing, lying on your back on the couch (supine), on your front (prone) or on your side. Many techniques involve your participation to move limbs/parts of your body so this is not a static/fall asleep opportunity I’m afraid! Towels are used to protect your modesty/keep you warm, and if required, I will use either massage lotion or oil to lubricate your skin whilst massaging (I will ask if you have any allergies that might affect which lubricant I use). If at any time you feel uncomfortable, I would always want you to let me know so that I can alter my methodology accordingly – it is your treatment, I am just the facilitator and it’s really important to me that you are happy with the way in which you were treated – all constructive feedback very much welcomed, I learn something new every day! At the end of the treatment, I am likely to retest certain ranges of movement to gauge any changes in pain levels/restrictions etc. before I ask you to get dressed and have a drink of water with me while I go over my findings and treatment/exercise plan with you. Taping/strapping any injury may be an option at this time if functional/competitive support is required.
Payment: as payment is by cash or cheque only, please ensure you bring enough cash with you to your appointment if you are not paying by cheque (there is a cash machine at the nearby Co-op @ 124 Henley Road)
Before leaving: Home rehab/strengthening/stretching can have a real impact on the long term benefits for your body, and I will be happy to provide you with a few exercises post treatment. Depending on the outcome of the session, I will of course also advise you on any further action/sessions I would recommend (rarely will one treatment completely rectify a long term/chronic problem but results vary from individual to individual). In addition, I will brief you on all standard post-treatment advice (see below) and/or in the case of further investigation being required outside of my jurisdiction (eg. skeletal, x-ray, GP diagnosis), I can advise on referral to other healthcare professionals. I am not a doctor, and therefore can only work within my area of “muscular” expertise.
Post treatment advice: massage therapy can be powerful, and some individuals will react more strongly than others so I would always advise you to do the following:
- drink plenty of water for at least 24 hours after massage to flush out all toxins/muscle debris etc.
- use ice/cooling gel if appropriate or as instructed
- be prepared to feel like your muscles have had a really good workout for up to 48 hours post treatment. Personally, I use anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen if I am particularly affected after a massage, which tends to happen more when I am dehydrated or a bit run down (I have been known to superficially bruise, and once experienced some slight swelling too but only minor and very short lived so nothing to worry about) – feel free to contact me if you are concerned.
Sports Massage & Soft Tissue therapy are key in the repair, rehabilitation and maintenance of our bodies, whether involved in sport or not. Due to the function of modern day life, such as sitting at a desk or in a car for hours as well as endless phone/tablet activity, our bodies are being tested to the max – and not coping well if not looked after!
SPORTS MASSAGE helps to treat injury, pain and soreness caused by doing sport or strenuous physical activity, minimises the risk of injury, speeds up recovery and improves quality of training and performance. The more sport we do, the more demands we put on our body. Recognition of adverse muscular and neural tension is important during the demanding times of training. Applied skilfully, this treatment releases muscle tension and increases the blood flow through the body, allowing it to heal which significantly improves recovery times. Equally important, by restoring balance to the musculoskeletal system, it allows you to train more effectively and safely.
REMEDIAL MASSAGE helps to combat occupational, emotional and postural stresses, relaxes tight muscles, relieves pain and reduces stress. Different from a relaxation massage, this massage is firmer to allow for deep soft tissue treatment, which has a more powerful remedial affect. By reducing tensions in the muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia, this treatment will seek to relieve the body of pain, allowing you to get on with your day to day life more productively.
Massage Therapy can be beneficial for all the above reasons, and amongst others, may be used to address the following disorders/issues:
achilles tendonitis, ankle sprains, back ache, bursitis, calf discomfort and pain, carpal tunnel, collarbone injury, DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), fatigue, foot tendon issues, golfers elbow, groin strain, hamstring and quad imbalance or injury, headaches, heel pain, hip pain, hip anterior or posterior tilts, IBS, ITB syndrome, joint disorders, knee pain, knee ligament issues, knee tracking issues, ligament injury treatment, ligament sprain, muscular skeletal injuries, muscle tightness, muscle tears and strains, neck ache and strain, over-training, piriformis syndrome, plantar fasciitis, postural imbalance, post surgical recovery, retrocalcaneal bursitis, rotator cuff injury, runners knee, sacroiliac joint issues, scar tissue management, sciatica, shin splints, shoulder pain and inflammation, sleeping issues, sore/aching legs, spinal joint & surrounding muscle spasms, stress, tennis elbow, tendon ruptures and injuries/tendonopathy, tibialis posterior tendonopathy, trochanteric bursitis, whiplash.
If you are not sure whether I can help you, feel free to ring me and we can talk it through – no obligation.
OTHER STUFF YOU MAY WISH TO KNOW:
I am able to provide you with receipts if you require them for insurance purposes, such as whiplash claims.
Happy to share treatment notes with other healthcare professionals but only with written confirmation from yourself via an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
All client records are confidential and it is a legal requirement that they are kept for a minimum of 7 years or up to the age of 21 for children.
I am able to treat consenting children under the age of 18 but only in the presence of a parent/guardian and/or with their specific written consent.
(promise I haven’t just made these up!)
Eddy “I’ve known Ali for quite a few months now and I feel I could call her a close friend. She has such a genuine care for people and what she’s set out to achieve is admirable. Being a website developer, Ali & I decided to trade skills, and Ali has single handedly improved my 9 year battle with a bad knee which until now, has prevented me from walking up stairs without pain and from achieving my sporting potential. I now feel fitter, in control of my body and I feel (and hope) it has shown on the volleyball court. Absolute star!”
Vicci “How funny is this! I am a sports therapist and I am doing a review for Mending Muscles, which makes me hyper critical knowing what constitutes a good therapist! Let’s just say that Ali is GOOD, by this I mean her advanced level 5 qualification means she has a plethora of advanced soft tissue skills which means you get more than a skin polish massage, and that’s exactly what I want. Over the past year Ali has helped me manage and ease a persistent and chronic rotator cuff injury and is always on hand to provide a good deep tissue work through to help with DOMS and general muscle fatigue. I’m glad she’s based on the other side of the river from my practice in Woodley, otherwise I’d have serious competition on my hands! Thanks Ali, always approachable and friendly, your easy manner has and continues to work wonders on my tired old body!”
Dan “Hi everyone. Had an amazing sports massage yesterday with Ali @ Mending Muscles. I’m already noticing the difference with the range of movement in my shoulder & knee – I would highly recommend her. And she’s very knowledgeable too!”
Sherwin “Being a very active sports person and competitor on the UK Archery circuit, my routine massages with Ali help my bow shoulder and when overused, ensure speedy recovery. Without her help I probably would not have made my epic trip to South Korea to train under Coach Kim. Ali is really great with people and a talented sports massage therapist “
Petra “As a fellow soft tissue therapist, I can definitely recommend Ali to ease all your aches and pains and deal with any soft tissue injuries. Her wonderful treatments have kept me injury free whilst I’ve trained for various half marathons, and most recently she has been helping me with an acute tennis elbow injury, ensuring a speedier recovery and allowing me to carry on working in my own clinic. She is kind, professional and you can’t help but feel amazing when you leave her couch.”
Bianca “Ali has given me many sports massages and as the owner of a beauty salon offering massage too, I am extremely fussy! Ali has sorted out a number of my injuries, aches and pains and I am feeling much better for it. Thanks Ali, I can’t wait for the next one. Xx”
Location: within Hair @ 51, 51 Donkin Hill, Caversham, North Reading, RG4 5DG
Telephone: 07947 828150