The Pioneer of Sports Massage
It all began in September 1989 with the first ever course teaching Sports Massage, based on the first book with this title, written by Mel Cash who still overseas all our training. This was also the first massage school to have proper external validation with BTEC [Why we Chose BTEC] to ensure we maintained a high quality of training. This first six-month course was rated by BTEC at Level 4 which is equivalent to the first year of a University degree course.
Other sports massage schools
The London School of Sports Massage was an instant success and we were soon operating at full capacity but the market was obviously growing further afield and inevitably more Sports Massage schools emerged to meet this demand. But these were disappointing because they were just modified versions of the basic massage they used to teach. Their courses were only rated at Level 3, which is equivalent to a school A level, and this is not high enough to provide a proper Sports Massage service. And at this level, the scope of practice is limited to treating people who don’t have any injuries and this is not what people expect from Sports Massage.
Expanding our qualification
To give more people the opportunity train in Sports Massage at our level we set up the Institute of Sport & Remedial Massage ISRM. This became our BTEC centre which then allowed more schools to run the same qualification. This is very carefully controlled by Mel who provides all the necessary tutor training and support to ensure consistent quality across all our schools.
Sport and Remedial Massage
Over the years, Mel and his team of tutors all continued to improve their own clinical skills so they could meet the needs of their clients better. They were developing greater assessment, treatment and rehabilitation skills which we wanted to add into our training. So accompanied by a new textbook in 1996 from Mel, we set a new nine-month qualification called Sport & Remedial Massage. This build on the original course with a more in-depth focus on treating people with minor and chronic injuries.
Pioneers of Soft Tissue Therapy
With these higher skills, as therapists we were often now achieving better results with people in chronic pain than they had with any other injury therapy. We also found that many of our therapists were now doing more work with clients who did not do sport but had pain caused by other lifestyle or medical factors.
So over several more years, our tutors and therapists gained a huge amount of clinical experience treating the widest range of conditions. To incorporate this increased level of understanding and skill we developed a new one-year qualification called Soft Tissue Therapy, along with another textbook in 2012 from Mel with the same title. This latest version of our qualification develops a much deeper understanding of pain and injury, with more advanced clinical skills to treat them with. BTEC graded this at Level 5 which is equivalent to the second year of a university degree.
We took the word “massage” out of the qualification’s title because it no longer defines the work we do. Although it is still an important part of many treatments, and many of our therapists practice Sports Massage as well, we don’t always have to use it. We have a wide range of other hands-on techniques and clinical skills which can be a more appropriate and effective way of treating some clients.
Unlike most of modern healthcare, we don’t train therapists do treat “injuries”, we teach them how to treat “people” with injuries because even if the injury is the same the people are always different. This is what makes our Soft Tissue Therapy qualification so outstanding and what brings our therapist such successful results.