Massage Therapy in Central Bristol

Can Massage Help With Stress?

Yes! Massage can help not just relieve overworked and ‘stressed’ muscles but it can also help with psychological stress too.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 47-Laura-Crouchley-300x193.jpg

You may feel in pain when your feeling emotionally or psychologically stressed, as your mind and body are connected. This is when it’s time to slow down and make time to relax as you may have been over doing it.

Massage can help to relax our mind as well as our body as it’s often a very enjoyable and relaxing experience. It can also help get the muscles back to their original state by lengthening them, or by releasing toxins and getting the blood flowing again.

Continue reading >

Covid-19 Information

Hello everyone, we are so excited that we can re-open again as we’ve missed giving treatments a lot!

Thank you very much for being so patient regarding our re-opening.

We’ve obviously had a lot to do to make sure the clinic is safe and adheres to all of the government’s rules and policies regarding our close contact business.

So, here goes:

  • Please book directly online or contact us by email or by phone if you wish.
  • We will arrange a suitable time and day with you to conduct a telephone consultation and assessment before your treatment as we need to minimize the time we spend with you physically.
  • You will be emailed a covid-19 pre-screening form near the time of your treatment.
  • Please come alone to your treatment if possible.
  • Please wait outside the clinic when you arrive for your treatment or if you arrive early (unless the reception area has nobody in there) until we come to collect you. This is because we need to minimize the amount of people inside the clinic at the same time.
  • Please wear a mask on arrival and it is your choice if you would like to wear one during the treatment.
  • Please use antibacterial gel at the entrance and when you leave.
  • We will be wearing full PPE, which is a visor, mask, apron and gloves.
  • We will provide a sterilized container for you to put your clothes and belongings into.
  • Clients that fall into the NHS high- risk groups will need to re-arrange at a later date, until further notice and moderate risk groups will be treated at our discretion.
  • If you feel unwell please stay at home and we will reschedule your appointment for another time.
  • We will not be charging cancellation fees for the foreseeable.
  • Ideally payments should be taken via our online booking system or by card.
  • There will be a 30 minute gap in between clients to ensure the space is appropriately ventilated and all hygiene protocols completed.

We thank you again immensely for your compliance and patience during this unprecedented time and we look forward to seeing you soon! x

Continue reading >

January Sale!

We are giving every client £10 off one 60 minute treatment in January!

This can be a Remedial, Holistic, Sport or Pregnancy Massage!

To book just go to the ‘Book Now’ page on our website and type ‘JANSALE2020’ after clicking on ‘redeem coupon’ and £10 will automatically come off the 60 minute treatments!

You can then book the treatment of your choice and choose to pay upfront or after your treatment!

We are looking forward to meeting you!

Continue reading >

Healthier Bristol


We are going to be giving free 10 minute taster seated massages at an event called ‘Healthier Bristol’ which is in ‘New Room’ in Broadmead, Bristol and it’s on Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th November!

It’s from 12.30pm until 4pm on the Monday and from 10.30am until 4pm on the Tuesday, so why don’t you pop along in your lunch break or if you have a day off and get a free treatment from us and also learn ways in which you can improve your mental, physical and emotional wellbeing!

There are going to be workshops, talks and free tasters from many different health professionals and you can find out the full itinerary at:

Continue reading >

RUN: Better, Faster, Longer, Stonger

Do you dream of being that runner where every step of every mile is 100% pain free?

No aches, no twinges or niggles, no soreness from yesterday’s session. Well, you are not alone; research shows that as many as 79% of runners get injured at least once during the year. That is nearly 8 out of every 10 runners you see at your next race have been or will be injured sometime that year.

Try to think of running pains in terms of scale. At one end you have severe, full-blown injuries, which we’ll name the red zone and includes stress fractures that require time off. The other end, where you’re in top form, is the green zone. Mild, transient aches that annoy you one day and disappear the next sit closer to the green end. Many runners get stuck in the middle, in the not-quite-injured but not-quite-healthy yellow zone.
Your ability to get into the green zone depends largely on how you react to that first stab of pain. It would be beneficial to rest a little, slow down the exercise and maybe receive a massage and rehabilitation advice from a professional until you get back into the green zone. Developing a proactive long-term injury-prevention strategy, such as strength training, stretching, regular massage and foam-rolling can help keep you in the ‘green.’ We can give you all the advice in the world, but it’s you who needs to put it into practice otherwise if you continue with the intensive exercise without any preparation or recovery plan, your sure to run into trouble at some point!

You can find more information and exercise leaflets for injury prevention at this link:

So, What Causes Running Injuries?

 There are lots of theories as to what causes running injuries but it seems the answer is fairly obvious: running! Research has stated that “running practice is a necessary cause for RRI (Running Related Injury) and, in fact, the only necessary cause.” With running being the dominant risk factor for running injuries what other factors influence risk? Over the years a lot of emphasis has been placed on intrinsic factors like leg length discrepancy, pronation (flat foot), high arches, genu valgus/varum (knock knee or bow legged) and extrinsic factors like ‘special’ running shoes being stability shoes, anti-pronation shoes or lack of stretching. However, recent studies have shown there is no one specific risk factor that has a direct cause-effect relationship with injury rate or injury prevention. Whilst warming up, compression garments, acupuncture and massage have some evidence in reducing injury rates, it is all a little grey and leaves you with a multifactorial buffet of probable contributing causes to running injuries.

One specific factor has been proven though and that is due to runners over exceeding their tissues capacity to tolerate load. Estimates suggest that somewhere between 60 to as much as 80% of running injuries are because of training errors and also inadequate recovery time. Ligaments, tendons and cartilage are particularly at risk because they take longer to adapt then muscles to increased mechanical load.

Factors that affect how much training load a runner can tolerate before injury will also have a role. There are 2 key factors that appear to play a part in this – Body Mass Index (BMI > 25) and history of previous injury, especially in the last 12 months. While high BMI and previous injury may reduce the amount of running your body can manage, strength and conditioning is likely to increase it. There is a growing body of evidence supporting the use of strength training to reduce injury risk and improve performance. Training error and injury risk share a complex relationship – it may not be that total running mileage on its own is key but it’s when you don’t build up your milage or speed. The saying “too much too soon” hits the nail on the head!

Injury prevention is really a ‘mirror image’ of the causes of an injury. So, if you understand the primary reasons for getting injured then you are heading in the right direction to staying healthy this running season. You can find out more on injury prevention, with recommended exercise leaflets, at the following link and we have produced a series of prevention and treatment guides for the 6 most common running injuries which you can download there too.

What are The Most Common Injuries to be Aware of?

Body tissues such as muscles and tendons are continuously stressed and repaired on a daily basis, as a result of both ‘normal’ functional activities and sport. An overuse injury often occurs when a specific tissue fails to repair in the time available, begins to breakdown initially at microscopic level and then over time develops into a true injury. So, that’s why where the pain is, the cause often is not, as the pain you feel initially is usually not where it all began.

40% of running injuries is known to be a condition called ‘runners knee’ or patellofemoral pain syndrome. This is followed closely behind by plantar fasciitis, achilles tendinopathy and then ITB (iliotibial band syndrome), shin splints and hamstring strain. These conditions usually need complete rest or at least a reduction in training volume and intensity, followed by physical therapy to promote tissue healing and mobility. Although these are overuse injuries there is frequently an underlying muscle weakness and/or flexibility issue that needs to be addressed with specific rehabilitation exercises. Follow this link to find more specific information about each of the most common running injuries with specific rehabilitation leaflets for you to use.

You can find our prevention and treatment guides for the following running injuries at this link:

  • Medial tibial stress syndrome (shin splints)
  • Patellofemoral pain (runner’s knee)
  • Achilles tendinopathy
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Hamstring strains
  • Iliotibial band syndrome

While guidance can be given, it is general in its nature, whereas individual complaints may need individual attention. If you do pick up an injury (including ‘tightness’ ‘irritation’ or ‘niggle’) that you’re worried about then we can help, the sooner it’s treated the better.

Continue reading >

Pain Is As Unique As The Person Feeling It

Pain means different things to different people, in different contexts, and based on different experiences.

Acute, short-lived pain following a traumatic injury, in many cases heals. The pain that becomes increasingly hard to live with and manage, is the pain that has persisted month after month and often year after year, particularly when the source often can’t be diagnosed.

Living with chronic pain is almost a disease in itself. It slowly and progressively eats away at you, your confidence, self- worth, and independence. It can consume your life and thoughts, often alienating you from your friends and family even your workplace. This causes your pain to become worse as chronic pain Is heavily caused by your feelings and psychological system.

Living with pain is exhausting, lack of sleep, anxiety and depression often go hand in hand with pain, which in turn can lead to anger and frustration and problems with your relationships at home and with yourself.

And the physical pain can stop you from doing things you love, like taking walks, playing sports and socialising, which also has an impact on your mental health.

You know the saying “it takes a village to raise a child”, well we believe it takes an army to survive and thrive with chronic pain. Although it’s important that you are in control and are the driver of your pain management, it would be unrealistic to assume you can do this alone. You need the support of friends and family, work colleges or associates and pain specialists and therapists.

Physical therapists are experts in handling pain, finding the source of the pain and treating your mind, body and spirit. Physical therapy can be very beneficial in managing chronic pain by promoting joint movement, using exercises to reduce stiffness and improve muscle strength – all of which can reduce your pain and improve your mobility which may help with daily activities. Specific nerve mobility treatments can help reduce sensitivity to pain and massage has always been a trusty stalwart as it reduces stress and anxiety as well as pain.

This month we’ve put together a range of resources that can help you learn to manage this pain, whatever pain level you’re at.

We have leaflets on the following topics:

–          The Strain of Pain: Dispelling the myths behind chronic pain with strategies for managing your pain

–          Understanding Chronic Pain

–          Skills to Cope with Chronic Pain

–          How Physical Therapy Can Help You if You Suffer from Chronic Pain

–          How Pain Affects Your Life (infographic)

–          Relaxation for Chronic Pain (exercise handout)

–          Building Activity into Your Everyday Life If You Suffer from Musculoskeletal Pain

–          Chronic Pain: Tips for Managing Activity Levels

These resources are packed with practical tips and advice, along with worksheets, exercise leaflets and infographics that combine to help you master your chronic pain.

You can download the resources by clicking on this link

If you’re living with pain on a regular basis, there are many ways we can help so if you need advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

And if you know anyone who could benefit from any of these resources, please feel free to share this blog post with them.

Continue reading >

Did you know desk jobs can cause shoulder pain, tension and stiffness?

We see and treat a lot of people who suffer from upper back and neck pain and most of the time this is caused from spending hours sitting ‘hunched’ in front of a computer. Therefore it’s usually poor posture that causes this.

Since our move to Central Bristol, we’ve been seeing even more clients with this problem because of the surrounding offices.

We have therefore started offering Seated Massage which is ideal to help relieve pain in your upper body. It is performed when you are clothed, so therefore you can pop in on your lunch break and the sessions can be shorter.

When you sit at a desk for long periods, muscle imbalance can develop in your upper body, which is commonly called: ‘Upper Crossed Syndrome’.

‘Upper Cross Syndrome’ is when muscles become deformed and form an over lapping pattern of underuse and overuse. This can cause tension in the muscles and you may feel stiffness and a dull ache in your neck and upper back.

Massage Therapy can help to relieve tension from the overworked muscles and help to stop the pain.

There is evidence to suggest that as well as sitting hunched in front of a computer all day, it can be caused also when living a sedentary life and from activities such as driving and reading.

The image above shows which muscles are typically tight and weak in Upper Crossed Syndrome.

This image also shows tightness in the Suboccipital muscles, but this is usually when you have ‘Forward Head Posture’ as well. 

What is ‘Forward Head Posture’?

Forward Head Posture (as shown in the above image) is very common and occurs when the head extends too far in front of the gravity line and it usually coincides with having Upper Crossed Syndrome.

Here, the Suboccipital muscles have to work extra hard to tilt the head and bring it to “eye level”.

“For every inch of Forward Head Posture, it can increase the weight of the head on the spine by an additional 10 pounds.” -Kapandji, Physiology of Joints, Vol.

From reading the above quote, imagine how much pressure this is putting on your spine! There is evidence therefore that having Forward Head Posture can also cause dysfunction further down your body and spine and reach your Coccyx (Tailbone). This is because your whole body is interconnected.

The overused muscles in Upper Crossed Syndrome are typically the Levator Scapula, Upper Trapezius and the Pectoralis Minor and Major (Pectorals).

The Upper Trapezius is held in a lengthened, but tight and dysfunctional state and the Levator Scapula and Pectorals are short and tight. 

The action of the Upper Trapezius and the Levator Scapula muscles are to elevate the shoulder blades (Scapula) and they work hard during Upper Crossed Syndrome. The Lower Trapezius which pulls the Scapula down (depression) therefore becomes weak.

The Pectorals are meant to pull the shoulders forward (protract the Scapula), but in Upper Crossed Syndrome, they are stuck in this state for hours and therefore become exhausted.

Eventually, the underused muscles (Rhomboids, Serratus Anterior, Deep Cervical Neck Flexors Lower Trapezius) can forget how to fire up and function if unused for a long time. This can cause a vast array of problems throughout your body and so it’s better to address the problem sooner rather then later, like many conditions.

Human beings are not meant to be in the same position for hours on end, your body is designed to move, and as well as injuries, there’s evidence to suggest that Upper Crossed Syndrome and Forward Head Posture can eventually cause headaches.

So, how can Upper Crossed Syndrome get treated? 

The short muscles ideally should get lengthened and the weak muscles strengthened. It’s also beneficial to improve your posture.

Every muscle is the body has another muscle that does the opposite action to it and they are meant to work together as a team.

For example, the Deep Cervical Neck Flexors flex the head forward and the Upper Trapezius and Levator Scapula extend the head backwards. The Rhomboids retract the scapula (bring the shoulder blades back and together) and the Pectorals protract the scapula (bring the shoulder blades forward and away from each other).

In Forward Head Posture and Upper Crossed Syndrome as the Neck Flexors aren’t being used properly, the Antagonistic muscles to them (Upper Trapezius and Levator Scapula) try to perform the Neck Flexors job too. This is why the overused muscles become strained.

By regularly stretching your Upper Trapezius and Levator Scapula, this not only lengthens and releases tension from them, but it can also help to get your Neck Flexors functioning again. This is because function rather then dysfunction starts occurring.

Below, are images where I’m performing stretches for the Upper Trapezius and the Levator Scapula.

These are great stretches if you are starting to feel some achiness, stiffness or tension in your upper body and you work at a desk, drive a lot or generally sit down a lot.

From my experience, I believe it’s best to hold any stretch for at least for 20 – 30 seconds as this allows time for the muscle to stretch properly. Please make sure you are standing up fairly straight too and only move your head as far as feels comfortable but also where you can feel that the muscles are stretching.

The stretch below helps to lengthen and release tension from your Pectoral muscles and is my favourite one as it focuses on each side individually. Therefore you only need to stretch one side if you have short Pectorals only on one side of your body.

To do this, you stand in a open doorway and place one arm on the inside of the door frame and step forward with the leg on the same side. As the static door frame is holding your arm where it is, but you are moving your leg, you should feel a stretch in your Pectorals and as if your ‘opening up’ your chest. 

The exercise below is a good Rhomboid muscle strengthener as it retracts your shoulder blades and can also help improve posture.

I recommend doing this as many times in a day as possible and holding your shoulder blades in this position for about 10 seconds.

Try to imagine there is a finger in between your shoulder blades and then squeeze the imaginary finger by just using your shoulder blades. Please try not to use your shoulders to do it too, as the aim of this is to utilise only the shoulder blade muscles.

The movement can feel subtle, but it’s very effective. 

You can also utilise the Lower Trapezius muscles by pulling your shoulder blades down after pulling them back as this depresses (pulls down) the shoulder blades. This works the Lower Trapezius muscles, which as mentioned already, are usually weak in Upper Crossed Syndrome.

The below exercise helps to strengthen the deep neck flexors (such as the Longus Colli). 

Start by standing flat against a wall with your head also against the wall if possible. Next, move your head down as if tucking your chin in (as if your trying to make a double chin). This activates your Deep Cervical Neck Flexors.

Then move your head so it is back against the wall again. Repeat this movement about 10 or 20 times and perform it several times a day.

Finally, the image below illustrates the ‘Scapula Push-up’ exercise which can help to strengthen your Serratus Anterior muscles. They are usually weak in Upper Crossed Syndrome and this exercise is basically ‘The Plank’, which is a well known pose in yoga practice.

Please make sure you keep your whole spine aligned like a ‘plank’ of wood (from your Coccyx up to your neck) so that your lower back isn’t dropping inwards. This can help to develop your ‘Core’ muscles too.

It’s preferable to hold this position for up to 10 seconds if your able to.

To improve your posture when sitting or standing, you can also imagine there’s a helium balloon attached to the top of your head and that you are being lifted up into the air by it. This can help develop ideal alignment throughout your body.

As experienced Sport and Remedial Massage Therapists we can also utilise tests to locate which of your muscles are weak and which are overused. We can then recommend exercises for you which are ideally suited to your individual lifestyle and needs.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about the exercises or for further information.



Continue reading >

The Bristol Thai & Multicultural Food Festival

Be Complete Massage are going to be giving Sport and Remedial Couch Massages at  The Bristol Thai & Multicultural Food Festival on 28th – 29th July 2018, so why not come along for an indulging and therapeutic massage and on the same day savour delicious Thai and Multicultural food whilst experiencing the Thai culture!

We’re going to be there from the opening time of 11am until close at 6pm on both Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th of July and it takes place at Millenium Square in central Bristol.

I myself absolutely love Thai food and am very much looking forward to be part of this amazing event.

Continue reading >

Seated Massage for Mental Health Awareness Week!

Be Complete Massage are going to be teaming up with ‘Changes Bristol’ to raise money to help people with Mental Health problems.

We are going to be located in The Mall, Cribbs Causeway, Bristol during Mental Health Awareness Week on Wednesday 16th May and we are going to be giving Seated massages from 13.30 until 20.30 and charging only £10 for a 20 minute treatment.

50% of that money will go directly to Changes Bristol who provide crucial support groups for people with Mental Health problems.

Massage can not only help our physical health but it can also improve our mental health as massages can be very relaxing and can help alleviate stress and our calm our psychological system.

Receiving a massage can also heal the muscles that have become overused and have tightened due to us feeling ‘stressed’ and the way that massage therapists do this is to apply pressure onto the sore and tight muscles such as by using a ‘deep tissue treatment’. This releases tension from the muscles and loosens them up so they feel more normal again.

This treatment may feel a bit painful at the time but it should be just enough pain in order to lengthen and soften the muscles as much as is needed and to begin the healing process.

Continue reading >