How Qualifed Is Your Therapist?


We are Soft Tissue Therapists. We work independently to assess, treat and offer rehabilitation advice for people suffering a wide range of minor and chronic injuries caused by any lifestyle factor. As well as treating the injury we aim to identify the underlying causes and offer more long-term improvements in physical wellbeing

We are qualified to do this because we are currently studying for a BTEC Level 5 Professional Dipolma in Soft Tissue Therapy. We are currently three quarters of the way through a year of study covering classroom teaching,  home study and supervised and recorded clinical hours. We have completed a number of written assignments, practical assessments and will soon be completing case studies. This qualification is only taught by the Institute of Sports and Remedial Massage (the ISRM), and is assessed by BTEC.

So who are BTEC? 

BTEC is the biggest awarding body for vocational qualifications - you might remember them from when you were at school, although BTEC qualifications are also offered at colleges and universities.

BTEC aren’t the only people who offer qualifications in this field - two other awarding bodies (ITEC and VTCT) also offer qualifications.  

ITEC is a specialist examination board, providing qualifications in Beauty & Spa Therapy, Hairdressing, Complementary Therapies, Sports massage. Their Level 3 qualifications are recognized in many countries by employers in the Beauty and Spa industry.

VTCT is an awarding organization specializing in Hairdressing & Barbering, Beauty Therapy, Complementary Therapy, Sport, Active Health & Fitness, Hospitality, Business & Retail and Learning & Development.

So that’s the different awarding bodies - but then you have the different levels! 

Level 3 is equivalent to a school GCSE and it teaches you to give a routine massage treatment for sport, relaxation, beauty or similar.

Level 4 is equivalent to a school ‘A’ level or university entry standard and this teaches some more advanced technique which can help in the recovery of common injuries.

Level 5 is equivalent to a university under-graduate and only on this level will you learn how to assess, treat and rehabilitate a wide range of injuries.

So that’s the different levels - but then you have the different ways of going through those levels!

It is possible (especially with the ITEC and VTCT qualifications) to take a Level 3 course, pass it, and then a couple of years later take a Level 4 course, and then a couple of years later  take a Level 5 course, but an integrated course teaches the foundation subjects at the right clinical level needed for the advanced training to follow.

If you decide to book treatment with a therapist, please check they have a qualification recognised by BTEC, ITEC or VTCT; some unscrupulous further education providers make up their own qualifications that aren’t recognised. If you’re after a lovely spa massage, you’ll be fine with a Level 3 qualified masseuse, but anything more may be beyond their qualifications and you would need to be asking what additional qualifications they have. 

Can You Help Us Help You?

We Make Our Clients Better

As soft tissue therapists, our aim is to make you feel better. Our clients come to see us when they are in pain, and we work together to relieve that pain.

Not many businesses actively work towards not seeing their clients again, but that’s when we’ve done our job properly; when our client says that everything feels great and they don’t need to book another appointment.

That’s why we love hearing from our clients about how their experience with us was.

Here’s some of the reviews we’ve had recently:

“Thank you both Vic and Greg for proving such a friendly and professional service. Would deffo recommend , such a relaxing experience I I’m already looking forward to my appointment next week” - OH

“I injured myself at work a number of weeks ago and didn’t really take much notice of it until it was no longer comfortable. Vic offered me an appointment and I jumped at the chance. She has a lovely set up and made me feel relaxed. Vic was able to assess my shoulder and see that the swelling was causing me an issue. After an hour of treatment, Vic strapped me up and gave me a few stretches to do at home. 10 Days later, my shoulder feels lots better. Definitely worth a visit if your struggling with any niggles!” - PD

“Had my first visit for a therapy session and have to say .. it has really helped with my problematic shoulder, thank you so much I can’t recommend highly enough !!! I will be back” - LD

If you’ve come to see us, please let us know how it was for you, can you help us help you?

We know there is always room for improvement, whether it’s that you’d have liked more choice of wax or lotion, or you’d rather we played different music.

We want to be the best, and with your help, we can be.

Is Your Mobile Phone A Pain?

This poor guy is at risk of tech neck, text claw, cellphone elbow...and that’s before we talk about that knee! 

This poor guy is at risk of tech neck, text claw, cellphone elbow...and that’s before we talk about that knee! 

With bigger and bigger mobile phones being released, it’s worth remembering that with the exciting new technology in your pocket can come decidedly unwelcome new injuries!

As phone screens get bigger, users are more at risk of developing tendinitis, which is a condition that causes painful inflammation of the tendons in the thumb and wrist. So how can you tell if you have it, and what can you do to treat it?

The Finkelstein Test is the most basic test for tendinitis. To test yourself, simply make a fist with the affected hand, tucking your thumb inside your fingers, then bend your wrists laterally - as if you were trying to make the side of your hand touch the side of your arm (which will move the tendons you’re testing). Feeling pain by your thumb is counted as a positive result. You may also notice pain or swelling at the base of your thumb or side of your wrist.

Initial treatment for tendinitis is to put down the phone - you need to rest your hand more! Think of the pain as an early warning; if you keep carrying out the same repetive movements the pain will get worse.

Gentle stretching can help. One technique to try is to relax your forearm on a table and hang the affected hand off the edge. Bend the wrist so that your hand points down, and then bend the wrist the other way so your hand points up. This can help improve the mobility of your wrist  

If the pain is new, icing the area can help, but if you’ve had it a while, heat is better.

You may also want to think about taking anti-inflammatory painkillers like ibuprofen.

Tendinitis can also indirectly cause pain to the forearm, shoulder and neck, as the body contorts to try and adjust and protect the affected areas. And if you’re using your phone enough to have given yourself tendinitis, you’ve probably strained your neck and shoulders already.

Positional release, trigger point techniques and muscle energy techniques can help if your pain has gone beyond being relieved with a bit of a rest and a stretch. If you want to get rid of that pain, book an appointment with us today.

Soft Tissue Therapy for Seniors

We were lucky enough to have our oldest client in again today. They’re in their eighties, and it’s always an absolute delight to treat them and help with their mobility issues. It used to be that aches, pains and reduced mobility were simply accepted as part of the cost of growing old, but now older people have too much living to be getting on with - I felt quite tired listening to our client’s plans for the week! I hope I’m living as an active life as they are when I’m their age  

Perhaps you think that you are too old, or too unfit, too overweight for treatment? Sadly some people think soft tissue therapy, massage and sports massage is just for young, athletic people. I suppose it’s a thought that our profession has “encouraged”, with endless websites showing the same stock photos of ladies in full makeup smiling alluringly into the camera. What a shame!

Here at State 11, we want to help you live your best life, regardless of your age or shape or size. 

Why not get in touch and see how we can help you?  

Retirement goals!

Retirement goals!

Rock Tape Delivery

Look what the postman delivered! Spangly new Rock Tape in some awesome patterns!


Where appropriate, we use kinesiology taping at State 11 Soft Tissue Therapy. Taping produces a lifting effect underneath the skin - and the layers below it - helping decompress inflamed, painful areas, which in turn helps reduce pain. It also helps lessen muscle fatigue, can help you maintain good posture - and in a pinch, can be used as really expensive sellotape. 

Its fine if you’re skeptical. We were too, right up until Vic had a marathon to run. Injury had stopped her being able to run more than six miles or so, and sheer stubbornness was refusing to let her back out - she’d resigned herself to fast walking and (being young and stupid) would deal with any injuries later. And then she got taped up with kinesiology tape the day before - and instead of running six miles, ran twenty (yes it would have sounded nicer to say twenty-six but we’re being honest).  

We use Rock Tape at State 11 because we think it’s the best of many available tapes - and we’ve tried lots. We’ve used it on athletes, but we’ve also used it on people with knee problems and shoulder problems who aren’t athletic at all - and it’s worked for all of them.