Charlotte Fairbrother

Private Clinic & Professional Dance

I became interested in Sports and Remedial Massage through my work as a dancer. I then went on to train as a teacher wherein I taught dance in London secondary schools for nearly a decade. When I became a mum I stepped back from teaching, at which point I began thinking about a career change – one that tapped into my interest in movement and the body. 

I trained at NLSSM for a diploma in Sports and Remedial Massage, qualifying in February 2018. The course provided the depth I was looking for in terms of technique and anatomy, but it also gave me an appreciation of the value of working with other physical therapists. During my dance career I witnessed colleagues manage their injuries using manual therapy while continuing to work at a physically demanding level, this confirmed how dancers can benefit from a collaborative approach as part of the treatment process. 

Since qualifying, I have found I really enjoy learning from other therapists across a range of disciplines, to inform and develop my own practice. I enjoy treating a wide range of clientele from all walks of life. I work on the basis that every client is unique and that the context of common discomforts and injuries is always slightly different. The job is always interesting!

Towards the end of my training, I took the opportunity that was offered by NLSSM to complete an internship at Headstart Clinic in Cambridge, which was a great insight into working within a busy clinic setting. Following this I worked as a self-employed therapist, offering treatments from my home as well as mobile appointments, and building up a client base. Although I enjoyed the flexibility this allowed, I found I missed the clinic setting and working with colleagues.

Since then, I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work as a sports and remedial soft tissue therapist in two very busy and successful clinics – working for six months at the Rehab Hub Injury Clinic and Sports Performance Centre in Bedfordshire in 2019, and since 2021 as part of the team at Osteo Allies Hitchin Clinic in North Hertfordshire. Working as part of multi-disciplinary teams has been a great move for me, as it has helped me to develop as a therapist, learning from specialists in other disciplines and always with a view to offering the best possible treatment and care to clients.

At the end of 2022 I was delighted to be offered an internship as a soft tissue therapist at The Royal Ballet Upper School in Covent Garden. Working with dancers under the guidance of the senior physical therapy team, has been a wonderful opportunity to draw on my years of experience in the dance world, and a great learning experience from my perspective as a massage therapist. I find a lot of parallels between my two passions, and it’s always exciting when my learning in one supports growth in the other.

Over the years, I have discovered that continued learning and being open to new experiences is such an important part of the process of developing as a therapist – even once you are qualified and experienced. For me, taking up opportunities to learn has been very rewarding, and is a hugely enjoyable and beneficial part of the journey.

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