Bella Saltiel pays a much-needed visit to CRATE’s Leyton Sports Massage clinic, as part of our Shop St James Street Initiative
Katherine Creighton Crook wants to prove that it is possible to live pain-free. Working through massage that offers solutions rather than temporary relief, she’s on a mission to show that aches and pains don’t have to be the norm.
Katherine first worked in massage in Maryland in the US, Australia and Shanghai before starting Leyton Sports Massage (LSM) in 2011. Now, the Leyton-born business has expanded to include a small-but-functional unit at CRATE St James Street, Walthamstow. She offers massage to returning clients and Ailish, a trained LSM therapist, offers massage to new clients.
I first came to LSM five years ago, after two cringeworthy accidents, both from my uninhibited university days. I broke my collarbone while attempting a complex yoga move – then, several months later, the opposite ankle attempting to climb a bale of hay at a festival. After the breaks, like the irresponsible 21-year-old I was, I did very little rehabilitation. Suffice to say, I’m paying the price.
It meant that when I arrived at Katherine’s massage table, plagued by the aches and pains of someone twice my age, I thought Katherine would have her work cut out for her – but I am not unique. There are plenty of people just like me who found it nearly impossible to follow their physiotherapist’s homework and too found a place on LSM’s massage table.
Katherine’s refreshing massage method “addresses the structural aspects of the person”, she says, instead of just “rubbing a muscle that’s sore and then the pain comes back because we haven’t changed the structural patterns”.
After all, the clinic’s ultimate goal is to get rid of “as much pain as possible. We all assume pain is part of life but it doesn’t have to be”. People often think “I just have to live like this” because they only get temporary relief.
The same philosophy applies when considering the mind-body relationship. Katherine sees a connect between the emotional and the physical – “an emotional physical spectrum of the body’s response to pain” – and is introducing trauma-sensitive massage to her practice.
She notes: “There are specific impacts that trauma has on the body and the mind… [and that person] will have different needs than someone who hasn’t.
All of the massage therapists at LSM are trained by Katherine. At CRATE, you can see Ailish for body work treatments, but online courses are available too – including programmes for desk workers and runners, to incorporate stretching and pain relief into their daily routines.
Pain can affect anyone in their life for a number of reasons, which is why a low-cost clinic, bookable via their website, is also available.
“I really strongly believe that if you have a business your responsibility is to both make money and to help people or change things in society,” she concludes. “We are all in a community together and by supporting one another, we can change things.”
To book an appointment, visit Leyton Sports Massage