Category Archives: Good experience

Knees – Running rebuilt #01

Blogger Name: Philniche

image of Marathon Running Legs only
Marathon Running Legs

I have always struggled with my knees, when I was a child I experienced pain and they felt like they twisted when I ran; that along with being an over weight child I tended to avoid exercise. When I got older I went travelling for 6 months and spent a large amount of that time wearing just flip flops and carrying a heavy bag most days as I moved around; once I returned to England I found that my knees had got considerably worse, they would click and crack when climbing stairs and cycling (it would make me feel sick hearing and feeling it), and when bending or kneeling down my knees would get stuck and I wouldn’t be able to stand back up again.

This all lead me to requesting assistance from an NHS Physio, she didn’t take a lot of time treating me, she just set me exercises to do, and based on my pain and thoughts of the exercises she changed her thoughts about my injury each week. It when from an old hamstring injury, to a flabby core, to you’re overweight and this is why you’re experiencing pain. at 13 & a half stone I wasn’t hugely overweight, but there was definite room for improvement. So after seeing no improvement in my knees and worsening pain in my hips, I felt that I was not getting any benefits from seeing this Physio and I never returned to her. After losing 3 and a half stone I felt great, but my knees had not improved, while training for my first half marathon I was experiencing pain and swelling as well as not being able to bend my knees to climb stairs after long runs – which at 28 should not be hard thing to do. While in the running shop asking about knee supports the guys in there recommended that I have a session with their in house Physio, so I thought why not. After an initial consultation I thought lets give a few sessions a go and see how I feel.

During my first 45 minute session with John, I saw a massive improvement in my movement and reduction in pain when being stretched in different ways, I was so shocked and couldn’t believe that it was that quick at getting results. We ran through some movements to see what my body did and reacted, then we manipulated my back and cracked it a bit, then my leg and hip was in a much better place flexibility wise. John set me an exercise called Neural Flossing to help increase the movement in my legs (stretch them out), as well as dynamic sitting to support my back and core when sitting at my desk all day.

After 1 week of dynamic sitting, at first it was weird and my back would sometimes go into a spasm, however as the week went on I found I was sitting correctly without even thinking about it. I went from pain and trying to crack my back 3/4 times a day to not at all. I even think about it when I am standing still or walking, and I feel much better inside for it.

Roll on session number 2 to see what further improvements can be had!

How to keep up with the kids and defeat ageing #1


Runner good technique on hill
Keep on running

Problem – I think I do a good level of exercise, 3-4 hours a week, often including 10-15 miles (running) off-road, I also do circuits at least once a week, in the hope that it will keep the body in shape, and that I can keep up with the kids and defeat ageing, while enjoying the countryside west of Bristol.

However, every couple of years the body rebels and all sorts of random parts of the body rebel. Back – Knees – Ankle – Neck

Treatment – ring John @AAA-Physio and get myself booked in. Somehow he identifies which bits of my back are the root cause and tells me I don’t sit properly at my desk. He also finds aches I didn’t know I had. A few crunches and 24 hours of thinking not much has changed… ..the old body is revived!

1) I really should stretch more often & use free the exercise sheets on John’s website
2) I shouldn’t wait till my backs ceases up or a muscle locks up before seeing John
3) Chasing balls is for dogs and not middle aged men!

Black Cocker Spaniel
Ideal Ball chaser – Spaniel not Human.

getting there

Hello – I’m still a bit behind in my plan of being able to run 5 miles in 45 mins. 

I have a whole raft of excuses…

But anyway – I ‘m now happily running for 30 mins, no calf pain, no stress-fractured-but-now-mended metatarsal pain – just a couple of blisters  (from running in walking shoes…) and the odd footy twinge (from being a bit too slothful over the weeks and not running enough…)

So – hooray – I think I’m well on the road to my goal

10K Bristol in 60 or less #2

To cut a long story short (ish). Basically I was getting very annoyed and frustrated back in June 2012 because my head wanted to run long and fast but my body wasn’t having any of it. My IT Band was hurting every time I reached about 3 miles.
My IT band problem came on suddenly in Autumn 2011. I think it was when I did a 10 mile run having previously only done about 7 or 8 miles. I rested it and then kind of got used to it happening. It became worse in the spring of 2012 when I was trying to do sprint intervals as a build up to the Bristol 10K. I became really fed up when it slowed me down at the Bristol 10K 2012 and messed up my aim of finishing in under 60 mins (by 1 min), so I decided to seek help!
Moti recommended John to me. John is very thorough and finds out what is the cause of the problem and after a couple of sessions he had me running in a whole new way and after quite a bit of thought (there’s a lot of thinking involved) and effort I can now run basically as far as I want to without ITB pain. Have been back on several occasions for re-tweaks and re-aligning after my body rebels.
I didn’t manage the Bristol 10K in under 60 mins in 2013 I think it was because I had been taught a whole new way to run by John. I’m pretty sure I will do it soon because now I think I have mastered the new technique!
Oh, and don’t tell John, but I’m back doing sprint intervals training once a week! (My speed is definitely improving), and i’m still rubbish at doing any of your exercises so I don’t bother!
Hope to be back soon for a re-tweak. Thanks John 🙂

London Marathon- Completed!!

I finally done it! I completed the London Marathon 2013 and I have to admit, i felt so proud and rough after crossing the finish line 6 hours 50 seconds later! (eek)

As expected, the atmosphere was awesome, so overwhelming! The crowds were handing out sweets all the way and i even saw someone handing out cheese sandwiches after mile 20… i was tempted!  St Johns Ambulance were everywhere offering help if needed and vaseline too, i even saw a fire engine and the firemen spraying their hose at all the runners!

I saw some pretty cool outfits too, batman, superman, cinderella and ginerbread man to name a few. A for effort for them! It was a sunny day!!

I was surprised to learn that i managed to jog all the way to just past mile 19 and i think i hit ‘The Wall’ then… i felt slightly nauseaus, wasn’t sure if it was hunger? My legs and feet were burning and i still had another 7 miles to go which was dreadful to think about. Saw my friend between 19 and 20 and they handed me a breakfast bar to boost energy levels! Felt a bit better after but still felt quite weak…

I took out my earphones to try get some motivation from the crowds and it helped alot but i found at times i would be the only one jogging and alot of people around me were still walking which was really de-motivating!

At this point (mile 20) the miles seemed to be getting longer and longer… all i was thinking about was finishing the race and going back to bed…!!


………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….        ….                  …….                    ….

…              …             ….800 metres to go!!!!!!!!!!!!

What a relief… the running club i usually attend every week in little stoke has a 400m track… i just thought to myself, yes i can do this, it’s only twice around the track!! my feet were really HEAVY…. it felt like i had bags of sand in my socks, my back was aching, my hands felt a bit sticky, my stomach was tense…. gosh.

…………………..400m to go!!

close to crawling, the longest 400m i’ve ever felt, i was in view of ‘FINISH‘ and sprinted the last 100m! Whoooooooosh!!!! And it was officially OVER!!!!!!

Everyone i passed congratualated me, i felt really good! they cut off my tag and put the medal over my neck. Still could not believe what i had just done! Never ever thought i would ever be an owner of a marathon medal!

My legs felt like jelly, i wanted to sit but i knew it would be difficult to get back up, i done some light stretching on the way to the ‘meet and greet’ and finally arrived back at the hotel, sat in a cold bath and then we opened a bottle of champagne in our room to celebrate, finished that and went to bed!

Crazy amounts of support from friends on facebook!

I arrived back in Bristol on Monday afternoon with a deep tissue massage session waiting at The Treatment Rooms located on Park Row. The woman was very good and knew exactly what she was doing to help me recover from the run. I still got a full body massage (£41.00) but she focused on the key points that were the most painful. thighs, lower back and shoulders. I fully recovered (walking with no pain) on Wednesday!

I raised just under £1400 for VICTA (Visually Impaired Children Taking Action) you can view my page here:

Amazing experience and would like to thank John for helping me overcome the issues i had with my knee and ankle and working with me to get me to the race without any niggles so THANK YOU!!!

Neural flossing for Heel Pain with Sports Physio John Stephenson

Plantar fasciitis – right-wing vegetable, or heel condition that’s preventing me from running?

The latter, definitely the latter.

But Physio John is on the case and I’ve had my first two sessions of physio to get me up and running again. At the first introductory session I was introduced to exercises which John referred to as ‘neural flossing’ – lying on my back with left knee (the side affected) bent, raised and held across my body and then extended with three different foot positions to ’floss’ the neural connections between foot, calves, thighs and back. These connections are clearly not working as they should as John demonstrated to me with tests that showed my left leg and foot lacking the strength of the right.

How to do Lower Limb Neural Flossing - Click for Video
How to do Lower Limb Neural Flossing - Click for Video

He also suggested my sitting position at work – usually a little hunched – wasn’t helping, and so I’ve been working on that, clearing the clutter on my desk that gets in the way of a more healthy posture and trying to get rid of the mental clutter that doesn’t help either…

I had my second session on Friday, reporting that in spite of flossing neutrally for the last week that things hadn’t really improved, or perhaps only marginally. John said not to worry, that these things take time… We also looked in more detail at my sitting posture and even as I write his words are ringing in my ears and my lower back gently pushed forward and my shoulders square.

I had my second session on Friday. This time I took away with me an exercise that had me slowly arching my back while lying flat, working along the spine like wallpaper being plastered, as well as a much better sense that the problem in my left heel is a problem not just of the foot but of my whole body. This holistic, interconnected approach makes sense to me, but like a lot of people I need reminding of it from time to time. And so I’ve already been looking into yoga classes and thinking of other ways I can improve my general health and wellbeing…

The best news though was that twenty-four hours later and after a day full of walking in shoes probably not ideal for a heel condition, I’ve noticed a definite improvement. It’s redoubled my determination to do my homework and improve my posture.

It’s not running, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction…

Customer Feedback Survey – 2011 Nov. Verbatim comments from Satisfaction Survey

Survey Monkey
Showing the LAST 40 responses to:

Q10. Please Comment here on how we Compare or could Improve our Service to You!

Everything seems to be fine – ease of booking, getting an appointment.
15/11/2011 19:39
No comments.
15/11/2011 9:48
Keen to hear about running lessons
14/11/2011 6:43
None! As I feel all the service and advice given was great!
17/9/2011 15:28
Fabulous effective physio – Thanks KL
2/9/2011 17:10
John was great for treatment, coaching and advice. I would have really struggled to run 26.2 miles without his help. Thanks!
18/8/2011 15:26
Can’t think of anything.
17/8/2011 10:08
Outstanding – I have used many therapists both here and in London. It’s been a great “find” to get a depth of knowledge and shared concern for a really optimal outcome right near my work in Bristol. I will certainly be recommending but maybe not quite yet to my race colleagues!
13/8/2011 3:49
Much more thorough explanation of both problems and treatment given than I have ever experienced before.
12/8/2011 16:46
Very happy just keep up the good service level – Sometimes have problems with appointments running to time.
11/8/2011 23:08
Tell patients to continue their exercises!
11/8/2011 13:31
11/8/2011 10:37
Good overall treatment and feedback, it’s really useful having appointment times outside of working hours
11/8/2011 10:07
Don’t give my running buddy too many improvement tips!
9/8/2011 14:38
John gave a really great understanding of the triggers for my issue and helped put things right in a short space of time. Thank you.
26/6/2011 11:37
I was happy with the service provided.
4/5/2011 9:19
3/5/2011 11:31
Good service but not the cheapest out there
28/4/2011 13:21
I was really pleased with my treatment and care. No improvements needed. I will definitely go back if I need to.
27/4/2011 17:26
Service is fine, booking appointments is easy.
27/4/2011 13:00
John is the best physio I have ever seen
27/4/2011 12:53
It was very good to get an appointment when I needed it. This can often be difficult.
26/4/2011 13:56
Brilliant service! Thank you. I was worried about my knee after falling off my bike and got good advice and diagnosis.
26/4/2011 13:54
Excellent – many thanks – haven’t had any problems since
26/4/2011 13:52
The service is good and I don’t have any suggestions for improvement.
13/4/2011 15:26
Nothing! – Service provided was good
31/3/2011 10:18
Very good service thanks John
30/3/2011 15:16
more to do on one’s own , written programme of follow up exercises
30/3/2011 10:12
Really happy with the treatment. i struggled to get time off work otherwise i would have had a few more follow up appointments.
29/3/2011 22:27
Unknown condition but John still took time to write a letter to my doctor recommending I get referred to a hospital. Thank you!
29/3/2011 21:13
Gave me a brand new neck/back?!?
29/3/2011 18:04
It was very good I am attending aqua fit and over 50 circuit training classes, when I get the chance and slowly improving. Many thanks.
29/3/2011 14:55
maybe a longer second consultation session – 45 mins not 30 mins.
25/3/2011 13:12
No comment
23/3/2011 9:16
22/3/2011 21:37
Unfortunately I can no-longer attend as I have moved to Manchester.
22/3/2011 11:22
13/1/2011 14:19
13/1/2011 13:26
An exceptional experience with outstanding results! Lizzie has regained almost all movement in her arm and shoulder without pain. – She would benefit from a follow-up appointment as suggested, but as her problem was worsened due to the length of time it had gone untreated – it was inevitable that she would experience some pain in undoing the problems that had developed as a result.
At the moment Lizzie can’t be persuaded to come back for a follow-up appointment as she is wary of any more pain even though it was explained to her that the worst is over! She is only 13 so is not able to see the ‘no pain no gain’ situation she was in and she feels back to normal so it’s off her radar, as it were!
Nonetheless there can be no doubt that John’s skill has enabled Lizzie to return to the very active life she led before the injury and diverted the situation from becoming intractable. Many, many thanks!
12/1/2011 22:10

01. Synchronicity and developing your Intuition in Bristol

As John helps us get our bodies back into sync and alignment, we might also consider how is it that we can create more flow and effortless action in our wider life?

This Saturday, 22nd October in central Bristol there is an event to explore how Intuition, Intention & Synchronicity work together in our life to create positive change and flow.

As I’ve been working in the area of intuitive development I’ve become fascinated by and aware of how ‘coincidence’ plays a huge role in our lives.  Meeting the right person at the right time,  just what you have been looking for showing up,  little messages that appear to travel across the ether to us.

Einstein  said, “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

Indeed, we assume that unless we can analyze and be logical about something it’s not real…what if the intuitive approach, signs & synchronicities is as much underpinned by science & perennial philosophy as it is magical?

Here’s a  youtube video  I created on Intuition, Intention & Synchronicity to explore these key aspects of living.Intuition, Intention & Synchronicity by Clare Russell

And if you feel inspired, come along to the event this Saturday – its a special preview of the workshop before I run it in London with Alternatives (one of largest mind body spirit events organizers in the UK) later in the year.

Details for the event: 1 day workshop: Intuition, Intention & Synchronicity, 22nd October 10.30am-5.30pm, Pierian Centre, Central Bristol. £55.  To book visit or call Clare on 07966 253111

Sorting head position for Golf Combined effort

Photo of a stream
I usually end up in here - once a week

Started with a Golf Specific Personal Training Session with Andy Wadsworth from MyLife PT in Clifton BS8 3BQ – This lasted 60minutes.

  • The first thing John Stephenson from AAA-Physio asked was:
  • What are the 3 main findings from your assessment with Andy?
  • 1. I said…………Independently rotating my trunk on my pelvis
  • 2. ?
  • 3. ?


This scored really well upto 9/10 on both legs. See the Video below.

Then we added the rotation back in. Using a cable pull to the side with minimal weight. To get the rounded action of the golf swing John got me to hug a round stability cushion.

While I was doing this exercise I was concentartiong and thinking this………….
I found out this…….
I struggled with….
We used a scoring system for shoulder position and smoothness of the swing. Imagined hitting with a 7 iron. we had an imaginary ball marked on the floor – I scored this

Physio Investigations – Capsular tightness and cervicogenic pain.
upper limb tight – Neck adjustments more movement

Target for “The Easter Tournament??” H/Cap of 12?