Information about TotalMSK
TotalMSK was born out of the founder's unique interests, training, experience and research. These skills all have one thing in common, "human performance", be it physiological or psychological. There is now an ever-growing evidence base, which shows strong links between Health, Wellness and Performance. Terry, the founder of TotalMSK, has over two decades of experience in these areas. Such health and performance links have been seen throughout history and in military conflict situations.
Terry started his first degree in Business Management Studies in the early 90s. A primary area of interest became Psychology and mental health in the workplace. As a result, a third of his degree specialised in Psychology. Mental illness in the workplace is only just, as of 2017, gaining the regard it deserves as a serious health issue. The human and financial costs can prove substantial for the individual, society, industry and the country. The global pandemic has just added to the problem. Hence, governments are now investing heavily in mental health services. Stress takes many forms in modern-day life and may be positive or negative. Some stress can be good for mental health and help performance. Too much stress can be bad for performance and health. Understanding how the human stress response works can prove very helpful (see the stress and performance related articles).
Physical and Psychological Performance
Terry's natural interests have enabled him to gain expertise in many interrelated areas of health. Besides interests and training in Psychology, Terry has always been very physically active. After leaving University, he spent eight years in Britain's elite military forces. He was required to push his body and mind to the limits of physical and mental endurance during this time. The experience gave him a full grasp of what it takes to operate as an integral member of high-performance teams, where choices can make the difference between life or death.
Pushing the body to the limits and beyond can often have consequences. Terry has certainly experienced his fair share of injuries, including running type injuries such as; ankle sprains, Achilles tendinopathy, plantar fasciitis and various knee-related injuries. The expertise gained within the elite military setting helped Terry develop a high degree of self-awareness. Such a level of self-awareness helps one know when things are not working as they should and get them checked. That said, self-awareness does not necessarily explain why something is not working as it should. Sadly, Terry found out first-hand that some health professionals have no interest in what the patient has to say, as they know better (see the ankle injury article). Equally, being told that you have to give up activity is not helpful. There is nearly always some way to do the activities we enjoy; look at the Invictus Games.
The self-awareness and injury history would later prove to be highly useful when combined with training in the musculoskeletal field. Although Terry is still highly active and enjoys distance running, hiking, kayaking, cycling and endurance type events. He believes he could have avoided many of the previous injuries, knowing what he now knows. While in the military, he gained training and experience multiple areas including medicine, health, and safety. His experiences have shown that there is much truth in the expression "healthy body - healthy mind".
Musculoskeletal (MSK) and soft-tissue therapy (STT) education
In 2006, Terry decided to further his interests and medical training first gained within the military. He enrolled on a foundation year course at the McTimoney College of Chiropractic that included detailed training in anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, biophysics and holistic massage. It was then possible to start the five years of study for the Master of Chiropractic, which involved more detailed training in:-
Anatomy, Behavioural Science, Biochemistry, Biomechanics, Chiropractic Studies (theory and practical), Clinical Neurology, Clinic Studies, Differential Diagnosis, General Medicine, Imaging and Referral, Research Studies, Musculoskeletal Medicine, Neurology, Neuroscience, Patient Assessment, Pathology, Pharmacology and Physiology.
Terry could instantly see the potential of base massage training for treating soft tissue ailments. Holistic massage is full-body, routine, and the focus is on relaxation, not specific areas and not Terry's area of interest. Hence, he looked at more specific soft-tissue therapy (STT) skills and has gained an enviable array of qualifications. He has been treating MSK conditions since 2006 with STT and then later as a McTimoney Chiropractor in the UK.
MSK and STT Qualifications
- Integrated Masters in Chiropractic (MChiro) (McTimoney College of Chiropractic) - UK
- Business Management Studies BSc (Hons) majoring in Psychology - UK
- Graduate Certificate in Mental Health (Currently studying 2023)
- BTEC Level 5 Diploma in Clinical Sports & Remedial Massage Therapy (LSSM) - UK
- Diploma in Remedial Massage (HLT50307) - AUS
- Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage (VCTC) - UK
- Level 3 Diploma in Holistic Massage (ITEC) - UK
- Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety (BSB41415) - AUS
- Certificate IV in Massage Therapy Practice (HLT40312) - AUS
- Certificate in Gua Sha - AUS
- Certificate in Dry Needling - AUS
- Certificate in Kinesiology Taping - UK
Besides formal qualifications, Terry has completed various CPD/CPE courses since 2006. His level of experience and the amount of yearly CPD/CPE he undertakes means that he holds the Gold Status with the Sports Massage Association. Professional associations require members to complete yearly CPD/CPE, which helps ensure one's current knowledge and enables one to learn new skills.
Clinical experience UK and Australia
Terry has owned and run successful MSK clinics in the UK and Australia. He also taught as a senior course coach on one of the first Myotherapy courses in Brisbane. Although his BTEC Level 5 Diploma in Clinical Sports & Remedial Massage Therapy is at the equivalent level to the Australian Diploma in Myotherapy, he does not possess the Australian qualification. Many of the most established myotherapists in Brisbane were taught by Terry. He has split his time between consultancy in human performance, clinical work and training for the past decade. While in the UK, he regularly worked as an independent consultant on human performance courses. In 2016, Terry formalised his Work, Health and Safety experience with formal learning. The qualification updated his knowledge of Australian legislation around workplace physical and mental health. The culmination of his experience, knowledge and training, led to the creation of TotalMSK in early 2017. Sadly, Australia does not recognise Terry's education, so he chose to leave the Chiropractic profession in late 2020. He never really worked like most Chiropractors, so most patients viewed him more as a sports physiotherapist. However, he was a Chiropractor with a great deal of soft tissue therapy training and experience, not physiotherapy training. He can still use the vast majority of his previous Chiropractic training in assessing and treating MSK and myofascial pain conditions and as a Myotherapist.
Giving back to the community
Terry also likes to give back to the community and has helped many local and international charities (see Charity / Event Work). His STT skills have been provided free of charge at charity events, such as runs, walks, cycles etc. In 2019, Terry had a chance to be part of the medical team working with the UK Invictus Games athletes. It provided an excellent opening to work with some amazing and inspiring people. Having an ex-services background also proved to be very helpful. Terry's human performance and STT experience proved vital when working with athletes with multiple injuries. Being part of such a recovery process was great, but sadly the covid-19 pandemic hit early March 2020. Hopefully, the opportunity will present itself again, though, with the Australian team in the future.
Massage and Myotherapy Registrations
Terry brings over 16 years of experience treating in the MSK Therapy field back to Brisbane from the UK. He is highly qualified with relevant education and training spanning from Certificate level through to higher education and a Masters. His training and experience cover many assessment methods, treatment types and soft tissue therapy (STT) skills. Besides the sixteen years of clinical experience, Terry has a further eight years of experience training and working at the highest physical performance levels within the elite British forces environment. He has a personal experience with a range of running injuries and a vast amount of professional treatment experience. He is still an avid distance runner to this day. Such knowledge has proved highly valuable in the treatment of elite-level athletes and members of the public. His ongoing sporting activities, experiences and interests have naturally led to him specialising in human performance and treating trauma and myofascial pain. He also taught as a senior course coach on the first myotherapy course in Brisbane. His skills are now available at the Morningside clinic, where he works as a Myotherapist.