We are all, Tom Davies says, perfectly engineered machines, designed to move every joint in our bodies, through a full range of motion, several times every day.
Not so easy when, for most of us, those days are spent hunched in front of machines perfectly engineered to stay completely still and glare back at us, unblinking.
Throw in lockdowns and boxsets, and suddenly that finely tuned, highly evolved hunter-gatherer isn’t quite as agile as nature intended. Or maybe that’s just us.
“If a body can’t do something properly, it’ll be forced to compensate and eventually break down,” Tom explains. “We help connect people to their bodies again, and get them moving the way nature intended.”
It’s hard to pin down the special sauce at play behind Tom’s Vale Park-based Movement Restored practice. But it works.
At its core is that simple truth: if we move, we can heal our bodies, reduce our pain, and feel better about ourselves. It’s a mantra that’s propelled Tom as much as it has his ever-growing band of fleet-footed, supple-limbed clients.
“Over the years, I’ve learnt from some amazing people – sports physios, yoga teachers, massage therapists… I guess I’ve cherry picked the best of their wisdom to create my practice,” he says.
Exploring our relationship with pain, and with how it shapes the way we think about ourselves, is the driving force behind Tom’s other passion, his mental health podcast: A Proper Mental Podcast; Pod Bible’s Independent Podcast of the Year winner.
“I had problems with mental health after my son was born in 2016, I thought I was going mad, and didn’t tell anyone,” he says.
Eventually he did. And that conversation led to others – and, in time, to conversations in front of a microphone with his friend. “I just put them up on YouTube to see if they’d help anyone,” Tom says.
Now his conversations are with guests such as Gail Porter, singer Frank Turner and Alastair Campbell. People with tales of their own, who are happy to share them too.
“When I was at my lowest point, having nourishing conversations with others really helped. It made me realise that I wasn’t alone,” Tom says.
“We’ve built up a real global community. People can be locked in a limiting set of beliefs about themselves,” Tom says – but whether that’s physical, mental or, as is often the case, a little of both – Tom’s determined to help us move forward.
“All of this has been just a series of happy accidents,” Tom admits, as we sit on a bench outside his therapy rooms, in the Vale Park sunshine.
“But I really believe that if your heart’s in the right place, and you’re trying to do the right thing, only good things can happen.”
Vale House, Vale Park, Wallasey, CH45 1LX
Image credit: Jane MacNeil