About Massage Therapy
The most natural instinct when something hurts in the body is to hold or rub the affected area. It is little surprise then that massage therapy is one of the oldest forms of health care. In the last few decades there has been a resurgence in demand for good hands on massage therapy, highlighted by the role of massage in sports and athletic performance. In the last twenty years or so massage courses have developed from short courses focused on simple techniques to government accredited training at Diploma and Advanced Diploma level. Our Remedial Massage Therapists have formal training in anatomy & physiology, musculo-skeletal assessment and of course massage techniques. More on the history of massage can be found in this blog.
Our qualified massage therapists are experienced in various massage modalities. You don’t have to make a choice from the below list if you are not sure which technique suits you as our massage therapists are happy to discuss tailoring your massage experience to your exact requirements.
Remedial Massage is a therapeutic massage technique administered by a qualified massage therapist. It is the application of pressure to manipulate the soft tissue and muscle fibres in order to promote healing. The massage is applied directly to the skin and usually an oily lubricant is used. The therapist will adjust the amount of pressure used to the client’s tolerance and comfort. Passive stretching moves are also employed. It can be used to target a specific area of the body that is injured or impaired or it can be a full body massage. Remedial massage is effective for general aches and pains as well as soft tissue injury.
Sports massage is a type of massage that is specifically tailored to the physically active. It is not meant to be a relaxing massage and indeed can become quite vigorous at times. It can be employed in different ways for pre & post event massage as well as sporting injuries. Contrary to its name, sports massage is not only utilised by professional sportspeople or people that exercise heavily. It is of benefit to anyone of all ages that exercises, even if it is only mild exercise such as regular walking or gardening.
The Lymphatic system is our front line of defence in fighting infections, detoxifying the body and transporting metabolic waste, excess water, bacteria and toxins out of the body. The lymph glands (at neck, armpits, groin, etc) are connected by a broad network of vessels which transport the fluid. Muscular movement is required to move it as there is no “heart” to pump it. Lymphatic Drainage is a gentle whole body treatment that relaxes the nervous system and aids the body’s immune system. It is highly recommended for those prone to and recovering from colds, infections, on-going tiredness, excess fluid or swelling, low immunity, swollen node and also for the physically inactive.
The Bowen Technique is a cross fibre muscle release technique resulting in a deep sense of overall relaxation. There are regular pauses between the series of gentle moves to give the body the required time to allow the body to reset itself. Bowen Technique is very effective for muscular-skeletal problems, including ankle, knee, lower back and neck pain, dizziness, repetitive stress injury (RSI), whiplash, headache and many muscle or joint pains of unknown origin.
Relaxation Massage is a system of long and short strokes and kneading applying pressure to the muscles, rubbing in the same direction as the flow of blood returning to the heart. The professional therapist will ask for the client’s feedback in order to moderate the pressure so it is in no way painful or over stimulating. Once the pressure is adjusted to the individual, the rhythmic and even massaging through the muscles enhances the deeply relaxing effect. Relaxation Massage is soothing, relaxing and calms all the senses, body and mind. Some other benefits include increased circulation without increased heart load, skin stimulation and soothing of the nervous system. It reduces stress, both emotional and physical, and is suggested as part of a regular program for stress management.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep Tissue is a popular massage technique that focuses on the deeper layers of muscle tissue. It is designed to reach the deep sections of thick muscles, specifically the individual muscle fibres to relieve severe tension in the muscle, connective tissue or fascia. This type of massage is not for the sensitive client who will find other techniques more suitable. To access the deeper layers of the soft tissues more pressure is applied. Everybody has a different tolerance for pressure. Some people feel the more pressure the better, while others feel it is extremely uncomfortable. The client must let the therapist know if the pressure is uncomfortable or if they would like more pressure applied.
Trigger points are areas of hyper-irritability in the soft tissue structure. These can be acute sources of pain or latent, unnoticed by the client until pressure is applied by the practitioner. Trigger points are manifested as small contracted knots in the muscles that control the state of contraction. If active they may cause muscle spasm and referred pain. Treatment consists of physical therapy, manipulation and stretching. Firm finger pressure is applied by the practitioner, who is able to locate the specific points that are causing pain and restricted movement. These may often be located in places different to where the client actually feels the pain.
During an Ortho-Bionomy session you remain fully clothed. No oil is used. The practitioner does an assessment to determine structural balance and freedom of movement in joints. Instead of massage strokes, gentle movement, positioning, and holding are used to release patterns of tension in the body. Other techniques might include gentle isometrics to engage muscles and further their release as well as posture exercises to increase awareness. Although very gentle and often subtle, Ortho-bionomy is very deep in it’s effect.
Reflexology involves applying gentle pressure to the feet, hands, or ears with specific thumb, finger and hand techniques without the use of oil or lotion. It is based on the belief that there is a system of zones and reflex areas that reflects an image of the body on the feet, hands and ears and that physically working on these points may benefit the corresponding areas of the body. When applying this method (most commonly to the feet) the reflexologist palpates the feet to identify tender areas then applies specific massage techniques to these tender zones. Their goal is to not just benefit the feet but to promote overall health of the body.
Massage techniques can be adapted in order to accommodate the particular physical requirements of young children. Massage is often helpful for growing pains, recovering from injury and generalised muscle tension. We can also provide pre and post event massage for the sporty teenager. Please let reception know if you require specific sports massage when booking.
Massage is an extremely effective and relaxing way to deal with the general aches and pains that can be experienced in the later stages of pregnancy. A variety of techniques can be safely employed with Pregnancy massage but extra care is taken when positioning the pregnant woman for her massage.
Massage Can Be Used For:
Massage is one of the most versatile therapies available, and is suitable for many conditions.
These are just a few:
- Tension Headaches
- Back and Neck pain
- Shoulder and elbow problems
- Back pain in pregnancy
- Sports injuries
- Enhance sporting performance
- Pre & Post Event (preparation & recovery)
- Aching legs and feet
- Children’s growing pains
- Postural strain
- Greater joint flexibility
- Improves circulation
- Increases ease of movement
- Reduces muscular spasm
- Reduces muscular stiffness