What is holistic massage?
Many people who come for Holistic Massage Therapy for the first time, have in mind the type of massage they receive at spas or hotels; these massages are fantastic for relaxation and pampering, however this tends to be their sole focus...
Holistic Massage Therapy goes far beyond this; it truly is a comprehensive health-related treatment, that I'm really passionate about helping as many people as possible integrate into their lives.
Regular Massage is a wonderful preventative measure, keeping you supple and keeping muscular tension and joint stiffness at bay, before they progress into something more serious, as well as supporting those who already have medical conditions that result in muscular tension.
Vitally, it is hugely beneficial in helping to release stress from the body and towards maintaining a positive outlook - we are discovering more and more, about how vital, regular relaxation time is at maintaining good mental and physical health.
Massage Therapy also acknowledges that every person is individual; occupations and life events can deeply affect our physical and emotional well being in diverse ways; we each hold tension in our bodies differently, we react to stress in various ways, we age differently, our postures vary, the exercise we do and the food we eat varies.
All these factors and more have a huge impact on our physical and emotional health - and is the reason that Holistic Massage Therapy really stands out as it takes all these factors into consideration.
When you come for a Holistic Massage it truly is...THERAPY!
However you first come for a Massage, whether that be as a reward after a hard week or via a medical referral, the initial consultation will help me build a picture of the individual massage you need. This enables me to create a massage that is perfectly tailored to what your body needs on any given day.
This can change each time you come for massage....
One day a treatment might pay attention to a specific physical issue. The next time you visit you may have been through a stressful time and wish to release some of those stresses or enjoy some relaxation and much needed time to yourself. You may simply want a little treat?
Regular stress-release from your body is vital for your health and well-being!!!
Massage Therapy is about building a trusting partnership, and providing support on a journey to health.
As part of a general well-being routine, a regular Massage treatment focusing on muscular tension and stress release provides a wonderful sense of euphoria, deep relaxation and release of tension from the body which keeps you fighting fit both physically and mentally. It can also be part of a restorative process, assisting your body if it needs to recover from physical injury.
Or you may need regular Massage treatments to help you manage discomfort or pain when suffering from certain medical conditions; the parasympathetic nervous system (the part of the nervous system which induces rest, repair and relaxation) is triggered during Massage and this assists the release of tension and pain, allowing our bodies to return to health, triggering proper digestion and immune system responses.
Massage is a supportive therapy; it encourages the body to help itself by nurturing each of the bodily systems via soft tissue manipulation.
From your consultation we will come up with an individual massage plan that is tailored to your needs, but it may be useful to think about these different massage types and there benefits.
- Energy holds - placing hands on the body and holding - holds are particularly nurturing, putting you in touch with your body, calming you, helping with initial relaxation.
- Effleurage - long, slow, light strokes that sweep over the body with the flat of the hand - nurturing, connecting you with your body, calming
- Feathering - light, fast strokes using the fingertips - stimulate sensory nerve endings in the skin which produce that lovely yummy feeling you get from your skin being stroked!
- Plucking - a slightly deeper version of feathering
- Petrissage - kneading and compression - strokes that use rhythmical compression and release of the tissues - improves muscle tone, relieves stiffness, spasm and tightness by bringing fresh blood flow to the area, supplying oxygen and glucose to the muscles to allow them to function properly and removing waste products from the muscle fibres
- Friction - rubbing hands together over an area of skin to produce heat - stimulates fresh blood supply to the area which helps to heal your muscle and surrounding tissues
- Percussion - hacking, cupping, pummelling - these techniques really wake the muscle and tissues up, invigorating body
- Vibration - stimulates sensory nerve endings, brings blood supply to the area, wakes the muscles and tissues up and letting go of tension
- Trigger points - a trigger point is a tight area within muscle tissue that causes pain in other parts of the body. A trigger point in the back, for example, may produce referral pain in the neck. The neck, now acting as a trigger point, may then cause pain in the head. The pain may be sharp and intense or a dull ache. Pressing on that trigger point deeply and holding it can release the tension and pain
- Deep Tissue Massage - using deeper techniques can help reduce tension in the muscle and released discomfort without having to give a painful massage
- Passive mobilisations - let your arm, wrist or hip joints go floppy as I mobilise them for you - improves mobility, eases areas of stiffness or tension in the joints and supporting muscles
- Stretching - stretching the limbs to help improve mobility and ease stiffness - stretching the muscles to re-educate them back to their original length if they have been overused and are tight/short - stretching the skin to help release areas of fascia adhesion (the layer of connective tissue below the skin that can sometimes bunch up, creating tension)
- Bone tapping - bone is a dynamic tissue which manufactures red and white blood cells - sometimes it needs a little help to kick-start it via the vibration of bone tapping
WHAT TECHNIQUES DO I USE?
The combinations are endless and change each time you come for a massage, depending on what you need at the time.
Your massage could include any of the techniques above and more. Each of the techniques trigger various sensory nerve receptors in the skin which send electrical signals to the brain.
In response, the brain switches on the parasympathetic nervous system, resulting in deep relaxation, stress-release, better sleep and increased energy levels as the energy used to fight muscular and emotional tension in your body is liberated.
Benefits of Massage on different areas of the body
The whole body can benefit greatly from massage in numerus physical ways, including; General body awareness particularly posture, increased breath depth, relieving tight and stiff muscles, increasing flexibility by stretching, drains away wastage, increasing blood flow, bringing healing nutrients. Adding recovery from injury or illness and reducing stress
Also on a deeper level, emotionally and psychologically promoting relaxation, comfort, emotional release and support. Skin to skin contact can reassuring human closeness and relations, relieving depression and increased self-worth.
Individuals will benefit from massage in varying ways. But there are some general ways Massage can benefit different areas of the body.
The back is the largest area to receive massage, and is our main postural support, it stabilized us. Backs hold a lot of large muscles that connect others areas of the body. Ours backs are strong and work hard all the time therefor they are prone to problems and tensions which benefit greatly from massage.
The back also houses the nerves that span out over our whole body, so receiving a back massage can link and benefit the entire body
Front of body
This can be an area of vulnerability, where we hold deep rooted emotions, it is not an area we are used to having touched. But sensitive caring massage here can be very rewarding, benefitting all our organs, the root of our respiration and digestive systems.
Front of body massage can be very opening to an area that we often hold closed, guarded and protected, which can lead to a rounded back and concaved front, opening up here can be very liberating! You can also do some good work on the lower back from this position. Abdominal massage can really help digestion and relaxation.
Our feet and ankles hold all our weight and are our connection to the earth. We do tend to neglect them. Foot massage can bring much needed attention and care to our feet. It is also a fairly unobtrusive area which is said to be a map of the whole body, therefore a foot massage can benefit our body as a whole without having to receive a full body massage. This is great for throws whose bodies are sensitive to touch. It is also a good place to end a full body massage, to bring grounding back.
Arms and hands
Our arms and hands are our ‘doing’ area. Our body’s tools for life, love, work and anger. They are moving and expressing emotions and physical movements all the time. Receiving massage here can be very relaxing and revitalizing.
Our legs hold us up, carry us round, walk and run. Massaging legs is very grounding and stabilising. Legs and feet can be a good place to end a massage to bring awareness back down to the ground before leaving.
Legs are also prone to stiffness and benefit from some stretches and mobilisation to keep our flexibility. The backs of legs also hold the sciatic nerve which runs down from the lower back, so back of leg and glucose massage could help lower back pain.
Shoulders and neck.
This area holds a lot a tension. Physically from our life styles, often sitting at a computer or heavy lifting tends to hunch our shoulders and upper back. Massage can help greatly to relive this tension and gently remind ourselves and our muscles of a good postural position and habits.
Emotionally our chest and throats are where we sometimes stop our emotion being expressed. There suppressed emotion can also lead to tension and tightness in this area
Face and Head
Our faces ‘face’ the world and express our inner thoughts and feelings to the people around us. All the muscles around the face, especially the jaw are so often held, not relaxed. Therefore a face massage can be very relaxing. Soothing away ours hypothetical masks.
Head massage at a medial depth can help to relive headaches and stress, massage around the temples can be especially favourable for this.