Thinking about massage?
It can be confusing to be faced with so many remedial treatment options in the health market. This page is intended to help you make an informed choice by explaining where massage fits in and what its all about. If you are thinking about trying massage be assured that treatment by a qualified practitioner is safe and respectful.
What is Integrative Massage Therapy?
In the therapy world massage treatment is used to relax tension and trauma in muscle and soft tissue. Styles could be anywhere from calming to invigorating. Integrative Massage introduces further supportive techniques more usually considered outside the scope of a massage treatment, for example, manipulation, stretching, myo-fascial release, neuro-structural integration, acupressure, breathing, rhythmic, still and meditative work according to circs. Such techniques overlap with, and work alongside, those associated with disciplines like physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture, shiatsu or reiki.
So what’s special about massage?
The answer lies in the importance massage places on tactile quality. Whatever the science behind a technique or remedial objective, the aspiration of a good massage practitioner is that every session should be delivered through an experience in the art of touch. This not only enhances the efficacy of the work in hand but also enables massage to directly influence mood and feelings which have such a profound effect on our health and happiness
What can massage do for me?
Stress in the system corrupts bodily flexibility, posture, movement and organ function: hence, releasing unnatural tension has a corrective effect. Also, by stimulating both the blood supply and the lymphatic system, massage makes an excellent tool for injury, illness or post-operative recovery, loosening stiffened muscles and invigorating a depleted immune system. If you have chronic pain, talk to your doctor about adding massage by a qualified therapist to your pain management program. Some typical physical complaints treated by massage are: back shoulder neck spasm/pain, aching limbs, joint problems, IBS, constipation and sinus congestion, post operative / injury recovery.
A massage helps us to develop a healthy ‘body-awareness’. Initially, becoming body-aware often means painfully waking up to the state we have let ourselves get into. But the relaxation and physical relief which follows positively effects the whole system and as a consequence helps many stress – induced conditions such as high blood pressure, low immunity, headaches, insomnia, hormonal imbalance, fluid retention, fatigue, digestive problems or anxiety. Some people use regular massage as part of their support strategy for a demanding lifestyle. It can also play a valuable role as part of an individual’s self-development programme.
My first massage – what will happen?
Confidential interview. You will brief the practitioner on your requirements and relevant medical history. An appropriate treatment will then be discussed.
Will I have to undress? More important is the question ‘Am I at ease?’ Wear loose, thin garments if you wish to receive work fully clothed.
Massage direct on the skin with oils requires the removal of relevant clothing. In this case undressing takes place in private, clean towels are provided for covering the body. Your modesty is respected at all times.
Massage may leave you achy the next day. This is a natural healing response. Locked up toxins are released by massage and require time to be flushed out. Drink water! Sometimes the effect of relaxation can clear the pathway for emotion or tiredness to percolate to the surface. These responses need managing and not suppressing. Your body may be inviting you to ‘let go’ of an issue or simply telling you ‘Rest … now!’
If you wish to use aromatherapy oils and blends with massage, these can be recommended by Julie Watson, our qualified aromatherapist. We hold some oils in stock, others can be ordered for return post.
Practitioner Click here for Philip Watson