…...but not as you know it.
Or at least that's what I think. Mainly because I hear clients saying such things as
“I've had massages in the past that have hurt but I know it's good for me.”
“get in with your elbows, go as hard as you like!”
Well, it doesn't need to be that way. I can only speak of what I've learned thus far through my CPD and luckily for me, the way I have been taught to give deep tissue massage, works well with how I was naturally progressing within my massage treatment techniques, which is slow and steady.
Elbows do indeed come in useful, but I' don't want to delve in, diving down into that space of tension and sensitivity, to be met with a body scrunching up and protecting itself from the pain being exerted upon it. That doesn't sound nice does it?
Expecting massage to cause pain in order to feel like it's being of benefit, isn't something I would agree is necessary and not how I want to make you feel.
If someone is to force with too much pressure down on your muscles (especially without first warming up the area), it makes sense that your muscles would react with “arghh, what are you doing, I'm going to tense up now to protect myself until you stop.” It's a natural stress response. Instead of training your muscles and mind to relax and release (which is what we want), you'd be doing the opposite. I want to help change the patterns of tension held within your muscles, not reinforce them.
Good Pain Vs Bad Pain
These are tricky reactions to put into words. You'll know the difference when you feel it. We're always aiming for the good pain of course. The one that's followed by 'hmmm, this is kinda pleasure pain, it's lessening over time and feels like somethings happening.” not “Arghh that hurts, but I'm going to grin and bear it and hope it feels better after.”
The techniques – what happens during your deep tissue massage.
There is so much I could write here, as every treatment is individual.
Here's an idea of what your deep tissue massage could include:
On your first visit to me, there will be 10-15 minutes for us to have a consultation before the treatment. We will run through a consultation form so that I can find out more about you, what you feel is needed and make sure I adjust the treatment if required. This time is within your allocated appointment time.
You can see the consultation form on my site by clicking here.
Working with Fascia
Fascia is a connective tissue which covers your muscles, groups of muscles and organs, it holds us together. I'll apply sustained pressure with hands or forearms over one area, with the intention of waiting for you or I to start feeling a movement, or sensation under the skin. You might feel at first that nothing is happening (it takes some getting used to), as I'll be stood relatively still holding the same position. Patience is the key. We wait...hold...wait...until your body naturally starts to release. This maybe a sensation of your muscles trickling, melting or flowing through areas of your body. This is the fascia softening, in turn the fibres relax more easily and we can work on a deeper level with the muscles that are being covered by any hardened fascia. I'll use holds and sweeping motions moving slowly across areas of the body.
The sensation of release takes varying amounts of time, depending on how open you are to the treatment, how tight/hard/tense the area is and how patient we both are, together. Sometimes, it's just not the right treatment for you, and that's ok too. It's not for everyone and it doesn't work for every person.
Working with Trigger Points
There's a number of theories on trigger points. Some say that there are specific trigger points in the same places of the body for everyone. In this instance, I'm using the words to explain that there are often points where you may feel more tenderness, especially when pressed or held. Once a 'trigger point' has been located (I may find these, but encourage you to let me know when it feels like I've found a spot!) an even pressure is applied maybe with a thumb, finger or elbow (yes that's right an elbow), the feeling of discomfort should subside over several seconds if the tissue start to relax. You might feel other areas moving, releasing, twitching, this is often called a 'referred pain'. An example of how everything in your body is connected and how complex and wonderful the human body is.
I may introduce gentle movement of your limbs when holding the trigger points, or I might ask you to contract specific muscles, to help encourage the muscles to let go.
Where the muscles attach to the bone. I'll apply pressure to the area and slowly move across the bone encouraging contractions to release. This work is helpful when not being able to get to muscles such as ones deep in the hips, or working on the attachments of strained or torn muscles without putting pressure on the traumatised area.
I encourage you to stretch at every opportunity! Seeing me every so often will not always solve your aches and pains, especially if they have been around for a while, you need to play your part too. Sometimes though, it's helpful to have someone else guide you into your stretch.
Continued stress, repetitive movements or positions can cause muscles to stay in a state of tension, we need to help the muscle to revert to what would be its natural length. We want to show them how it used to be (and how much nicer it feels). I'll aid this by holding and stretch for around 20 seconds, encouraging the new length of the muscle to enjoy and stay where it is. Sometimes asking you to actively push against the stretch at times, which can assist in extending the stretch once the active pressure is released.
Why might you want a Deep Tissue Massage?
You might feel there's a deep muscle pain/niggle/tension/'knot', that you can't get to.
There might be a specific area you feel most tense, that deep tissue work may help to release.
The feeling of working on deeper layers of tissue in a considered and very slow way, might feel good to you and be your preferred massage treatment.
The pace and 'deepness' of the massage can help you feel more connected to your body, allowing you time to be aware of your breath and sensitivities to touch and various pressure.
It can bring a welcome feeling of rest and relaxation.
Feedback from my clients.
Since adding in deep tissue massage techniques to some of my regular clients routines there's been some great feedback.
"Effective and freeing."
"I hadn't realised I didn't need a strong massage which hurt after to feel a difference"
It's not for everyone though, if you would rather plently of freeflowing movements, mobility or more areas covered, then Swedish massage may be the one that works best for you. Why not try both and then decide.
Deep tissue massage is about patience, connecting with your body, allowing it to let go and encourage it to do so,
in it's own time.
Let's go slow...
You can choose between 1hr and 1.5hr treatments, the more time the better I would say!
When you see images for Hot Stone Massage, it usually depicts someone lying down with stones balanced on their back, this is not a true reflection. I won’t be placing stones upon you then sneak off for an hour, this is what happens and it's much nicer...
How I use hot stones
The stones are used as an extension of my hands to flow over the body at a pressure suitable for you, using some of the same techniques as in Swedish Massage. Oil is applied to help the stones glide across the skin, temperature is checked with the client to make sure it is a comfortable heat throughout the massage.
As stones cool down, they are replaced with warm ones. Sometimes stones will be placed on the body for a sense of warmth and weight which is comforting and can help warm up the muscle to aid tension release. Placements can be on the back, in-between toes and fingers, along legs, on the abdomen or face. A varity of sizes are used.
As well as hot stones, I will sometimes still use my hands to massage, depending if there is a specific area of tension that you would like worked on that I feel would benefit from using my hands.
Why have a Hot Stone Massage?
It’s relaxing and comforting.
It can help with stress relief due to the sedating effect on the nervous system.
It can help warm up muscles which aids in being able to work on specific areas of tension.
Can allow for deeper pressure if needed.
It’s time for yourself, with no interruptions to enjoy the soothing warmth of the hot stones.
Seated massage is a great massage to have if you are strapped for time, aren't particularly keen on couch massage, can't lay down for long periods of time, or because you're more comfortable with your clothes on.
In just over a week I will be popping up for the first time as part of Wild Wolfs Yoga Summer series. There are 20 minute slots available for seated massage which can be booked online, or by giving me a call.
It's £15 for 20mins which usually concentrates on releasing tension from back and shoulders with an option to have Indian Head Massage. If you work a lot with your hands, you may prefer an arm, shoulder and hand massage. I'll do my best to tailor it to what you need.
BOOK YOUR PLACE (appointments must be booked, it is not drop in)
Visit the below link
1. Select 3rd Aug in first date panel
2. In 'Treatment Panel' select 'Wild Wolf'
3. Select time slot you want
4. Complete details
5. If you do not receive a confirmation email, it hasn't worked, try again
ABOUT THE TREATMENT
Seated massage, also known as chair massage, takes place on a specially designed chair the client sits on, remaining fully clothed.
No oils are needed.
Swedish massage techniques are used such as 'effleurage' (circular movements with the palm of the hand, to warm up the muscle), 'kneading' (squeezing of the muscle tissues to release tension) and 'hacking' (rhythmic tapping using the side of hands to invigorate and encourage circulation). Then a few stretches to finish.
Massage can help to reduce muscle tension in the shoulders, neck and back, as well as aid relaxation, reduce stress and headaches.
The massage will usually be shoulders, back and optional Indian Head massage. It will be tailored to the individual as much as possible within the allotted 20 minutes.
It is not a deep tissue massage, as that requires more time to warm up the muscles before working deeper. But don't worry you'll still be left feeling a little looser, relaxed and most likely wanting more!
If you are pregnant we will concentrate on an Indian Head Massage or arm massage, on a regular chair.
You will be required to fill out a consultation form prior to the massage, which will be emailed upon booking.
Just ask 078555 78954 firstname.lastname@example.org
People often ask me what type of massage I practice, well, it's Swedish / Classical with some other techniques mixed in. I am adding to my knowledge of techniques by attending workshops and courses such as 'Indian Head Massage', 'Seated Massage' and Hot Stones.
Wikipedia give a good explanation of Swedish massage here:
The most widely recognized and commonly used category of massage is the Swedish massage. The Swedish massage techniques vary from light to vigorous. Swedish massage uses five styles of strokes. The five basic strokes are effleurage (sliding or gliding), petrissage (kneading), tapotement (rhythmic tapping), friction (cross fiber or with the fibers) and vibration/shaking. Swedish massage has shown to be helpful in reducing pain, joint stiffness, ...
The term "Swedish" massage is actually only recognized in English and Dutch speaking countries, and in Hungary. Elsewhere the style is referred to as "classic massage".
Clinical studies report that Swedish Massage can effectively reduce low back pain and the effectiveness can last for as long as 15 weeks."
But the above is just the start of it, here's a little more info on how Swedish massage is performed.
The massage usually takes place on a massage couch with oils to help glide along the skin, as well as for their aromatherapy benefits. (more about the massage oils I use here) Some movements of Swedish massage are intended to be relaxing, soothing the nervous system with slow strokes. Other strokes can be used to invigorate such as 'hacking' when alternate sides of hands are struck (carefully and considerately) against the body, or 'cupping' the hands to form a vacuum between hands and body, then lifted off and on in quick motions. They are used to wake the body up either after a relaxing massage, or can be used throughout if an invigorating massage has been requested to enliven the nerves.
The act of taking time to sit alone peacefully (apart from me being there of course) whilst I encourage you not to think about anything else for an hour, helps to calm the mind. Calming of the body and the mind I believe go hand in hand and I do my best to make you feel at ease, comfortable, warm and free from your days work.
"Phillippa is one of the only therapists I have found who has really taken the time to listen to and understand what I need from our sessions."
Swedish massage can be a full or part body massage. A lot of salons and beauty treatment rooms will offer a routine massage, which of course is still lovely, but I like to get to know you a little better through my initial consultation which helps me to concentrate on the areas we both think would benefit. If that means a back massage with a foot massage then so be it! I tailor to your needs as much as possible to get the best out of our time together.
Swedish massage can also include massage of the face and head. As I have had training in Indian Head Massage, I adapt the Swedish massage routine I was originally taught, intertwining techniques from Indian head massage. Indian head and face massage is a delightful way to relax.
Swedish massage is different from deep tissue or sports massage which tends to concentrate on the recovery, or rehabilitation of a specific injury and work the deeper layers of muscles.
To sum it up, Swedish massage can relaxing, it can help reduce stress and anxiety and aid sleep. It can also be invigorating and ease muscle tension by releasing contracted muscles and lengthening tight ones. Or, a little bit of both.
In my upcoming blog posts I'll let you know a little more about the benefits of massage. In the meantime, feel free to find out for yourself by booking an appointment to see me.
"Stress makes headaches worse and can even make you develop a headache in the first place. Learning how to relax can help you keep headaches under control.
Research suggests that massage can reduce the frequency of headaches.
In a study, people with a history of migraines who had a 45-minute weekly massage had fewer headaches than those who didn’t receive massages.
It’s thought that massage works by relaxing tight muscles that can trigger headaches, and also by reducing sensations of pain and stress."
(above taken from NHS website http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/headaches/Pages/Relaxandcureyourheadaches.aspx
When a client asks me for a massage to be totally relaxing (rather than concentrating on any specific areas of tension) I opt for a light to medium pressure to give a full or part body massage. A technique called effleurage (circular stroking movements with the palm) is used a lot throughout the massage, to promote relaxation. The movements I make are intentionally slow to help calm the body and mind. Head and face massage can be given which a lot of people find very relaxing and are surprised by how nice a cheek massage , or stroking of the forehead can feel.
For my workplace massage clients, I offer Indian Head massage which includes back, neck, shoulders and head. This is a reduced amount of time at 20 minutes but enough time to help the person to relax .
If you think you'd benefit from a massage to help you relax and concentrate on yourself for a moment, please do get in touch to discuss booking a treatment or to ask any questions email@example.com
If you are suffering from a headache or migraine on the date of the massage, unfortunately it can't go ahead as it will likely feel uncomfortable for you and perhaps make you feel worse. But regular massages when not suffering from a headache may help to reduce your stress levels and hopefully the frequency of your headaches.