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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.