What can I expect during a massage?
That depends on what treatment you opt for. Check out the different treatments listed for a more detailed description.
Treatments can last either half an hour to 2 hours and are performed either on a mat on the floor, on a massage table or a special massage chair.
An oil massage may require you to take off some clothes. Ladies can be assured that their modesty will be honoured at all times. Many treatments such as Thai massage or reflexology do not require you to take off any clothes.
What kind of massage should I go for?
If you are not sure I will be happy to discuss it with you. The best massage for you will depend on what issues you may have or if you simply want to unwind and relax.
Go to the types of massages section and read up on the different types of massages. If anything takes your fancy go for it.
If time is an issue and you want something quick but relaxing then a chair massage or a foot and hand massage is a good idea. If you have issues with your back, then an Osteo Thai or an SLM massage will help. If you don’t want to take off your clothes (you will never be naked anyways) then go for either a Thai or chair massage. A Thai yoga massage is for those who don’t mind being stretched and who are quite flexible.
How long is the massage?
You can choose the length of time you want the massage for. A typical session lasts for 1 to 2 hours, but the minimum is a half hour and the maximum is around 2 and half hours. It takes the body at least an hour to relax into a massage when deeper work can take place.
I am pregnant. Is there anything I should be concerned about if I get a massage?
Pregnancy can take its toll on the body. Many women can experience back pain and leg pain and a massage can be beneficial. There are techniques, which are recommended for pregnancy, which will benefit not just you but your child. Care should be taken and the massage practitioner has to know what can be done and what should be avoided. These techniques are mostly in the side and supine position for obvious reasons.
Do I have to take off my clothes?
Only oil massages require you to take off some clothes. I will always respect your modesty and you are never fully naked. Thai, Osteo Thai, chair massage, foot and head massage and reflexology do not require you to take any clothes off.
I have injuries/have had a recent operation. Is a massage a good idea?
During our initial consultation, I will always ask if you have any injuries or have had a recent operation. I will take this into consideration by exercising caution during the massage. A massage is beneficial for some injuries and can be tailored so as not to create complications and cause any pain during your healing process.
If you choose a type of massage that I don’t think is suitable for you then I will use my discretion and suggest another type of massage.
What about hip replacements?
A massage where only oils are used that includes gentle manipulations, trigger point work, broad strokes and pressure point work, is of great benefit.
If you had a hip replacement, then I will exercise caution in some stretches if you have a Thai massage.
Should I have a massage if I have high blood pressure?
Various studies have shown that massage is very effective in reducing high blood pressure but as always some caution has to be exercised. A relaxing massage is good. You will be asked in the initial consultation if you have high blood pressure.
Should I have a massage if I have low blood pressure?
There is no reason why not and in fact it can be beneficial.
Can I eat before the massage?
It is best not to eat anything an hour and a half before the massage and if you have to, then eat something light. If you are going to have an abdominal massage (Chi Nei Tsang) however, then don’t eat at least 4 hours before.
I have a serious back problem. Is it OK for me to have the massage?
Yes. It can be very beneficial to have a massage that should address any tightness in the muscle and bring circulation to the affected area as long as the massage is carried out with sensitivity and care.
If you have a herniated disc, then extreme caution should be applied. No stretches should be attempted in the most serious cases.
Prevention is better than cure and a regular massage can prevent hernias and other back problems developing. Unfortunately, many of us wait till we develop a problem and then search for a quick fix. We go to our doctor who gives us a pill that masks the symptoms, but rarely addresses the cause. It is easier to prevent a back problem than to cure it, but a massage along with other holistic approaches can help quicken the recovery time. I am dedicated to empowering you to help yourself and alongside the treatment I will advise you on things such as posture, diet and exercise after doing a postural analysis. Some back pain can be very debilitating but in most cases, if the right analysis is carried out and the correct procedures are implemented then there is a very good chance of a full recovery. Only go for that operation if you have tried everything else.
I am speaking from experience, for I suffered terrible back pain 20 years ago and was told that I needed an operation. I am happy to inform you that I am free from pain, can function normally and no, I didn’t have that operation. On the other hand I have helped people who have had many operations that have not addressed their back problems. Many are now, at long last, free of their pain.
I have cancer. Is it still OK for me to have the massage?
Yes but cancer can spread through the lymphatic system and since a massage can stimulate the lymphatic system it is contraindicated (should be avoided). There are, however massages that can be performed on cancer patients. It is recognised that those who have been diagnosed with cancer need the support and closeness of those around them. Therefore the human touch of a massage would be welcome to provide comfort at a time of feelings of loneliness, fear, anxiety and stress.
The good news is that there are recent studies that show that massage for cancer patients can have wonderful benefits but care has to be taken and therefore it should be carried out by those who have been specifically trained in that field. This type of massage uses a combination of styles from different disciplines and is named oncology massage therapy.
I have a nut allergy should I be concerned about the oils that you use?
If you have a nut allergy then let me know and I can avoid using any oils that are derived from nuts such as almond oils or coconut oils. The alternative oils that I use are mustard oil, olive oil, rice bran oil or rapeseed oil.
What kind of oil do you use?
I do not use mineral based oils, which are not good for you. I believe that you should not put anything on your skin that cannot be eaten, since the skin is the body’s largest organ of absorption. I use instead, all natural oils such as almond oil, mustard oil, rice bran oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, olive oil and a very special massage oil made with organic cold pressed oils and a blend of some special herbs which have anti-inflammatory properties such as Phial (turmeric root). A little surcharge may be applicable for the more expensive oils.
I am quite elderly or suffering from poor health. Should I be concerned about anything?
Some caution may be necessary depending on whether you have high blood pressure and your general health. In the initial consultation process, you will have the opportunity to tell me about these things. If you or the therapist is not sure, then your doctor should be consulted. However, many elderly people could be free of many illnesses and discomforts by a regular massage for it improves blood circulation, muscle tone, aids in proper digestion, stimulates lymphatic drainage, lubricates joints and is beneficial in preventing back problems, shoulder and neck pain, knee and joint pain.
If one is immobilised, then a regular massage is even more important as it provides the benefits that movement give to the joints, muscles and lymphatic systems.
A massage can also relax the body, which helps in alleviating pain, significantly reduces anxiety and lowers stress-generating hormones. It diminishes stiffness of the body, and helps in eliminating fatigue, depression and insomnia. Frequent massages can increase immunity and rid the body of toxic waste such as lactic and uric acid, which are present within the muscles. These massages are painless, relaxing, and pleasurable and because they involve touching and gentle stroking, it reduces patient depression and loneliness.
A healthy diet, regular exercises and regular massages will help one to develop a positive mental attitude and break that vicious cycle of poor health and depression. It can free one from the dependency on some pharmaceutical drugs which are known to have negative side effects. Remember that prevention is better than cure and one of the best preventative measures is to have a regular massage.
Should I be careful of anything after the massage?
After the massage, it is recommended to drink a lot of water to help with the elimination of toxins, which a massage releases. Ideally one should relax and take it easy. A massage can put you in a very relaxed state, which to those who are often stressed, may feel a little disorientating. Proper grounding such as a little stretching and some deep breathing after the massage is recommended, especially if one has to drive.
I have a big sport event the next day and wondering if it is OK to have a massage before?
Just tell me if you are planning to do a big sport event the next day and I will tailor the massage to cater for it. Some massage sequences can tire the muscle and that is not a good idea if you are just going to run a marathon or play a game of football. Some techniques however energise and tone the muscles and of course, if you are worried that a stiff muscle or a nagging pain can affect your performance, then some deep tissue work can help. A sports massage is a good idea, and after the event, its even better to rehabilitate those tired muscles and sore joints.
Will I feel pain?
On a scale of 0 being no pain and 10 being intolerable pain, I may bring you to a 7 on rare occasions, which should be tolerable for most people. But everyone is different and some people are more sensitive than others. Some want a hard massage and others a softer one. If the massage is a bit painful make sure you communicate that to me. I ask what your preferences are.
A bit of pain may be felt if you are not used to having massages as your muscles maybe tight. As the muscles relax, then that should reduce significantly until such a time that you may doze off to sleep which often happens.
There are massage therapist out there, who come from the school of “no pain no gain” but I believe that it is important to try to get the client to relax as much as possible. If the massage is too painful, then the muscles would tend to tighten instead of release and relax.
Trigger points which are tight knots in the muscle, sometimes as small as a pin head, are responsible for a lot of our pains. They may be painful to the touch but that is the only way they can be gotten rid of. That should however only last only a few seconds. There is such a thing as good pain and bad pain which will become apparent the more massages you receive.
Should I have a bath before the massage or after?
A bath before a massage is a good idea as it will relax the muscles and also ensure that you feel clean and comfortable. If you have an oil massage and don’t wish the oil to stay on your body, you may want to have a bath or shower afterwards. Or I can wipe it off with a towel.
What should I wear?
Wear something loose and comfortable that is not too tight around the waist. If you don’t have the right clothes I can give you something to wear. Of course, if you decide to have an oil massage you have to take off your clothes and be in your underwear.
Why should I have a massage?
Life may take a lot out of you but massage puts it back in. It is the most natural of human instincts. It is a systematic form of touch to give comfort and promotes good health. It brings relief and often cures for many conditions such as back pain, knee pain, neck, shoulder pains and headaches.
If you do a lot of sports then you can benefit from an occasional massage to keep your muscles flexible and relaxed before an event or eliminate stiffness after exercise.
The list of benefits of massage is endless. Throughout history, from the Ancient Egyptians and all over the world, it has been used to improve the qualities of our lives and in a busy impersonal world we need it more then ever.
Is this a sensual massage?
No, I offer a holistic treatment that concentrates on the therapeutic and the health benefits of massage. That is not to say that there is no therapeutic aspect to a sensual massage but it is best done between two individuals who love each other in the privacy of their own homes.
Should I have a massage if I have my period?
This time of the month should not deter you from having a massage and in fact, reflexology may help in alleviating any discomfort and pain, especially if it is done before the onset of menstruation. Naturally, a full abdominal massage is best avoided at such a time. Be sure to let me know that you are on your time of the month so that I can adapt the massage accordingly. I will ask you if it is OK to touch your belly.
I have fibromyalgia and I am very sensitive to pain or pressure on my body. Is massage recommended?
Trigger point work is known to be very beneficial for those suffering from fibromyalgia and if you are in pain from touch then the massage can be adapted so that only very light soothing strokes and gentle stretches are used. Trigger point work is only a part of the solution and as with a lot of conditions, a holistic approach is necessary.
I have been working with someone who has fibromyalgia. When I first treated her, she could not even get out of bed. A year later, she can function normally and has made a lot of improvements. She is pain free for a large part of the time with only the occasional flare up. She has had to improve her diet and do other things for herself, which alongside the treatments as helped her along the road to recovery. I always say that there is a lot more that one can do for oneself than any therapist can do for you. Apart for the treatment, I will give you things for you to do if you have this condition.
Is it all right to fall asleep during the massage?
That is perfectly fine and the benefits are there whether you are conscious of them or not. You may wake up after an hour or two and wonder what has been done to you and whether or not your getting your money’s worth. If that is the case, try to stay awake.
It is during deep relaxation and sleep that the body repairs and heal itself and therefore, it is important that those who are not well should have a good nights sleep or learn to relax. The best time to have a massage is just before going to bed. After a massage you will have a great nights sleep and wake up refreshed.
I am ticklish!
Tell me where you are ticklish and I will avoid those areas or work them with extra care.