What is Holistic Massage
A holistic approach to massage – or any therapy – will take into account your physical, emotional, social and spiritual wellbeing and not just what you want a massage for. For instance you might want a massage to relieve some muscle tension, but as a holistic therapist I will consider more than that when working on a treatment plan for you.
Each client I see is unique and therefore each treatment is tailored to them and their needs at that time and this is done by having a discussion and taking into account what is happening for them at that particular time.
Someone who has aches and pains due to sitting incorrectly at their computer each day will need a different approach to someone who presents with aches and pains following a bereavement.
Benefits of massage
Massage benefits can include:
- Reducing stress and increasing relaxation
- Reducing pain and muscle soreness and tension
- Improving circulation, energy and alertness
- Lowering heart rate and blood pressure
- Improving immune function
- Stimulation of the lymphatic system
- Increased joint mobility and flexibility
- Improved skin tone
Many people think a massage is only a way to indulge or pamper yourself.
However massage can be a powerful tool to help you take charge of your health and well-being, whether you have a specific health condition or are just looking for another stress reliever.
What does a massage session look like?
Your massage or bodywork session will take place in a warm, comfortable, quiet room. Soft music may be played to help you relax. You will lie on a massage couch especially for your comfort. There may be times when you might want to be seated in a chair and we can discuss this and how this might look.
Must I be completely undressed? Will I be covered during the session?
For a full body massage it is usual to undress and just leave underpants on.
Please rest assured that you will be properly covered by towels or a sheet and only the body part being massaged will be uncovered and then covered back again once that area has been worked on. At no point will private areas of the body be exposed or worked on – breasts or genital area.
You can request for any part of your body to be left untouched – for instance some people don’t like their feet being touched and some don’t like the stomach being touched.
During the consultation you can let me know what areas you do not want touched.
What if I don’t like being touched and don’t want to remove clothing?
I know that for many reasons some people are just not comfortable taking their clothes off or being touched.
If this is you or someone you know, please check out my Reiki page, as that can be a hands off treatment and no clothes need to be removed. It can also be done without being in the same place as each other – known as distance Reiki. This treatment could be ideal for them.
Will you be present when I undress?
No. I would leave the room while you undress, get yourself onto the table, and cover yourself with a clean towel. I would let you know before I leave the room which way to lie on the table so don’t worry.
What parts of my body will be massaged?
I will discuss this with you during the consultation when we would also discuss any outcome you are looking for from the treatment. I will let you know which areas I would work out to achieve that outcome, but if you don’t want any of those areas worked on then that is not a problem.
A typical full body session would include work on your head, neck, shoulders, stomach, back, arms, hands, leg and, feet (maybe not in that order). You will not be touched on or near your genitals (male or female) or breasts (female).
What does the massage feel like?
The massage treatment I give will be a relaxation one. I use will start with long flowing strokes that will help you get used to the touch and also starts the relaxation process of the muscles for the full treatment to come. It is with these strokes that any oils being used will be applied, it will calm your nervous system and relax exterior muscle tension.
As your body becomes relaxed, pressure will gradually be increased to relax specific areas and relieve areas of muscular tension and other massage strokes will be used. I will ask you from time to time if the pressure is OK for you.
It is perfectly reasonable for you to let me know immediately if the pressure is not comfortable or if for any reason you feel discomfort. Your relaxation and comfort is paramount.
During the consultation I will discuss which oil to use for the treatment as I would need to establish if you have any allergies to any particular ingredients (i.e nut oils would not be used if you have a nut allergy). The oil allows massage to take place without causing friction to the skin but it also nourishes and hydrates the skin – making your skin feel amazing.
For aromatherapy massage, the consultation would determine which essential oils to use, again taking into account any allergies or contraindications (that is oils that cannot be used for certain conditions – this will all be explained to you)
How long does a session last for?
A typical full body massage treatment will take approximately one hour.
Shorter sessions can be arranged and this would be for a partial massage session, such as neck and shoulders, back or legs and feet.
Most clients prefer a 60 or 90 minute session for optimal relaxation.
What should I do during the treatment?
Relax and get comfortable. If for any reason you are not comfortable then let me know immediately – it might be you need to move slightly, and I will help you adjust so that you are more comfortable. If you are too warm or too cold, again let me know and I will adjust this for you.
During the treatment, I will ask you to turn over at some points or will gently move certain parts of your body as I need to work on them.
Most clients close their eyes and often drift off into deep relaxation and sometimes even fall asleep – and that’s OK too.
After the treatment?
There is usually a sense of deep relaxation and calm and reduced stress levels – which is something most clients arrive with. Aches, pains and tension are reduced or completely gone (dependant on cause of them).
Many clients experience deeper and more restful sleep in the days following and also have more energy, alertness and just feel quite amazing.
This can sometimes occur following treatments as toxins are released – not everyone experiences this. Following a treatment you might have a day or so of feeling like you have cold coming on, you might have a headache or feel overly tired.
Following any treatment I will give you an After Care leaflet which will advise you what to do once you leave (including drink water, don’t have alcohol, rest and relax) and it will also give you more information on the Healing Crisis.
I will also discuss this with you and if you feel any symptoms following the treatment then you are welcome to contact me.
The healing crisis is a bit like when you go on a detox – you sometimes feel a bit worse before you get better. It is part of a healing process.
Are there any medical conditions that make massage inadvisable?
Yes. During the consultation – or often when a booking is made – I will ask you general health/lifestyle/medical questions.
It is very important that you let me know of any health issues or medications you are taking. In some instances you might need written approval from your medical practitioner in order to have a massage treatment.
Always let any massage therapist know if you are pregnant, have cancer or being treated for any medical condition or any medication. They will advise you if you can or cannot proceed with a treatment.
What is aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy uses aromatic essential oils to improve the health of the body, mind, and spirit and also enhances both physical and emotional health.
During an aromatherapy massage, essential oils are used with a base oil to enhance your massage experience.
A consultation will take place on arrival for your massage and depending on the outcome wanted from the treatment would depend on what oils are used.
The consultation will also establish what oils you might be allergic to, which ones might need to be avoided (for medical reasons) and to establish which type of aroma you like/dislike.
Whether you’re looking to calm your mind and body or revitalise and energise, aromatherapy massage is a great massage option.
Benefits of an aromatherapy massage include:
- Lifts your mood
- Promotes relaxation, reducing stress and improving your overall sense of well-being.
- Reduces nervous tension
- Stimulates the body’s immune system, protecting itself from illness.
- Eases muscle tension
- Encourages lymphatic drainage, helping to reduce fluid and toxin build-up.
- Boosts circulation (helping blood and oxygen circulate in the body to promote healing).