Massage and Aromatherapy

Irene Cox
Massage and Reflexology in Taunton

Massage and Aromatherapy
27th May 2019 
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Victoria House Therapies
Victoria House
Victoria Street
Taunton TA1 3FA

07966 016576
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Massage and Aromatherapy #01

Massage and Aromatherapy

Holistic Massage

Massage is used by a variety of people for a variety of reasons. While some use it simply to relax and unwind others have regular massage to cope with specific physical, mental and emotional problems.

Many aspiring and professional sports people receive massage regularly to maintain their bodies in peak condition.

There is increasing evidence to suggest that massage can be effective in helping to treat certain chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia and low back pain. Guidelines produced in 2009 by National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), manual therapies including massage are recommended for the early management of persistent , non-specific low back pain.

The massage movements used in holistic massage are designed to relieve deep muscle tension and are more vigorous than the movements used in aromatherapy.

How will you know that you are giving me the right treatment?

When you first come to see me I will spend at least 15 minutes asking you lots of questions about your health and lifestyle. This will help me to assess what therapy you need. If after the consultation I feel that there is any medical reason why I need your GP to consent to the treatment I will tell you and discuss how this can be approached.

This only happens very occasionally and usually we will go on to discuss the type of therapy that you would like and what I would recommend. Usually these are the same but occasionally I may suggest a therapy that I feel will benefit you more. In some instance I may suggest a mixture of massage and reflexology to support you.

Can Massage improve long term conditions?

Many people turn to complementary medicine when conventional medicine or treatment has not cured an ongoing condition or to enjoy the benefits alongside long term conditions.
The effect of massage is accumulative which is why I may recommend a course of sessions when you first come to see me.

How often will I need to see you?

Depending on what your condition is and how long you have had it you will usually notice an immediate improvement for a day or more straight after your first massage. It may take three or four sessions for you to experience longer term improvements.
I normally recommend weekly appointments for 4-6 weeks for long term conditions after which I will review the impact of the therapy with the client. At this point there will hopefully be a noticeable improvement which can be maintained with regular monthly sessions thereafter. If this is not the case we will need to consider whether massage is the most appropriate therapy for your condition and I may either recommend another complementary practitioner or refer you back to your GP or consultant. I appreciate that it may not always be possible to attend on a weekly basis for 4-6 weeks, it will just take longer to see an improvement in a condition.

Do I have to take my clothes off?

Client modesty is always a prime concern. You will need to remove your clothes down to your underwear if I am working on your back, neck, shoulders, upper legs or stomach. This will allow me to apply oil to your body to ensure that the massage strokes flow freely. You will be covered in towels and when necessary blankets and I will only uncover the part of your body that I am working on. Gentlemen it is helpful if you wear briefs rather than boxer shorts when coming for a massage.

Massage During Pregnancy

A weekly or monthly massage during pregnancy helps to reduce stress and promote relaxation. As you become more relaxed you may notice that muscle spasms are less severe and cramps and general aches and pain have started to improve. By increasing circulation the possibility of varicose veins and swelling in feet and legs may be reduced. Massage in pregnancy can also help to keep the skin supple. Other symptoms of pregnancy such as indigestion and constipation may also be reduced as you relax during your regular massage.

Massage during pregnancy should be avoided by women with placenta dysfunction, pre-eclampsia, toxaemia, threatened miscarriage or gestational diabetes. Always check with your midwife or GP if in doubt before booking a massage.

Massage For The Elderly

Gentle massage may help older clients by soothing conditions such as muscle stiffness and soreness, arthritis, respiratory conditions and tendonitis. For many clients who live alone a regular massage also provides the regular nurturing touch that they so miss. My own mum was 79 years old when she received her first ever massage when I was training. She immediately noticed a difference to her arthritic joints and promptly told her GP on her next visit that massage should be available on the NHS!

Very frail or modest clients may prefer a massage just to their arms and hands; legs and feet or face or head.

Aromatherapy Massage

This is a lighter massage than holistic massage and therefore may be more relaxing. Essential oils which are highly aromatic and are extracted from flowers, herbs, trees and roots are applied to the body mixed in to a carrier oil such as grapeseed or sweet almond oil. They are readily absorbed into the body via the skin and the lungs and are believed to affect the body physically,mentally, spiritually and emotionally.

When combined with massage which soothes away muscular tension and improves circulation, an aromatherapy massage can be either deeply relaxing or uplifting depending on the oils selected by your practioner and the massage techniques that they use.

The essential oils all have different properties and following your consultation I will select a combination of oils which are chosen for their individual properties.

How will you select the essential oils for me?

Aromatherapy is used by people for a variety of reasons. Some use it to help them cope with or manage specificphysical, mental or emotional problems while others use it as a means of relaxation and to maintain a general feeling of well being.

Following the initial consultation I will identify the main conditions that have brought you for a massage. This information will then be used to select 2 or 3 oils that will provide a good combination to support your condition. I do not use pre-prepared blends.

How do the oils work in an aromatherapy massage?

The oils are absorbed through the skin using slow firm strokes. As the oils penetrate the skin the aroma stimulates the olfactory system which is the part of your brain linked to smell. This transfers a signal to the brain's limbic system which controls emotions and stores and retrieves memories. This in turn triggers chemicals to be released.

What conditions does aromatherapy treat?

The most notable affect of an aromatherapy massage is that it will be deeply relaxing so it may help you to feel less stressed and have improved sleep. As many body systems may be affected by stress this sense of relaxation may help you to notice a general feeling of well being.

Can all oils be used for everybody?

Some oils have contraindications for conditions such as epilepsy, high and low blood pressure and when clients are using homeopathic medicines. This is why a detailed consultation is important before using any aromatherapy oils.

Aromatherapy massage and essential oils are commonly used in hospitals, labour wards, hospices and other healthcare settings to help support patients and their carers.

Indian Head Massage

Indian Head massage is based on Ayurvedic principles which aim to promote a balance of mind, body and spirit. In western society Indian Head massage movements extend to the upper back, shoulders, arms and face. It can be carried out either over loose clothing or directly on to the skin using oils and is carried out while the client sits in a chair. Sufferers of headaches, neck stiffness and shoulder pain report a relaxation of the tension in these areas.

Thai Foot Massage

Thai foot massage movements extend to the legs as well as the feet. A small stick is used to work individual points on the feet and hands and arms are used to perform a deep massage sequence on the feet and legs. As well as being relaxing the movements help to relieve heavy aching legs, swollen and puffy ankles and legs, restless leg syndrome as well as relieving muscular tension in the calves and ankles.