Massage is generally considered a complimentary or alternative medicine. It is however increasingly being offered alongside standard medicine to treat a wide range of conditions.
Studies show that massage can be an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension.
It has also been found to be helpful for the following conditions:
Soft Tissue Strains
Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Pregnancy Related Aches
What to expect during a massage
You don't need any special preparation for a massage.
Your therapist will take a medical history and any symptoms you have.
Your therapist will ask what you are hoping to get out of the massage and explain techniques he or she will be using.
In a typical massage you will undress only to the point you feel comfortable with, you will be covered with a towel throughout.
Your therapist will use oil, lotion or wax, but will check if you have any allergies.
You should feel calm and relaxed throughout but if you're in any discomfort, feel at ease to let the therapist know so they can adjust the pressure of the treatment.
Occasionally the therapist may find an area or knot that needs deeper pressure, but they will warn you and encourage you to breathe through the stroke.
Massage is not only to indulge and pamper. It can be a powerful tool to help you take charge of your health and well being, whether you have a specific health issue or are looking for a stress reliever.
We at HWH are happy to discuss your needs at any time.
Sports / Deep Tissue Massage
The prime purpose of sports massage therapy is to help alleviate the stress and tension which builds up in the body’s soft tissues during physical activity. Where minor injuries and lesions occur, due to overexertion and/or overuse, massage can break them down quickly and effectively. Above all, it can help prevent those niggling injuries that so often get in the way of performance and achievement, whether one is an athlete, ardent keep-fitter or a once a week jogger.
This treatment is not just for the sports person: anyone can benefit from sports massage, including people in physically demanding jobs and those not quite so obvious (occupational, emotional and postural stress may produce many similar characteristics to sports injuries).
Sports massage tends to be deeper and more intense. It is based on the various elements of Swedish massage and often incorporates a combination of other techniques involving stretching, compression, friction, toning, and trigger point response techniques similar to Acupressure and Shiatsu. The skilled therapist brings together this blend of techniques, knowledge and advice during treatment, to work effectively with the client to bring about optimum performance and to provide injury-free training and minimise post event injuries.
Benefits & Effects
There are three areas where sports massage is used to benefit individuals.
A regular massage treatment programme where by the therapist is concentrating on particular muscle groups can help the athlete maintain or improve range of motion and muscle flexibility.
Pre-event treatment is used as an addition to the athlete’s warm-up to enhance circulation and reduce excess muscle and mental tension prior to competition. It is tailored to the needs of the athlete and his/her event and can be relaxing or stimulating as appropriate. Post-event massage, on the other hand, is geared towards reducing the muscle spasms and metabolic build-up that occur with rigorous exercise. Various sports massage techniques enhance the body’s own recovery process improving the athlete’s ability to return to training and competition, and reducing the risk of injury.
Muscles can cramp, tear, bruise, and ache sports massage can speed healing and reduce discomfort during the rehabilitation process.
Soft tissue techniques employed by sports massage therapists are effective in the management of both acute and chronic injuries.
Trigger point techniques reduce the spasm and pain that occur both in the injured and "compensation" muscles.
Cross-fibre friction techniques can help with healing by improved formation of strong and flexible repair tissue, which is vital in maintaining full pain-free range of motion during rehabilitation.
In all cases, such massage techniques are employed in collaboration with other appropriate medical care.
The holistic approach to massage therapy can effect an individual’s whole being – physical, mental and emotional.
Holistic massage benefits the mind and body. Massage relaxes taut muscles, aids lymphatic drainage, releases toxins and benefits the whole body in many other positive ways. Physical and emotional stress can be reduced through therapeutic touch and a myriad of other restrictive problems can also be alleviated.
Benefits & Effects
Physical improvements such as relaxing tight muscles, improvements to circulation, nervous function and joint mobility; this can ease many short and long term ailments, such as back pain, arthritis and insomnia.
Reducing stress, one of the main causes of disease in Western society. As well as addressing stress factors, holistic massage can facilitate the switch between sympathetic and autonomic nervous systems, hence allowing both body and mind valuable recuperation time.
Emotionally, massage can provide the caring non-intrusive touch clients have often longed for; this can soothe the busy mind, reduce stress and enhance self esteem.
Of course the key here is to work with each client and the agenda they bring. Some simply wish to have their tight shoulders relaxed, whilst others might use massage for much deeper personal growth.
Pregnancy massage is a lovely relaxing massage for the mum to be, with positive effects for the baby too. It is performed with the mum to be lying on her side supported by pillows. Slow, soothing, light strokes are used and it is perfect for calming and soothing expectant mothers.
Please note this massage can only be performed after the first trimester of pregnancy.
Massage during pregnancy can help expectant mothers to relax, support her body during a period of physiological change and to help prepare her body for birth. As pregnancy can put a strain on the body, massage can help to relieve the aches and pains and common health problems associated with it such as leg cramps and fluid retention. Backache and headaches can be relieved with massage which can be preferable to taking painkillers, as these are usually contraindicated during pregnancy.
Particularly towards the end of pregnancy, the mum to be can be busy preparing for the baby's arrival and it is an important time for her to relax and enjoy those last few weeks of pregnancy by caring for herself too. Massage can help her unwind and focus on her body and the baby.
The baby will also experience the benefits of the massage as it is so closely linked to the mother's feelings and emotions. Massage has an indirect relaxing effect on the baby as the mother releases oxytocin and prolactin as a result of the skin stimulation. Generally the more relaxed a mother feels during her pregnancy the more relaxed her pregnancy and birth is likely to be.
Potential Benefits & Effects
Relief of stress / pain
Improved circulation to both mother and foetus
Supports the body during change
Prepares the body for birth
Releases "feel good" hormones
Benefits the baby too
Gives the mum to be some "me time"
People who may choose to select this treatment:
Pregnant women in the 2nd and 3rd trimester.
Experiencing aches and swelling.
Want to feel calm and supported.
Pregnancy massage appointments can be made with Ruth Cottam.
What do the qualification levels mean?
Sports Massage qualifications range from a level 3 to 5 with 5 being the highest vocational sports massage qualification in the UK. Level 3 and 4 therapists are trained on massage for injury prevention and as part of preparing people for activities. A level 5 therapist is trained to provide management, manipulation and rehabilitation of injuries.
Level 3- A level 3 therapist will have learnt the basics with a focus on preparing the body for sport, maintenance, and recovering from an event.
Level 4- A level 4 therapist has received more in depth training and understands the role posture plays, common syndromes, muscular imbalances, and treating common sports conditions.
Level 5 - A level 5 therapist builds on this training learning a wider range of sports conditions, understanding the role and impact of gait mechanics, the peripheral nervous system and a wider range of orthopaedic tests and assessment methods. They learn more about treatment planning and rehabilitation.