Body, Mind and Sole Reflexology and Massage for Pontcanna
and Central Cardiff

Holistic Massage #01

Are you having muscular aches and back pain? Do you sit at a computer for long periods of time? Are you pregnant? Do you suffer with stress? Then you could benefit from a Massage.

Contents

What is Massage?
The Benefits of Massage
Remedial or Deep Tissue Massage
Pregnancy Massage
Baby Massage Instruction
The Treatment
Charge
What is that 'knot' I can feel in my muscle?



What is Massage?

Massage is the manipulation of the soft tissue of the body which is primarily muscle, but also includes tendons and ligaments.

Whether you attend the clinic for purely relaxation reasons or for remedial work I have the skills and knowledge to help you. 'Holistic' means treating the 'whole' person therefore I tailor the massage for your body and your needs.

If the massage is remedial I look for reasons why the pain or discomfort occurred and discuss preventative measures with you. In addition, you can also take a degree of control over your own wellbeing as I will provide you with exercises (where appropriate) to complete at home between your appointments. Holistic Massage therapists work 'with' you, they don't simply give you a massage! Back to the top of the page.



The Benefits of Massage

- It decreases the heart rate and improves breathing
- It releases muscle spasms and tension
- It can reduce back pain
- It can increase suppleness and flexibility
- It stimulates our blood flow which circulates nutrients and oxygen and removes waste, all of which reduce muscle pain
- It can aid sleep
- It can improve the digestive system function
- Lymphatic drainage is improved which has a direct positive effect on the immune system
- It can also help to reduce stress related symptoms

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Remedial or Deep Tissue Massage

As well as providing conventional relaxation massage treatments, I also offer clinical deep-tissue massage therapy focusing on specific tight muscles. I offer hands on soft-tissue therapy where pressure is applied within the clients' pain tolerance at all times.

Deep-Tissue Massage is used for:

- Preventing a condition from becoming a costly injury
- Eliminating spasms in affected tissues
- Increasing circulation
- Restoring flexibility to the tissues
- Reducing muscle fatigue
- Eliminating Pain
- Eliminating the need for pain and anti-inflammatory medication

This can be particularly beneficial for those regularly working with laptops and computers who have pain in the neck, shoulder and back areas. Advice on how your working environment should be set up is also provided to prevent further injury.

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Holistic Massage #02

Pregnancy Massage

If you have searched for Pregnancy Massage on the internet the chances are it's because you are starting to feel the effects on your body.

Carrying a baby inside you changes your center of gravity and puts a lot of stress on your back, neck, abdominal muscles and shoulders. Pregnancy relaxes your ligaments due to the hormone relaxin which is released. As a result your pelvic joints are less stable and change your posture, pulling your pelvis forward. Add to that the extra weight you're carrying and you may find you've got an aching lower back.

Benefits of Pregnancy Massage may include:
* Tranquil relaxation and reduce stress.
* Relief from muscle cramps, spasms, and myofascial pain, especially in the lower back, neck, hips, and legs.
* Increase in blood and lymph circulation, which can reduce swelling.
* Reduces stress on weight-bearing joints.
* Improvement in outcome of labor and ease of labor pain.

During the massage you will lie comfortably on your side supported with cushions to protect your baby.

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Baby Massage Instruction

The arrival of a new baby can provoke both excitement and a bit of fear in even the most confident mum and dad.

But in some cases, that confidence may begin to erode as baby cries, fusses, refuses to breastfeed or demonstrates some other upsetting behavior. While studies have shown that massage can help calm a stressed infant, they also indicate that parental confidence can realise a boost from massage with their baby.

The biggest endorsement for enhanced parental confidence through infant massage comes from Tiffany Field, Ph.D., founder and director of The Touch Research Institute, which has conducted more than 100 studies. Since 1992, she has explored the benefits of many different forms of massage and encourages the practice of infant massage as a way to promote a sense of competence and confidence for parents.

If you are interested in Baby Massage then it's best to start as soon as possible. It's very difficult to massage a baby who is crawling away! Once your baby has experienced touch therapy they will become accustomed to it so starting around the 4wk mark helps your baby and you to develop a routine.

Often mothers create a bond quickly with their babies because they are spending more time with them and/or breastfeeding. It's nice, therefore, for dads to develop a bond with their children and this is a perfect way to do this. If dad's can't attend the instruction then mums can learn and pass on the skills.

Costs for Baby Massage instruction may differ so please phone me directly on 07811 557486 to discuss your requirements.

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The Treatment

There will be an initial consultation for new clients at the first visit to establish your individual requirements.

As a therapist I am trained in a variety of techniques including deep tissue massage and this is used usually in remedial massage, where appropriate and with the depth agreed with the client during the treatment. Back to the top of the page.



Charge

1 hour treatment costs £35, a half hour treatment £25. I would suggest that you book one hour for your first treatment if you require a remedial massage, this will allow time for a full assessment.

Please Note: Costs for Baby Massage instruction may differ so please phone me directly on 07811 557486 to discuss your requirements.

Many clients choose to continue with regular treatments to maintain their health and wellbeing therefore discounts are available for multiple bookings. Please enquire when making your appointment. Back to the top of the page.



Holistic Massage #03

What is that knot I can feel in my muscle?

We regularly used the word ‘knot’ to describe a hard nodule found within an area of muscle where we feel pain. Of course the muscle doesn’t actually have a knot in it so what’s causing this?

During normal activity our muscles contract voluntarily and then release automatically. Sometimes due to overexertion the entire muscle contracts involuntarily and remains this way, this is called a spasm. However, when only a small portion of the muscle contracts involuntarily and it remains in spasm and doesn’t release, this is called a Trigger Point and this is the ‘knot’ we feel.

Reasons for this may be due to:

• Repetitive overuse injuries such as computer use, game controllers, texting and other hand held electronics, gardening or home improvement work.
• Sustained loading such as carrying babies or lifting bedridden patients.
• Habitually poor posture due to our sedentary lifestyles.
• Muscle clenching and tensing due to mental/emotional stress.
• Direct injury such as a blow, strain, break, twist or tear which may occur in car accidents, sports injuries or falling down stairs.
• Trigger points can even develop due to inactivity such as prolonged bed rest or sitting. (1)

Examples of this might be trigger points in the upper back or neck, which could be the reason for those recent headaches or migraines. Alternatively, pain between the shoulder blades might be the cause of pain in your arm or numbness in your hand.

Trigger Points cause pain and dysfunction and can weaken muscles. They restrict motion and decrease circulation of blood to the muscle depriving it of oxygen and nutrients and preventing metabolic waste from being filtered away. If these wastes build up they can excite nerve endings and it is this, which causes the pain we feel. In addition, the lack of nutrients can increase the inflammation within the area. This cycle usually continues until treatment by a therapist. Long term the muscles can form scar tissue or adhesions. In addition, other muscles around the trigger need to work harder. For these reasons it’s important to seek help as soon as possible.

If any of the information above sounds familiar please call to make an appointment.

(1) National Association of Myofascial Trigger Points Therapists [online] available at [Accessed 1 July 2012]

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