On your first visit I will ask a few questions about your health and wellbeing and establish what it is you are looking for from a massage treatment. If you have had a recent operation or are being treated for an injury, I may ask you to provide a letter from your practitioner confirming that they are happy for you to undertake massage as a complement to your other treatment.
It’s best to have eaten a snack or light meal before your treatment - though preferably not immediately beforehand!
There are some conditions where massage is not advisable, or should only be carried out with the approval of a medical practitioner. For example, massage may not be advisable if you have a heart condition, very high or low blood pressure, severe arthritis or recent strains or sprains, or if you are in the first three months of pregnancy. (For list of contraindications, see below.)
After your treatment
Massage carries on 'working' after the treatment has finished, as the body continues to absorb the relaxing and toning effects of the treatment. Take a few moments after the treatment to stretch gently, and drink plenty of water
It’s advisable to avoid alcohol following a treatment and to keep caffeine consumption to a minimum. If possible, try to allow yourself some quieter time immediately after the massage rather than rushing into something too strenuous or hectic.
The effects of a one-off massage can stay with you for several days or longer. Clients often find that they sleep more deeply following a massage, and you may experience a change in your energy levels in the days following a treatment.
Undertaking a course of massage treatments can create cumulative and long-term benefits, especially if combined with other changes in your daily activity such as regular exercise, stretching and a healthy diet.
In most cases massage is a great way to relax, de-stress and unwind but there may be times when you should refrain from receiving one because it may adversely affect a health condition. Contraindication is the medical term for these conditions.
Please let me know before your treatment if any of the following apply to you:
• Fever: when you have a fever, your body is trying to isolate and expel an invader of some kind. Massage increases overall circulation and could therefore work against your body's natural defences. (And if your condition is infectious,
I would prefer not to run the risk of picking up your bug!)
• Heart condition or high blood pressure: massage stimulates the blood vessels, and clients with high blood pressure or a heart condition are advised to seek approval from their doctor before having a massage treatment. If I do massage clients with such conditions I will only apply lighter, soothing strokes.
• Inflammation: massage is often inadvisable for clients with inflamed conditions. These tend to have names ending in –itis, such as phlebitis (inflammation of a vein), dermatitis (inflammation of the skin), arthritis (inflammation of the joints), and bursitis (inflamed tissue near the joints). In the case of localised problems, I can still massage around them, avoiding the inflammation itself.
• Hernia: hernias are protrusions of part of an organ (such as the intestines) through a muscular wall and should not be massaged.
• Osteoporosis: massage may be too intense for this condition.
• Varicose veins: massage directly over varicose veins can worsen the problem. However, very light massage in the area of the problem, with strokes applied in the direction of the heart, can be very beneficial.
• Broken bones: it’s best to avoid massaging in the area of mending bones. A little light massage to the surrounding areas, though, can improve blood circulation and muscle stiffness and be quite helpful.
• Skin problems: I normally avoid massaging anything that looks like it shouldn't be there, such as rashes, wounds, bruises, burns, boils, and blisters, for example. Usually these problems are local, so I can still massage in other areas.
• Cancer: massage can be helpful for many cancer patients, but always check with a doctor first.
• Pregnancy: please let me know before a massage if you are pregnant.
• Other conditions and diseases: in the case of diabetes, asthma, epilepsy and other serious conditions, you should seek a doctor's opinion before receiving massage.