With over 7 years clinical experience I tend to use a more “deductive” approach which has naturally evolved out of the way I work. This means I always try to find the root cause of a particular issue by rather than just treat the symptoms. If appropriate you may receive two or three techniques including acupuncture within the treatment.
I am a firm technique therapist so I advocate the more intensive therapies. Please note this does not mean I can’t give a relaxing massage!
Cupping Massage with Moxibustion:
Cupping therapy has been used for thousands of years within different cultures to encourage internal healing and help alleviate deep muscular problems. By using negative pressure glass cups are used on the body to access deeper layers of the muscle fascia. The pressure within the cups creates a vacuum and pulls the skin and muscle gently upwards which increases blood flow and reduces muscle compression. Due to the negative even pressure the cups can be used on the spine and bones.
Moxibustion is traditionally performed after a cupping treatment. Moxa is more commonly known as the herb mugwort. This herb creates a strong feeling of warmth and heat. This is then used over the areas where the cups have shown there to be stagnation (colouring of the skin). This is a great treatment for clients who have recurring muscular problems and can be used in conjunction with Deep Tissue Massage.
Fascia surrounds, infuses and protects every other tissue, tendon, muscle, bone, ligament and organ of the body. In healthy conditions the fascial system is relaxed and wavy in configuration. This provides a cushioning and supportive mechanism allowing us to move safely without restriction or pain. Fascia is also dynamic in nature, it responds to internal and external forces applied on it meeting the resistance in order to protect.
Myofascial Release Therapy, like many alternative therapies, promotes the philosophy that the mind and body work together to maintain health. Effectively this supports the understanding that the mind and body are one and the same. The body has the ability to remember postural positions, actions and emotions without the brain reminding it to do so. Throughout the body’s fascial system flow microscopic cells containing energy which have the ability to retain memory.
Great for injuries or musculoskeletal problems such as fibromyalgia.
Trigger Point Massage
Trigger points are tiny nodules in muscle fibres that send out ‘referred’ pain to different areas of the body. They can be caused by injury, muscle overuse, emotional stress, poor posture and poor general health. In fact, trigger points are known to be a component of all pain syndromes. People with ‘common back pain’, migraines, tennis elbow, frozen shoulder and carpal tunnel syndrome also have trigger points – in fact, trigger points are often the cause of this type of problem.
Once a trigger point is fixed into a muscle, it is fiercely unwilling to give up its hold. Indeed, trigger points are more likely to spread from one muscle to another, giving rise to a chronic pain situation.
A person experiencing referred pain from one or more trigger points has ‘myofascial pain syndrome’. (UK Fibromyalgia, Christine Craggs-Hinton)
A tool or thumb pressure is applied in sets of 8 seconds sets to alleviate and soften the trigger point and surrounding fascia. This technique is oil free and is great for clients who feel the pressure of deep tissue is too intense but are requiring a deeper level of treatment.
Deep Tissue Massage:
Deep Tissue Massage is a technique that uses a more intensive pressure to alleviate embedded muscle tension. The treatment focuses on using trigger points (areas of severe contracted muscle tension) and using deep direct movements against the muscle grain. The treatment would benefit clients that suffer from:
– Repetitive strain injury
– Chronic joint or muscle injuries
– Stress related disorders
Hot Stone Massage:
Hot Stone Massage combines the use of heated basalt stones and massage to truly relax body and mind. The stones are placed onto the skin and permeate heat deep into the muscles and also used as a massage tool to alleviate areas of tension. This treatment is highly recommended for clients who suffer from poor circulation, severe muscle tension and stress related illness. Can be used in combination with Deep Tissue Massage.
Auricular (Ear) Acupuncture:
Auricular acupuncture is a specialised complementary therapy that enables the body to restore its natural energy balance and improve general well-being. The aim of auricular acupuncture as a treatment method is to reduce stress and anxiety and help alleviate the sensations of withdrawal and craving; this is done through the insertion of small needles in specific points on the outer ear.
It is especially beneficial for people who are withdrawing and detoxing from smoking, alcohol and drugs and people who are HIV and/or Hepatitis C positive. It is known to stimulate the release of endorphins and other neurotransmitters such as serotonin; this is believed to be the mechanism for acupuncture’s effects in substance misuse.
The length of a treatment is generally 40 minutes (current research suggests that this is the time needed for the effective stimulation of neurotransmitters) and should be carried out in silence while the individual relaxes quietly in a comfortable chair. It is not uncommon to feel sleepy during the treatment.
The technique uses fine gauge, sterilized, one-time use stainless steel needles. These are placed just under the skin, to a depth of around 3mm. You will be asked to take in a deep breath and as you release it the needle will be inserted into your ear. You may feel a pinch as the needle goes in but this should ease virtually straight away.
Auricular acupuncture can be incorporated into massage treatments.
Everyone’s experiences from auricular acupuncture can differ, many claim to sleep better following a session but there are no set rules.
Auricular acupuncture is safe during pregnancy.
Here is an article in a medical journal about the beneficial effects of acupuncture in the treatment of depression which you may find interesting – Acupuncture and Counselling for Depression in Primary Care: A Randomised Controlled Trial
Thermal Auricular Therapy (Ear Candling):
Thermal Auricular Therapy can provide relaxation and relief if you are suffering from blocked sinuses or head tension. Laura uses Biosun ear candles which are made from completely natural beeswax, honey extract and various herbs.
Laura inserts the candle gently into each ear in turn while you are lying on your side. She then lights it and you will hear a light crackling sound and a feeling of warmth. After the candling is completed Laura performs a lymphatic drainage massage including sinus and head pressure points on your face, helping to alleviate the blockage or tension naturally, efficiently and drug free.
Ear candling can also be added to a massage treatment.
Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic Holistic Facial:
The Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic Holistic Facial isn’t just skin deep, it’s a sensual and enjoyable experience, aiming to give long-term benefits and a greater sense of well-being. It can help both as part of a skincare programme and to look further into one’s overall health.
Laura will choose from Neal’s Yard Remedies’ extensive natural skincare range to develop a facial routine best suited to nurture your skin type and emotional state. The facial will combine skin nourishment and soothing massage, leaving skin feeling fresher and looking clearer and more radiant.
Laura will use traditional Chinese facial diagnosis techniques, which indicate issues with inner health and vitality, to personalise the treatment further. This means she can combine the most appropriate herbal teas, flower remedies, nutritional and lifestyle advice for you to use at home, to continue the good work.
Full body massage performed with the client lying on their side. Available from 12 weeks (2nd trimester) till birth. Helps alleviate muscle aches, increases circulation and aids relaxation.
Indian Head Massage:
Indian Head Massage is a gentle treatment designed to alleviate head, shoulder and neck tension and is performed while the client is fully clothed and seated. No oils are used so this treatment is a great introduction to massage. The focus of the massage is on the shoulders, neck, head and face.
Indian Head Massage alleviates stressful head tension and helps promote the mind to focus on being calm. Many clients feel a great sense of relaxation after the treatment while others feel invigorated.
Kansa Vatki Foot Massage:
Kansa Vatki Foot Massage is a Ayurvedic treatment based on marma points on the foot and the lower leg. It’s a great way to alleviate tired, heavy feet and legs and is highly relaxing. It’s a great way to improve circulation and reduce tightness in the foot muscles.
A bowl made of zinc, tin and copper is used to massage the foot and leg and helps to draw out impurities and align the body’s energy. Coconut or Sesame oil is used on the client.