When ordering coffee there is a lot of choice – do you want a quick and effective espresso, a luxurious cappuccino, or a gentle latte (maybe with a flavor shot of something sweet or nutty)? There are a lot of options, and making sure that you get what you actually want is going to make or break the experience. Like coffee, massage now comes in many styles – all different, all designed to suit different needs; and just as important to get right when it comes to choosing which one to have.
So, like a good menu, the following is a breakdown of some of the types of massage we offer – what they are, and what they involve; to give you a basis for making the right choice. Each of the Therapies you see on offer on the YOU Massage Treatments list is both effective and unique, we are always happy to talk you through them all and help you choose if you need more information call us any time on 02380 639 747, but hopefully this guide will help you realise the ideal choice of massage for YOU!
Massage Therapy Styles
Swedish Massage is often referred to as “classic” or “normal” massage, and contrary to them name, it was developed in Holland. It is a series of strokes designed to relax, de-stress, and calm the body. Gentle
Swedish Massage can assist the body’s parasympathetic system (the body’s natural rejuvenation and repair system, which is often overridden by the sympathetic or “fight/flight” system during times of stress), allowing the heart rate to calm and the eyes to relax. In turn, the body’s fluid systems of blood and lymph may focus on removing wastes no longer needed rather than transporting energy as quickly as possible. Swedish Massage can assist people in times of stress by helping their body to take care of itself. It is also useful for people with circulatory problems, and can be used in some cases of joint stiffness.
Lymph Drainage Massage is possibly the gentlest pressure of massage we offer. The lymphatic system is the body’s network for removing waste products and toxins, and Lymph Drainage Massage stimulates and assists this system. In so doing, the body is able to detoxify itself – propelling wastes, toxins, fluid build ups, and any other unwanted refuse easily and smoothly. This will increase your metabolism, boost your circulation, and your body’s immune system; leaving you relaxed, calm, and feeling clean and detoxified, many clients comment that they feel lighter, also the effects are often visible! Lymph Drainage Massage will often have a slightly diuretic effect – so be careful to drink lots of water for the rest of the day.
Thai Massage is often called “lazy man’s yoga”. It is based on Indian and South East Asian massage techniques, and combines ayurveda with yoga, to create a series of stretches and pressure point techniques that reduce pain and tension and increase body mobility. In fact, Thai Massage was used 2,500 years ago by Buddha’s physician, and is a constantly evolving and improving series of techniques (just think of all the practice that has gone into the development of what we have today!). The focus of modern Thai Massage is on encouraging movement and oxygen flow throughout the body – increasing the delivery of nutrients to muscle fibres and allowing them better motion, stretch, and comfort. During the massage, energy lines known as “Thai Sen” lines are worked upon to open oxygenation systems and allow energy and oxygen to flow more freely through the body to the muscles and body cells. Expect to be stretched and unwound, and leave feeling that your body has returned to where it should be.
Deep Tissue Massage is the massage that people always think they want. This is the one where someone finds all the knots and scar tissues hiding in your muscles and works to break them down and give you back the movement and comfort you should have. The aim is to soften hard tension in a specific location of the body, using strokes and pressures that focus on the muscles deep under the skin. Occasionally, a Deep Tissue Massage will leave you feeling a little tired or will replace your muscle tension with a gentle muscle ache that will last for a couple of days while any remaining tension subsides, but after this, posture should return to normal, and comfort should be prevalent.
Holistic Massage is our favorite massage – this is the massage that is tailored to your specific needs. Holistic simply means that the body is thought of as a whole – not simply as a collection of muscles and tissues, and the idea of this massage is to encompass the various needs of the whole area being massaged. If you have a little tension, a little fluid built up, and some knots in uncomfortable places, this is the massage you need. Holistic Massage uses a combination of Swedish, Lymph, Deep Tissue, Acupressure, and more – the therapist assessing what you need and tailoring various styles to provide you with a massage unique to your body. This is an incredibly relaxing and beneficial massage.
Sports Massage is considered one of our most intense massage styles. This is very deep massage, done with a great deal of strength. Sports massage is great for removing lactic acid build ups from overused muscles, and for getting rid of stubborn knots and tensions. A lot of pressure and strength are used to increase the energy and flexibility of muscles. This massage is not for the feint hearted, however, the benefits and improvements you will feel after this massage, will help even the most avid sportsperson to relax.
So those are the basics – the massages you might have heard mentioned, that suit traditional western ideas of what massage should entail. Now we get to the new and alternative styles of massage:
Acupressure Massage is a traditional form of Chinese massage derived from acupuncture techniques. Pressure is applied to acupuncture points along meridian channels to even out body energies by removing energy blockages. These blockages can be fluid in the lymphatic system that is not draining away, or tension in muscles or joints that have not been used correctly. Acupressure Massage is designed to improve the parasympathetic system by reducing tension, aches, and swelling, returning your body to it’s correct balance.
Reflexology Massage involves the consideration that all of your body’s nerves end in your feet. By applying pressure and massage to the ends of certain nerves, your parasympathetic system is drawn to focus on certain parts of your body – leading to directed self-healing and improvement. This massage is deeply relaxing, and is a worthwhile treatment for stress, sinusitis, irritable bowel syndrome, or the discomforts of pregnancy.
Indian Head Massage is about balancing, relaxing, and rejuvenating by removing stress and tension. It is based in Ayuvedic techniques, focussing on the shoulders, ears, scalp, face, and neck. This is a great massage if you are tense but are not comfortable disrobing – much attention is paid to the muscles around your face, head, and neck, and you remain fully clothed throughout. Indian Head Massage is deeply relaxing and will leave you feeling revitalised and ready to face your next adventure.
And finally, the truly luxurious massage styles – truly indulgent, wonderfully blissful, and deeply effective:
Hot Stones Massage is luxuriously warm and relaxing. Basalt stones are heated and placed strategically over the body, allowing deep heat to penetrate the muscles. This relaxes outer muscles and softens deeper muscles, allowing the therapist to use pressure comfortably and deeply to relax tension and knots. Often, the therapist will use the stones to massage, increasing the warmth of the strokes.
The Holistic Facial is both a massage and a tailored facial. It involves an individually formulated combination of cleanser, scrub, masque, toner, moisturiser, serum, eye gel, and lip salve applied as required, with acupressure to the face and scalp, chest aromatherapy, and a shoulder massage. All products are provided by Neal’s Yard Organic Remedies, and all skin types are covered within the product range. The Holistic Facial is blissfully relaxing, and thoroughly calming.
Hot Oil Massage is a gentle holistic massage with the added bonus of hot almond oil and warming spices or essential oils (such as ginger or eucalyptus). These essential oils and spices increase circulation, adding to the warmth and muscular stimulation being given by the hot oil and massage. This is a great way to loosen tension and will be deeply relaxing.
So there it is – the “coffee menu” of massage styles. We hope this helps you to choose the style best suited to your needs. And if you still can’t choose, or you just want to try everything, there are package deals, and if you are worried that a certain combination isn’t offered, please call and we’ll see if we can arrange something to suit you.