Thai Massage – The art of giving from the hands and the heart

Image courtesy of Phonlatuch at freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of Phonlatuch at freedigitalphotos.net

Written by Georgia Franchini

In 2014, I travelled alone to the mysterious land of Thailand in order to complete a course in Traditional Thai massage. When I received this therapy, it helped me so much that I decided to go to Thailand to learn to practice it myself. It allowed me to absorb their culture, and it opened me up to the path of Yoga and meditation, which is an important part of learning and practicing this traditional healing system.

What is Thai massage?

Traditional Thai massage originated from India, but has been practised in Thailand for over 2,500 years. It is a form of oriental body work, and the theory is based on balancing the energy within your body to aid in health and general wellbeing. There are 10 major energy channels within the body. Blockages within these channels give rise to disease and negative symptoms. Thai massage aims at removing these blockages so energy can flow freely, allowing you to feel relaxed, energetic, and free from pain. “A 2004 study found significant improvement in the mental well-being of patients suffering from musculoskeletal pain when treated with massage” (J, Johnson, Research), it has been proven that massage can have huge health benefits, physically, mentally and spiritually.

Here are some of the health benefits:

• release blogIncrease range of movement in joints

• Improves circulation
• Increases supply of blood and oxygen

• Promotes relaxation
• Elongate and release fascia (muscular bondage and support system)
• Prevents joint sprains and muscle strains

• Improves lymphatic drainage and flow (the body’s cell waste removal and immune system)

‘Lazy man’s yoga’

Thai massage is also known as ‘lazy man’s yoga’, this is due to the fact that the benefits of both are very similar. If you have practiced Yoga before you will understand the health benefits that come with simply being present and focusing on your breath. Massage and Yoga focus on the rhythm and depth of your breathing, as it’s important for your body in order to stay healthy. Thai massage is rhythmic and meditative between the giver and receiver, creating a dual meditation between two people. Traditionally Thai massage is used without oil and with clothes on. This is because stretches and pressure points are used in order to increase the energy flow. However, you have a choice to choose whether you prefer to be clothed or not. It’s important to be comfortable before receiving your massage. I will use my palms, elbows, and feet in order to perform stretches and pressure points.

Is it for me?
If you feel that any of these health benefits listed could be beneficial for you, then Thai massage is what you need. If you have previously tried Shiatsu and enjoyed it, you may also enjoy Thai Massage as they are similar and grew from the same roots. You do not need to be a yogi or an athlete to feel healthy again. Living a busy lifestyle can make it easy to neglect our health. So take control, and give yourself some extra loving care within a safe environment at YOU Massage!

Southampton Osteopath: Jane

janeHi, my name is Jane, I just wanted to introduce myself, I am the newest member of the team, here at You massage therapy.  I hope see some of you, as I settle in.  I bring a number of the skills to the team, I’m a registered osteopath, a sport and remedial massage therapist, a sports injury therapist and I have an extensive background in the health and fitness industry.

I just wanted to give you some information about myself and some of the treatments options that I have to offer;

Osteopathy

Osteopathy is a system of assessing, diagnosing, treating and preventing a wide range of health problems.  We believe how your body moves influences how it functions, through a wide variety of   manual therapy techniques.  Korr (1978) described manual therapy as the “Application of an accurately determined and specifically directed manual force to the body, to improve mobility in areas; in joints, in connective tissue or in skeletal muscles”.

Although osteopaths are well known for treating all manner of back pain, osteopaths are highly competent healthcare professionals and can treat all areas of the body , through a variety of techniques that may or may not include joint manipulations,  joint articulations, ( aimed at improving range of motion, by repeatedly changing the restriction of barrier, reducing joint stiffness, contractures and pain), muscle energy techniques, (using gentle muscle contractions to relax and lengthen musculature around a joint to improve function), traction techniques (to gently stretch joint surfaces, muscles and connective tissue), as well as using a variety of soft tissue or massage techniques.

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Massage as the winter months approach us

warming massage in southampton

As winter approaches it’s almost like our bodies know that the cold is going to make us less mobile and alert. Our bodies become less agile, due to the cold weather, as our muscles contract and joints start to stiffen. We become more tired and can start to feel low in mood due to the decrease in natural sunlight.

Having massage during the winter months is almost more beneficial to us than it is in the summer. Massage can improve the flow and drainage of the Lymphatic system and increases the activity level of our natural ‘killer cells’ which in turn, improves the function of our immune system. We will all struggle with viruses and bugs more over the winter months so, by having a regular massage it can decrease your chances of getting ill. The lymph system is boosted and kept flowing properly to remove waste from the tissues and promote production of bug fighting cells. This can allow the body to fight off illness more effectively, keeping you well and healthy and decreasing the number of sick days you have in the long run.

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Acupuncture for skin conditions

Comfortable in your Skin?

Written by Southampton Acupuncturist, Sharon Bradbear

The weather is getting warmer and we are shedding our winter woollies and revealing our limbs to the sun, but do you feel confident to do this, or do you dread the summer due to a skin condition such as:

eczemaacupuncture for skin conditions

psoriasis

rosacea

acne

boils

If you have an un-diagnosed skin conditions, check the links above to see if you have similar symptoms.

Skin conditions can be distressing for the sufferer, both mentally and physically.

Acupuncture can be very beneficial for all types of skin complaints such as these.  It can treat the skin problem directly, plus the underlying symptoms causing these common skin complaints can be addressed.  Acupuncture has been used for 1,000s of years and is ideal for those that prefer a non-chemical approach with minimal invasion.

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Trigger Points – Muscle Knots unraveled by Southampton Osteo Tim Young

trigger point therapyUs Osteopaths are often asked ‘what are muscle knots’? Most people have some experience of muscle knots, back pain and how types of back massage will help. In essence, it’s easier to imagine the fibres as ‘knotted’ which create painful hard lumps within our muscles. Here, I endeavor to describe to you in detail what occurs during muscle knots, or trigger points and how we discover, work with and treat them.

Trigger points, also known as trigger sites or muscle knots, are described as hyperirritable spots in skeletal muscle that are associated with palpable nodules in taut bands of muscle fibres.

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Fascia and Adhesions by Southampton Osteopath, Tim

Posterior Fascia Line

Posterior Fascia Line

 

As an osteopath I find fascia fascinating by understanding its roles within the body. This helps me to look at the body with holistic glasses, allowing me to connect and join the dots of not only where the problem is but giving me a better understanding of how it could be going wrong and which areas are causing the problem.

I’ve heard so many times through friends and patients who have seen Southampton osteopaths, chiropractors and sports massage therapists, how they have presented said therapist with shoulder or neck pain and had their pelvis treated as well as the areas concerned.

After explaining what they have had done they usually say to me “it’s all connected, right?” not really having any idea how. This is probably due to the fact that us therapists like to waffle on forgetting you haven’t spent five years reading anatomy.  Of course it’s correct, through connective tissue (which is fascia, bone, ligaments, tendons and muscle; bodily tissues that connect with each other – the clue is in the name), previous injuries and longstanding postures can present with pain in other areas of the body.

 

 

 

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WINTER BLEND – WARMING SOOTHE

Aromatherapy and Hot stonesAromatherapy is simply the use of plant essential oils for a therapeutic effect (such as promoting health and well-being). Essential oils have been used therapeutically for thousands of years and are still being used effectively today in many products ranging from medical (Tea Tree oil for fungal infections) to beauty (Grapefruit and Mint oils in your refreshing shampoo or body wash). In France, Aromatherapy is an established field in medical practice which Doctors can use to help treat conditions such as seizures and diabetes. There, they will usually prescribe essential oils to be ingested rather than used topically (on the skin) as we do with massage but this also depends on the condition they are treating. In massage, we use essential oils to tailor a treatment more specifically to you. We mix them into plain oil, such as Grapeseed oil, and then use this as the massage oil. The oils can be used to relieve muscle tension, improve circulation, calm digestive issues, invigorate, reduce stress and anxiety, help with depression, improve sleep… the list goes on!  If you wish to learn more about Aromatherapy this is a great website.

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Southampton Osteopath Tim introduces himself

Joining the team at You Massage Therapy, Southampton as an Osteopath.

As a new member of the team at You Massage therapy, I was asked to write a little piece about me, so anyone interested can learn a little bit about who  I am.

Why I became an Osteopath

Tim Young OsteopathFrom a very young age I have received complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) such as osteopathy, acupuncture, chiropractic and homeopathic treatments for various different ailments. It was not until I was a teenager where I was playing sport seriously (rugby and rowing at national level) did I understand how effective these treatments were bringing me back from injury and keeping me playing and training in the sports I loved.

When leaving school the notion of becoming an osteopath had not even entered my head, not being the most academic student (I would always much rather be on a rugby pitch or in a rowing boat, than a classroom) I did not think it was attainable. Not really knowing what I wanted to do, I enrolled on a course at college gaining a BETEC National Diploma in rural studies so I could do what I liked doing best when not playing sport, which was working with animals. Unfortunately as I suffered with hayfever, it made finding employment in this field very hard (excuse the pun) so I fell into a career in construction.

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Welcome Kim

Go from OW to WOW!!

Hello, you are cordially invited to an hour’s vacation on my massage table.

Why you may ask? Aching body? Stressed? Lots of tension?

Athlete or not, a sports massage is the solution!

Hi, my name is Kim Healey. I am the new addition to the YOU Massage Team and will be offering my services as a Massage Therapist for Deep Tissue, Sports Massage, Swedish Massage, Indian Head Massage and Holistic Massage.

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Welcome Cristina

massage sportsHello, my name is Cristina, and I have just joined You Massage Therapy as a Sport Massage Therapist.

Sport and health are the two areas I have always been very interested in. After finishing school, I moved to Chieti (Italy), looking for a good Sport Science program at the university. During my three years of the undergraduate course, I started exploring the basic of Sport Science and also went deeper into some fields. I was really excited by  most of the subjects I was studying, particularly anatomy, neuro-anatomy, physiology and sport performance.

I graduated in February 2006, and my final thesis was about “Shoulder impingement syndrome”.

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