Frequently asked questions
What is Swedish massage?
Swedish massage, or classic massage as it is also known, is a type of holistic treatment primarily designed to promote relaxation by manipulating the muscles in long, gliding strokes in the direction of blood returning to the heart. However, the benefits of Swedish massage go beyond relaxation as it can help decrease pain, improve mood and sleep, reduce anxiety and improve flexibility.
When adapted correctly, it may have very different effects on the body and so it can be as relaxing as it can be energising. It can also specifically target or correct issues in a problem area and utilise deeper more intense massage strokes to relieve tension and myofascial trigger points - commonly known as ‘knots’ - in much more localised areas.
Are there conditions where massage is not recommended?
There are very few instances where massage is not recommended and these are known by massage therapists as ‘total contraindications’. For example, total contraindications would include being under the influence of alcohol, suffering from a fever, diarrhoea or vomiting. There are also ‘local contraindications’ which are conditions affecting specific areas of the body that mean you should not be massaged in that area - for example if you have a cut, bruise or abrasion on your foot then you could still have a body massage but the foot would be avoided. Some conditions require medical approval before my insurance allows me to proceed with a massage. For example if you suffer from heart disease, asthma or epilepsy or are undergoing treatment for another medical condition from another specialist you will be required to produce a letter from your GP stating that you are OK to receive holistic massage. The conditions mentioned above are for indication only - before you visit, please click here to read the contraindications section of my website and if you are concerned that any of the medical conditions apply to you, contact me first to check that the treatment you choose is suitable for you.
Should I try and stay awake during my massage treatment?
You do not need to stay awake and it is very common to drift in and out of sleep during a treatment. It is a good sign that you are deeply relaxed. Your body and muscles will still be gaining benefit from the massage even if you are asleep. I will wake you gently at the end of the treatment so you don’t need to worry if you nod off.
Will I feel any side effects during/after my massage?
It is common for your muscles to feel temporarily tired or heavy, similar to how they feel after a workout. A small number of clients receiving a massage feel achy or may experience a mild headache. Some people feel cold after a massage as the massage encourages blood to flow to the surface of the skin causing heat loss. During the treatment blankets and towels will prevent you feeling cold, please bring warm comfortable clothes to wear home.
Some clients find that feeling deeply relaxed can allow feelings to come to the surface and they may feel emotional. If this happens I will ask you if you are happy for me to continue with the treatment and progress if you are comfortable.
Will the massage be painful?
Everybody is different when it comes to pressure. What feels right to one client might feel painful for another or too light and ineffective for someone else. I will use a variety of techniques, some working deeper into the muscle tissue than others. You may feel some discomfort on tight or overworked and stressed muscles; when using deep tissue techniques, certain areas might be painful (although the pain always be bearable). It is therefore really important that you communicate with me regarding your objectives and pressure preferences and inform me of any pain or discomfort during your treatment. I will check in with you about the pressure and I will never be offended if you ask me to adjust pressure during a session.
What products do you use?
The massage oils I use are from Naissance which is a brand manufacturing high quality organic, non-GMO, cruelty free, cold pressed oils. Depending on your skin type, I may use a variety of oils to ensure your skin is well looked after and benefits from an oil that is appropriate to it. I may use wheat germ, coconut, almond, jojoba, grapeseed, avocado, apricot kernel, olive and others.
Towels are washed using Ecover Non-Bio laundry detergent, an ecologically sound, cruelty free, biodegradable detergent. All other consumables I use in my practice are recyclable and/or compostable. Please note that some disinfectants being used in my practice during the Covid-19 pandemic are not chemical free to ensure all viruses and bacteria are eliminated.
Could I have an allergic reaction to your products?
I routinely ask my clients about known allergies during our initial consultation so please do let me know about these as soon as possible so I can put steps in place to accomodate you. Clients allergic to nuts might not be able to receive a massage as traces of nuts might be present in several types of oils. The towels in my practice are all washed using Ecover Non-Bio laundry detergent.
Aftercare - what should I do after my treatment?
You will be emailed information once your treatment finishes explaining how to get the most benefit from your treatment and minimise any side effects. The main advice is to avoid vigorous exercise, heavy meals, caffeine and alcohol immediately after your treatment. Try and keep yourself warm and remain in a quiet state for as long as possible to feel the full benefit of the treatment.
Do you leave the room to allow me to get undressed or dressed?
Yes. Your dignity, privacy and comfort are important to me. I will leave the room and allow you time and privacy to get ready at the start of the treatment and to get up slowly and get dressed after the treatment. Remember you can choose to have a shower in my therapy room completely free of charge. Towels, shower gel and shampoo are also provided free of charge.
What if I am embarrassed about my body?
I am a professional massage therapist who has worked with all people who have all different body shapes, sizes, and health histories. I work to provide a comfortable relaxed space for you and hope that you will feel relaxed during your treatments. I have a background in psychology and as such I am deeply committed to providing non-judgemental, person centred services. I believe that healing touch is all about coming to feel better about ourselves in body, mind, heart and spirit and I celebrate the wonderful diversity of humanity including differences in body weight, amount of hair, skin conditions, scars, disabilities, medical conditions, or personal history.
Should I shave my legs before a treatment?
It is not necessary to shave prior to a treatment and I suggest that you do whatever feels most comfortable for you. Treatments is not affected by body hair or lack of it.
Will the oil ruin my clothes or mess-up my hair or make-up?
The oils I use should not damage your clothing, but to be sure please wear comfortable clothing and avoid delicate fabrics such as silk which may be affected by oil. Some massage techniques could disrupt make-up or hair but I can design a session that will not disrupt your hair or make-up if this is a concern - please inform me when you visit if you would like me to avoid disruption to your hair or make-up. You can also choose to have a shower after your treatment as I have facilities - fresh towels, shower gel and shampoo will be provided free of charge.
What should I wear?
During therapeutic body massage you will take off your outer clothing and wear pants or boxer shorts, so what you wear to and from the treatment does not matter. I do not provide massage therapy treatments for naked clients, either male or female, you must wear either pants or boxer shorts at all times. For male clients it is slightly preferable to wear pants or short boxer shorts rather than 'longer style' boxers, as this prevents oil getting onto clothing when the upper leg or gluteal muscles are massaged.
Please remove all jewelry prior to your treatment.
Do I need to bring a towel or robe?
No, everything you need for your treatment will be provided. Bath towels, shower gel and shampoo will also be provided free of charge if you choose to have a shower after your treatment.
Do you talk during the massage?
Your treatment is a time when you can focus on your own needs, let go and relax. If chatting helps you to relax that is fine, but most clients find they can get most benefit from a treatment by remaining quiet and enjoying the relaxing music and touch. I have been trained not to talk during a treatment and will not be offended if you don’t talk to me. I won’t usually initiate conversation but will follow your lead. You must of course communicate with me during your treatment if you would like me to adjust the pressure or feel any discomfort.
Do you offer gift vouchers?
Yes, please browse my treatments and prices and email me on firstname.lastname@example.org, or call me on 07497142632, to organise a personalised gift voucher for your friend or relative. Please note that my vouchers have a 12 month expiry date.
What payment types do you accept?
I accept payment by cash or card.
Do you have parking?
Yes, parking map and instructions are sent out with the appointment confirmation email.
Do you massage babies, children and young people?
No. All clients need to be 18+.
Do you massage pregnant women?
I do not offer this service. However, I am very happy to recommend peer therapists who are very experienced pregnancy massage therapists. Get in touch with me at email@example.com
Do you have showering facilities?
Yes. You can choose to have a shower after your treatment completely free of charge. Free towels, shower gel and shampoo are also provided. However, please make sure you inform me when you book your treatment that you will be having a shower so enough time can be allowed before the next client arrives. The shower room is disinfected thoroughly between clients.
Can I cancel my appointment?
Cancellations on the day of the appointment and no shows will be charged at 100% of the treatment cost. In order to avoid these charges, I will always send you a reminder 24 hours before your appointment and seek confirmation from you.
For more information please read the terms and conditions
here. Clients experiencing Covid19 symptoms (fever, a new and/or persistent cough and changes to sense of smell and taste) may cancel at any time without incurring any charges.
What personal data will you collect from me and how will it be used?
What is aromatherapy massage?
An aromatherapy massage has all the benefits of a classic massage (improved blood and lymph circulation, relaxation, etc) with the added perk of assisting the body’s natural abilities to heal, rest and recover from stress and illness. After discussing your symptoms, a blend of essential oils is prepared for you and blended with a massage oil. When rubbed into the skin, massage oils containing essential oils may provide potent relief from pain, inflammation, anxiety, stress, insomnia, digestive issues, constipation, skin disorders, etc. Essential oils are 100% natural, highly concentrated plant essences with many therapeutic properties.
What is deep tissue massage?
Deep tissue is a type of massage therapy that targets the deeper tissues in the human body. Whilst some of the strokes are the same as in classic (Swedish) massage, the pace tends to be slower and pressure is applied more strongly, concentrated on problem areas. Practitioners may use their forearms, elbows, fingertips and knuckles as well as their hands in order to break-up adhesions. These bands of rigid tissue can cause pain and inflammation, and restrict movement and circulation in muscle tissue. You might have a stiff neck and upper back, lower back pain, tight legs or sore shoulders or perhaps you’re just sore after exercising.
Deep tissue massage works to realign the different layers of tissue, treating the tendons, ligaments and fascia (the protective layer of tissues which surrounds the bones, joints and muscles) as well as the muscles to release tension and provide pain relief.
How will deep tissue massage help me?
Deep tissue massage, when used appropriately, is beneficial in reducing delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). DOMS describes muscle pain and tenderness that typically develops several hours post exercise. Not only is deep tissue massage therapeutic, but it can be corrective in those clients that have suffered from muscle tension for a long time (e.g. shoulder and neck pain, lower back pain).
How does aromatherapy work?
The oils work in two ways. They enter the body through the layers of skin and enter the bloodstream. This is where the essential oils’ chemicals react and have the desired effect on the body. At the same time, the essential oils stimulate the limbic system through our olfactory senses. The limbic system is part of the brain which deals with our emotions and can trigger long lost memories and feelings. This is why certain smells can transport us back to childhood holidays or that perfume your Gran used to wear. It’s one of the most powerful areas of the brain that is not yet fully understood.
Each oil has a number of different uses and can be chosen to work in your blend for both its chemical properties and its fragrance.
If you’re interested in finding out more about aromatherapy, including the science behind it, please visit
this page in BUPA UK.
Can I have an allergic reaction to the essential oils used in an aromatherapy massage?
As a qualified aromatherapist, I will ensure a small patch test is done before I treat you with essential oils. If I identify a reaction with a particular oil I won’t use it for your treatment. All my oils are purchased from trustworthy sources that sell only 100% pure essential oils. This is important as a lot of oils being sold have been adulterated even though the label will say ‘pure essential oil’.
Can everyone have a massage using essential oils?
Yes, but not everyone can have every essential oil rubbed into their skin. For example, if you are pregnant only one essential oil is safe to be used (and only after the first trimester). Individuals with liver problems and taking homeopathic medicine also are restricted as to which essential oils can be used. I will discuss your health history and current symptoms with you before I choose an essential oil blend to use in your treatment.
What is holistic massage?
The word ‘holistic’ means whole and this refers to the approach the massage therapist (or any other therapist) takes when treating his or her clients. I take into account a client’s physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual circumstances, in other words their whole person, when deciding the best course of action to treat symptoms. I also work in conjunction with other professionals to achieve the best possible outcome for you.
What measures have you put in place to make treatments as Covid19 safe as possible?
A list of comprehensive measures taken can be read here.
What is manual lymphatic drainage (MLD)?
Manual lymphatic drainage has powerful cleansing, relaxing, pain relieving and immunological effects. It is a gentle, flowing, rhythmic treatment which can be applied to a range of pathologies. It is used to promote the optimal functioning of the lymphatic vessels that lead to the circulatory system. It facilitates the drainage of biochemical waste from tissue via the lymph vessels and the venous capillaries. It’s particularly useful for those recovering from most types of surgery to remove tissue congestion and minimise scar formation. For example, MLD is often used as part of post-mastectomy therapy to reduce edema and fibrosis and to relieve pain and tension.
Please note I don’t currently treat lymphedema.
More information about MLD can be found
How many sessions of MLD should I have?
Most patients will require 8-12 treatments following surgical procedure over a 2-3 week period but this will vary depending on your general health and area of treatment. There is no way of telling how many treatments your body will require so we will regularly review your health and needs.
What if I arrive late?
It is important that our agreed appointment time and duration is adhered to. I appreciate that sometimes, things happen, and you may arrive a little later or need to leave a bit earlier than planned. This is fine, but I cannot make up the missed time by overrunning or adding time to subsequent appointments.
Should I do a compress with my massage?
An aromatherapy compress is an effective way to treat muscular aches and pains, headaches, bruises and reduce inflammation, especially when done simultaneously with a massage treatment. I will add a few drops of essential oils to a bowl of water and soak a cloth cloth in the solution. Depending on your symptoms, the compress may be hot or cold, or or I might alternate between the two. A hot compress can treat chronic pain such as backache, and a cold compress can help relieve acute injuries such as sprains. Because of the attention compresses require, I recommend that you add them to treatments lasting 90 minutes.