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What to expect from your massage

Preparing for your treatment

Thank you for booking a massage treatment. I look forward to meeting you. Coming for a massage is really quite simple and requires no preparation but please ensure you have not had a heavy meal at least 1 hour before any massage treatments.

It's important that you fill in the consultation form which asks about your past and current health (this is emailed to you when you book an appointment and again the day before your appointment). This consultation is confidential and is essential to ensure there are no medical conditions that may make massage unsuitable for you.

You may wish to read the FAQs section or contact me directly if you have any questions. 


Please see my Privacy Policy for details on the personal and medical data I collect and how it is stored and used. 


When you arrive

I will explain your treatment fully and give you a chance to ask any questions. I will then leave the room, giving you privacy to undress and make yourself comfortable on the massage couch. Large towels and blankets are used to cover your body to ensure you are warm and comfortable, although you can choose not to have these. Please note a different procedure of undressing is required for Ayurvedic massage; pleasure ensure you read the FAQ's on Ayurvedic massages before you book a treatment.


During your massage treatment

I will help you to get comfortable on the massage couch using some support cushions. Depending on your skin type and allergies and treatment chosen I may use avocado, sweet almond, grape-seed and apricot kernel organic oils (note that oil is not used in a lymphatic drainage massage). Ayurvedic massages will use oils medicated with herbs. Relaxing music will be played during the treatment to help you to relax and sink into the massage. Please feel free to ask for silence if you prefer or tell me if you have a preference for the music that you want played. I will also check-in with you to make sure the pressure I apply is correct for you. 

Note that The Samadhi Massage has additional breathing and yoga positions included in the treatment and that the Grounding Floor Massage takes place on the floor, not on massage table.


After your treatment

​I will leave the room and allow you time and privacy to gather your senses, get up slowly, enjoy a fresh drink of water, towel off the oil and get dressed. After leaving try and keep yourself warm and avoid strenuous exercise for as long as possible to feel the full benefit of the treatment. Fore more information on aftercare advice, please see the bottom of this page.

The benefits of massage

As more and more research is done on the effectiveness of the many massage therapies available, we are coming to understand that there are tremendous benefits to be achieved through regular massage treatments from a registered and fully qualified massage therapist. Whether for relaxation, reduction of muscle tension or the attaining of relief from chronic pain, a therapeutic massage can enhance the overall sense of emotional and physical wellbeing, especially when done over a period of time giving the body and mind time to heal. 

Massage therapy is safe for work with a variety of clients of all ages, in the treatment of illness, injury, rehabilitation and disability (Ernst, 2003; Grant, 2003). 

General benefits of therapeutic Swedish massage:

  • Helps relieve stress and promotes relaxation (Cooke et al., 2000)

  • Reduces heart rate and blood pressure (Keer, 2000)

  • Improves symptoms of fibromyalgia (Li et al., 2014)

  • Helps relieve delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) (Zainuddin et al., 2005)

  • Fosters faster healing of strained muscles and sprained ligaments; reduces pain and swelling; reduces formation of excessive scar tissue

  • Reduction in pain levels, both in the short and longer term, as well as potential benefit in acute on chronic low back pain (van Tulder et al., 2005)

  • Reduces back and neck pain, osteoarthritis of the knee and headaches (Busse et al., 2017)

  • Effective for many persistent pain syndromes (Skelly et al., 2020)

  • Improved sleep (Meeks et al., 2007)

  • Improves pulmonary function (Huth et al., 2005)

  • Provides greater joint flexibility and range of motion (Barlow et al., 2004)

  • Improves symptoms, quality of life and wellbeing in patients with chronic disease such as AIDS/HIV, cancer and multiple sclerosis (Uwimana et al., 2007; Liu et al., 2008)

  • Enhances the health and nourishment of skin

  • Assists and improves posture


Psychological and emotional benefits of massage therapy:

  • Alleviates depressive symptoms (Coelho et al., 2008)

  • Reduces levels of anxiety (Moyer et al., 2004)

  • Promotes a relaxed state of mental alertness

  • Helps relieve mental stress and promotes peace of mind

  • Enhances the capacity for calm thinking and creativity 

  • Satisfies needs for caring nurturing touch

  • Fosters a feeling of wellbeing

  • Creates body awareness

  • Increases awareness of mind-body connection


Specifically, manual lymphatic drainage can (Vairo et al., 2009; Korosec, 2004):

  • Stimulate the lymphatic system via an increase in lymph circulation

  • Expedite the removal of biochemical waste from body tissues

  • Enhance body fluid dynamics thus facilitating edema reduction (i.e. reduction of fluid retention)

  • Decreasing sympathetic nervous system responses thus creating a non-stressed body state 

  • Promote rehabilitation and healing post-surgery 

Specifically, research into how massage can help people with a diagnosis with cancer can be found on Cancer Research UK's website.


Beyond the benefits for specific conditions or diseases, some people enjoy massage because it often produces feelings of caring, comfort and connection.


Despite its benefits, massage isn't meant as a replacement for regular medical care. Let your doctor know you're trying massage and be sure to follow any standard treatment plans you have.

Medical conditions that prevent or restrict massage therapy (also known as contraindications)*

Massage treatment is non-invasive, relaxing and natural. It is therefore generally considered a safe treatment for most people.

However, there are three types of contraindications:

  • TOTAL, when massage should not be performed at all

  • MEDICAL, when massage can only be performed once medical permission has been granted

  • LOCAL, when massage can be performed but not over the contraindicated areas


Total contraindications

If you have any of the below conditions, please do not book a massage:

  • Fever

  • Contagious and infectious diseases, septic areas and wounds

  • Diarrhea and vomiting

  • When under the influence of alcohol or drugs

  • Following a heavy meal

  • Recent operations (less than 6 months)

  • When feeling dizzy or very exhausted


Medical contraindications

If you suffer from any of the following conditions, massage can only take place once it has been approved before your session in writing by your GP (this is to safeguard your health and well-being as well as my practice as I am not covered by insurance if I don’t have GP permission):

  • Cardiovascular conditions such as high and low blood pressure and blood vessel diseases such as atherosclerosis and arteriosclerosis, angina, ischemia, heart valve defects, thrombosis, phlebitis

  • Muscular and skeletal disorders, for example: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, whiplash injuries and pinched nerves. Also gout and ankylosing spondylitis 

  • Nervous system disorders and diseases such as cerebral palsy, parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, neuritis

  • Very high or low emotional states

  • Areas of undiagnosed pain, lumps and bumps

  • Major surgery within 18 months to 2 years

  • Minor surgery within 6 months

  • Respiratory disorders such as asthma, emphysema or acute bronchitis 

  • Digestive disorders such as diabetes, Crohn's disease, diverticulitis 

  • Endocrine disorders such as thyroiditis, hyper or hypo thyroid


LOCAL contraindications

The therapist can massage but not over any areas affected by:

  • Skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis, athletes foot

  • Localised infections

  • Recent injuries (48 hours)

  • Cuts, bruises and abrasions

  • Varicose veins

  • Localised swellings

  • Inflammation of any kind

  • Recent injection sites, tattoos and hormonal implants

  • Conditions affecting the neck (trauma)


If you are receiving a manual lymphatic drainage treatment there are some TOTAL contraindications:

  • Early onset inflammatory disease and fever

  • Undiagnosed lumps

  • Malignant melanomas

  • Serious circulatory problems such as thrombosis

  • Major heart problems such as angina pectoris and coronary thrombosis


MEDICAL Contraindications for lymphatic drainage massage:

  • Epilepsy

  • Removal of spleen

  • Organ transplants

  • Joint replacements

  • Menstruation


Does a contraindication mean that treatment cannot take place?

Not always. In fact, massage can be very therapeutic for many medical conditions. However, in some of the above cases it is best to get advice from your GP. Massage therapists, unless they are also qualified doctors, may not, under law, attempt to diagnose a condition.


If you have further questions or concerns, please contact your GP.

contra indications
olive tree therapies therapy room water

Aftercare advice

Following a treatment, it is highly advisable to allow your body to respond to the effects of a massage in order to maximise its benefits.


I recommend that clients:

  • Stay hydrated

  • Avoid eating a heavy meal after the treatment 

  • Avoid fast-food and unhealthy foods

  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol for 24 hours (if possible)

  • Avoid sunbeds and artificial UV lights      

  • Avoid doing exercise straight away

  • Dress in loose fitted clothing 

  • Avoid showering straight away so as to allow the massage oil / essential oils to nourish the skin and hair

  • Do take time for yourself, eat well, relax and practice mindfulness


Sometimes people may experience the following effects after a massage:

  • Some redness/soreness on some muscles, especially where nodule work was carried out. This should ease after a day

  • Headaches. It is important to make sure you keep hydrated during this time

  • Flu/cold like symptoms

  • A sense of elation/hyperactivity - this is your body’s reaction to nerve senses being activated by the massage

  • Increased urination


If you are concerned about any of these effects after your massage, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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