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How To Pick The Right Massage Treatment

“Massage Therapy” encompasses a vast range of treatment styles, depths and techniques which between them can provide an enormous range of physical and mental benefits to your body and overall wellbeing. With such a wide range of massages styles available, spending just a few moments making sure that you book the right treatment will not only save you time and money but enhance your wellbeing much sooner and effectively than you expected.

It’s a topic that clients regularly contact us about, and we are always more than happy to give you advice on the right type of massage before you book with us. These are key points to bear in mind, with regards to your own requirements and circumstances, when choosing the right massage for you:

1) If you are suffering from a specific issue.

If you are suffering from one or more specific physical problems – whether it is an ache, pain, issue or any other physical disorder, anywhere in the body, acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term) – it is vital to get the right type of massage treatment, as the wrong massage might be ineffective or potentially exacerbate the problem. The most appropriate treatment would be a Therapeutic Massage or a Deep Tissue Massage (or an even deeper focussed Tui Na Massage). These are highly tailored treatments, in terms of depth, technique and areas covered, that focus on the specific issue/s to bring about effective release and relief in the affected areas.

The session begins with a brief consultation, where our highly qualified and experienced therapist will look to ascertain your medical / physical history and gain a thorough understanding of the issues you are facing. He or she will then explain the highly tailored treatment they will employ, depending on your issues and a wide range of other circumstances and factors. As a general rule of thumb, issues that have been more long-term (chronic), tend to take longer to be resolved.

Please be assured that our massage therapists run busy clinics and will never keep you coming any longer than required. As part of the treatment, our massage therapists may also provide details of stretches / exercises that you can do at home, or supplements you can take to help. Similarly, they may suggest teaming up with our Physiotherapist, Chiropractor, Osteopath, Acupuncturist or any of our other therapists, in order to help you as quickly and effectively as possible.

2) If you are only looking for treatment on a specific area

There are a number of massages that focus on a specific area, such as the:

  • Facelift Massage – a natural, non-invasive alternative to a clinical facelift that can slow down facial ageing and eliminate wrinkles
  • Indian Head Massage – fully clothed de-stressing treatment to help relieve headaches, insomnia, sinusitis, migraines, aching jaws
  • Ayurvedic Hand Massage – helps to alleviate built up tension in the hands and arms
  • Reflexology – works with the reflex points on the feet, hands and head to alleviate insomnia, improve your mood and overall wellbeing

As described above, our practitioner will conduct a brief consultation before these types of massages to rule out any contraindications and tailor the treatment to your requirements

3) If you are pregnant or if you have recently had a baby:

If you are pregnant, the right massage can make you feel substantially stronger, balanced and energised at a time when your body needs it the most. A regular or deep massage would not be appropriate and could even be unsafe, and so the only treatments we would suggest are the Pregnancy Massage and Pregnancy Reflexology – these are holistic, relaxing treatments that work in positions, style and a depth of bodywork that are the most comfortable and appropriate for your changing body.

Please note that these treatments are only appropriate within the 2nd and 3rd trimesters of pregnancy – massage in the 1st trimester of pregnancy is highly contra-indicated and should not be undertaken. As with all of our massages, they can be tailored so that attention can be paid to specific areas of tension or pain. However, if back, neck, shoulder or other bodily pain is a substantial concern, Pregnancy Chiropractic, Osteopathy or Acupuncture (which are all tailored for Pregnancy) may be more appropriate. After you have had the baby, the right massage can aid your recovery by reducing tiredness and helping you adjust to your physical changes. The only treatments appropriate for this are Post-Natal Massage and Post-Natal Reflexology. If you are suffering from specific physical issues as a result of your pregnancy, Post-Natal Chiropractic or Osteopathy may very well help, whilst hormonal imbalance can very effectively be addressed with Acupuncture.

4) If you are looking for a massage for your general wellbeing and/or to de-stress

Whilst there are excellent wellbeing and de-stressing massages, it is certainly worth clarifying that this is what you will be getting beforehand as the style of massage strokes and the depth of muscular work will be a lot lighter and substantially different to any type of therapeutic massage – for example a Deep Tissue Massage would certainly not help you de-stress!

The most appropriate massages for de-stressing and overall wellbeing are:

  • Holistic Massage – A full body treatment that will soothe and relax your body whilst enhancing your muscular skin tissue tone
  • Lomi Lomi Massage – the unique Hawaiian oil-based treatment is deeply relaxing for overall emotional, mental and physical wellbeing
  • Aromatherapy Massage – A calm, rhythmic, relaxing massage with aromatherapy oils, to elevate your mood, re-energise and detoxify your body
  • Hot Stone Massage – A deeply relaxing and therapeutic massage, using hot and cold stones applied to specific parts of the body
  • Ayurvedic Massage – A full body massage with infused oils to enhance muscle and skin tone, whilst promoting better blood and lymphatic circulation

5) If you are on a specific sports or exercise training regime

This can substantially effect which might be the right treatment for you. The most appropriate treatment would be a sports massage – this is a therapeutic massage which combines a variety of deep styles which are highly tailored in terms of technique and areas of the muscular system covered, to meet your athletic requirements and goals.

Other types of specialised deep massage, whilst not as all-round as the Sports Massage, may also be appropriate. Likewise, you may consider physiotherapy, osteopathy or chiropractic.

6) If you have been referred by any other practitioner or have you undergone any medical treatment or procedures recently?

If you have been referred to have a massage by your GP, another doctor or any complementary practitioner, it is vital that you follow their advice as to what type of massage would be appropriate and what the massage is for, what type of depth is appropriate, which areas are to be covered and which areas are to be avoided (this is also discussed above). Choosing the wrong type of massage may not only be a waste of time and money, it could be counter-productive

If you have undergone surgery (or any other medical procedure) or are currently on medication, it is vital to check with your doctor beforehand as to the appropriateness of massage (or any other bodywork). If they say it is ok, then it also worth clarifying what type of treatment would be appropriate, as above. Whilst our team here at the Fairlee Wellbeing Centre are happy to discuss the appropriateness of any massage to your specific circumstances, if there are medical issues involved, we will often request that you speak to your doctor beforehand (and even receive written confirmation if necessary)

7) The qualifications, insurance and experience of the therapist you will be seeing

Whilst our advice is intended to be general and wide ranging, we can only describe and comment on the treatments that we offer and the way we operate at the Fairlee Wellbeing Centre.

If you are booking elsewhere, please do make sure that you check:

  • The therapist you will be seeing is fully qualified, insured and experienced for the treatment you will be having
  • The nature of the treatment you will be having and whether (or not) it will be tailored to your requirements
  • The treatment is appropriate for your specific health and circumstances
  • The rooms and facilities are of a level and size that you are comfortable with

Here, at the Fairlee Wellbeing Centre, we offer highly modern, spacious rooms and our practitioners are thoroughly vetted to ensure that they have full UK qualifications, insurance and extensive experience, to ensure excellent and consistent patient care at all times. If you are looking at another centre or therapist, please do make sure you make all of these enquiries beforehand. If you are at all unsure, please consult your doctor first.

In summary, not all massage treatments and therapists are the same, and how well they can benefit you often comes down to your own requirements and circumstances. As having a massage is an investment in your health and wellbeing, these basic tips should give you sufficient food for thought and direction to help you choose wisely.

By Viraj Karia from the Fairlee Wellbeing Centre, Please Share our Article

About the Author
Viraj Karia, Managing Director at the Fairlee Wellbeing Centre

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