The Gaia Centre for Holistic Therapy,
17 Frederick Street, Loughborough,
Leicestershire, LE11 3BH
Tel: 01509 556101
© Copyright 2012 -
Massage stretches the ligaments and tendons keeping them supple, and stimulates the skin and nervous system. It also stimulates lymphatic flow, improving tissue drainage and boosting your immune system (see Case Studies for examples of medical benefits).
There are a wide variety of types of massage, many of which can be interwoven with techniques that might more properly be called ‘bodywork’, as they incorporate manipulation of whole body segments. On the following pages we present a brief guide to the various forms of massage.
WESTERN FORMS OF MASSAGE
Most deep tissue forms of massage are based on traditional Swedish massage. Swedish massage uses light gliding strokes to warm up the muscles and tissues, and then employs a variety of kneading actions to improve muscle tone, ease joints, and smooth out restrictions in muscle tissue. The idea is to push blood into the muscle and tone up muscles to protect against injury. These actions on the muscular tissue triggers the lymphatic drainage system into flushing out metabolic waste products (and other toxins) formed by the various chemical reactions that take place in our your body’s cells.
What's it best for?
This kind of massage is particularly good for conditions brought on by various forms of muscular exertion (exercise, sport, manual occupation, and muscle tightness brought on by mental or physical stress). Although it can target the whole body, it is particularly effective for relieving tension in the neck†, shoulders and back, because practitioners use a kneading and pulling action that stretches the ligaments and tendons, helping to keep them supple. These forms of massage are frequently rounded off with quick hacking/pounding strokes (as seen in films and associated with ‘Turkish Sauna’ massage).
Includes: Any Deep Tissue massage style -
* (Note:The Embody links provide access to expanded explanations of the therapies).
Did you know there are more than 50 ways to massage?
But which one is right for you?
At one time receiving a massage meant having a relaxing Swedish massage. Today, there are over 50 different types of massage to choose from -
Well, you know, massage can feel sinfully good. The truth is, it can be one of the best 'healing through relaxation' therapies for you, especially during times of change and stress such as changing jobs, moving house, menopause, post op, and sports recovery. This soothing therapy has been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce muscle pain, improve joint flexibility & Range of Movement, and alleviate headaches, just to name a few of its healing powers. Most people think of massage in terms of muscle aches, but it's much more than that. It increases blood flow to your muscles, other soft tissues, and every cell in your body that brings oxygen and nutrients to these critical areas.
So What is Massage?
Massage refers to the use of a collection of techniques whereby manipulation, pressure, or friction is applied to your muscles and other soft tissues of your body. These therapies are based on the fact that your soft tissues respond to touch. Manipulation of these tissues can result in relaxation, increased circulation, and faster and more effective removal of metabolic waste products.
These forms are routed in techniques developed from the principles of Ayurvedic (India) and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Eastern massage tends to focus on techniques that manipulate your body's energy system known as 'chi'. As with Acupuncture, from which many of these techniques are derived, it is claimed that energy flows along meridians -
What's it best for?
It is said that Eastern Massage techniques can improve digestive conditions, menstrual problems, and asthma. The techniques also stretch muscles and loosen joints, so they are especially good for treating back pain, shoulder tension, and headaches†.
Includes: Reiki, Reflexology, Shiatsu, Thai massage, and Do-
Hot stone (or hot towel) therapy is a treatment that involves heating stones and placing them on the body or using them in the massage strokes. This 'thermotherapy' boosts your circulation, by creating an aerobic effect in the blood -
During the treatment the therapist applies massage oil, then places hot basalt stones heated to about 60° C on your chakra points. These are seven areas of the body that are considered crossroads for energy meridians. Warm stones may also be placed underneath the hands and between the toes.
What's it best for?
All kinds of tension-
Includes: LaStone therapy, Healing Stone Massage, Lomilomi (Hawaiian), and Balinese massage.
The focus in aromatherapy is not the massage per se. Rather the therapy focuses on the properties of ‘Essential’ oils. These are base massage oils containing the essences of certain plant extracts. Aromatherapy practitioners blend oils to address specific health problems. For example, Lemon and Pine are used for relaxation, Marjoram is often used for stress, whereas Eucalyptus targets respiratory conditions. The kneading and pummelling movements used in other Western forms are seldom used. Instead, this style of massage employs light, gliding strokes.It is believed that Essential oils work in two ways. When used in massage, they are absorbed by the skin, pass into the blood stream and move on to work on different organs in the body. If evaporated in special ‘burners’ and the fragrances inhaled, then they pass through the nerve endings in the nasal passage and pass directly to the limbic centre of the brain, which controls your emotions.
What's it best for?
Flu, colds, asthma, bronchitis, digestive disorders, chronic fatigue, and menstrual complaints.
† See report about Massage and High Blood Pressure/Heart conditions.
Body Massage -
Clinical & Remedial Massage -
Indian Head Massage -
Indian Head massage evolved from traditional Ayurvedic techniques practised in India for over two thousand years. The Massage may be applied with or without oils. It is non-
Gaia Holistic Therapy Centre Massage Treatments
Body (Swedish) Massage
Clinical & Remedial Massage
Indian Head Massage
Sports/Deep Tissue Massage
Thai (Medical) Massage
Reiki is used to relieve many symptoms of chronic illness such as anxiety, insomnia, back pain and arthritis, and it often produces long-
Shiatsu has been used to treat a range of conditions including back, neck and shoulder pain, circulatory problems, digestive disorders, sinusitis, catarrh, asthma and bronchitis, migraine, headaches, chronic fatigue and stress related problems such as anxiety and depression. Scientific research has suggested that pressure applied during treatments may encourage your body to release endorphins (natural painkillers). Some of our clients feel very relaxed and sleepy after a Shiatsu treatment, whilst others leave feeling invigorated and energised.
Sports/Deep Tissue Massage -
Sports massage is generally used to provide rehabilitation from soft tissue injury, to maintain muscular conditioning and joint flexibility for competition, in order to maximise athletic potential. In addition it eases the effects caused by severe exercise such as myofascial shortening i.e. restrictions in your body's contractile (muscle) and non-
Thai (Medical) Massage -
If you require further information about massage in general, or the various types and styles of massage, please feel free to contact us.