Massage has been used for thousands of years as one of the most beneficial ways of keeping the body free from stress and illness...The term holistic simply means considering the complete person, mind, body and spirit.
Massage improves blood circulation, bringing fresh oxygen and essential nutrients for cellular repair, helps to eliminate toxins and waste products from muscle tissue and releases muscular tension and stress. When the body is allowed to relax it can begin to heal itself, holistic massage can help the body to heal on many levels, the physical, mental and emotional.
Having regular massage treatments can ease minor aches and pains and can help to prevent many common ailments and symptoms of stress such as headaches, insomnia, anxiety, repetitive strain injury, and general fatigue.
I am qualified in Anatomy, Physiology and Holistic Massage, Indian Head Massage, Sports, Pregnancy and Postnatal massage and Massage for Labour. I have also attended Reflexology, Aromatherapy and No-Hands Massage courses so my treatments have evolved over the years to include many aspects of these disciplines, using reflexology points, aromatherapy oils and deep tissue techniques where appropriate.
PREGNANCY MASSAGE and spinning babies
I trained in pregnancy, labour and postnatal massage with the wonderful and inspirational Suzanne Yates who runs Well Mother www.wellmother.org. Suzanne teaches all over the world and is a renowned maternity bodywork tutor.
Blending Shiatsu techniques with Swedish massage, my treatments are specially designed to support you through the physical and emotional demands of pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period. Relaxing and restorative, it can be an excellent treatment for encouraging labour to start and for post-natal recovery. Meridians and shiatsu points are gently worked with thumbs or palms to relax and rebalance the mind and body and to help alleviate certain pregnancy related symptoms.
All pregnant women can expect to experience some discomfort and muscular tension during their pregnancy as their bodies change and adapt to their growing baby. Pregnancy massage treatments can often relieve many of the common side effects of pregnancy, whether you suffer from backache, nausea, headaches, oedema or other pregnancy related problems. Massage increases your feeling of well being by treating you physically and emotionally. It helps to prepare the body for childbirth by releasing excess tension prior to the onset of labour and specific acupressure points can help to prepare the body for labour. Some areas in later pregnancy may need deep tissue massage, this can help to free trapped nerves, oxygenate poorly circulated areas and allows the spine and joints to relax into alignment. With the release of muscular tension there is a calming of the mind, which can lead to a deep state of relaxation.
Working on an emotional level, massage can help to ease fears, pain and anxiety and these problems can also be discussed at your massage appointments. I always book out plenty of time for each client so there is time for a consultation before your massage, this is not only to gather information about your physical health but also to look at any other issues that might need to be discussed. I like to make sure that all my pregnant clients have the information they need to make informed choices in their maternity care and to boost their confidence in their ability to give birth.
Spinning babies - I am now offering an extended massage session that includes spinning babies techniques www.spinningbabies.com. This is for women who are interested in encouraging their babies to move into an optimum position before labour begins or to practice spinning babies ideas and exercises to increase their comfort in pregnancy and labour. I have taken a couple of Spinning Babies workshops with the founder, midwife and researcher Gail Tully, the last being a weekend in Ireland in 2018. I believe that the techniques she has created and learnt from various traditional midwives and body workers can be incredibly useful for pregnant and labouring women. I have used a few of the techniques with some of my doula clients during labour and have had good responses and outcomes. Since attending the workshop this year I now understand the importance of Spinning Babies antenatal activities and am encouraging my massage and doula clients to practise them. Most of them are on Gails super informative website but some people prefer to learn them in person to make sure they are doing them correctly and are choosing the right activity for their situation...
Labour is a very intense and powerful process and much rest and recovery is needed to heal the body. Looking after yourself is very important in the early postnatal months as most women will concentrate on caring for their babies and forget all about themselves! Having massage/shiatsu/reflexology or other treatments where necessary such as acupuncture or cranial osteopathy is important to aid the recovery process. Regular massages will help the body to re-balance emotionally and physically, release muscular tension from the upper body in particular which is overworked from carrying, holding and feeding a baby. The hormone Relaxin that helpfully softens the muscles & ligaments during pregnancy can be present in the body for up to 3 months after birth making your joints vulnerable to strains and stresses. Tension builds up in the lower back as the abdominal muscles are stretched and soft after birth so the muscles in the back are doing all the work of holding the body upright until the abdomen is strengthened again by careful exercise. Meridians and shiatsu points are gently worked with thumbs or palms to relax and rebalance the mind and body, aiding recovery by improving fluid retention, promoting deep relaxation which will leave you with more energy to enjoy looking after your baby!
When booking a postnatal massage please let me know if you will be bringing your baby with you, then I can book out a longer session so we have time to work around feeding and sleeping babies! Some women prefer to bring their newborns with them and we can work on a futon with you in a side lying position if you need to breastfeed during the session. Other women prefer to leave their babies with family members or close friends as they feel they can relax better during a treatment without the distraction or worry of a crying baby. Whatever works for you…
Benefits of Pregnancy & Postnatal Massage include:
Helps to relieve muscular discomfort and improves muscle tone
Stimulates and drains lymphatic system - eliminating toxins and reduces fluid retention
Relaxation - reduces physical tension and calms the nervous system
Relaxes and soothes muscles under extra strain from postural changes
Improves the flow of energy through the body and helps minimise fatigue and depression
Improves circulation and thereby reduces the severity of varicose veins, thread veins and haemorrhoids
Can help to lower blood pressure
Shiatsu techniques can help prepare the body for labour and minimize some pregnancy problems
INDIAN CHAMPISSAGE - INDIAN HEAD MASSAGE
Champissage is a therapy developed by Narendra Mehta, founder of the London Centre of Indian Champissage. It uses elements from the ancient Ayurvedic healing system and combines the physical head, neck and shoulder massage with subtle healing that affects the body`s energy centres by working with the top 3 chakras. This powerful therapy leaves you feeling relaxed, balanced and energised, this relaxing and healing massage works on the upper back, shoulders, arms, neck, head and face. Various techniques are used with a firm and gentle rhythm to help release blockages and relieve physical and emotional tension and stress. It also stimulates the circulation of the scalp which nourishes the hair roots and encourages healthy hair growth and improves concentration.
Indian head massage is well known for relieving long-term ailments such as headaches, eyestrain, sinusitis, insomnia, fatigue and stress. It is often used in the workplace as even short treatments can be very beneficial, especially when given on a regular basis. This therapy is also suitable for pregnant women as small adjustments to the treatment can be made.
Sue works at the Active Birth Centre therapy clinic 2 Sundays a month, near Archway - http://activebirthcentre.com/the-clinic/massage/ and from her home in Islington N5