We Are Open!

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Lockdown has now been relaxed enough and massage therapists have been given the green light to return to work. Therefore, we are now ready to make appointments. There will be some changes in the process both before and during each session, to help ensure both yours and our safety. Before you leave your home, please check your temperature, and consider if you are experiencing any Covid-19 symptoms: – Dry persistent cough Temperature over 37.8° Centigrade Lack of taste or smell If yes to any of those questions, please postpone or cancel your appointment. If you are a first-time client, your pre-session consultation will now take place via the phone or video-conferencing – rather than face to face. And/or a consultation form emailed for completion prior to the visit. If you are an existing client there will be a short update consultation – to see how you have been since pre lockdown and whether you have any Covid-19 issues. Also, via phone or video conferencing. There will also be a consent form to complete regarding exposure to Covid-19. If you are considered a high-risk client, it may not be possible to massage you at this time. (If appropriate, add list of high risks for the client to see). All consultation & consent documents can be signed & brought on the day or emailed beforehand. Please bring you own pen if you need one (and you will!). Please also bring your own water – so we do not use any glassware. Please wear easy to remove clothes. You will be given a container in which to put them when you undress. Please avoid wearing jewellery as this makes the process simpler. When you arrive, you will be required to put on a mask (unless you are arriving wearing your own), take off your shoes, wash your hands (drying them with paper towels) – and walk into the practice room without touching anything. If there are soft furnishings in the practice room, they will be covered by couch roll. Cushions and soft furnishings will have been removed. The massage table will have been thoroughly disinfected. The linens are all clean, and you will be encouraged to wear a mask. The therapist will be using personal protective equipment – until the requirement relaxes. The apron may be replaced with a button up top, but they will wear gloves, mask and a visor. Being massaged in gloves is not unpleasant – you will barely feel it. (This might change as the situation regarding use of PPE is fluid). The massage will continue as per usual, though we would recommend not chatting to avoid droplet formation. When the massage is over, please leave all the linens and towels on the table. Please do not help fold them. Put your clothes back on and exit again without touching anything. You may also wish to use the bathroom and wash your hands before you put your shoes back on. Please leave with your mask on (if your own), or put any disposable masks in the pedal bin provided next to the door. Payment ideally should be made prior to the appointment via Direct Transfer or PayPal to avoid touching card machines or money. There will be an approximate 30-minute gap between clients, to enable disinfection of the practice space, therapy table and equipment, hallways and bathrooms etc, with enough time to dry and take effect.

We are temporarily closed

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Following advice by the government and our professional bodies, we are currently sadly closed for face to face, hands-on treatment. We are waiting to hear from the relevant authorities when it will be possible to re-open, and what form this may take.Meanwhile, you can still call us for self-massage advice, and we are also putting out some little videos you can use to massage the people in your household. Marilla is also running Feldenkrais sessions remotely, which is working really well. Gift vouchers are still available and will be valid for a period of six months from when we open again. The same applies to any gift vouchers that were valid on 17th March. Our therapists are doing well in their various lockdown locations. Some had to take up other jobs whilst the restrictions are on, others are taking some online courses, or are even putting on some online courses 😉We are certainly spending much more time in front of the computer, as the rest of the population. Self-care is more important then ever now, as well as sticking to some routines. Nothing can beat a good, hands-on treatment though, and cannot wait to be able to get treatment ourselves!Keep an eye out for our newsletter, and check in on facebook to see what we are up to.We would love to hear from you, be it by email, phone or on social media. Stay in touch, and we hope to see you soon! Much love,Eva & the Therapy Room Team

Three great ancient healing techniques combined

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Are you a fan of Shiatsu but also would like a massage with oil once in a while? Would you like to immerse yourself into the melting feeling of a hot stones treatment? Or maybe just want to try something new and unique? Then this may well be for you – you can now have all three treatments in one session! Find out more …

Massage for a Good Night’s Sleep

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Although most of us recognise the importance of a good night’s sleep, we may not be fully aware of quite how crucial a regular and deep sleeping pattern is to our overall health and well being. On a physical level, sleep gives our body a chance to ‘rest & repair’, it enables tissue regeneration and cellular growth to occur as well as the cleansing and elimination of toxins. Effects of poor sleep can include accelerating ageing, memory loss, weakening of the immune system, and it can also be a contributing factor towards weight gain. Clearly, sleep is a very important ingredient for our overall health. It is also well known that sleep and stress are inversely related. Also, they tend to reinforce each other in a vicious cycle. The worse we sleep, the more likely we are to become stressed, and the more stressed we become, the more difficult we will find it to sleep! Thankfully, as we will see, massage can help us deal with both problems together. Stress affects the body and mind and some outward signs of stress include tense muscles and poor posture. So, if stress and tension are the reasons why you are not sleeping very well, you might be relieved to know that some of the benefits of massage are the relaxing of muscles, improved posture and improved sleep patterns. Also, positive feelings and mood may be enhanced. When you have a massage, the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, and this allows your body to relax. Of course, there are other causes of poor sleep in addition to stress. A very common sleep disorder is that of insomnia. The consequences of insomnia on your health include loss of concentration and decision-making abilities. It can cause irritability and emotional instability. Insomnia is often associated with a lack of serotonin. Serotonin is our ‘happy hormone’ which influences our well being. Serotonin plays a role in mood, behaviour, body temperature, physical coordination, appetite and sleep. One study has shown that massage therapy can help to boost serotonin levels by up to up 28 per cent. In addition, massage can trigger melatonin, our ‘sleep-inducing hormone’ which increases with the darkness of the night. Here is an interesting article about the efficiency of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (including massage) in treating sleep disturbances. Overall then, one can say that massage is an excellent natural remedy that helps restore balance so that the rhythms of your life ebb and flow in a more natural pattern. Of course, massage alone may not be the only answer to finding a good night’s sleep. For a handy list of Top Tips For Good Sleep head over to the website of nutritional therapist and health coach Clare Shepherd (Note, the post says top tips for a good sleep during menopause but actually most of the tips hold good for anyone!) In addition to those tips you might also wish to explore the practise of Yoga Nidra, translated as Yogic Sleep. This is a form of deep, guided relaxation and though ideally you shouldn’t fall asleep during the practise itself, it can help to prepare you for a good night of sleep as this article reveals. Here is a nice Yoga Nidra recorded by Jo of Yoga Nature Sheffield: If you are interested in finding out more about what sleep is good for and how massage, breathing and other things can help with sleep, come along to one of our Sleep Well workshops at The Therapy Room…

Detox and cleanse from the inside out: Strategies for general health

The silent system blog post

I first came across the lymph system when I studying Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology in 2006. Quite frankly, it drove me to despair. The more I read about it, the more complicated it seemed to get! That’s probably what’s driven me to wanting to understand more about it, and to eventually learn a massage technique called “manual lymphatic drainage”. Here’s an attempt to describe the lymph system and the benefit of manual lymphatic drainage as simply as I can: All of our body systems are equally important, but whilst most people know about the cardiovascular system, the nervous, immune or the digestive system, there is one that is very little known and seems to be going a little bit in and out of fashion. The lymph system is an amazingly complex system,  that quietly works away in the background. It is intricately linked with every other body system:  Along with the circulatory system, it forms part of the cardiovascular system. You may be aware that we are about 60% watery fluid (this varies depending on age, gender, height to weight ratio, and so on) – what’s blood in the blood vessels, is very similar to the interstitial fluid that bathes cells outside blood vessels, and to the lymph inside the lymph vessels. It’s where the fluid is, and also some key components, what determines the name of this constantly circulated and recycled fluid. In the case of lymph, there is a high number of different types of lymphocytes –natural  killer cells, T-cells and B-cells (lymphocytes are also found in blood, where they are part of the “white blood cells”). The cleansing and filtering of lymph is mainly done in the lymph nodes. The lymph nodes will also produce more lymphocytes when viruses, bacteria and foreign invaders are detected – this is when lymph nodes (also called lymph glands) swell up. In this way, the lymph system is the first line of defense of the body. The lymph system can be found everywhere, starting with the tiniest vessels starting directly under the skin, to larger lymph vessels and ducts in the body, as well as comprising organs like the thymus gland, tonsils, and spleen.  There are even lymph vessels that help drain the brain –the brain needs clearing and cleansing just as the rest of our body, and the network of lymph vessels in the meninges has been termed “glymphatic” system. As we’ve said above, its main task is to cleanse the body of, so-called “toxins” (often just bi-products of cell life), and proteins which are too big to be picked up by the venous system. This means that, when it works efficiently, the tissues which are bathed in interstitial fluid get an optimum of nutrients and oxygen (the “good stuff”) and what’s not needed, gets transported away. It is also crucial for the balance of body fluids. If this system is not working properly or gets blocked, this means also that nutrients and oxygen brought by the blood vessels does not get to the cells quite so easily, there is a murky concoction of stuff that should not be there in the first place. Imagine you are swimming or rowing to an island in the middle of a lake filled with rubbish, debris and algae– that will take a little while longer than making your way through nice, clear, oxygenated water, apart from being a whole lot more unpleasant. You can imagine what effect this can have on the body in terms of lack of energy and fatigue. Certain types of headaches and migraines, sinus problems, general muscles soreness, fibromyalgia and ME, skin problems and susceptibility to colds, and many more conditions and symptoms are being attributed to a clogged up lymph system. This is not surprising, as it is nowadays thought that inflammation is the cause of many conditions. With the lymph system playing a crucial role in combating inflammation, it makes sense to look after it. Swelling in pregnancy, and after injury or surgery, and lymphoedema can  be attributed to sluggishness, overload, or in the case of lymphoedema, to an impaired lymph system. There are many different ways to support the lymphatic system. The most important one is movement – immobility is the worst for the lymph system, because the lymph vessels mainly rely on muscle action to squeeze them and thus pump lymph fluid. Deep diaphragmatic breathing helps as well, by creating what is called “Venturi effect”, where changes in intra-thoracic pressure help draw lymph through the vessels. Rebounding is an excellent way to get the lymph going, especially the phase where you are suspended in the air!  You will be glad to hear that sleep is important too for the cleansing of the brain and growth of “synaptic pruning”.  In terms of massage, manual lymph drainage is geared solely to accelerate the “lymph pump” on all parts of the body. Manual Lymphatic Drainage: The gentle giant of therapies Less is more when it comes to the gentlest of therapies, manual lymphatic drainage (MLD). Yes, the name is not terribly enticing and people often think it’s forceful, invasive or somehow related to plumbing. The latter is not so far fetched, but  MLD is so gentle, that one client has likened it to “butterfly kisses” which is much nicer. The therapist uses gentle, rhythmical strokes, which are applied directly on dry skin (ie no oils are used), to increase the speed and flow of lymph fluid. This is done by opening up the initial lymphatic vessels which are under the skin and constitute 60% of lymphatic vessels. Once the fluid is in there, it pushes into the bigger vessels and enters a one-way, valve protected system. Too much pressure closes the initial lymph vessels, hence why it has to be very gentle. The strokes are quite specific and in the direction of lymph nodes, which all have their own areas that the lymph drains to. That is why a therapist needs to work within so-called “watersheds” to efficiently …