How Massage Works
‘What on earth does HOLISTIC mean?!’
It just means a massage that is perfectly attuned to the WHOLE of you.
When you come for a massage with me at Meadowspace you don’t just receive a massage routine I learned years ago in college and have been churning out ever since.
You receive a treatment that has been carefully tailored to address your physical symptoms (aching muscles, stiff shoulders, difficulty sleeping) as well as your mental and emotional ones (anxiety, stress, difficulty switching off) to create a treatment that is as individual as your mood.
Holistic massage therapists master a wide range of massage techniques from subtle energy work to deep tissue methods; from dynamic mobilisations to gentle holds. I use flexibility, creativity and judgement in applying this knowledge, selecting only those techniques that will do nothing less than meet the needs of your mind, body and soul, every time you come for a treatment.
‘Body hate comes naturally in our society, while body love requires a conscious decision. Make that decision now. Life is way too short to spend it wishing you looked a certain way. The universe is way too powerful and magnificent for you to hate its creation’ – Constance Hall
I believe we are ALL perfect just as we are. Whether our bodies are tall or small, rounded or slender, slight or muscled; each body is exactly where it needs to be right now so let’s start treating our bodies with the respect and love they deserve.
Massage allows us an opportunity to experience the full physical magnificence of our selves without thinking about what we look like to others and can be a useful resource for people who have a complex relationship with their body. Through massage we learn about interconnectedness – how the way we use our fingers affects the way our shoulders feel, how the position of our feet affects our hips and lower back. We learn where we hold our emotional tension and techniques for releasing that tension that allows life to flow more smoothly and easily.
Massage allows us to enter into a deeper understanding of who and what we are and offers a short window of time to experience a profound peace that you can take back with you into day to day life.
Stress. We talk about it so often we barely take it seriously. But we should because spending too much time in the state known as ‘Fight or Flight’ is killing us.
Put strain on our heart leading to heart problems
Suppress our immune system so we get ill more often and more seriously
Slow down digestion leading to IBS and other difficulties
Create sore aching muscles as they are tensed and ready for action
Make us aggressive
Massage can help by applying soothing touch that tells your body ‘All Is Safe’. When our body receives this message it tells our mind to switch into Rest & Repair mode:
- Breathing slows down and deepens
- Heart rate slows down
- Digestion gets moving again removing toxins
- Blood returns to the surface, making skin more radiant
- Our muscles soften and start to release
- Aggression diminishes
- Sleep returns.
Massage for stress relief is soothing and reassuring. You can expect:
- Long strokes
- Gentle kneading
- Supported mobilisations
- Luxurious stretches
- Grounding holds
- Releasing breathwork.
You will be amazed at how easily the body starts to heal itself once it lets go of its stress so don’t be fooled into thinking only deep tissue work can relieve muscular pain!
A one-off massage is always a lovely relaxing treat but if you are going through a big life change, regular massage can act as an important support offering physical and emotional sustenance for difficult times. If you would like to discuss what this might look like, please do contact me for a confidential discussion.
Why do our muscles hurt after exercise? As we work out we use up our energy stores (fat!) and in doing so produce a by-product called lactic acid. This builds up in the muscles and irritates our nerve endings contributing to that feeling of stiffness and soreness.
A good post exercise massage will knead and squeeze the muscles to relieve stiffness, spasm and tightness. We will be hoping to improve fluid circulation so that wastes such as lactic acid are removed and oxygen and nutrients delivered more effectively. We might consider some light massage to interrupt the pain cycle if you are suffering from muscle spasm and bring in some percussive strokes to cause minute contractions in the muscle fibres which can improve muscle tone. Focussed work for sore muscles can be incorporated into a 90 minute full body massage or we can use a 60 minute treatment to focus on specific areas.
Muscle tension is why we have those mysteriously hard painful muscles that have nothing to do with exercise. It starts when we tense up for a physical task or in response to stress but don’t relax completely afterwards. Over time it becomes an unconscious part of us. When muscles are constantly tight, they are working and consuming energy to no good effect. We become tired more easily and our range of movement is restricted.
Massage can help to release some of this tension by gently encouraging muscles to ‘let go’, often through reassuring holds and the long gentle strokes known as ‘effleurage’. Deep tissue work can help release the ‘wrapping’ around the muscle, allowing the muscle to soften and release while passive movements such as shaking, rocking and joint mobilisation may have an effect on resting muscle tone and decrease joint and muscle tension. This work can be incorporated into a 90 minute full body massage or we can use a 60 minute treatment to focus on specific areas.
Pregnancy is a miraculous time in a woman’s life, but it can also be overwhelming and daunting, both physically and mentally. During this time, massage can provide physical comfort and relief, relaxation & reassurance.
During pregnancy the mind-body connection grows deeper affecting both you and your baby. At each appointment we invest time in thinking about what’s going on for you and how your mind, body, soul and environment are changing. We then create a treatment that is perfect for you in that moment.
Symptoms such as:
- Aching shoulders
- Sore ribs
- Stiff neck
- Tight back and buttocks
- Leg cramps
…are all addressed whilst you keep gloriously comfortable in a side lying position supported by a cloud of pillows! I also have a range of oils and waxes if you are nauseous and smells are affecting you…
Because massage can be so beneficial throughout pregnancy I offer a special Pregnancy Package that allows you to have a massage every month, checking in with your body and allowing you to fully experience and own this precious time.
Check out our Pregnancy Package
Long term/Terminal Illness
Being diagnosed with a long-term health condition can be frightening and disorienting. Once you move beyond the initial shock of your diagnosis, there is the job of learning how to cope with the daily stresses of living with your illness.
Everyone is susceptible to the effects of stress. However, living with a long-term condition can make you particularly vulnerable. In addition to the everyday challenges that most people face, chronic illness adds new layers of stressors. For example, you may need to:
- cope with pain or discomfort from your symptoms
- take steps to manage your condition
- adjust to new limitations that your condition puts on your life
- manage increased financial pressures
- cope with feelings of frustration, confusion, or isolation
Massage can provide a safe space where you don’t need to put a brave face on and where we can work together regularly, responding to whatever new demands your condition throws up at that particular point. We may be working to achieve a particular outcome or simply to give you time out to reflect and relax and perhaps to allow your body to feel wonderful for a while. I am happy to work with your care team and consultant to discuss treatments and offer home visits, discounted rates and the option of last minute cancellations (if you are too tired or in pain) for regular clients.
"I have been receiving weekly massage from Jessie to help with the symptoms of Motor Neurone Disease and have found it to be very beneficial. Jessie inspires great confidence as she not only has a thorough knowledge of anatomy but she does her own research into my condition so that I get the best out of each massage. My movement is now very restricted so having muscles worked into is a great way to keep them feeling active and alive and I always feel the benefit afterwards as well as enjoying the treatment and the company."
"As soon as you are in Jessie’s presence you feel well cared for and her massages are beautiful! Jessie is very emotionally aware and genuinely cares for you, ensuring you get the best out of your treatment. I leave feeling energised and in a far better head space, I highly recommend!"
"Utterly relaxing as well as stimulating! Afterwards in my bath I rolled over onto my front and blew bubbles in the water – something I haven’t done since childhood…such a playful feeling was an unexpected bonus!"
"Massage with Jess gives me a safe place to relax, feel held, nourished and cared for in many different circumstances. I have worked through physical symptoms such as painful shoulders and carpal tunnel with her, found myself uplifted after she has worked deeply on long held areas of tension and have even found myself spontaneously crying mid massage as something ‘released’. It felt safe to express myself and Jess’s calm acceptance left me feeling looked after and comfortable after which I went home and slept better than I had done in ages."
"My partner bought me an hour massage with Jess as a birthday gift. It was a full body massage aimed at relaxation. My job involves a lot of physical work, lifting, carrying & walking and the muscles get tight and knotted. After the massage I found all muscular tension had been released and I had the best night's sleep for a long while. I would highly recommend Jess to anyone as a massage therapist."