Understanding massage therapy

Massages are often associated with self-care during stressful times. While they do boost your mood and aid relaxation, making them an effective stress-relieving therapy, massage can also aid recovery from injury. We offer specialist massages that incorporate a range of techniques as part of our holistic approach to physiotherapy. Read on to learn more about massage therapy in Twickenham and how it can benefit you and your body. 

Please bear in mind that although the information and tips in this blog are helpful when thinking about whether massage therapy is right for you, for specific advice and guidance, please contact a physiotherapist for a professional assessment.

What is a Swedish massage?

A Swedish massage is also known as a ‘classic massage’. It offers a host of benefits to your body, including strengthening your immune system and increasing oxygenation of your tissues by as much as 15% through increasing your blood flow. In addition, it can ease insomnia, and alleviate back pain, calf cramps or other types of muscular discomfort. In terms of your mental health, a Swedish massage can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. 

During your Swedish massage, an experienced massage therapist will employ a range of different massage strokes, aimed at reducing muscle tension, relieving stress and aiding overall relaxation. The goal is to ease muscle aches and restore a sense of equilibrium to your body. 

Is a pregnancy massage right for me?

Pregnancy induces a host of changes in a woman’s body, both physical and emotional. A pregnancy massage factors in these changes and is aimed at relieving any pain, discomfort or tension in your body, which may be a result of your pregnancy. For example, many pregnant women experience tired legs, swollen feet, aching lower backs and sciatica-like symptoms.

A pregnancy massage helps stimulate the release of endorphins, as well as other feel-good hormones, including oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin, which can help lift your mood. It also helps relax your muscles and increase your blood circulation, which improves oxygenation of your tissues. 

Pregnancy massages are generally considered safe, however most massage therapists will recommend avoiding a pregnancy massage in the first trimester of your pregnancy or if you have a high-risk pregnancy. 

How can a sports massage help?

A sports massage is a deep tissue massage that’s helpful when training for an event (e.g. preparing for a marathon) or recovering from a sports injury. It usually focuses on a specific area of the body to treat soft tissue and muscle imbalances. 

A sports massage can help release excess muscle tension, increase muscle flexibility and improve the range of motion of your joints. 

If you’re having a sports massage to speed your recovery from an injury, it is recommended that you wait until the acute phase of your injury has passed i.e. usually the first 72 hours when swelling and inflammation are at their worst. 

What to expect during a massage

Before your massage begins, we’ll ask detailed questions about your medical history, lifestyle and health problems. Each session lasts approximately 50 minutes and will not begin until written consent is given. Feel free to ask any questions. You can also choose to suspend your session midway if, for any reason, you do not feel comfortable. 

Who can’t have a massage?

A massage is not recommend for people with:

  • tumours 
  • blood clots
  • abdominal hernia
  • heart disease
  • infectious skin disease, rash or open wounds. 

We also do not recommend a massage immediately after surgery, chemotherapy or radiation, unless recommended by your doctor. 

Get in touch

If you could benefit from massage therapy, we’re here for you. Please feel free to give us a call on 020 8898 1231 to speak to one of our expert staff. We will be happy to answer any of your questions or provide more information on our massage treatments.