Massage – Hastings & St Leonards East Sussex
Reduce Pain and Promote Self Healing
“Thank you for the treatments you provided. I came a few times when I was feeling low and your massages helped immensely. But it was the added kindness and care that came with it which made such a difference.” – D Mahoney, St Leonards
“Supportive touch leads to less pain.” – Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins 2019
Safe, satisfying and pleasing touch is a useful part of self care, prevention, and recovery from many major health issues. A wide range of different massage and touch-based modalities can bring relief, and are shown to have beneficial effects on stress, immune system function, depression and pain. This is understandable, because touch is our most fundamental sense. Our fascia in particular is rich in nerves, and we receive more sensory information coming up from inside our bodies than we receive from our eyes, ears and skin put together.
I received many years of training in Eastern modalities such as shiatsu and Thai massage, as well as Western modalities, including deep tissue and sports/remedial massage. These approaches taught me how to work rhythmically and fluidly, how to follow energy lines, and how to provide treatments during injury and recovery. Below is a list of the types of massage I provide. Check out my website dedicated to massage if you’d like to see more on the different styles before deciding which one to opt for:
Massage treatments available
Thai Yoga/Traditional Thai Massage
This treatment is given through loose, flexible clothing, and you lie on a futon mat on the floor, with pillows for support. It can be tailored to suit you, with a focus on energy lines, stretches, rocking, and deeper or lighter pressure as you prefer. And yes – I will walk on your back in the traditional way, if you like!
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage is usually given with you lying on the massage couch, covered in warm towels. Then oil is applied directly to your skin to massage each area in turn. ‘Deep tissue’ simply means that we are targeting the layers of tissue below the most superficial layer. The treatment itself can be as deep or as light as you prefer.
Sports & Remedial Massage
Not just for athletes – cyclists, gym-goers, runners and personal trainers love this, but anyone can receive a sports/remedial massage. Useful if you have an injury or persistent pain. Similar to deep tissue but with extra focus on areas you’re particularly concerned to treat.
A slow, deep or light treatment performed mainly directly on skin but without oil. Great for calming your whole system and for soothing general discomfort.
Thai-style, through loose flexible clothing, on the futon mat, with cushions and bolsters for support. Mainly offered in side-lying positions. Great for general aches, and to feed those extra happy hormones to your growing baby!
General massage with oils, or a combination of any of the above styles to suit you.
A full body oil-based massage using an effective natural formula of essential oils, herbal extracts and honey to provide relief for stiff, aching or fatigued muscles and joints. Ingredients include clove, eucalyptus, camphor, calendula, St John’s wort and rosemary in a base of shea butter, sweet almond, olive, apricot kernel and aloe.
Light touch embodied healing
Gentle, calming, ‘non-doing’ touch to allow your nervous system to settle. Studies show this approach can speed recovery time after illness or surgery, and boosts immune system function.
Book a treatment – all treatments £60 per hour
Which type of massage should I choose?
To begin with, I suggest simply choosing the type of massage you feel is most likely to be pleasing to you, whether you prefer deep, moderate or light pressure, through clothing or with oils. Sooner or later you might be open to experiencing other approaches – our systems love variety and novelty! But it’s good to start with what you really want. If you’re unsure, drop me a line to discuss.
All types of massage can produce wonderful results under the right conditions, and I regularly combine a variety of techniques so that the treatment is tailored to your body and your preferences. Many people like strong, deep massage, which can be an immediate pain reliever. It’s likely that deeper touch treatments will also create some healthy fluid exchange in the localised area: more oxygen, glucose etc into cells, and more waste products such as metabolites out. Touch changes the neurological signalling, which means the tension levels in your body may change and optimise, and deeper touch will also nudge the tissues a little.
But there’s no benefit to be had from treatment that causes either pain or discomfort. You might get a flood of endorphins – the body’s natural painkiller and happy hormone – so you’d be on a short term high, but painful treatment won’t be of lasting benefit, and could make you feel worse in the long run.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that although each massage lineage has its own system, theory and protocol, there’s little evidence to support the old theories (which most massage practitioners were taught, including me!) that we can somehow fix your body and your pain by ‘breaking down’ stuck tissues, or ‘separating’ adhesions. I often say to my massage students, if it really worked like that, you’d be changing the condition of your tissues every time you sat down on a hard surface! We now know that the condition of your tissues alone is very rarely a reason for recurring pain.
Whatever modality I’m using, my premise is primarily science based:
Touch works by changing the neuro-immune representation in your brain. Pain and other protective mechanisms such as inflammation, stress, fatigue etc, are signals that emerge when your brain decides something is unsafe. Through supportive, pleasing touch, our body is represented in new, safe ways. When we create new experiences of our body we can encourage more health, more positive outputs, and more experience of well-being.
It’s as simple, elegant and profound as that.