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Phone: 07749 224 262

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Before and after your massage


First, is massage suitable for you?


Massage is generally suitable for anyone. There are, however, a few exceptions and cautions:


Massage is totally contraindicated with the following conditions:


  • thrombosis

  • after alcohol consumption

  • for people who have taken recreational drugs


Massage is contraindicated in the acute stage of:


  • kidney stones

  • gout

  • renal failure


Children under 16 require written approval by a parent/carer.


Please alert your practitioner of the following local contraindications:


  • cuts and bruises, radiotherapy sites

  • if you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant

  • cystitis (abdominal massage contraindicated)

  • gouty joints

  • oedema

  • endometriosis (deep abdominal massage contraindicated)

  • prolapse (deep abdominal massage contraindicated)

  • topical preparations applied onto the skin and injection sites

  • contagious skin disorders like athlete's foot

  • catheters or implants


Please inform your practitioner if you are taking any medication, eg. non-steroid anti-inflammotory drugs (NSAIDs) like Ibuprofen or Voltarol, or corticosteroids (Cortisone, Becatide, Prednisolone), opiates or nacotic analgesics or muscle relaxants, any mood-altering medications (antidepressants, tranquillisers or anti-psychotic drugs) or other medication, and if you are suffering from any side-effects.


Please call beforehand if you suffer from one or more of the following conditions. It might be necessary to seek referral from your GP before booking a massage in the following cases:


  • recent major surgery

  • cancer, if in treatment

  • HIV/AIDS if seriously unwell

  • most cardiovascular conditions

  • conditions that are infectious for a certain period during the acute phase, such as pulmonary TB

  • hepatitis and cirrhosis

Before Your Massage


To prepare make sure that you don’t come to your appointment on an empty stomach or after a large meal. Something light to eat in the previous two hours beforehand is ideal. It is also recommended that you wear little or no make-up.


After Your Massage


Drink plenty of water afterwards: it not only helps to keep your skin hydrated, but is also crucial for the condition of the whole body. After a massage, water supports your organs to cope with the increased activity of a stimulated circulation and metabolism, helping to flush out waste products and toxins and to restore water levels. Also try not to do much and take it easy. Rest or sleep if you can if you feel tired, but stop yourself from doing the spring cleaning or such like in case you feel energetic, try to use your energy for your body's healing, and focus on any sensations or altered sensations. This might be warmth or soreness in tight areas, or a feeling of ease where you felt pain before. If you are pain-free or free of symptoms, try to observe how long for and what particular activity, movement or habit sets you off again.


Also, have reasonable expectations: One session of bodywork will not change your life, though you will hopefully enjoy it! You can use it, however, as a supportive tool for you, and for yourself alone. See if massage works for you, be it on its own or in conjunction with other treatments or activities, or even delivered by another person! I am happy to recommend exercises, self-treatment, other treatments or other practitioners that may be suitable for you.


How to make the most out of your massage


Be mindful of sensations. If you find yourself going over your day, resentments, of fantasies for some future happiness, try to return to the present. Tune in as finely as you can to the effect of every stroke of the practioners's hands. Examine how what's happening in your body is reflected in your breath, your sense of warmth, and other bodily sensations. Notice any unnessary tightening. Check for tension in your jaw, your tongue, the space between your eyes; especially pay close attenation to any areas of the back or neck where you are chronically tight.


Find the connections. Can you notice whether your chest relyes a notch as sthe pratitioner works on your neck? Or can you find a perhaps more unexpected connection, like sensation in your right hip when your left shoulder is being massaged?


Use your breath. Your breath can do more than help keep you in the present moment; it can also help get you through some of the moments when bodywork becomes especially physically intense.


"How to make the most out of your massage" is an excerpt from an article written by Timothy McCall on the use of yogic awareness during bodywork. See the full article.


More on why cultivating mindfulness in a massage sensation helps you to get more out of it.


And last but not least: As with other things in life, communication is key! Never suffer in silence, but let me know if something is painful or uncomfortable, or of course also if it feels good :-)