Massage therapies v’s beauty school massage.

Massage therapies v’s beauty school massage.

Woman lying on front covered with towel while Charlton, the therapist at Essential Feeling massages her shoulder

It's amazing how often people visit us for the first time who have had a massage before and leave with a parting comment like 'I didn't realise this is what proper massage therapies were.'

The issue is that these clients have been to therapists who have received different training from ITEC qualified massage therapists.

Let's be clear, we're not knocking they type of massage that they learn at beauty college, we're just saying there is a difference that's all. And the difference is because all we, as professional massage therapists specialise in is healing your body through physical touch, whereas the focus for beauticians is more varied.

So if you go to a salon for a massage, your therapist will often use the same strokes in the same pattern. Your massage is purely for relaxation and so the format will usually be the same from one client to the next. In this instance there is no need for practitioners to mix up techniques during your treatment. They're not there to deal with muscle pain or sports therapy in treatments. As a result they'll usually use Swedish massages with a light pressure which don't work deep tissue or focus on health beyond relaxation.

There is a lot to be said for that to be fair and linked to releasing mental tension and even a little anxiety, beauticians are more likely to add aromatherapy/ essential oils or hot stone work on your muscles.

The cost of these massage therapies is usually less, often considerably less, than we would charge for a massage at Essential Feeling. This isn't because we are ripping you off, it's simply because we have a much greater level of expertise in how the body will respond to the different types and styles of pressure to achieve your desired treatment outcome.

Similarities between the two styles of massage therapies

Both can be relaxing, although deep tissue massage isn't always so until after the treatment ends. However, generally, both are done on a massage couch or table.

General benefits of massage

Increases blood flow (circulation) and thus oxygen around your body

Reduces mental stress by giving you some much needed you time to relax

Can improve muscular discomfort

May improve or give relief from pregnancy associated aches and conditions

A traditional complementary therapy based on rhythmic movements

Great gifts for friends and relatives including couples

Can promote improved sleep and reduce symptoms of insomnia

What is the point of your advanced massage techniques if I can get all the above for less money?

We've broken down some of our most popular massage therapies below so you can see the effects each can have on various ailments.

Deep tissue/ sports massage

Deep pressure often including kneading of tight muscles breaks down injury sights and promotes self healing. It's often useful where you have physical injuries that clinical physio just can't touch. You may experience some soreness after your session but this is only minor and temporary compared to the longer term results.

Swedish massage

Sure, we've said that beauticians learn this, but on top of their knowledge we have expertise in how the muscles lie under the surface of the skin. This means we can elevate the service we provide by using specific strokes and patterns in an active and firm way to ease pain in muscles and joints. We go over and above using effleurage to gently add healing outcomes to your unique massage.

Pregnancy massage

Prenatal care is important for both mother and baby. An easy and happy pregnancy means a much happier new born. During this massage you will lay on your side and your qualified pregnancy massage therapist will work you from behind whilst you're comfortably propped up on pillows and cushions.

Fertility massage

We've seen how massage can improve blood flow, lymph flow and oxygen distribution above. Here we take this one step further to provide maximum nutrients to the all important area of your abdomen and ultimately uterus. We may also add in some myofascial release as described below to ease away any scar tissue which may impede fertility.

Lymphatic drainage

Manual lymphatic drainage, or MLD as it is often known is designed to treat swelling. Often this is post-operative, including liposuction and we are affiliated with London's Harley Body Clinic to improve their patient's conditions post surgery. This is one of the lightest massage therapies practised as it is used to work the lymphatic system (vessels nodes and ducts) to drain fluid, rather than break down muscle fibres.

Myofascial release

Effective on scar tissue, your practitioner will use controlled pressure applied in a slow stretching motion to soften and ease the sticky layers of fascia. This is particularly effective when you have had surgery and want to avoid the raised bump associated with scarring.

Reflexology

Often known as a foot massage, reflexology is so much more. We use acupressure on your feet to restore homeostasis, or balance in your system and organs. It's a great way to have a general once over. It's also possible to work with specific chronic conditions such as anxiety, depression or fertility to trigger your body's natural healing response.

Indian head massage

Working your head, neck and shoulders, this is a fully clothed massage technique that eases emotional strain whilst dealing with the associated physical responses. This can be great if you suffer from regular migraines, osteoarthritis of your jaw or psychological strains. The practice goes beyond what you see being given upright on a chair in a shopping centre.

Reiki

Whilst not strictly bodywork, reiki is something we offer at Essential Feeling and so we though we should include it here under massage therapies. You may book a session alone, but to be honest, whichever one of our massage therapies you choose, you'll more than likely get a bit of energy healing thrown in for free. It's just what we do.

Mobilisation techniques

Essentially this is Thai massage which seeks to improve mobility performance through a number of assisted stretches. However, we don't advertise this because we get way too many calls from people expecting mobilisation of a different part of their body to the joints we're used to working whilst you remain fully clothed! The massage technique should not be undervalued though as a result of its bad rep. It can be an amazing way to see improvements in knots. The flowing movements complement a traditional massage helping you to have a fully rounded end result.

Essential Feeling are based in Gidea Park, Romford, Essex. We are open 7 days a week for appointments which you can book online and attend between the hours of 7am and 10pm. You'll enjoy free off street parking right outside our professional treatment rooms