Essential Feeling

grief therapy experience
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Charlton massage therapist Essential Feeling

Grief therapy experience

Our healing grief therapy experience will help you when you’re feeling low. And sad. It’s generally a full body Swedish massage during which your therapist will use long, smooth massage strokes to relieve tension and improve the circulation of blood in the muscles near the surface of your skin. This is a great way to help you pick up your emotional pieces following a bereavement while you’re suffering from the effects of grief and loss. Read on to understand why and how.

Charlie Botha ITEC

Your ITEC qualified massage therapist

grief therapy experience

Questions & Answers


Why this?

When we’re sad and mourning, we move little. When you book a grief therapy experience with Essential Feeling, we’re working with the physical effects of your emotional pain. For instance, this technique will help you to solve some of the physical illnesses that manifest as a result of us not being so mobile. All while giving you the opportunity to talk in a safe environment if you choose. It’s your choice, if you want to get away from it all, then this is also your time to switch off and drift to another place. This therapy is about you. It’s all your choice.


What massage therapy techniques will you use in my grief therapy experience?

Predominantly we’ll use Swedish massage, but we are likely to also combine some Balinese massage into your grief therapy experience. This therapy technique rolls and kneads to freshen your blood flow. We may also add in some techniques from shiatsu (stimulating pressure points) to focus on releasing knotty tissue. We could also use a gentle stretching techniques to stimulate while soothing your skin. Depending on what you need, we could tie in some lymphatic drainage techniques to stimulate your lymphatic system (remove toxins and water retention) and promote your blood circulation and thus oxygen around your body.

Your therapist could also use a fairly deep pressure during your massage to work on the tissue of the deep knots and muscle damage that could have developed through lack of mobility.

The end result is one of happiness, calm and deep relaxation.


How long does the grief therapy experience take?

Because this massage includes many elements, it is important to leave enough time. That’s why the minimum time is two hours, which includes 15 minutes to relax in the room after the end. Massage can release emotions associated with our grief which we’ve locked away and allows them to leave us, so having a massage while you’re suffering from a bereavement can be quite an emotional experience, However, once you’ve processed these feelings, you’ll notice that sure, you’re still grieving, it doesn’t just stop, but you’ll find yourself more able to immerse yourself in the most relaxed and consistent feelings of release. This is why we allow you the fifteen minutes at the end of this massage therapy session.


What are the seven stages of grief?

The seven stages of grief, we believe help you to guide you back to a quiet place of happiness because as you pass from one phase to another; you know that you’re making progress. You can read more about the stages of grief, here.

Shock and amazement at their death
You can not believe and somehow are numb to pain which can lead to guilt as you feel you should feel more. This is the way your body cleverly protects you from what would otherwise overwhelm and is a valid part of the grief process.

You may also lack confidence emotionally, but physically it’s not uncommon to experience dizziness and nausea. After a while, we establish that our loved one is gone (note this is not accepting it, just acknowledging it). This is when other emotions and feelings appear.

Whether it’s someone else’s death or a relationship, this is uncharted terrain and it’s not unusual for one loss to catapult the way we grieve more (or less) than others because every relationship we have with people is unique.

Denial of your loved one’s death
This does not mean that you deny the event or your bereavement. You may know that someone died, but you can’t bring yourself to understand this emotionally. You’ll constantly be looking at the door or going to text them etc.

You may just flat out deny that your loved one is dead. And this is also a normal part of the grief process. At all stages of grieving, we can present grief in many ways.

You may experience a lot of emotions under the surface that you can’t admit openly. The rejection of a death can make us feel can take quite a while until you feel ready to move on the next stage.

We can derive your feelings of denial at your loss from a lack of understanding about how the death happened, so there are things you can do to help yourself more realistic and move through this stage. Record your way through painful sensations by writing how you feel while being bereaved and what you are thinking. Your frustrations can help you understand your loss.

Guilt can occur within the bereavement process if a person regrets something they’ve not said or if you what you don’t have. We can get the sense that we didn’t make enough effort with the person when they were alive. This part of bereavement stems from a desire to have them come back again and again so we can live something differently.

Ultimately, this part of grief may lead to thinking that their death is your mistake. Your mind does not determine logical or illogical sensations. We are trying to make sense of something that is difficult to handle in the complex process of pain.

During this time of grieving, life can feel very scary and confusing. Bereavement inevitably brings with it a lot of stress.

Anger and negotiation
Anger is a genuine part of the bereavement process. Losses turn into feelings of doubt which turn into frustration and anger. The idea of “why this is happening to me?” is common. In addition, you can become angry with people who have nothing to do with this situation. Acknowledge this as being part of the grief you’re suffering with and apologise for any outbursts.

This is often a time in your grief process when you’re full of reflection. It’s common to negotiate losses with whoever is out there that we speak to. It’s all a way for us to try to reverse this death and our subsequent grief. When it doesn’t work, this is where we end up feeling angry.

Finding a healthy way to deal with your anger is the key to overcoming this phase in the grief process. Facing the situation that makes you angry will help you take back some control which is important because once you master this, you really can take positive steps in dealing with the bereavement surrounding your loss. If you’re in this stage, we’d recommend that when you have the grief therapy experience, you choose to talk to the therapist without holding back. This is your safe place to discuss your grief in a private, non-confrontational environment.

Depression, Loneliness, Reflection
You might felt more able to accept the loss but you’re still not able to cope with your grief. One of the most difficult emotions is feeling alone. However, loneliness can be accompanied by feelings of depression, so watch out for it. It may float in and out, leaving you wanting to be totally isolated, while being overwhelmed with what is ahead.

This is normal.

Use this time to reflect on your joint pasts. Smile, because this is the first sign of acceptance. You are opening yourself up to a new, adjusted situation and putting your grief, not your loved one, behind you.

This is a natural stage of grief so don’t let well-meaning outsiders talk you out of it. Their inclination is to make you feel better right away. And while that’s well-intentioned, moving through these feelings will assist you in shifting towards peace.

However, do not take this that it’s okay to wallow. It’s not. You need to be actively moving through this process. Don’t allow it to swallow you up. Being active helps!

Reconstruction and Working Through Your Grief
As time goes on, you’ll be able to be more functional. Your mind will wake up a little. These are good signs. You’ll still carry your sadness with you, your anger will resurface as will some depression, guilt and anything else you’ve transitioned through. But, your mind will be clearer and you’ll be more able to look ahead as you take the first tentative steps into a normal, if not adjusted, life.

You will begin to look at how you can move forward from the stages in the grieving process. You could start to deal with financial and practical issues that you’ve kept on the back burner. You may book sessions with Essential Feeling because you’re taking back control of your life. And this is when you’ll move into the last stage of the grieving process.

This is when you’ll finally feel ready to cope with your loss. You won’t be “be over it”, but you’ll feel okay again. What happens at this stage is that you put the grief behind you, but not your loved one. You’ll think about the person who died, you’ll be able to talk about them and have them on your mind without that incredible debilitating pain.

This is where you’ll dare to hope. You’ve accepted life won’t be the same again, but it goes on. You’ll finally have found that sense of peace and happiness.

7 Stages of Grief: Final Thoughts
There is no right or wrong way to experience and work grief. You might skip through some of these stages and bounce around in the next for longer than you expect. But, the key thing is to acknowledge where you are on your path to healing. And to accept it.

You may also experience the stages of grief in a different order. Or, particularly with a prolonged illness, perhaps you’ve done your first stage of grief during the diagnosis and caring path. The key thing to note is that this is your experience, and you need to work through it in the way that is best for you to end up at the acceptance stage in the best possible way.

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Is there a consultation process before I start the grief therapy?

Yes. All our sessions have a full consultation. Before your grief therapy session you’ll need to complete and return a consultation form and then we’ll discuss this with you, as well as some of the details surrounding your bereavement, before you start your massage therapy session.

This is the time to tell us if you don’t want any part of the massage styles mentioned above so that your therapist knows that you for example don’t want any deep tissue therapy work done. You can always change your mind during your massage.


How long does mourning last?

Everyone is different in how they deal with grief. As we’ve discussed above, people deal with this in a truly personal way. After twelve months, you may still feel as though everything happened only yesterday. Or it could feel like a lifetime ago. The two could be intertwined. This is your process and it’s important to accept that your road will take as long as is right for you.


Does counselling really help?

The issue with answering this question is that counselling, and therapy of any kind, is such a personal experience, because grief is personal. For you who is going through the feelings associated with bereavement, but also for your grief counsellor. That’s why, in this therapy session we allow you to speak if you choose, or if you’d prefer to keep your thoughts to yourself and enjoy some escapism, we’re not going to push you.

Researchers of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have noted that talk therapy works anywhere between 4% to 60%. At Essential Feeling, we think this is because as we’ve discussed above, your journey is totally unique. What works for you may not work for someone else because their experiences of grief are different.

You should decide whether counselling will help you. But, if you’re in the midst of depression, take heed on our note about wallowing. If it’s time to get up and flush off the negativity so you can move through to the next stage of the grief experience, then grasp that by both hands and allow someone to help you in a private environment. We’re here for you.

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How long does the grief therapy experience take?

It’s a 2 hour minimum session for the reasons described above. You may book using the booking system below, or if you would prefer to speak to us, text us in the first instance on 07941 668456 and we’ll come back to you as soon as we are able. For more information on our other therapies to ease your bereavement process, click back here.


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Want an appointment today?

If you would like to book a last-minute appointment, please text us on 07757 946023 and we’ll try our best to sort something out within 24 hours.

Once you book

We’ll send over everything you need including consultation form and directions.

We have free off street parking directly outside our treatment rooms.

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14:47 20 May 22
Had a cluster of Radio Frequency sessions with Charlton. Charlton was amazing, attentive, caring and always smiling 😃I... highly recommend having the radio Frequency sessions my skin feels firm and I am very pleased with the results . Thank you 🤗read more
Yasir Khan
Yasir Khan
12:37 14 May 22
I have had a few ultrasonic deep cavitation with Charlston. He is wonderful. He talks you through the process.... Constantly asks how the temperature is of the ultrasonic and adjusts accordingly. I would recommend this for a more even natural appearance post liposuction. My skin now appears more more
Blakduchess Raynes
Blakduchess Raynes
12:46 18 Apr 22
Visited for the first time and had Charlton give me a deep tissue massage. All I can say is wow!!! My disc bulge feels... completely healed and I have tried so many different treatments for it in the last year. I feel so much better than I have in ages. I will be back next month as this is something that I will incorporate regularly for my health and well being. I will definitely be recommending to all my friends and family. Very professional, relaxing and clean environment and Charlton explained everything. Perfect 10/10 more
Kavita Bhakar
Kavita Bhakar
20:03 25 Feb 22
Karen was amazing right from the start, always knew what she was doing and never rushed a session. She was flexible to... meet me early in the morning before work and always had a smile on her face! Without her my swelling would not have reduced so quickly. Thanks Karen!read more
Belinda Jobs
Belinda Jobs
17:06 25 Feb 22
Charlie gave me an MLD massage after having liposuction on my legs a few weeks ago. Not only is he exceptionally... professional and experienced but he is also super friendly and put me at ease immediately. I will return and see him if further sessions are more
Christine Langan
Christine Langan
17:08 15 Nov 21
I was very apprehensive as had a mastectomy 4 years ago. Charlton was very understanding and instantly put me at ease.... He took the time to explain to me what he was doing and why. The rooms are spotlessly clean. Always respond quickly and will try to accommodate the day/time you more
Matthew Hassell
Matthew Hassell
13:38 27 Oct 21
Superb sports massage and service. Would highly recommend to everyone. My mum gets massages done regularly here and... they’re always well priced and definitely do the job!read more
Maria Martinez
Maria Martinez
18:03 26 Oct 21
Been visiting Essential Feeling for a few years now. Charlton helped to rehab my shoulder post rotater cuff surgery but... in general I have deep tissue massages. I always leave feeling light and brand new. Highly more
Daniel Berkoh-Gyamfi
Daniel Berkoh-Gyamfi
09:14 26 Oct 21
I cancelled my appointment due to illness and I was expecting to receive a refund almost four weeks ago and no refund... issued. Don't waste time calling they don't answer their phone. I understand their services are good. However, very poor customer more
Ellis Evans
Ellis Evans
18:35 28 Aug 21
I came to see Karen after booking in for a double massage for myself and my partner (he's had massages before, I... haven't) and am amazed at how much of difference one session has made already. Karen and Charlton made us feel comfortable immediately and were both so friendly and warm. They were professional throughout and dealt with both our needs separately. We're both keen to visit again.Both obviously very skilled at what they do.Highly more
Adebimpe Bodunrin
Adebimpe Bodunrin
17:27 16 Jul 21
Following my liposuction and tummy tuck surgery, I had lymphatic drainage and deep tissue massages at Essential... Feelings. Charlie was very professional, made me feel relaxed and knowledgeable about what I need to help with healing after surgery. He was very helpful, flexible and a good communicator. I would recommend them for anyone requiring post surgery massages and will go back for other types of massages. Thank you Charlie and more
Dana Caushi
Dana Caushi
19:09 12 Jul 21
I've had a few reflexology sessions with Karen so far this year, and a few sessions in my previous pregnancy. Also a... few massages. Both Karen and Charlton are very friendly and professional. Karen is very knowledgeable and give lots of helpful advice. The place is very cozy/clean and in current situation they are able to meet Covid restrictions. Even my husband went to get a massage. Highly more
Emma Hancock
Emma Hancock
08:29 07 Jul 21
I have always wanted to try reflexology but usually opted for massage instead. However, now I've experienced two... reflexology sessions with Karen, I think I'm a convert! Both sessions have left me feeling calm, restored and well rested. I also had to change the time of my first session and Karen reponded really quickly and was happy to adjust it. I'm really happy with the service and am definitely going to be a new regular more
Manpreet Kaur
Manpreet Kaur
15:23 14 Jun 21
I’ve always been skeptical of massages and whether I’m receiving one that’s beneficial for my body as well as worth the... money. I have to say I wish I could give more than 5 stars because Essential Feeling is hands down one of the best massage treatments I have received as well as worth the money. Being currently pregnant too, I was worried that I would be in more pain after the massage however Charlton ensured that my deep tissue massage was tailored to my needs as well as helped with any stiffness and back pain I was experiencing. Karen was also super helpful during my reflexology massage, ensuring that I was relaxed and bought a lot of the swelling in my feet down. My mother also had a deep tissue massage from Charlton who again tailored it to her needs as she has a bad lower back as well as a lovely reflexology massage from Karen. Me and my mum felt that both massage therapists are very professional and solely cater to the needs of the client. They are both also very knowledgeable in the massages they deliver as well as any issues a person has individually with their body. Absolutely wonderful service and wonderful massages! Will definitely be making a return!read more
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