Massage therapies v’s beauty school massage.

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.


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.


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

Looking for Lymphatic drainage Essex? Stop.

If you're looking for lymphatic drainage Essex, whether this be for post surgery healing or general localised swelling, then look no further. You have found your place. Not only are Essential Feeling affiliated with Harley Body Clinic on London's prestigious Harley Street, but we have gained such notoriety because we have been using MLD to help reduce swelling for more years than we care to remember.

Why are Essential Feeling Essex considered one of the leading manual lymphatic drainage centres in Essex and the London area?

Whilst there are many therapy centres in our vicinity that claim to be specialists in the gentle MLD treatments, few of these will work with your doctors and surgeons to develop a treatment plan specific to you. And your needs.

We work with Harley Street clinics because we truly understand that every surgery is different. And so is every patient. The elasticity in your skin, the rate at which your vessels remove waste and your immune response will all vary. You're an individual, and so you deserve a unique treatment.

Most clinics will recommend lymphatic drainage massage to remove excess water/ fluid products and toxins from your system post surgery. But the amount of these you require and the timeline following surgery, how long they continue for and how far we space each session out will vary. You may also find that your body requires some deep tissue massage techniques after a period, or that your fascia becomes tight and needs to be released.

We understand this and will work with your clinic to ensure that your overall experience of treatment combines to give you the best possible results and outcome.

Where in Essex can I get my manual lymphatic drainage?

We're in Gidea Park, Romford. We have great access from both central London and Essex. If you're coming by car, your trip couldn't be more simple. And being just off Gallows Corner, right by where the A127 and A12 meet, we're easy to find. Plus, this is only approximately 2 miles from both junctions 28 and 29 of the M25.

What's even better is that we have free, off street parking right outside the treatment rooms, so when you're feeling tender, all you need to do is roll out of your car, take about ten steps and you're just where you need to be.


Massage for lymphatic drainage

Massage for lymphatic drainage is performed by our specialist, certified, lymphatic drainage therapist in order to reduce swelling from fluid which accumulates in the lymph nodes. This is otherwise known as lymphedema sometimes spelt at lymphoedema.

Having a massage for lymphatic drainage can be important for several reasons:

Our body eliminates metabolic waste through a few systems, one important one being our lymphatic vessels. This is a very delicate structure which sits just under the surface of our skin above the muscles, with lymph nodes in key areas around our neck, groin and under our arm. Other key places include the back of your knee, around your eye area and breasts.

Having a massage for lymphatic drainage is an important treatment because this lymphatic system can't eliminate waste without either movement or sufficient water intake. Something often lacking. It may also struggle to cope with an influx following swelling related to trauma — if, for example, we injure ourselves or have surgery.

This impact the flow of toxin's ability to leave our system. The light pressure techniques involved in a lymphatic treatment help the flow of this lymphatic liquid and avoiding stagnation by using gentle strokes on swollen tissue. Your physical therapist will use their hands/ palm to improve this circulation and gently pump the fluid to your lymph nodes. Your therapist will then use their fingers on these nodes e.g. in your armpit to help your system drain the fluids effectively.

Popular questions people ask

Often after surgery I'm in pain, does this hurt?

Your massage for lymphatic drainage is a gentle touch because it only needs to reach the vessels which lie under the surface of the skin. Unlike other massages such as deep tissue sports, we are not looking to break down muscle fibres.

Why do I need a massage for lymphatic drainage when I am wearing a compression garment?

Your compression garment products will help to prevent the buildup of stagnant lymphatic fluid, but it is not a fail safe. Your body has undergone trauma and the natural way that it heals is by swelling. This needs to be moved on for you to get the best possible results from your surgery and aid healing. And we do this when we perform manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) massage.

The benefit of compression garments is that they help to minimise swelling from medical wastes, and the benefits of massage for lymphatic drainage is that it removes what still accumulates.

I only have swelling in one area, why are you doing MLD on my entire body?

If you think about your lymphatic system as one giant circle that runs around your body, it's easy to see that it's necessary for us to work every part — even if you just have swelling in a localised area, e.g. legs. If we only concentrate on one specific area, then we're not giving you our proper care because we're just moving fluid from one place to the next, rather than helping your system totally eradicate it.

This isn't a ruse to get more time out of you, it's an important part of ensuring that your risk of infection is minimised and you get the best possible results from your procedure.

Looking at the diagram, I see I have vessels on my chest/ breast. Will you work this area too?

Yes. We will work everywhere that your lymphatic system runs. If you are female, then we will use your hand to cover your breast and then touch your hand upward in such a way that you end up moving the build up along yourself.

We will work around your head and your face, covering around your ears, down to your jaw and neckline. This is regardless of whether you are swollen in that area. Our treatments will continue around your collarbone slowly with gentle effleurage, around your breast and chest area and under your arms, and around your elbows.

We'll cover your stomach, up your legs, behind your knees and into your groin because this is where the network of lymph nodes, vessels and glands are located.

This is a painful time, it would be nice to just relax.

Strange as this may sound as this is a therapeutic treatment, well known because it stimulates improved healing and effects the removal of toxins from swollen body parts, whilst also improving your immune response; it is also amazing for relaxation.

We know! Who would have thought a health based therapy designed to remove excess waste content would also be a technique that would not only keep you healthy but also encourages your feeling of peace?

How does this improve recovery of my tissues?Charlton Botha certificate of qualification from 2012 in MLD manual lymphatic drainage massage

Clearing excess waste products from tissues and cells means that our body doesn't have so much of the heavy lifting to do itself. Think about it you go to the supermarket and you have six bags, it's easier to have someone else carry them out of the car with you when you get home than do it all on your own. This not only gives you more time, but more energy to enjoy the fun stuff, or perhaps clean the house. If you didn't have this energy because someone helped you, then you probably wouldn't clean the house at all, or if you did, it wouldn't be as good a finish. Our body works in this way, regardless of whether we can experience the results in a tangible way.

This is why your doctor will recommend lymphatic massage post surgery. We cannot underestimate the effect of massaging with these gentle movements by a qualified and experienced professional in improving your healing results.

How will I feel after my MLD treatment?

You may experience some fatigue as your body works to filter out waste because of the stimulation of your lymph system. If you can relax and take a nap after your session, this helps.

Book your session online now.