Sport massage therapist near me. Gidea Park, Romford

What to look for when you’re searching out the best sport massage therapist near me in Gidea Park, Romford.

First, we’d always recommend a great qualification. Someone who is ITEC certified, as Charlie is at Essential Feeling in Gidea Park, Romford, has learnt the basics well right from the start of their training. So well in fact that his qualifications are recognised internationally so he can travel and work around the world.

How long have they been practising?

But, second, we always advise you to think about how long your sport massage therapist has been practising.

Charlie has been working on injured sports people for almost ten years now. And what’s more is that this is his primary job. He only earns his money from being a massage therapist. When you drill down, you’ll find that many people do sports massage therapy as a side job, so they only spend a few hours a week dealing with client’s pain and injury.

Working hours builds experience. And knowledge.

In short, they don’t have enough hours behind their belt working on bodies to be experienced, no matter how many years it is since they qualified. This can be a genuine issue as a lot of soft tissue work is from the experience of learned touch. It’s this experience that tells us which techniques we need to use on a particular muscle injury that different clients present with. Our bodies are all unique and it takes time to develop the skills to read what is going on inside a body, underneath the layers of skin.

This experience also helps us to feel when injuries are not muscular and therefore whatever level of massage treatment we try, we know that you need to see your doctor for their help. Less experienced, or less qualified therapists won’t necessarily know this and this could hinder rather than aid your recovery.

When you come to Essential Feeling looking for a sport massage therapist near me, you’re in expert hands. We’re a professional business, we’re not a day spa. We have trained to a high standard, continue to develop our knowledge via continued development, and have been working only in the remedial massage industry for years. We can provide you with a range of modalities best suited to what your body needs for optimal healing.

We’re experienced sport massage therapists and ITEC qualified

Our experience also means that we may offer additional exercise advice that will further improve the performance of your treatments.

Benefits of sport massage therapist near meWhat is the benefit of choosing a sport massage therapist near me, rather than someone who just does massage?

Not all bodywork is the same, and the service each massage therapist offers has pros and cons. If you race off to the services of a beauty therapist, it’s likely that their massage and anatomy and physiology qualifications will be less extensive than a sports massage specialist. They’re great if you want to relax, but generally, they don’t cover how stress affects your mind and body, let alone for example the minutae detail of the movement of a runners muscles during an event. Nor the effects of the level of strain that a fitness session can induce. You’ll still improve your relaxation.

Think about it this way. You go to your GP and then they send you off to a specialist health clinic post appointment for them to view exactly what is going on with you and help you get better. This happens in all aspects of health care, and massages are no different. So, if you’re looking for professional relief from your musculoskeletal issues, then choose a specialist.

As soon as you visit a specialist massage therapist, they know what kind of therapeutic pressure to use. Sometimes you need deep work to reduce physical muscle tightness, but other times we need to improve your blood flow (circulation) by using a lighter pressure. Your specialist sport massage therapist at Essential Feeling will know that through a combination of experience and training as we’ve mentioned above.

I come in with aching joints and leave with soreness, what’s that all about?

This is one issue that prevents clients from booking in. For sure if your sport massage therapist has designed a treatment plan that involves breaking down your muscles, and even some specific trigger point therapy, then you may write in your journal at night about how you’re aching after your session. And this could last a few days.

But, we load these advanced techniques with longer-term benefits. Even while you’re aching, you’ll notice that you’re more agile, you can move more, and even though you’re aware of sore tissues, it’s a distinct feeling to injury. You’re on your path to wellness and you can feel it.

Once the aching wears off in a few days, athletes feel strong. You’ll have impeccable motion compared to before your session and you’ll be thanking your practitioner for easing your dysfunction and bumping you up towards meeting your personal goal.

Book your session online now and improve your performance


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Your questions answered — what is the best type of massage for lower back pain

Today we’re looking at what is the best type of massage for lower back pain.

To work out how to best use therapy to help your lower back pain, we need to think about whether the cause of your body pain is from your muscles. Lower back pain may often be caused from a tight hamstring muscle or tight gluteals such as your gluteus maximus, the largest muscle in your body.

Fixing lower back pain isn’t just about massaging the spot where you’re feeling the pain. Usually it could originate in a different place and then because of how everything in our body is interconnected, larger muscles pulls smaller muscles out of alignment and we feel pain.

Lower back pain caused by referred pain

Trigger point therapy

Trigger point therapy foTo help this, your massage therapist will often use pressure in different areas of your body. This is known as trigger point therapy and can be the perfect solution to easing your chronic pain.

Otherwise, a deep tissue massage (often called sports massages) or light Swedish massage may also help to smooth away and thus release the tension caused by tight muscles and relieve your pain.

I have lower back pain, but I feel it more in my hip joint.

Again, although you’re feeling pain in one area, this is often caused by muscles which are tight in your glutes and legs, especially if you’re suffering with shooting nerve pain such as sciatica. Tight muscles can pull your joints closer together than they are meant to be, thus causing your bones to scrape against each other when we move.

Will stress in my shoulders and neck cause lower back pain?

Treating lower back pain with your neck massageSometimes you’ll find that a general back and glute massage will ease many pain across your spine that you didn’t even know you had until we started working you. Think about how small the bones and tiny muscles of your vertebrae are. If they’re connected to larger muscles, which pull them out of alignment, then you’ll feel pain all over the place. For instance, one common complaint that our therapists will often track shoulder and neck pain back to standing on one dominant leg.

It’s surprising when you read that therapy release techniques for your buttocks sometimes helps pain in your neck. But it can be one of the most effective techniques at giving relief.

So, what is the best type of massage for lower back pain then?

We haven’t tried to confuse you, but here’s the thing. For some people we may think it’s best to treat you with a gentle sacroiliac massage to improve blood flow to a specific area and allow your body to do the rest.

For others, you may need a more intense treatment that involves breaking down tight muscles. And there’s always a chance that the pain you’re suffering with won’t be muscular related, so we can’t rule that out either.

We won’t know until we meet you. Until we get our hands on you and track back to the source of your pain. This is when we’ll know what the best form of physical therapy is to give you relief from your low back pain.

Let us help you decide on the best massage for lower back pain.

We know this doesn’t help you, but this is why you pay for our time. Not for the type of massage. All you need to do is give us a summary of your issues on the consultation you’ll complete ahead of your session and then we’ll do the rest. All you need to do is to relax, safe in the knowledge that you’re in excellent hands. We have the experience and the training to understand your injury and adapt your session, so we focus on your individual needs.

Book your massage for lower back pain online now.


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After surgery massage.

Why do you need an after surgery massage?

There are many reasons you need an after surgery massage. The reasons may range from easing pain from post-operative scar tissue right the way down to reducing swelling in your body as it struggles with healing on its own.

The massage we use for these different issues vary depending what you need.

For instance, if you’re struggling with stubborn scars which are itching, restricting movement or raised (keloids) and looking unsightly, then we’d be likely to use myofascial release therapy to unstick the fibres that are causing the adhesions to clump together. This after surgery massage therapy helps to reduce the blood flow to the scar tissue that causes it to be raised.

At the other end of the scale is the light touch manual lymphatic drainage (MLD), which is another common after surgery massage. MLD is great for reducing swelling and helps decrease a patient’s recovery time and improving the end results of the scar. It does this by reducing the post surgery swelling and scar tissue formation (fibrosis).

Plastic surgeons often recommend manual lymphatic drainage, particularly as a post liposuction massage as it is safe and incredible effective using only gentle friction.

How does the healing process work? And what are the benefits of after surgery massage?

Our body carries oxygen and nutrients that it needs to help heal us in blood flow. Massage therapy increases our blood flow, and so a massage is how we can help our body naturally heal. An increase in blood flow produces not only an increase in the blood, but all the good stuff our body uses to piece us back together post surgery. This applies to muscles and joints as well as postoperatively, by the way. Once the blood has delivered all these nutrients, it removes the waste. It’s this removal of toxins and metabolic waste that also helps us to heal. So the more blood flow, the better our healing process.

Now, with particular types of scarring that can be helped by after surgery massage therapy, we’re working differently. All the above still happens, but then your massage therapist has trained in different techniques that allow us to support your body and your healing process in additional ways.

When you have an operation including plastic surgery and liposuction or freeze sculpting, they often disrupt the lymph flow which means your body can’t heal. If you use MLD as your choice of therapeutic massage after surgery then this supports the lymphatic system. This modality uses light pressure to stimulate the part of our body that helps drain away the waste and aids the healing process. After surgery it can become overloaded to the point where swelling occurs, impeding us so much that it often affects our range of movement.

Reduce scar tissue

To help reduce scar tissue on patients, myofascial release massage can be beneficial. When we injure ourselves our body sends additional blood to heal the affected site. So when a doctor slices through our flesh, our body goes into overdrive. It doesn’t know that they did this with good intention, all it’s intent on doing is sealing our damaged skin, muscle and tissues back together again. This excess blood leads to several effects; the heat that makes us itch, and the red swelling either side of the incision.

This can help as much if you’ve cut your finger on a broken glass down to post breast surgery, including mastectomy for cancer treatment. In this situation, massage can also help reduce stress, tension and anxiety and improving postoperative circulation.

In its eagerness to seal us back together, our body often overstimulates, increasing collagen.

This increased production is why all the sticky fibres that pull the skin back together can be a little too much. If we don’t have a scar tissue massage, we will often find that our range of movement is hindered by our once mobile flesh now being stuck to bones and other deeper set body parts that they were never meant to adhere to. Myofascial release literally massages your scar to release this sticky fascia and not only improve the appearance of your wound but also reduce the appearance of that red swelling.

fascia for after surgery massage
Fascia which is released during myofascial release therapy

Other conditions that may benefit from after surgery massage include:tummy tuck MLD manual lypmhatic drainage

Capsular contracture — during breast augmentation surgery a complication can arise in which internal scar tissue forms around the breast implant. This constricts the blood and lymph supply to the area, resulting in a misshapen and hard breast.

Hip replacement — an after surgery massage will loosen up tight muscles and help create improved flexibility as well as helping to improve blood supply to the area and improving skin elasticity. MLD will also help to decrease any buildup of fluids caused from the damage the surgical procedure has created.

Injury caused from abdominal surgery, including liposuction and tummy tuck. This encourages faster healing, reduced long-term discomfort and chronic swelling. This also applies to any kind of plastic surgery, including butt lifts.

Breast surgery, including enhancement procedures and cancer treatments.

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Why massage is the best of natural anxiety treatments

If you’re looking for natural anxiety treatments, I bet you haven’t considered massage. Here’s why you should.

Many people think massage is only good for treating muscle pain. And for sure, they may relax when they go to a spa day, but somehow we never really get as far as making the link into massage being one of the best natural anxiety treatments out there.

Having a massage has many physiological effects on our body, which not only improves our immune system but also gives the body what it needs to cope effectively with stress, thus reducing our anxiety and depression.

Just think about a time when you have received a great massage from a well-trained therapist. How do you feel when you get up off the table?

The effects of your massage aren’t just looser muscles easing a sore back. You feel calm, your breathing is slower and your blood pressure drops as your heart rate slows. These are proven physical effects of massage on these conditions, it is not a placebo.

Types of anxiety

The 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) classifies 7 official anxiety disorders of the mind:

According to the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), there are 7* classified anxiety disorders. Their effects can range on the scale from mild to debilitating.

*Separation Anxiety Disorder

*Selective Mutism

*Specific Phobia

*Social Phobia (fear of socialising or social situations)

*Panic Disorder (potential for panic attacks)

*Agoraphobia (increased heart rate when confronted with leaving the security of your personal space)

*Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) including obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Massage is an effective natural health remedy to all these and helps you stay naturally positive with a healthy and calm outlook without the adverse effects of some other psychological medications that dampen your neurotransmitters.

massage can boost mental clarity and improve anxiety

What are the best massage styles to act as natural anxiety treatments?

The Mayo Clinic reports a 60-minute massage can lower cortisol, the stress hormone, by up to 30 percent after just one session. This is because massage increases blood flow (and all the good stuff including serotonin) in much the same way exercise does. The issue is, that when you’re suffering with anxiety and depression, much as you may want to get out and jog around the block, the disorder prevents you from literally taking the next step.

It doesn’t matter what type of massage you choose.

You could have a soothing Swedish massage which relaxes the entire body, but if you’re struggling with tight muscles, then a deep tissue massage will help your anxiety and depression too. They have proven both complementary therapies to help you, so it’s down to you to determine your ideal choice. What’s better is that you can do this as your therapist works. If we find an area that you feel needs more pressure, then just say. We can adjust according to your needs.

It’s down to what you feel you need most.

A recent study published in the journal Depression and Anxiety found participants who received regular massage therapy for 12 weeks had a 50 percent reduction in anxiety symptoms. There wasn’t a need for the massage to be a particular style. What’s better is that these effects of massage as a natural anxiety treatment lasted.  Their reduced anxiety symptoms were still 50 percent lower after 26 weeks. That’s six months without a massage session.

What’s better is that the calming effects of massage in dealing with anxiety disorder mean that symptoms such as muscle tension and sleep disturbances also improve.

It’s a win win.

Symptoms of anxiety that massage helps.

As we’ve said, massage benefits physiologically and easing stress. Anxiety is a mental health disorder that affects twice as many women as men down to the hormonal balance of the female brain composition. And it isn’t limited to an age. We see children as young as nine suffering with crippling anxiety and panic attacks right the way through to the older generation facing a single life for the first time.

If you have anxiety, you’ll worry excessively about anything. It could be one thing, or a whole host all at once. And this will be persistent, with you being preoccupied by worry more days than you aren’t.

This can manifest as you feeling restless, or on edge. It will often affect your sleep quality, patterns and result in you waking feeling like you’re still tired (insomnia). You could be easily fatigued over the course of the waking day. And you’ll often struggle to concentrate and being more irritable than is your disposition outside of being anxious.

All of this ties in with muscle tension that often creeps up on you if you’re suffering with panic slowly.

Massage is an effective natural anxiety treatment that you know is safe. The thing with many of the herbal supplements out there is that you don’t know how they work with what else is going on in your body. Much like the pills your doctor would prescribe, they are good at helping one thing. But it’s important to consider how this combination of supplements works with what is already in your body.

Many people will take magnesium. But, what is your current magnesium levels? Do you know? Because if you don’t you could easily overdose. Your anxiety and depression disorder may not be due to a lack of magnesium. And too much can cause serious side effects including irregular heartbeat, confusion and in extreme cases death. For sure, these are the worst cases, but you don’t have any of this uncertainty with a massage.

Plus a massage is a fast acting natural anxiety treatments. Remember the evidence-based research we quoted earlier. You feel better right after the massage and if you keep up with a course, then the effects are long lasting.

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What is ITEC massage?

ITEC massage is one of the leading massage therapy qualifications in the world. To qualify to be an ITEC registered massage therapist, students must complete countless hours of practical training. Charlie, your massage therapist at Essential Feeling is qualified to ITEC standard.

But, besides this, getting their diploma means therapist’s must understand the detail of anatomy and physiology. The student will learn how therapies interact with the physical body, how diseases and conditions affect muscles and will spend days on end testing their knowledge in real life therapies.

This means that once your ITEC massage therapist has gone through their practical exam and written A&P examination, the successful completion of the topics in their training means they truly understand how the muscles of the human body work, how they interact with other parts of your anatomy and can use this understanding in their practise to help you feel better.

The study time takes years at specialist school. With continued professional development being layered on top of this post qualifying. This means that your ITEC massage therapist is always learning new and further advanced massage techniques and about the latest research. Once they are completed, that isn’t the last day of your therapist’s learning.

What does ITEC stand for?

ITEC stands for International Therapy Examination Council meaning that the therapists who have achieved this top level of qualification are so highly qualified that they may travel the world practising with a recognised certification.

ITEC have been running courses since 1947 in all elements of the complementary business. This includes holistic health massage and sports massage.

What is the benefit of me paying extra to have a massage from a qualified ITEC professional such as Charlie?

*Firstly, many leading insurance companies cover our massage therapy treatments, meaning you can claim back the cost of your treatment with Essential Feeling.

*Secondly, you are getting a high standard of massage. We’re not just talking about the time you spend on the table. You’re also paying for the hours that it has taken for us to achieve the level of understanding about your body that means we can help you in fewer sessions than if you go to e.g. someone at a beauty salon who has taken a one day massage therapy certificate.

We have put the time in. And received the best training the UK offers.

We’ve had years of experience putting that to the test with advanced learning and practical sessions.
The major benefit to coming to Essential Feeling over some other options is that we care enough to invest in your wellbeing. By paying for the best training. And then continuing with our professional development threonine.

For instance, if you’re coming to us for lymphatic drainage, then the ITEC course covers this in a module. But then we have invested in additional training after completing this initial teaching.

It’s the same with deep tissue massage.

ITEC cover this in their syllabus. But, after we’d qualified we then took additional training. And then again, a few years ago now, we invested in another professionally recognised advanced deep tissue massage training qualification.

We never stop. And this is why our level of ITEC expertise is recognised in countries around the world.

For sure, our hourly fees may be a little more than some other place, but this level of experience and training means that we know what we’re offering in terms of remedial massage. We can adapt our skills to give you the best outcome, and we will always offer you the most suitable treatment for your required outcomes. We’re not about to sign you up for a course of sessions you may or may not need. Chiropractors are renowned for this approach. We’re not. We have more than enough happy clients who recommend us that we don’t need to advise you to have more sessions than you’ll need to fix your pain.

In short. You can trust us.

Does completing this ITEC massage qualification mean that you are accredited?

We are covered by our own insurance during therapy.

And we’re trained to such a top level that many companies in the insurance industry will also pay out for our services against their policies.
By having them pay the balance of your massage (and reflexology by the way, as we’re similarly qualified in that) it can ease the financial pressure on booking a series of remedial massage sessions.

This is a lofty standard.

For complementary therapies to reach this level of respect from the insurance industry that it covers them and their remedial therapies within insurance policies is testament to how rigorous the ITEC qualification and standard of learning is.

Check out our certificates in massage and bodywork, here.

Covid-19 reveals sexism towards holisitic healing therapies

The government has categorised holistic healing therapies such as the pregnancy reflexology and the remedial massage work we do at Essential feeling, as being less safe than getting a haircut. Apparently maintaining social distancing working only on a client’s feet whilst wearing full PPE, disinfecting between clients and treating fewer patients to allow our space to air and ensure no cross contamination, is a colossal risk to the spread of Covid-19. To the point where holistic health therapies are bundled up into the same category as the body touching and up close and personal nature of strip clubs.

Yep, you got it right. Reflexology sits nestled against adult nightclubs for re-opening.

Our professional bodies, including the Association of Reflexologists have written to the government about the value and real life content of holistic healing therapies. They’ve pleaded with MP’s who have argued our case with parliament. And still the issues remain.

Nope, we’re told. You must take your brand of holistic healing therapies and wait like the rest in your group who have way more close contact with the public. We have apparently being categorised as we have because of scientific research which shows the health benefits of getting a haircut in a salon whilst blowing around hot air, during which it’s impossible to wear a mask for the entire duration of your visit, is less risky than me as your reflexologist sitting at your feet, wearing a mask a visor.

Ah, but the government must know what they’re doing, right?

Well, that’s what we thought. At first. We trusted them. We closed down Essential Feeling on 16 March which means we don’t earn. Being self-employed we don’t pull in a wage if we don’t work.

But, that’s all fine because we care about our country and the wellness of our society. We’d rather take the hit than contribute to this pandemic. It’s the nature of holistic healing therapist’s that we’re caring by nature. We’re the last people to want to do anything harmful.

We took our self-employed income support with gratitude even though it was less than we needed to support the ongoing business costs of the three months it was initially supposed to cover. The way the government sorted this out meant that they paid out on profits after business expenses. So, even though the amount we received only covered one month’s expenses, that’s also fine. We understand there is only so much money to go around, and we were happy to just get something in the name of the country getting back up and running again from a better position later on.

Instead of complaining, we’ve taken the time to revamp our treatment rooms, and to install some new groundbreaking air conditioning units which filter out virus and bacteria. They’re not cheap. But we’re happy to do it. Because we care and it helps. And because we’re responsible holistic healing therapists.

And yet we still can’t reopen.

But. What if the government’s logic makes little sense?

Honestly, we can see how massage parlours with all their sexual connotations may not be able to re-open. We’re not living in a bubble, we know they exist. In fact, when you listen to the calls we get, we’re could not ignore their existence even if we wanted to.

But, this assumption by many men who ask my husband ‘how many girls we have’ assuming he is their pimp has been adopted by the government.

And this is putting us to our knees. We’re not due another respite payment until August, and that will be less than the first one. Despite us needing to invest heavily and when we do re-open, being responsible alternative therapists, they will force us to take fewer physical treatments so we have the time between clients to implement our enhanced cleaning practice.

Again this is fine. But, please, what’s important for the government to understand is that we have our client’s best interests at heart.

Our regulars and new people alike are calling us daily, asking for us to treat them, even though we’re not allowed to. They are in pain. Either their mind or their physical body. They rely on us to balance their energy and to balance their stress. Increased stress caused by Covid-19 and all its repercussions I might add. Their life has turned upside down and they’re banned from getting a perfectly legitimate holistic healing therapy that they swear supports their wellness better than any medicine.

Let’s break this down by type of holistic healing therapy.

Before a client arrives, we send them a risk assessment that they must complete the morning of their session and send back to us so we can check it first.

When we take any client from now on, our waiting room will no longer be in use. We’ll greet clients on the drive and test their temperature with a remote infrared thermometer. Before they come any closer they’ll be required to wear a mask and visor if they’re not already. And to disinfect their hands using gel.

The air conditioning units that we have installed will run before the client arrives and continue after they leave. There is one virus filter in each of our treatment rooms.

We’ll do the same.

This applies to all our clients.

Reflexology, including pregnancy and fertility reflexology

Karen the MAR reflexologist specialising in Fertility at Essential Feeling Gidea park, Romford giving reflexology on foot
During reflexology we’ll wear full PPE and only need to sit at your feet while you recline backwards

We work at a client’s feet. They lie back on their chair so that our faces aren’t directly facing each other. We cover our chair with a one use sheet that we wash directly after they leave. As will the towel which we use to wrap their feet in.

During this entire programme, your reflexology practitioner will be no closer to someone’s face than we require to touch your feet when you lie flat on your back.

Deep tissue massage, holistic massage and Swedish massage

For sure, there are elements here that we would rather not do for our own safety and our clients. Despite hairdresser’s being open, if you called us today and they allowed us to treat you, we wouldn’t give you an Indian head massage.

But, if you’re having remedial massage work done because your back or neck is stiff, then you’ll be face down with your head in a cradle covered by a clean towel to filter bacteria. Our therapist will be at least 1 metre from your face — which is pointing towards the ground.

Massage therapist massaging Back during therapy at Essential Feeling Gidea Park, Romford
It’s possible to maintain social distancing whilst delivering a great quality massage.

And don’t forget the air conditioning unit will filter our air.

There is normally a time when we’ll ask you to turn onto your back so we can work your neck from a fresh angle. We will not do that. We’re experienced enough and adaptable as holistic healing therapists to work you from multiple angles. We do not need to include an approach that will not be healthy for either of us. Don’t forget that at the time of writing we’ve had almost four months without a salary, if either of us or our clients get sick that was all for nothing.

In conclusion

We are not a spa resort where water and damp air can carry bacteria. We are not a massage parlour where clients faces come inches from another, where bodies touch and where it would be natural for intimate physical contact to spread disease. Our massage isn’t even done by a woman for goodness’ sake.

We treat clients with anxiety, with conditions affecting their mental wellbeing. We are their retreat away from normal life, and we seek to improve that with valid complementary techniques designed to be effective at improving our client’s wellbeing. Not making them sick.

The holistic healing therapies that we offer at Essential Feeling are performed by responsible and caring responsible therapists who would well prefer to put our own financial and mental health to the side for the benefits of our clients.

And we’re more responsible than some other elements that the government has lumped us together with because our healing therapies contain some similar elements. We’re certainly more contentious about spreading disease than anyone drinking in a pub at 10pm.

The time has come where we no longer see the flawed logic that is preventing us from re-opening and helping our clients recover from the terrible emotional pressure and physical muscle tightness which are the effects of self isolation. And let’s not forget that massage contributes towards a strong immune system. This isn’t just about relaxation, improving quality of sleep and easing depression.

Now what?

We have to wait and maintain being patient. Hopefully, the government will review their flawed module which classes genuine holistic healing therapies in the same batch as sexual nightclubs and we will get a positive outcome that will allow us to practise again.

You can help us by raising awareness. Shouting from the rooftops that your chosen holistic therapy is a technique which benefits your health rather than risking it. And we will continue to work with our governing bodies such as the Association of Reflexologist’s to pass evidence to the Government to use in their review studies. We are more than a sanctuary for our clients. We achieve patterns of healthy growth, in a gentle and compassionate way which our clients tell us improves their quality of life in a way that traditional medicinal practices have failed.

Scoliosis. We can help.

What is scoliosis?

Scoliosis is an idiopathic curve of your spine that often requires surgery, sometimes with rods, if you want it straightening or for children a brace can be effective. We don’t get involved with this at Essential Feeling, but there are other ways we can give you treatment to reduce your pain, ease the pressure of the curves and make you feel better.

But, first. What types of curvature are you talking about?

Scoliosis is a spinal deformity, but it may not be immediately obvious. Especially in children. It may be painful, and we’re guessing that if you’re reading this then you’re probably having some issues, but not everyone feels pain. This is because it progresses gradually.

Signs of scoliosis in children

As we’ve said, scoliosis symptoms make a gradual onset and can affect some worse in some than others.

Symptoms of scoliosis

These aren’t always easy to spot and develop gradually even though your child may be born with the condition. Please don’t beat yourself up if you don’t spot the association at first.

*Your child’s entire body leans to one side and their head appears off centre

*Shoulders are usually uneven and you’ll often find one shoulder blade will protrude more than the other side

*Same with your child’s hips. If the shoulder is up at one side, usually the opposite hip will sit sideways and off centre. You might miss this but notice that one trouser leg is shorter than the other.

*If you notice this then perhaps you’ll then look and find that their rib cage is uneven with there being a ribs protrusion on one side of their spine.

*When your child complains of muscle or bone growing pains including fatigue, back pain and leg pain, then it’s worth checking for the above symptoms of scoliosis. Get these symptoms checked out by your GP or orthopaedic doctor so you can get it diagnosed and you know what you are dealing with.

Symptoms of scoliosis in adults

Adults suffering with scoliosis will have the above symptoms of the disorder. You’ll often find a greater propensity to a hump back, which is called rib prominence. Shirts won’t fit correctly for example, but it affects individuals differently.

kyphosis and lordosis

The enormous difference between child and adult scoliosis is that by the time you reach adulthood the way the spine bones are grinding against one another in the wrong position is causing an element of pain. This can often be considerable because by this point, it’s likely that your spinal discs and joints are now degenerating from the years of wear and tear. This exacerbates the abnormal curvature of your spine.

Lower back pain and stiffness are the two major symptoms of scoliosis in adults. This pain is more prevalent if your curve is in the lower back, the lumbar spine.

Why does scoliosis cause so much pain?

Not only do your muscles become tight and fatigued when they’re constantly being pulled into a position that they weren’t anatomically built for, but the misalignment can trap nerves between muscles and bones. This neuromuscular effect can be excruciating and causing neurological symptoms such as shooting pain and numbness.

Is this the same as kyphosis?

There are several conditions that cause a curvature of your spine and kyphosis and also lordosis are one of these. However, this isn’t scoliosis although it’s easy to see how it could fit in the same family.

kyphosis and lordosis

How can you help me with scoliosis at Essential Feeling?

We work with your muscles. We have experience helping clients with severe scoliosis to live with their condition. By easing tight muscles with a maintenance programme of massage we can reduce the strain muscles are under.

This also helps to allow bones in the vertebrae to have some ‘breathing space’ and releases trapped nerves. This breathing space also helps to slow down or hinder one bone from fusing into another or becoming worn at a slower rate.

Massage therapy by a qualified massage therapist experienced in working with a patient suffering with scoliosis can have a huge effect on your overall health and wellbeing.

To improve quality of life, this is invaluable. Our clients can go about their normal business without physical pain hindering them.

Let’s be clear. This isn’t a cure. But it is a an effective way of managing the congenital disorder so that we can manage the factors which affect your pain over time, and slow them from worsening at the same rate they would without massage.

How often do I need a massage to keep on top of the problem?

This is impossible to say until we meet you. At first you will always need this self care type of massage treatments more regularly so we have the chance to get on top of your problem. Ideally weekly.

Over time you will find that you don’t need your next massage so soon and this is the indicator it’s time for you to knock back the time between your sessions. If you like, we can give you exercises that fit within your lifestyle to speed up your muscular improvement. Not everyone wants these, so let us know. We’re always happy to help in any way that is the right method for you.

You are always in charge. We won’t push you into doing anything that you don’t instinctively feel isn’t right. We’re here to help you in the long term, not pressure you into sales for short term profits.

To book an appointment, book your session online now.

Golfers elbow pain

We have an entire page on golfers elbow, symptoms and what you can do to ease the pain of golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis). This post here is about golfers elbow pain, and what goes on inside your body when you feel this discomfort.

Golfer’s elbow is a painful condition resulting in pain in your wrist, your forearm muscles and your hand and the inside of your elbow.

You need not be a golfer to suffer with inner elbow pain. You don’t even need to be doing regular exercises or sports activities. It’s possible to strain your muscle with no strenuous activity. If your muscles aren’t well toned, they will strain easier, as will your tendons.

This knock on effect can cause pain and tenderness, especially if you ignore it and your injury continues to build over time.

This is because the pain you feel results from inflamed tendons, an injury on the medial side (inside) of your elbow. These injuries derive from overuse of your affected arm.

These tendons slot into the long bone of your upper arm, which is why the pain radiates out. Because these are the tendons responsible for moving your wrist and your fingers. They’re also involved when you grip which is why you struggle with that when you’re dealing with golfer’s elbow.

You’ll see in this image that there are four superficial muscles in the anterior compartment on the inner portion of Muscle affected with golfer's elbow painyour elbow. Essentially your forearm muscles.

These are:

  • the flexor carpi ulnaris
  • palmaris longus
  • flexor carpi radialis
  • pronator teres.

They all originate from a common tendon which arises from the medial epicondyle of the humerus bone.

We’ve dealt with the symptoms of golfer’s elbow in our page dedicated to golfer’s elbow treatment.

Let’s look at what a tendon is then.

Our body is made up of several moving parts. A tendon is the end part of a muscle which connects our bones and muscles together. It’s strong, being made of collagen and fibres. It is also a tissue which stretches slightly to allow us to move, without over extending.

When we exercise we think about building our muscles. But, we often forget about these tiny pieces of tissue which work hard, and are less heavy duty than the muscles to which they connect. Although tendons can adapt to increasing demand, and can slowly self repair from injury, they become injured much easier than our larger muscles. And so we must be careful.

Why do we get tendon pain and inflammation in our elbow when we play golf?

Here are the major reasons we can develop pain and inflammation in our tendons.

Location of golfer's elbow pain

The overuse injury. Sudden increase in the load we’re putting on these small areas. This happens when, for instance, we’re doing a lot of extra activity. This could be in the gym, or if we’re gardening or decorating. It also happens when we’re learning or trying to improve a sport through repeated practise, such as golf. And this leads to the golfer getting golfer’s inner elbow pain.

The load doesn’t have to be sustained. If you fall and stop yourself, then this shock can inflame the small tendons easier than larger muscles.

*A work that gives you an unavoidable need to constantly overload through a sustained heavy activity.
*On the other end of the spectrum, if you don’t use your elbow enough then our tendons get lazy. They don’t adapt to activity as well and therefore get damaged easier. We can’t manage as much load as we should without suffering with golfers injury pain.
Common risk factors that make us more predisposed to suffering with golfers elbow pain.
*Rheumatoid arthritis
*Depression and anxiety
*Lifestyle factors such as smoking and being overweight also increase your chances of suffering more from golfer’s elbow pain.

Is it possible to prevent golfer’s elbow?

For sure. And now you’ve read this article, you’re in a much better place. As you know understand what happens when you strain your muscles in your forearm with repeated overuse, you can spot those activities, such as playing golf or playing tennis, which will lead to this painful condition of the elbow. Thus avoiding a trip to your doctor, or to us.

If you’re reading all of this because you are already suffering with golfer’s elbow pain, then you can book in for a remedial session online.

COVID-19 Return to work

According to government guidelines, we’re still not entirely sure when we’ll be resuming our normal massage and reflexology practise in Gidea Park, Romford. But, we’re preparing!

You’ll see some pics below of some lovely men upgrading our current air conditioning unit. Our new, very flashy Nanoe X unit not only deodorises the air and moisturises our skin, but more importantly, it inhibits certain bacteria and viruses. It does this by inhibiting the growth of allergens, bacteria and viruses. Op top of this, we’ve also installed an additional unit so now we have two units cooling, filtering and warming each treatment room as we need. All in addition to luxurious underfloor heating.

Aircon for covid health









You’ll notice in the picture above that the place doesn’t look anything like those in our header bars. This is because we’ve taken the downtime to invest in stripping back all the decoration. We want your place to be as fresh as possible and so there is nothing left from before the lock down. Other than us. Even our massage table is getting a makeover.

Returning back to normal. What’s now necessary.

The downside of keeping you safe is that we’ve shifted out all unnecessary soft furnishings. This includes the chairs in our waiting room which means that we do need to ask you to wait outside for your appointment time. We’ll come and collect you before your session and we’ll open all doors and so on. May we please ask you when you enter our treatment rooms not to touch anything that isn’t needed. We’ll do all that for you.

However it won’t be possible for you to avoid touching anything and although we’ll sanitise everything after your session, may we please also ask that you ensure you wash and sanitise your hands before entering our building.

We also require you to complete this risk assessment before you come along to your session. Please follow the link, and for everyone’s safety ensure that you are diligent about your answers.

We’ll also be offering less appointments. To book, please feel free to use our online booking system for massage and reflexology as this is up to date with the appointments we are now able to offer.

Avoiding and improving swollen ankles during pregnancy

Swollen ankles in pregnancy can be debilitating. And it’s common. The official term for this swelling is oedema (or the US spelling is edema) and occurs not only in your legs, feet and ankles. Your hands may also swell when you’re pregnant and your face.

So, let’s look at why you experience swelling in pregnancy and how you can ease its effects.

Swollen ankles and general swelling in pregnancy

We swell when fluid accumulates in our tissues. It’s more likely to happen when we’re pregnant because this is when our body produces approximately 50% more blood and other body fluids. These are to feed our growing baby.

Besides this excess of normal fluid, there are additional reasons we we’re more likely to experience swollen ankles and other extremities during pregnancy.

Growing uterus. Our uterus grows in line with our baby. This increase in size affects our circulation and how efficiently blood can return to our heart and creates symptoms which are often only temporary but mimic what happens when we have congestive heart failure.

Hormones change. The altered balance of our hormones mean that we’re more predisposed to holding onto fluid. Which leads us onto our third point…

Fluid retention. we just keep more fluid when we’re pregnant, anyway. If you think about the extra load one body supporting two lives puts on our system, some activities just slow down as there’s only so much energy which our system can pull on to run.

You’re more likely to notice swollen feet and ankles from mid-pregnancy onwards with it increasing towards the end of your third trimester.

Sleeping or resting on your left side improves the symptoms. This is because it reduces the pressure on the large vein that carries blood from your lower extremities back to your heart. This is also why it’s suggested that you could sleep with your legs elevated up on a pillow.

Foods That Cause Swelling

If you look down at your ankle and you notice it’s doubled the size. It may be that you’ve just eaten something that has exacerbated the problem. Maybe you could eat and drink whatever you want without effect. But now, because of the extra workload your body has with its pregnancy, you’ll be more likely to suffer the effects so think about avoiding some below:

Salt. Avoid adding table salt to foods is a nice easy win. Plus, you could read food labels which will help you identify sodium, which is salt, as sodium causes your body to retain water.

Processed foods. Processed foods include a wide range of items from crisps and pre-packaged goodies to meats such as ham and bacon down to canned foods. The list is long but worth considering as these foods are high in trans-fat which can lead to oedema.

Caffeine. Caffeine is in coffee, tea (including green tea) and fizzy drinks. It speeds up the time that water takes to pass through our system, thus reducing the time that our body has to extract what it needs from it. This leads to dehydration, which causes water retention. It’s also a superb idea to avoid carbohydrates and sugars because simple sugars in our diet may also lead to us retaining water.

Foods That Reduce Swelling

Including the right balance of vitamins and minerals from including fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet helps keep those swollen ankles at bay. And that’s not just during your pregnancy. Lean meats. Turkey and chicken are high in protein, which helps balance fluid in our tissues.

Also, be sure to take a daily prenatal vitamin. These will help both you and your baby stay healthy.

If food is high in potassium, this may help reduce swelling in your feet and ankles as well as your face. This keeps your body balanced chemically (which are hormones). You can find potassium in e.g. bananas, sweet potatoes, kidney beans and avocado.

It often surprises our clients are often when we tell them that drinking plenty of water helps flush your body out and thus reduces water retention.

Drink water to reduce water retention

This is due to the way the lymphatic system works. It needs water to function optimally. Or movement. When we’re pregnant, women are getting less exercise, such as walking, within our daily lifestyle, and also, we’re likely to drink less due to needing the loo more.

The effects are compound. We’re not moving as much so our joints become stiff. This stiffness means moving is then even more difficult and the lack of exercise in the long term can lead to tissue damage because of the effect of a buildup of toxins. The natural cleansing process of our body would normally remove these.

Manual lymphatic drainage massage is effective at reducing puffy limbs including ankles, feet, legs, hands and our face. It simply mimics what our body would do on its own. You can book a manual lymphatic drainage massage therapy online to help your body reduce swelling.

Should I Be Concerned About Swelling?

Swelling of our extremities is common during pregnancy and mostly means nothing sinister. However, there are some times when you should pay more attention and as always, we recommend that if you have any kind of doubt, always contact your medical practitioner.

  • Sudden onset of swelling in your hands or face. It may accompany this with a headache or change in vision.
  • If you have swelling but also chest pains, shortness of breath or continuous coughing. You should always know oedema could be a sign of preeclampsia.
  • When one leg or ankle displays more swelling than the other, along with pain.

These are urgent red flags you shouldn’t ignore so get in touch with your doctor. Better safe than sorry.  Whilst we’re talking about health issues whilst pregnant, let’s not forget gestational diabetes. This often comes with no long-standing symptoms and is picked up by blood tests at your doctors. You can also ease your chance of getting this by watching your diet as you’re more at risk if you’re overweight with a high body fat percentage.

Swelling After Birth

It’s also common to suffer with swollen ankles and feet after you have given birth. It usually relates to labour medication along with a shift in your hormones. You were pregnant and now your body needs to adjust to not being pregnant anymore. This is also why we often get postnatal depression.

Reflexology can be a great treatment for re-balancing our hormones after we have given birth. Particularly if you’re breast feeding and want to avoid medications.

A note on swollen ankles when you’re not pregnant.

Swollen ankles or limbs of any kind can be a sign of seriously underlying health conditions and diseases. If you experience oedema, it can show e.g. liver failure, serious infection or a problem with how your lymph fluid moves around your system. These can cause further health issues, which can be avoided if you treat the issues promptly. Please never ignore the signs your body is giving you that something isn’t right.

There are certain factors that can mean you’re more predisposed to swollen ankles, feet, legs, hands and face.

Being overweight is one of these. This may or may not be accompanied by a chronic risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and varicose veins.

To book in for a manual lymphatic drainage massage to reduce swollen ankles or any other limb, book online now. For re-balancing hormones after giving birth, and avoiding or easing post partum depression, here’s what you need.

Lower blood pressure

If you’re looking to lower your blood pressure, did you know that massage can help? Few people do. And around one third of people in the UK suffer with this condition. What’s more scary is that many don’t even realise it.

Here’s everything you need to know to help reduce the stress on your heart and improve your health in easy steps.

But first. What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure is also called hypertension. It doesn’t have many noticeable symptoms, but when you leave it untreated, it can increase your risk of some terrible health issues. These include heart attacks and strokes.

The pressure that we talk about actually refers to the pressure of the blood as it passes through our arteries. Contraction of the heart muscle causes it.

Lower blood pressure with massage

If you want to find out if you have high blood pressure then you can get it checked at your doctors who put pressure on your arteries with a cuff in your arm and then measure the results in two figures.

They check the systolic pressure which is the force with which blood flow pumps out of your heart. This is the measurement as your heart contracts.

The diastolic pressure which is the lower of the two numbers is a figure representing the pressure before your heart contracts. This represents the resistance to the flow in your blood vessels. We measure them in  millimetres of mercury (mmHg).

You can tell whether the numbers are high or low by following the points:

  • high pressure is 140/90mmHg or higher (or 150/90mmHg or higher if you’re aged 80 or more)
  • They usually consider ideal blood pressure to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg

If your reading is between 120/80mmHg and 140/90mmHg this shows you risk developing high blood pressure so keep it under control.

Everyone’s blood pressure will be different. What’s considered low or high for you may be normal for someone else.

Risks of high blood pressure

If you have high blood pressure, it’s important to lower it because if not, you’ll be putting extra strain on your blood vessels, heart and organs such as your brain, kidneys and eyes.

If you don’t lower your pressure, then you are putting yourself more at risk of conditions such as

  • hypertension and lowering high blood pressureHeart disease and heart attacks or even heart failure.
  • Strokes.
  • Peripheral arterial disease
  • Aortic aneurysms
  • Kidney disease
  • Vascular dementia

These are life threatening and what’s great is that reducing your blood pressure reading even by just a little can help you avoid some potential knock on health issues.

Causes of high blood pressure

Not everyone has lifestyle issues that create an environment conducive to hypertension. However, there are some key factors which you should consider if you’re trying to reduce blood pressure readings:

  • you’re over 65
  • being overweight
  • African or Caribbean descent are more prone to high blood pressure
  • have a relative with the condition
  • eat too much salt and do not eat enough fruit and vegetables
  • do not exercise regularly
  • drink too much alcohol or coffee (or other caffeine-based drinks)
  • smoke
  • don’t get enough sleep or it’s disturbed

Healthy lifestyle changes may help your chances of being able to lower blood pressure readings.

How does massage lower blood pressure?

They have proven many times that massage improves your circulation and your blood flow. However, one of the best benefits of massage therapy is that it can lower blood pressure. And this isn’t just a temporary reduction whilst you’re having your massage. The studies show that the results are longer term.

As we’ve seen above, your blood vessels are a collection of smooth muscle fibres. These move in a co-ordinated movement to create a contraction we know as pumping. ‘My heart is pumping’. This moves blood through them along with a dilation, which is when these muscles relax.

This contraction and dilation are the two numbers we’ve discussed above in your blood pressure reading.

When your arteries harden or narrow because of a build up of ‘gunk’ over the years (also called plaque if we’re being more technical) then the space available for the blood to pass is more narrow.

This means our blood has a smaller space to pass through, meaning our heart either has to work harder (pump more) to get the right amount of blood and nutrients to the organs that need them. Or, we don’t get that blood and nutrient in sufficient quantities and we end up with a bunch of other illnesses as we’ve listed above.

Stress increases blood pressure.

We’ve all heard that. We know it. But why?

Because stress causes our adrenal glands and our kidneys to produce more cortisol, which is the stress fighting hormone.

Here’s the issue.

It was first developed when we were more active. When our stress is from needing to fight or fly. And so, we burned off the ‘boost’ it gave us,

Nowadays, where our stress is more continued and also created from more sedentary lifestyle options such as office based work, then we don’t have the chance to burn away the excess.

This creates a pressure on our heart because cortisol diverts blood away from our vital organs to save them should we be stabbed with a spear, etc. Except that working in an office doesn’t work like that. Our bodies haven’t caught up with the strain we’re placing them under yet, though…

You see the problems?

Constant stress creates a situation where our body is continually diverting the quality stuff away from the places that need them in order to mistakenly keep us alive. Our stomach stops digesting so we can use this energy to flee. And our blood feeds more vital tissues so we can run faster, forgetting that our liver may need oxygen rich blood.

When that stress eases, repair mode starts. We secrete endorphins which is our body’s natural pain reliever and the antidote to cortisol. You see how clever our inbuilt pharmacy is?

To relieve the pain from our ‘battle’ and related injury, our blood coagulates (clots) to stop us bleeding to death.

Now you’ve seen how increased blood pressure is caused, you can now see the issue that stress creates and why people who are under more stress have more chance of also having high blood pressure.

The magic of massage.

This is where we see the magic of massage. Experts have proven it. After just 20 minutes of massage, our body releases endorphins. These trigger our blood vessels to relax and so reduce the intensity at which our heart needs to pump. It reduces our blood pressure.

Massage means that our blood flow increases and so oxygen and nutrient rich blood cells get where they need to. This improved flow also helps to move on stagnant by-products of cortisol which we haven’t burned off through an active lifestyle associated with traditional hunter gatherer activities.

Just as exercise, when we perform massage regularly, our body becomes conditioned to this improved state of wellbeing. It learns to push blood in this new, more relaxed way. This leads to the longer-term effects of massage lowering blood pressure.

What’s the research associated with massage lowering blood pressure?

 1999, researchers from the Touch Research Institute, the University of the Miami School of Medicine and Nova Southeastern University in Florida. Their study was “High blood pressure and massage therapy reduced associated symptoms”. They split participants who all had controlled hypertension into two random groups.

One had a massage, the other didn’t.

The massage therapy group showed decreases in sitting diastolic and systolic blood pressure and their cortisol stress-hormone levels.

 2005, University of South Florida tested the effects of a applied back massage on the blood pressure of patients with clinically diagnosed hypertension.

Researchers found regular massage lowers blood pressure in people with hypertension.

To book in for your massage and to start on the track to a healthy lifestyle with lower blood pressure, book online now.

Lower blood pressure with massage

How can I stop my insomnia?

Definition of insomnia

Before we answer, ‘how can I stop my insomnia?’

Insomnia is a sleep disorder. If you suffer with insomnia, it is difficult to fall asleep, to stay asleep, or both.

When you have insomnia you won’t wake feeling refreshed after a night’s sleep. This is tricky because it has a ton of knock-on effects because of the resultant fatigue.

Of all sleep disorders, insomnia is the most common. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) notes that one-third of adults report symptoms. But, what’s more worrying, is that there are between 6 to 10 percent of us who have symptoms of insomnia which are severe enough for us to get a diagnosis of ‘insomnia disorder’.

The clinical diagnosis of this disorder is when you have trouble falling asleep. And staying asleep.

  • Sleep difficulties for at least three nights a week. This must last a minimum of three months.
  • Sleep difficulties create a major distress or functional difficulties in your life.

Let’s investigate these types of insomnia in more detail.

Insomnia causes

There are many causes of insomnia. And it links them to your particular type of sleeplessness.

You may suffer with short-term insomnia. This is an acute condition often created by a spike in stress from e.g. an upsetting or traumatic event. It can even come from changes to your sleep habits if e.g. you’re travelling a lot with work.

Chronic insomnia is a more continued issue. It lasts for at least three months. This is usually secondary to another problem, for example:

  • A medical condition which causes e.g. pain which keeps you awake. Many of our clients with lower back pain or sciatica suffer with this.
  • Psychological issues also play a part. If you have anxiety or depression, they wake up at night when the world is lacking distraction.
  • Substance use including cocaine and alcohol stimulate us and prevent sleep

Risk factors for a reduced ability to sleep

Some people are more naturally pre-disposed to not being able to sleep well than others, although it may occur at any age. Insomnia is more likely to affect females than males.

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)Trusted Source, other health concerns increase your chances of suffering with sleep disruption.

  • top levels of stress
  • emotional disorders, such as depression or distress related to a life event
  • lower income leads to stress
  • travelling to different time zones and changing shift patterns
  • Sedentary lifestyle means your joints may cause you pain. Obesity and cardiovascular disease.
  • hormonal shifts such as menopause.

Insomnia symptoms

You’ll know if you’re experiencing insomnia because you’ll report one of these three symptoms.

  • waking up too early
  • not feeling refreshed when you wake
  • Trouble falling asleep. Or staying asleep.

These symptoms of insomnia then lead to other symptoms, including:

  • fatigue
  • mood changes
  • irritability and difficulty concentrating

Treating insomnia

You can get pharmaceutical drugs to help you sleep, but there are also nonpharmaceutical treatments for insomnia. Always speak to your doctor about what treatments are appropriate for you.

A combination of techniques may work best to cure your insomnia. It depends on your personal circumstances. For instance, if your issues are stress, anxiety or depression, then your focus may well be different to someone suffering because of pain from arthritis.

Sleep hygiene

We’ve adopted behaviours that interfere with sleep and cause us to lie awake at night.

Some sleep hygiene routines which may help cure your inability to sleep could be:

  • avoid caffeinated beverages within a few hours of bedtime
  • Give exercise near bedtime a wide berth. Whilst exercise is good, it’s also a stimulant so pick your time.
  • minimise the time spent on your bed when you’re not intending to sleep also helps to train your mind that bed is only for sleeping

Home remedies to help stop disturbed sleep

Lifestyle changes, or home remedies are often effective at curing insomnia.

Warm milk and herbal tea such as chamomile are well known natural sleep aids.


Meditation is one of our personal favourites which we use within our reflexology sleep aid and massage for insomnia. We love it because not only does it work, but it’s a natural and drug-free method for treating insomnia.

Meditation is so effective that the Mayo Clinic says that meditation also helps symptoms of conditions that may contribute to insomnia.

  • stress and anxiety
  • depression
  • digestive problems and pain


The body naturally produces the hormone melatonin during the sleep cycle. People often take melatonin supplements, hoping to improve their sleep. However, this is also produced naturally by the body during a massage. Hence why the massage for insomnia is such a brilliant choice for many people.

Melatonin for sleep

Insomnia and pregnancy

Just like when women head into menopause their sleep cycles can go haywire because of hormones, the same is relevant during pregnancy when insomnia is common. Especially in your first and third trimesters.

It may not be that you can’t sleep per se, more that fluctuating hormones cause you to feel nauseous which prevents sleep. As done the increased need to pee and being generally uncomfortable.

Depending on why you can’t sleep will determine which holistic therapy is best. Reflexology can help with balancing hormones, calming emotional stress and cutting out nausea. Massage helps with being uncomfortable, including cramps.

If you’re looking to change more lifestyle elements that help stop insomnia:

  • keeping active during your pregnancy stops you seizing up
  • maintaining a healthy diet improves constipation, and gut issues
  • it might sound odd as you’re in the loo so much already, but staying well-hydrated stops you from swelling up, improving your comfort
  • maintaining a consistent sleep schedule
  • practising relaxation techniques such as meditation and holistic therapies during the day as we’ve described above

We would always advise that you make any lifestyle changes such as increased exercise with your doctor first though as everyone’s starting point and body are different and it’s important to do only what is safe for your personal circumstances.

Types of insomnia

Distinct ways to characterise insomnia are below. Please note that some of these types of insomnia overlap.

Causes of disturbed sleep

Your inability to sleep can have either  a primary or secondary cause

Primary insomnia is when another condition does not cause your insomnia. Your issues such as stress, work, bereavement cause these changes in your sleep patterns.

Secondary insomnia (often classed as comorbid insomnia) is the opposite. An underlying health condition or lifestyle habit, such as depression or anxiety, are playing with your mind at bed time.

Duration of insomnia

Short-term (acute) types of insomnia include situational insomnia and episodic insomnia. We know. It’s getting technical! Let’s explain.

Situational insomnia (acute) and lasts only for days, sometimes up to a few weeks. But, episodic insomnia lasts for one to three months, so it goes on for longer.

Layered on top of this, there is chronic (long lasting) forms.

These include persistent insomnia and recurrent insomnia.

Persistent insomnia lasts for at least three months.

Recurrent insomnia doesn’t continue for as long. But you will have at least two episodes of insomnia (episodic insomnia) over one year.

Symptoms of insomnia

We’ve discussed symptoms of insomnia in more detail on different pages, so check them out.

These include insomnia and depression and anxiety.

Hopefully we’ve answered your questions, ‘How can I stop my insomnia?’ To book in for one of our insomnia sessions, please read the pages as detailed above under the headings to establish which holistic therapy will best help your personal conditions. To get in touch, text us on 07757 946023.

Surprising causes of lower back pain

Many of our client’s who come to us for deep tissue massage are suffering with lower back pain. We treat approximately 80% of those by working a different area to where they are experiencing pain. This is because the muscles, tissues and ligaments in your body are all connected, so what happens in one area will have an effect in another, you can see this in the image above.

This specific situation of experiencing pain in one area, but originates from an unfamiliar place on your spinal column is what we call referred pain. We can often treat this with trigger point therapy, which we’ve explained in a previous blog. The point of this today is to help you understand why you suffer with lower back pain when the cause may be independent.

We’ll do this by giving you a few broad brush examples which will show a few situations common in our patients.

Referred pain

Have you ever hit your funny bone? That seeing pain that shoots from one area to another is a suitable way to demonstrate what happens in our body when we talk about referred pain. You may hit your elbow, but you end up with the pain in your wrist.

The same occurs with your spine health. If we’re specifically talking about lower back pain, a superb example is to look at the biggest muscles in your body. Your gluteals. Your butt muscles. Lower back pain due to tight glutes and hamstrings

Because these are so big, and so powerful, if they tighten, even slightly, they can pull the smaller muscles in our lower back out of alignment. This causes us pain in our lumbar region, but the cause of this discomfort is elsewhere. This means that your treatment plan won’t be under direct pressure on the point where you’re feeling the issue.

This is a common problem in our clients because our lifestyles are conducive to our glutes tightening. Either from too much movement, or too little. Yep, it’s a bit of a Catch 22.

Too much exercise

If you move too much, such as walking a lot, then this will tighten your muscles. The compression will pull down on your lower back muscles, tendons and ligaments which are weaker and either strain these muscles or pull the small joints of your back (spinal cord) too close together. This compression means these slight bones of your vertebrae don’t move around freely.

Insignificant movement

On the flip side, when you don’t move enough, these big muscles stop moving around and seize up. This means that localised nerves get trapped in and around your discs and hip joints, resulting in you experiencing those acute shooting symptoms associated with sciatica.

People rarely realise that they’re not being physical enough either. Hairdressers often suffer with this problem.
But they’re standing all day, right?

The issue here is that they’re in a similar position for lengthy periods of time, and standing often on one leg which puts an inordinate pressure on glutes. This causes injury over a sustained period.

Guidelines on self care include moving around and ensuring that you’re not overdoing moving, or lack of.

We know, it sounds obvious, but it’s such an effective piece of advice that we’d be remiss not to mention it.

If this doesn’t help, come along for a deep tissue massage and we can get this sorted out within one or certainly a few sessions. We’ll usually give you some stretches that you can add into your recovery programme to help speed along your recovery and prevent re-occurrence.

Within your deep tissue massage we may also add in some myofascial release techniques. This is often the case if your fascia has tightened and isn’t allowing a fluid movement of muscles. To help this along, drinking enough water is also useful.

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Chronic lower back pain because of hormones

This is one for the ladies amongst us who suffer with lumbar pain at certain times of their cycle. This is more because of an imbalance in hormones rather than disc management issues.

We’ve found our reflexology clients experience relief from these symptoms countless times. Reflexology develops systematically over several weeks, building up its effects cumulatively. As you become more balanced, so too do your hormones. And then they find that all of their PMT symptoms including lower back pain subside, eventually not being present at all.

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Psychological effects

Having lower back pain can take its toll on your mind because it’s inescapable. This can lead, in time, to a mental disability and physical as the pain grinds you down.

What causes lower back pain?

I think we’ve seen that there isn’t one answer, but there are several common reasons people suffer with lower backache. We’ve discussed a few things that we know support a ton of our clients without them needing to go in for surgery from healthcare professionals.

However, if you’re at the point where surgery is the only option, then you could consider spinal reflexology. This is a fantastic style of reflexology that focuses on the muscles in your spine along with the nerves that run within and around them.

Spinal reflexology works to reduce inflammation and ease the pressure. Although it sounds like a wild card interventions, we’ve seen fast and shocking results. Client’s who couldn’t walk at the start of their session, got out of a reclining chair with minimal effort one hour later.

And all of this without medications or injections.

The fine print. When should I worry about lower back pain?

We’re talking in this article about lower back pain because that is where our specialities lie. Various health conditions may also cause lower back pain including disease such as cancer and female cycles over and above what we’ve talked about above. If you are in any doubt at all, ALWAYS get checked out by your doctor first. Likewise, if you have a bone issue such as fractures or breaks, then massage will not help your medical position. And nor will reflexology. We’re more about freeing up tissue so it can heal itself, via massage and reflexology.

Christmas gifts for couples

Healthy Christmas gifts for couples

If you’re looking to the stars, searching for inspiration for the perfect Christmas gifts for couples with wellness ideas as a theme, then stop.

Let us help you out.

This beautiful elemental gift experience is one of time. Of relaxation. And entwined togetherness.

Allow your special couple to escape from everyday life and rediscover the fantastic hidden love that brought them together by carving out time for blissful relaxation.

If the two people don’t want to have the same style of therapy, that’s no issue. One can chill out with a reflexology session whilst the other has a deep tissue massage treatment.

Both can have a classic relaxing Swedish massage which gets their circulation flowing. We can include a facial massage, their head, or ignore these. The choice is theirs. One partner can have this whilst the other has a deep tissue massage to eek out tight muscles and knots.

Been under the weather? Then how about one has a manual lymphatic drainage to improve their immune system?
You get the picture. The beauty of this Christmas gifts for couples is that it is a masterclass in customisation. You treat them to a sweet present of their choice.

Whichever is fine, and the best thing is that you need not decide for them. The price is the same whatever you book, so all you need to do is decide on how long they have and purchase that time. We charge £60 per hour per person for a unique and personalised couples massage or reflexology treatment. Book online now.

I want to buy them a lovely personalised package for their stocking

We love putting together the ideal package for your couple of choice. It’s so exciting to provide a unique Christmas gift for one particular couple. This is where we become inspired. We can do quirky treatments, concentrate more on a tonic for natural stress and adrenaline reduction or health, or give a complete once over.

And what we do for one half of the team, we don’t have to do for the other. As long as they have the same time, their experience will be seamless.

We specialise in working with pregnant ladies and offer a range of pregnancy massages and reflexology for maternity packages.

To sort this out, all you need to do is call us on 07757 946023 and give us some background on their personal circumstances. We can then have a conversation about some options that will capture the essence of what you’re trying to achieve.

Book and pay online.

The choice is yours. Some people like to book and pay for their couple to enjoy their session at a specific date and time. That’s fine.

If you’d prefer to give them a gift voucher to enjoy at their convenience, then that’s also fine.

Buy your Christmas gifts for couples voucher here

Book a couple’s online massage.

When you buy a gift with Essential Feeling, it’s all processed securely online. You can decide when your friends receive their voucher as you can have it emailed to them at a specific date and time.

Or you can print it out yourself and include it within a gift card to present to them in person.

This is the ultimate in flexible Christmas gifts for couples.

Book with a company with great online reviews

We’re proud of what our clients say about us and the great online reviews they leave about us and our therapy services. We want you to feel comfortable, knowing that you are booking a massage or reflexology session with a company that is not only well established but also well respected within Essex.

Where in Essex are you based?

We operate out of the comfort of our specialist treatment rooms in Gidea Park, Romford, Essex. Close to all transport links and on the border of East London, we’re just off the Gallows Corner major road interchange and the M25.

Exclusive appointments are available 7 days a week and although our service is more limited than the normal 7am to 10pm at Christmas, we have availability during the holiday period. So if your special couple want to come along together whilst they’re both off. That’s great with us.

New dad gifts

When a baby arrives, everyone thinks about them and mum. But what about new dad gifts? They’re the ones getting up and leaving the house every day, functioning at top level in a merciless work environment on minimal or at the least, disrupted sleep.

It can be gruelling.

And dads don’t get a lot of credit for how being a new father affects their life. Looking for new dad gifts can be tricky as they focus on the run of the mill. But shouldn’t a gift for a new dad be something that shows you love and care for them? That you respect and thank them for the effort they are putting in to support their new family?

Whilst a bottle of whiskey may be an easy option, we’re assuming that if you’re reading this, you’re also a new mum. A dad inebriated in the bottle’s bottom is not a grand help to you!

Shouldn’t new dad gifts be something that gives them back the time they have lost now their day revolves around going out to work and coming home and feeding, or bathing? Reading stories or tidying away the mess that their frazzled partner no longer has the time for?

We think so.

Our opinion on perfect new dad gifts — it will help you and this gift will also help him.

  1. Buy something that men that gives this new father back his time. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time, but down time away from all responsibility can be a wonderful present.
  2. If this is the first present your bundle of joy has bought their new dad, then why not personalise it with a photo of their new son or daughter?
  3. Ease away the stress of new parenthood. Relax your spouse and bring him back re-invigorated and full of love for his new family who appreciate his needs. There’s nothing worse than working your butt off in the background and thinking those you’re doing it for don’t even recognise your sacrifice.

What new dad gifts do you recommend?

We have one, but the options are limitless. We suggest that the best new dad gifts are a massage or reflexology. He can decide. You buy the gift certificate for him and he can use it when he likes, for whichever massage or reflexology session best suits his needs.

And what’s better, we’ll even personalise the card with fun photos of whatever you want included. Just email us first on with your picture and we’ll sort everything out for you.

Why are the options limitless?

Because as new parents you’ll know that one day you can feel on top of the world, and the next you have no energy. New dads are the same.

Essential Feeling work on a time basis. You book the time out with us and then it’s down to you what session you have. So when you buy a new dad gift certificate, you’re buying him an amount of time.

Then when the time comes, he can decide if he wants a deep tissue massage that will break down sore muscles, or something more relaxing. For instance, he may have a Swedish massage developed to allow him a deeper night’s sleep. Or he may choose reflexology.

He need not decide any of this until he makes his booking. And even then, as long as he has chosen massage or reflexology to secure the correct therapist, we can adapt the rest during his treatment according to how he is feeling.

Appointment times

We have a bunch of appointment times available for working fathers. We are open 7 days a week, including father’s day 2020, so if you want to make his appointment for your new dad on Sunday 21st June then that’s a nice touch.

However, the beauty of a father’s day gift certificate is that it’s portable for daddy to use this whenever it suits him. It doesn’t have to impede his new found fatherhood. And when a man is out of the house all day long, the weekends can be special family days when he doesn’t want to be away from his newborn.

Presenting your new dad with a gift voucher is the perfect way to deal with this. He can then book in his appointment around his work and being a daddy. He can come in the evening after bed time, our last appointment is 9pm for a 10pm finish.

How do I buy this voucher?

If you just want to buy a standard father’s day voucher, then you can do this online. The process will happen immediately and there is a specific father’s day design that you can select.

You may prefer your gift personalised with a photo. This is when you need to email us on so we can personalise the gift card design for you. These cards look amazing and can draw a tear.

How to personalize your new dad gift.

Pictures should be portrait (taller than they are wide) and of a suitable resolution for print. Be careful if you’re cropping in too much on a picture as this will reduce the quality and could cause pixillation (being blurry).

Once you’ve sent this through, we’ll get to the job of putting together the voucher whilst you send over payment. When we receive payment, we’ll send you the voucher and you’re good to go.

In an ideal world, please try to give us a few days notice to get this all sorted out for you, but we will try our best to accommodate last minute personalised voucher bookings. This depends on what we are doing work wise on the day. If we’re booked solid, turn-around times will be longer.

Looking for something for your older dad? Find out more.

Fathers Day Gifts

Fathers day gifts don’t have to be socks or golf balls, or even a bottle of the best whiskey or the latest published books. Don’t you find that looking for gifts for dad is full of the same old ideas? Particularly this is the year of  online shopping. So read on for everything you need to buy the perfect father’s day 2020 gift.

Here’s our list of father’s day 2020 gifts for dad along with some tips that will leave your dad delighted.

And surprised.

Beat dad’s stress

How many of our dads spend their time being a father and a husband, a provider for what their families need? This responsibility comes with a boatload of stress. And they love us so much they rarely let on. Instead of choosing to swallow it down and treat this as just a standard part of life.

This takes its toll on their shoulders which grow tight, their neck aches from the tension and their heads follow suit.
The perfect antidote to the stress of family life is a deep tissue massage for men. Many therapists don’t work with men, or aren’t built or trained to the special standard required to work deep into your dad’s muscles.

We are.  And what’s more is that we love the challenge of easing out those tricky knots, allowing your father’s features to return to their normal state as we ease away the pressure of being a wonderful dad.

With the stress of being your dad, comes insomnia

We don’t always see the way being a magnificent father affects him. As children, we’re conditioned to take from our parents, and they’re happy to give.

His kids don’t see the way he wakes at midnight thinking about how he will provide for our needs, or with the stress that working so hard puts on him. We don’t see how he goes to work in a job he doesn’t like rather than spending his days doing what he loves.

And as a child, we don’t even know what his ideal choice would be.

Because he doesn’t talk about this.

He just wakes in the night, ridiculed by insomnia as we lay soundly asleep.

Therefore, our classic insomnia cure comes in. He can take this soothing massage at night, any time up to 10pm, and then fall straight into bed after to enjoy a wonderful night’s sleep. Gifts for dad shouldn’t be run of the mill. Our dads are spectacular, so why should we settle for substandard father’s day presents just because 2020 is a weird year?

In fact, thinking outside the box can be as refreshing as a good night’s sleep.

Is your dad into his sports and fitness?

If so, toss modern (lazy) thinking about the latest autobiography, or a washbag, to the wind and invest in a fathers day 2020 gift that he will appreciate. Thoughtful gifts for dads who are fans of the gym like a deep tissue massage will be the style of gift that your father will open on father’s day and truly appreciate.

Is your father older?

Perhaps he’s suffered with bereavement and his life is full of memories of times when his now silent days were filled with laughter.

Book him in for a bereavement massage. This isn’t a dour experience chocka with doom and gloom. Quite the opposite. This is your dad’s place to reminisce. We want to listen to his story and are interested in him. We love to laugh with our clients as they spill the beans on their past activities they hold closest.

Dad to be gifts

Dad to be gifts can be special. These are times when you hold your hand up and salute the future together. If you’re pregnant and this is your first child, why not come along with him? If you share a couples massage, this is the perfect break from life. Where you can draw a line in the sand and acknowledge that your lives are about to change.

But, that you still love the man as he, that you’re his biggest fan and want to buy a dad to be a gift that will celebrate the journey you are on.

What’s better is that this is also a practical choice, where the two of you manage to re-group and de-stress together before what will undoubtedly be a period of crazy adjustments. Honestly, this is the best dad to be gift for all of you.

New dad gifts

We’re written a whole piece on new dad’s gifts. So if you’re looking for something special we give you everything you need. And your new dad.

It’s not just the fathers day 2020 gift, but how you give it.

You can buy him a gift voucher online so he can book in at his own convenience around his busy schedule. Put his voucher in an envelope for him along with a printed picture from a shared happy memory together.

Often we’re busy instagramming. Writing a personal note on paper that you give to him rather than showing others is a brilliant way to show you care.

Likewise, thinking about how you feel rather than relying on a verse from a card is another noble idea to make this father’s day a time when you deepen your close bond.

A little idea is your dad is into trivia is to devise quizzes. They can be about your life history. For sure, he’ll have forgotten about some scenes that linger vividly in your memory. And vice versa. Use this time to map out the legacy he has created.

Sharing your most cherished memories is a sure fire way to make the father’s day weekend special.
Or you can turn this fathers day into an adventure.

Meet him early in the morning, cooking him breakfast. Who doesn’t enjoy waking up to excellent food on any Sunday morning, let alone father’s day?

But then you take him out. He doesn’t know where he’s headed. To him this is a random trip that could end in disaster. It all adds to the excitement. So, if your dad doesn’t have to work on Father’s day 2020, we would always recommend this. And why we’re open to take bookings all day on fathers day.

You drive him on the journey from his to ours, with him asking where you’re going. It’s your beautiful stories of your childhood as your drive that diverts his curiosity. You’ve made your selection of tales beforehand because being prepared makes this business of surprise even more special. This way you’re not missing anything out.

Personalised experience

When you arrive, we take him in to our treatment rooms and this is when we announce that he will enjoy a wonderful holistic therapy, tailored to his unique lifestyle and stressors.

Whether you book him in for a deep tissue massage for men, for a relaxing insomnia session to lower blood pressure and improve sleep, this is just a guide.

Your dad will tell us about his life, and what he needs to get out of the time you have booked in with us. His therapist will adapt his treatment to his exact needs. So, if you’ve booked a deep tissue massage for men and then it turns out he prefers your gift to be more relaxing. A time where he can switch off from the world, then that’s what he’ll get.

It’s rare to find massage therapists who are so adaptable. But this is what we love to do. All our clients are unique. We don’t enjoy being treated like we’re out of a box and so we don’t treat our clients like this.

After his massage

That’s easy. Take him home, fire up the barbecue for dinner and gift him the gift of your time.  Stay late into the evening and watch the light of the stars together over a pint of his favourite Brewdog. You could even make him a hamper of his favourite pork chops and snacks.

Our take on making father’s day 2020 a wonderful one is to show your dad you love him and that you appreciate him for being a person rather than a provider.

To be fair, once you throw the sausages on the fire, he’ll take over, anyway. That’s what they do. Dad’s just can’t help themselves.

But you’ve made the effort. You’ve carved out time for him on one day when he does it every day for you.
For sure, you can use these ideas on your own, they don’t break your budget. But, adding these to a relaxing personalised massage is a way to 100% demonstrate your mission of appreciation. And thanks.

Don’t know when he can make it?father's day gift card online voucher massage

That’s fine. You can buy Father’s day gift cards online and then he can just book in when ever he wants. For whatever session he wants. This way is minimal effort for maximum return.

And what’s better is that if you live a distance away, then you can just email the gift card over to him at a pre-determined time and date so you don’t have to worry about postage delays. The father’s day gift card you purchased online will just miraculously appear in his inbox whenever you choose. We’re assuming that will be Sunday 21st June 2020 but who knows!

What could be easier?

To book in directly, text us on 07757 946023 and we’ll give you our advice on how to make this year’s gifts for dad your best ever. If a voucher is more suitable, then purchase these online.

Father’s Day 2020 is Sunday 21st June.

Monday7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Tuesday7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Wednesday7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Thursday7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Friday7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Saturday7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Sunday7:00 AM - 10:00 PM

OPEN ON FATHER'S DAY Sunday 21st June 2020

Deep tissue massage near me

Deep tissue massage near me in Gidea Park, Romford, Essex.

You’ve searched for deep tissue massage near me, so you’re looking for a more intense style of remedial massage experience. If you’re suffering with tight muscles, pain when moving around or an injury then you’ll enjoy the slow stroke and firm pressure of a deep tissue massage.

This style of massage reaches deeper into layers of muscles and connective tissues and is our most popular massage at our therapy rooms in Gidea Park, Romford, Essex.Construction of muscles and tendons that are worked during deep tissue massage near me

If you need relief from chronic aches and pains, then deep tissue massage is your perfect choice. The physical nature of the pressure breaks down tension and relieves muscles stiffness.

As tight muscles hinder mobility, so they can lead to all kinds of health problems. If we don’t move around enough, then our blood doesn’t flow, we don’t get the right amount of oxygen in our lungs and our lymphatic system doesn’t detox us.

Some common condition our clients in Gidea Park, Romford seek deep tissue massage for are:

*low back pain


*soreness from repetitive strain injury

*chronic health conditions

*muscular tension from exercise or otherwise

*limited joint mobility e.g. frozen shoulder, hip and knee problems, tennis elbow

*upper back or neck problems

*improving circulation

*reducing scar tissue

Our deep tissue massage in Gidea Park, Romford, Essex is popular with athletes and sports people. They use it to rehabilitate from injury, to prevent injury or to improve their range of movement which in term enhances their performance.

Is this a sports massage then?

People use sports massage interchangeably with deep tissue treatments. There are fundamental differences in that sports technique is about helping the specific injury during your session, rather than your entire body. Deep tissue massage looks after the injury and tracks it to the source. The benefits of this is to reduce the chance of your problem reoccuring.

It’s important not to get hung up on the terms because our professional therapist will always mix and match techniques so you have the best potential outcome.

What to expect when you have a deep tissue massage

Our massage therapist is not only highly qualified and experienced but also committed to your treatment. We’re constantly researching and keeping up to date with new techniques so we can ensure you always have the best care.

Deep tissue massage near me works across fibresWe’ll begin your treatment with a lighter pressure, similar to the technique we use for Swedish massage. This soothes the upper layers of muscles, tendons and fascia for soft tissue release and warms up your muscles and connective tissues.

We do this to prevent injury during your session. It’s not good to work too hard before your muscles are supple because this puts more duress than your muscles can take.


Imagine a tree bending in the wind. If it’s not supple, like bamboo, it risks the branches breaking.

As you and your muscles loosen, we’ll increase the intensity of our pressure. We’ll use our forearms and elbows, knuckles and thumbs to apply deep, targeted pressure. Your therapist will work along the length of your muscles and over their grain.

This mix of techniques attacks ‘knots’ and break down these bands of painful tissue which over time grows so rigid you can feel it through your skin.

By working in this way, after your deep tissue massage, you’ll relax, your muscles will be more free and so you’ll be able to move more freely.

Read more about lower back pain — surprising causes of lower back pain.

Isn’t deep tissue massage painful?

A lot of customers worry. They think a deep tissue massage will hurt too much. And for sure, the level of pressure that required to break down tight muscle fibres you will feel some discomfort and even some short lived pain. During the massage and sometimes your recovery will take a few days after.

But our massage therapist is friendly. And kind. Whilst we want to do what is necessary to help you recover from whatever brought you to us, we’re on hand to put you at ease and even release some pressure to provide you with a treatment that you want.

We’re working for you so if you’re experiencing too much discomfort, then you must say and we’ll adapt.

I have a chronic condition. Does this help?

Deep tissue massage is effective at relieving pain from chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis. But, please tell your therapist beforehand in the consultation process so we can adapt. This is how you’ll get the most out of your massage therapy.

How can I get the most out of my deep tissue massage?

It’s the same with everything, the more you do it, the more you benefit. Therefore, deep tissue massage is more effective the more you have it. Your muscles don’t have time to go backwards again like they do if you leave it months, or even weeks, between appointments. And what’s often appealing to people is that it also doesn’t hurt as much then. Your muscles don’t put up the same resistance.

Because your muscles are so loose and your body relaxed because of regular massage it’s a helpful way of preventing injury. This is also why and how massage sessions can correct long-term (chronic) injuries and improve your range of motion.

How do I book my deep tissue massage with Essential Feeling in Gidea Park, Romford?

We have an online booking system. If you’d like to book a same day massage at our therapy rooms in Essex, then please text us on 07941 668456.

Book your appointment for a deep tissue massage near me in our clinic in Gidea Park, Romford, Essex online now. We’ll send you through to a page which includes a consultation form for you to complete before your session. Please explain any health considerations.

Appointments Are Advanced Booking Only!

What insurance companies cover massage therapy?

The question of ‘What insurance companies cover massage therapy?’ is a big one for our clients. And the answer is there are more than you would think. If your health insurance covers you, this means that you can have the full course of your massage therapy treatments, without worrying about the cost.

The key is to check your policy and if you can’t find something which specifies, call them or drop them an email and ask.

If you’re at the point where you’re just taking out a policy and want to know what insurance companies cover massage therapy ahead of time, you can also call. Most will have a page on their website with literature which details what it covers.

They only deal with highly qualified massage professionals.

Most health insurance providers will specify that the therapist must be qualified to a high standard. And often that these massage specialists have liability insurance themselves. Your provider will want to be clear on the efficacy of your choice because if you choose badly, you’ll be claiming more. Although jumping through hoops at the outset may be tricky, you’ll be pleased of it in the end because you both win by advancing your recovery time.

You’ll be pleased to know that we meet insurer standards. We trained to ITEC standard. This stands for International Therapy Examination Council which means we are recognised around the world.

On top of this, we work with insurance companies all the time and know how they work. When we receive an insurance client, there is rarely a complication in them getting a refund and if there is, we sort it straight away.

For your own piece of mind, it’s important to know that we are qualified and experienced in a wide range of remedial massage therapies and can mix manipulative techniques to give you a tailored treatment. This means you always get the best care to improve your issues.

What’s the process for getting a massage on my health insurance policy?

First off, if you’re not sure whether it covers you, call them and ask them. They may ask for you to get a referral from your doctor or GP which isn’t an issue. Whilst you’re on the phone, we’d also ask them how many sessions your policy covers as different companies limit you to different allowances.

When you’ve had your massage with Essential Feeling, we’ll send you an official receipt. This will detail the massage you have had, and our official credentials including our unique reference code that they can use to cross check our qualifications.

You’ll notice above we mention we specify the type of massage or reflexology. This is because some techniques may be covered whilst others won’t be. If you’ve had a Swedish massage sometimes this won’t be covered, but deep tissue work will be. This is because these are the specific remedial actions which are well known to improve muscular health.

If you have an issue such as high blood pressure, and you feel that a lighter modality such as Swedish may be more beneficial, then get a referral from your medical practitioner and speak to your insurance company.

You’ll then just send this to your insurance company and they reimburse you for the cost.

Why wouldn’t I be covered for massage even if my policy stipulates I can claim?benefits of massage to present to insurance companies when trying to claim on your policy

We’re not sure on this, but we’d suggest speaking to your insurance company if you have concerns. Maybe they’ll reject claims even if you have a condition massage therapy will ease. For instance, if you’ve had an accident which has resulted in a broken arm, no amount of massage will fix the break.

What it will do is loosen tight muscles around your injury. This helps to avoid scar tissue from forming and reduce your long and short term pain. In the example of a broken bone, tight muscles can lead to tennis elbow, so putting a plan into action sooner rather than later will protect you from future injury and discomfort.

It’s situations like these whereby a doctor’s referral letter can go a long way to helping you. Think about it. This is just like a prescription that they give to the pharmacist. A direction of what they need to get you functioning better again. Often health insurance employees aren’t well versed in the body’s anatomy and how one condition can cause other problems. Healthcare professionals are, and so can point you in the right direction.

Why does my insurance regulate which massage therapists I can see under my policy?

Massage therapist’s have different levels of training. Some people in e.g. a beauty salon may well have qualified in massage therapies in a college course that only lasts one day. The participants of this course won’t be as able to help your wellness as a specialist who has done a lengthy and many advanced courses with hundreds of classroom hours and practical experience in anatomy and physiology of your muscles.

Insurance companies understand that the focus of a beauty professional is purely relaxation rather than a licence which includes rehabilitation. And therefore they specify qualifications. It’s all for your benefit even though it can seem a little tiresome. You want someone with the correct training to help you.

Will I get everything back or will I have to pay an excess?

This depends on your individual policy cover. You’ll submit the entire amount back for a claim, but their compensation may only be the difference between what you have paid for the session and your excess. This won’t be every time you claim though and so once you have this out of the way they will refund your billing in full.

Is reflexology covered in insurance policies too?

Again, this very much depends on your individual policy. Some create a holistic approach to your health and wellness, others are very medicine based. The design of your policy will determine your financial outcomes. We would always recommend explaining your private circumstances to your insurance company and discussing how you can make this work for your needs. You’ll find insurers are helpful on the phone.

Will you come out to my home?

We have premises in Gidea Park Romford. This is close to major transport routes and between Brentwood, Ilford, Chigwell and Hornchurch. We have our treatment rooms well set up with everything we need to give you the best service. For this reason, you need to come to our therapeutic centre.

So, if you’ve found out What insurance companies cover massage therapy? and you’re ready to book; text us on 07941 668456 or book online.

Jaw clicking

I’m suffering with jaw clicking. Can you help?

When a person is suffering with jaw clicking, it’s down to a common problem with the TMJ (temporomandibular joint). We’ll talk you through this below so you can decide if a head and neck massage is the answer to your jaw clicking pain.

Facts about temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome

This is the part of your jaw that connect to your skull. When this is injured or damaged, we feel pain in a localised area. This is TMJ syndrome, where we feel tenderness or pain in the temporal area of our jaw.

There’s a few causes for your jaw clicking through TMJ syndrome.

Do you grind your teeth or bite the inside of your mouth? Moving our jaw in this unnatural position leads to it falling out of alignment. Our muscles in our face and cheeks tighten and over time we become locked in that position.

This leads to jaw pain and our jaw clicking and popping. Sometimes even tinnitus.

By our mouth being out of alignment, it can also affect on the nerves. And this is when we get ear pain or earache, headaches and pain in our temple. It can also lead to popping sounds in our ears as we move our jaw back into alignment from where it has being locked.

TMJ Symptoms

Jaw Pain

The temporomandibular joints are complex structures. They contain a mix of interconnecting muscles, tendons andTMJ head and neck muscles causing jaw clicking and tightness cartilage. And bone. TMJ syndrome is a disorder of these muscles, and nerves caused by injury. Often this injury is self inflicted, but it’s injury.

The temporomandibular joint becomes inflamed and as with any injury, this leads to pain when we use the area. So, you’ll feel pain chewing, or the clicking and cracking and the other symptoms we described above.

In addition, though, you may find that your Eustachian tube dysfunctions. This is the tube that connects the ears and the nose so it can then lead to breathing issues such as hay-fever.

What puts you at high risk of TMJ pain and dysfunction?

  • If your posture is poor, around your neck and upper back then this leads to neck strain. As your neck muscles connect to your jaw, this can lead to TMJ
  • Stress causes jaw tension in many people and so can lead to dysfunction
  • There is an increased risk for females 18 – 44
  • Patients with different chronic inflammatory arthritis have increased risk
  • Any kind of previous jaw trauma will put you at higher risk of TMJ disorder likewise with poorly positioned teeth.
  • Some people just have a genetic predisposition to pain sensitivity. This leads to them having an increased stress response, which as we discussed in point two above, leads them to be more susceptible.

How can massage help with TML disorders?

In terms of treatment, it depends why you are suffering. We’ve discussed the reasons above, but massage will not fix a genetic malfunction of your jaw.

What it often does and is very effective at doing, is easing muscle tension. So, if you are born with a defective joint function, misaligned teeth etc then we can loosen the muscles that have tightened around the area to give more space to your jaw functioning.

Likewise, if you are under stress and this leads to you, having a tight jaw or biting the inside of your mouth whilst you think to grinding teeth at night, then we can also help. Again, we’ll loosen tight muscles with massage therapy and as your jaw relaxes, you’ll find that any severe pain also eases.

How will you use massage to help?

As you’ve seen from the symptoms of jaw clicking, the TMJ can be tight for original reasons. Our skilled massage therapist will track your tension back to its root cause. This is where the focus of the massage will be.

Some people may need a neck massage to relax tight muscles from poor posture. Others may need their face and jaw working directly because of physical oral clenching, which is pushing bones out of alignment.

You may require more than one session and your treatments will be close together. The reason for this is that, as we’ve seen, your pain is coming from repeated behaviour. So, to deal with this we need to use a compound effect, bringing you in for another treatment to relieve your symptoms before your learned behaviour pushes you backwards again.

We’ll combine this with advice and some exercises helpful to prevent your inflammation and discomfort from re-occurring and give you a longer term freedom of movement.

To book in for a head and neck massage for TMJ, then please book online.

How to heal a hamstring strain fast.

There’s nothing worse than a pulled muscle to stop you in your sporting tracks. If you’re looking at how to heal a hamstring strain fast, then we’ve got your back. Because we know what it’s like.

Years ago now I had a boyfriend who was training to be in the Fire Brigade. Being a Firefighter was the only thing he had ever wanted to be. He had literally devoted his life to getting in.

And then disaster struck in the first weeks of his basic training. He did pulled his hamstring doing shuttle run burpees, and that was it. Over.

He got kicked out of his class and had to wait until there was another intake of new students.

If we’d known how to heal a hamstring strain fast at that point in time, perhaps that wouldn’t have happened. That said, I did meet one of my most precious friends as a result of him being put back into a different class. So every cloud.

Anyway, I digress. We’re here to discover how to heal a hamstring strain fast so you don’t have his issues.

What is a pulled muscle?

A pulled muscle, specifically hamstring in this text, is when we tear one of the muscles. If you take a look at the picture above, you’ll see the hamstring comprises three muscles.

  • Semitendinosus
  • Semimembranosus
  • Biceps femoris

If one of these is torn, then that sharp sudden pain at the back of your thigh is a sign that you’ve overstrained your hamstring.

As with tearing anything, the pain and the effects can range from mild to more serious. Let’s have a look at some symptoms, the causes and how you can treat and rehabilitate from a pulled hamstring.

Symptoms of a hamstring strain

It isn’t usually difficult to spot the signs of a hamstring strain. You won’t be able to ignore the sharp spasm which suddenly stabs the back of your thigh. This can happen whilst you’re sprinting, or perhaps whilst you’re performing a movement that requires you to stretch fast. A sudden high kick, for instance.

Hamstring strain grades:

Grade 1 relatively mild. You’ll feel tightness and a twinge when you injure yourself. There’ll be little or no swelling.

Grade 2 more serious. You will feel the sharpness of that sudden gripe as your injury occurs. You’ll probably also get some swelling and that will be the end of your gymming or game play for the day.

Grade 3 is severe. You won’t just tear a little of your muscle, it will be to half or all of your hamstring muscle. You’ll likely need crutches in order to get around. And you will feel severe pain. And weakness. You’ll get immediate swelling as your body rushes to restore the injury. It’s possible to get bruising at grade 3 too.

Not all pain is a pulled hamstring

There are other reasons why we could get pain in any muscle, for instance cramp, tendon strain or fractures can all lead to physical suffering . Be sure to get checked out by a medical professional if you’re unsure.

What causes hamstring strains?

We’ve seen how a hamstring strain is actually a tear, so let’s think about how these can be caused. It can happen in two different ways:

  • Sprinting
  • Stretch

Sprint related hamstring damage

When you sprint or if you’re just general running, your hamstring muscle works really hard. And like my example above, doing other explosive exercises such as burpees has the same effect. Just before your foot hits the ground your muscles and tissues are contracting and expanding at massive speed under impact. This fast movement is what causes the pulling which leads to a tear.

This kind of injury will usually be sudden and the tears will be lower down the muscle where it joins your tendon. Although these feel bad right at the start, they can rebuild pretty quickly.

A note here about water. We’re always banging on about this to our customers. I can’t tell you the amount of eye rolls we’ve had over the years. But listen up. Water acts as an oil to your muscles. You can avoid all of this by greasing your muscle fibres so the effect of impact is minimised.

Hamstring strains from stretching

You’ll feel these higher up the back of your thigh. These often take longer to fix purely because the blood supply to this area isn’t as good. It’s the blood supply that feeds nutrients to the area, which is why when we hurt ourself the area turns pink.

Understanding referred pain

Referred pain is when we feel discomfort in one area, but the cause is in another. So in this instance, you may feel the result of a lower back or hip injury down your leg.

How to heal a hamstring strain fast

Let’s first look at immediate treatment to help the risk of damage to hamstrings getting worse.

Immediate first aid

This is the acute stage of your hamstring strain. It usually will take 3 to 4 days depending on how bad your injury is. This is when you take it easy. You’re injured. The only thing you’re concerned about it taking care of yourself. No sports. None. Not even walking if you can help it. Use ice, compression and elevation to let the blood flow to the right places. Fast.

The role of the different types of massage at different stages in your healing process

Hamstring strain massage

At this stage, book in for a light massage treatment. This will not work the muscles but instead will stimulate blood circulation to your affected area. As days and weeks pass, then the pressure will increase.

Why bother with massage at this point?

It’s important if you want to get back your full range of motion to avoid scar tissue. Think about it this way. If you cut yourself, you see a welt when your skin pulls back together again. It’s the same with our muscles. Scar tissue depletes the strength and performance of our muscles, the long-term effects of which can be multiple. And that’s for day to day living as well as inhibiting sport’s performance.

Massage helps to break down scar tissue as well as breaking down tight muscles. Initially the more gentle touch stimulates healing through blood flow, but as time passes and your massage therapist works deeper into your muscles, it will increase your flexibility.

Hamstring strain exercises

You can stretch after the initial acute stage. This will improve your recovery as long as you don’t feel any irritation during them. If you do stop. And wait longer. It’s too soon.

When you’re doing static stretching with ease, you can move onto dynamic stretch. And then sport specific drills. Your therapist may advise you if you’re unsure.

Book your sports rehabilitation massage now

If you’d like to book in for a massage to heal your hamstring injury then you can do so online.

Prevent runner’s knee and knee pain running

What is runner’s knee?

Knee pain running is a common problem which is often called runner’s knee. It refers to a number of conditions which result in pain around the front of your knee (patellofemoral pain). This is when your kneecap briefly contacts your thigh bone. Ouch!

Overuse of your knee whilst you’re running irritates the nerves in and around your knee. The activity also overstretches the tendons which ends up, resulting in running knee pain.

It can also relate to a number of other running related injuries though.

There are non-surgical ways to treat runner’s knee pain.

What Causes Knee Pain When Running?

Knee running pain can be caused by a number of health related issues. For instance, how you stand makes a difference. If you have a collapsed arch, it may mean that your posture is off centre. This leads to more pressure on some joints than our body is naturally meant to take. And so our knee is often a point that is negatively affected through pounding the roads or treadmills. Runner's knee pain alignement

This alignment issues can also relate to unbalanced muscles. These can either be tight or weak in relation to the other muscles in the legs. This imbalance can push you off centre and increase the risk of subluxated, complete or partial kneecap dislocation. I don’t think anyone reading this will underestimate how much this can cause pain on joints, particularly in a long distance event such as a marathon.

The same effect happens if your bones aren’t aligned properly or they’re different lengths.


The British Journal of Sport’s Medicine notes that runners’ knee is two times more likely in women than men. This is because there is a bigger angle between a female’s thigh bone and her knee. This throws the alignment off and puts more stress on her knee, causing knee pain. 

Link between running and how you run

This is because there is a link between the distance run, the frequency and the power to knee pain. Therefore if you are looking to prevent knee pain running, then you need to balance your exercise schedule. Mix up the type of running, jogging, sprints etc with a variation in miles and distance you run along with other fitness work.

This is something that new runners often experience as they shock their system, but it is also equally important for experienced runners. If you run a lot, then you’re at risk from putting excessive stress on your knees. This can wear down the kneecap cartilage, which causes runner’s knee conditions such as chondromalacia or arthritis.

Don’t ignore the symptoms

*pain during or after running



Don’t run through knee pain. This is your body warning you that something is wrong and ignoring it could cause further damage.

Runner’s Knee SymptomsIT band avoid knee pain running

The symptoms of runner’s knee vary by person; how your body is aligned, the type of training you are doing and also the specific injury you have picked up.

For example, you may suffer from any one of the following and it still be classed as runner’s knee:

*patellar knee tendonitis – inflammation of the tendons around the knee

*patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) or chondromalacia. – cartilage eroding below the kneecap. This also results in pain behind your knee cap.

*increased pain running, particularly downhill, when you climb stairs or when you’re squatting or sitting for a longer period.

*irritation of the IT Band (iliotibial) outer knee pain whilst you’re running (lateral knee pain). This is more common in long-distance runners.

*meniscus tear – sharp pain in your knee when you run.

*back of knee pain (posterior pain) through soft tissue damage. Usually this will occur when you step in a pothole or twisting your knee some other way during your run.


Prevent Knee Pain Running

Correct running posture to prevent knee pain running

It’s important to warm up before you exercise, particularly if you want to avoid runner’s knee. Use stretching before and after and ensure you use the correct posture to make sure you put the right amount of load on each of your joints. This enables your muscles to work optimally – for speed and health.

When you start, don’t go at it all gun’s blazing. Build your distance and your speed up gradually so your body has time to adapt to the new load it is under. Don’t start out in some old trainers, make sure you get the proper gear. If the soles of your shoes are weak, then this will contribute to the alignment issues we discussed earlier. Proper support is imperative to prevent knee pain running.

Massage is also important to preventing knee pain running. Especially before a big event such as marathon or competition like a triathlon. Leave a good few days between your deep tissue massage and your event so that your muscles have time to heal back to their optimal level, or have a lighter massage such as Swedish massage closer to the event.

Do your event.

And then after, it’s important to have another massage to ease any strain and soreness out of your legs, lower back, knees and ankles. Depending on the competition, you may also find tightness in your shoulders too so give good consideration to making sure you have enough time booked in with your massage therapist.

Massage works your muscles deep to ensure that there is no residual injury or tightness and thus will help prevent knee pain running. This is both during your event when you have a massage before and after in subsequent after event exercise when you have one after the event.

The moral of the story on how to prevent runner’s knee?

Do everything in moderation and get a regular good quality massage to avoid any of the stuff we’ve talked about here today! If you’d like to visit us in Gidea Park, Romford, Essex, you can book online.

Trigger point therapy.

All our customers come to us with a pain, without understanding trigger point therapy. This means that they expect us to work the area where they are feeling discomfort and fix it, a little like you stubbing your toe and immediately rubbing it.

But the body is a complicated labyrinth of connective tissues. Muscles join with others, tendons connect our bones with muscles whilst ligaments attach bones. One bit of inflammation, strain or tightness in one area can lead to pain in a different area of your body.

The concept of trigger point therapy.

The concept of trigger point therapy is that the pain in one area can cover a problem in another. It is all to do with our body being constructed in a series of pathways, whether these be muscular tendons or energy.

Each element starts in one place and links through attachment to another. We see this in Chinese medicine, examples such as reflexology and acupuncture have built their practice on working one area to see benefits in another.

So by treating the cause of the pain rather than where it ends up, your massage therapist is able to improve your health longer term by taking out the source of your problem.

Dealing with symptoms isn’t the way forward.

Dealing with symptoms rather than to treat where this originates from leads to a faster return of these symptoms as the problem remains unchanged.

This is why clients will often remark on the pain coming and going. Or that it persists well beyond any reasonable healing time. Because the pain is only the symptom and so a treatment plan is needed that involves healing the source.

What is a trigger point?

It’s a tight area. A little like a nodule under the skin. A trigger point is a muscle, or area that is locked down in that contracted format. A collection of tense e.g. muscles which cramp up like a pea.

The specific role of your therapist is to unlock that area. This may be performed in one, or for more deep rooted issues, several sessions. When you release this injury through the application of pressure, it helps the knot relax, and this stimulates a knock on effect in other areas of the body.

Trigger point therapy covers a huge range of complicated pain related issues.

For example, you may have a pain in your neck, this often originates in a tight bicep or shoulder. So if you are under stress and perhaps sit in one position for a lot of the day with very little physical movement, then trigger point treatments will often be the way forward because it gets stuck through hardening fascia in a position which is not natural. When we look at how the body maps, we can see why this type of treatment is effective.

Anatomical image of arm showing trigger point therapy pathways

Muscles are made up of sticky fibres, as you can see on the image above. So, when you have one muscle that crosses over another then tightness in one large muscle is strong enough to cause a ripple effect into an interconnected smaller, weaker, muscle. It’s important that you have a massage practitioner who is well trained and understands exactly how the body is constructed from an anatomical perspective, because applying trigger therapy to reduce this negative tension is a specialist skill.

What happens during trigger point therapy?

Your therapist will use the relevant specialist technique to ensure that the tight ‘nub’ releases. It will probably start with applying acupressure and manipulation and then increasing this as the point relaxes and softens. It will probably also include some slow and controlled movement, circulation or rolfing of the area that is affected with your therapist’s fingers and hands is extremely effecting to stretch the structural contraction.

Once the point has relaxed, we’ll often do some special exercises to ensure that you have regained your full movement. Often we can release one area and find a secondary site if the issue is longstanding.

What are the signs I may need trigger point therapy?

If you have a trigger point, it is usually as the result of a stressed or injured muscle. They have contracted. It’s this that is causing you pain and tightness. Often with a resultant loss of flexibility due to stiffness, pain or tension. This physical limitation is a loss of normal function that if not dealt with can lead to further health issues.

What causes trigger points?

There are a number of issues, but below are some of the most common:

*Lack of activity/ deconditioning so blood lymph fluid isn’t moving around properly.

*poor posture and stress bringing on shallow breathing patterns.

*repetitive movements which causes mechanical stress.

*issues with imbalance in the body, e.g. physical problem such as different length legs.

*joint disorders and mobility.

*not enough sleep causing mental contraction and emotional instability/ depression/ anxiety.

*vitamin deficiencies.

You’ll often find that if you have a condition such as arthritis or a bulging disc, then you’ll also have trigger points if you’ve been suffering for a longer period.

A good sign that you may benefit from trigger point therapy is if you’re on some form of medical plan that includes anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants or anti-depressants.

Likewise, if you’re doing sports and on a strengthening programme in the gym, you could be causing a similar kind of strain that will also result in these trigger points. Simply put, you’re trying to improve your health, but you could be training too hard and actually increasing your injury liability.

Please check with your doctor before coming along if you are in any doubt or have concerns.

What is the role of vitamins in trigger point therapy?

Certain vitamins and minerals are important in the physiology of muscles, so without a balanced quantity of these, your muscles and tissues won’t be at optimal health. Diet is also a vital factor in enhancing the way our soft tissue works, so if you can’t add the necessary vitamins through food, do consider supplements as a last resort.

Examples of vitamins that may alleviate muscle and/ or tissue pain are:


*B6 (also great for your immunity)

*B12 (also good for anxiety)

*vitamin C (also helps your immune system)

*folic acid.

The minerals calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium are also of nutritional importance so including these or increasing your volume in your diet is also helpful for most people.

How soon will I experience relief?

Most clients regain some balance and therefore pain relief after just one initial therapeutic treatment.

How many sessions will I need?

Whether you will require an ongoing treatment plan depends on your lifestyle. See below some reasons why you would be helped with trigger point therapy and then if you are doing these as a regular part of your ongoing lifestyle, then you would likely need a maintenance plan after you have had your initial sessions.

What causes a trigger point?

Valerie DeLaune has been quoted as saying that if an injury has been around long enough, then a trigger point will form. This means that we are often incredibly effective at helping people with longstanding or chronic conditions.

Trigger points are often misdiagnosed by consultants. For instance, the myofascial layer of our body’s structure can cause pain which mimics nerve entrapment in your neck.

If you’re having problems with a trapped nerve in your neck and medical intervention isn’t proving effective, then you might have been misdiagnosed and just need a few massages along with posture correction advice. The confusion is easy.

It’s also common for clients to come in with an issue they’re not seeking treatment for and to leave with this also being resolved. For instance, if we’re treating your stiff neck, you may find that a joint pain in your wrist also alleviates.

Benefits of trigger point therapy.

Other than all the health benefits we can help with, there is another. Trigger point massage therapy are that we can often work out your pain without needing to put too much pressure on the section of your body where you are feeling the pain.

The science based research behind trigger point therapy.

In the mid-1960s Melzack and Wall introduced a theory which they called, ‘Gate’ which claimed that rubbing could be used as a form of natural medicine. The idea that this could be used to to reduce pain was, at the time, laughable.

Their theory didn’t start to be accepted until the 1970s and 80s, when further pain research had been conducted, that medics began to accept their findings that massage can give relief to pain.

After this, science discovered that we can control our pain via unconscious thought of your mind. This travels down nerves from our brain. This was the start of a firm scientific basis, which is efficacious in the use of complementary therapies in pain management. We could now prove that a client who has sciatica does feel localised pain in her leg even though there is nothing wrong with her leg. It is her lower back that is the issue. We also call this referred pain.

This is why patients suffering from heart complaints, particularly during a heart attack will feel pain down their arm.

And likewise, for clients with fibromyalgia now has an explanation. Because as we move around, our body changes position, and our unexplained pain comes and goes. In different areas.

Read more about surprising causes of lower back pain.

How do trigger points fit into this research?

The medical world aren’t great at accepting new ideas and concepts and the issue with trigger point massage therapy is that they can only be located by a skilled therapist. Traditional doctors aren’t trained in this and so would struggle to administer the therapy, although new imaging techniques in the last five years means that it’s now possible to visualise trigger points.

What happens after my session?

This is a holistic therapy, so it is not uncommon for us to recommend some exercises for you to do. You’ll also need to drink water to help your system cleanse any damaged tissue that is now in the process of healing. This gentle care of yourself will help your recovery.

Your continued treatment plan (if you need one) may include more of the same, or you may mix positive modalities to protect you in the future. For instance it may involve integrating reflexology practices, or stretch therapy which works a little like yoga.

If you’re interested in booking, you can do so online.

What do toxins look like?

We talk a lot about the effects of toxins and there are plenty of national reports about them conducted by well meaning technical researchers who write in a language we barely understand; but we never really talk about what do toxins look like.

So here goes.

Hold on to your hats, we’re getting into some technical stuff.

Toxins tend to get a bad name because they’re often used as a tactic to scare people into buying whatever the latest detoxifying fad is. And we have to admit, even we use it as a broad brush explanation of anything that hinders the effectiveness of your body to work optimally and therefore keep you healthy and fertile.

Here’s what a toxin is.

A toxin is harmful to your body. Quite literally, it’s poison. This doesn’t mean you need to be swallowing a bunch of toxic items, vaping chemicals or subjecting your colon to exposure of narcotics it struggles with cleansing you from. Because any substance becomes a poison if you overdose.

We often cite the benefits of water. But, did you know if you drink more than roughly one litre per hour, you’ll overload your kidneys? Thus, even the best things for us can lead to damage of our organs and even death if we’re not sensible.

That’s before you even start with adding in environmental factors such as smoking, existing disease and things such as pesticides which float around in our atmosphere.


Toxins are produced by living things. So, snake venom is the best example of a toxin. So is metabolic waste, which is why keeping regular is so important for all kinds of wellness issues such as fertility down to cancer. When these wastes hang around in your system they lead to poisoning because, by definition, they should be expelled.

Two categories of toxins.

Metabolic waste.

Pollutants are what people tend to think about when they’re detoxing. This category is full of the pesticides, lead and PCBs; products such as paint fumes, cigarette smoke and drugs/ alcohol etc.These are just examples, but you get the picture, right?

These poisons enter your body through a variety of ways, it just depends what you’re exposed to. For instance, they can seep in through the pores in your hair, they can soak into your skin, be sucked into your lung. But, they often get trapped in our fat store and then sit there as this is an area that doesn’t expel well. And so these poisons are allowed to then fester and manipulate healthy cells into disease.

And you wouldn’t necessarily get sick straight off. We’ve all slept in a recently painted room and come out feeling like our blood levels have shifted a little on the scale of toxicity, but you don’t always know. When patients go into hospital with a cough, doctors will announce that the cause of their lung disease happened when they breathed in asbestos substances in a work environment decades ago.

Seriously, it happened to my uncle. The most important thing is to be vigilant all the time. It’s not practical to be testing ourselves all the time, so being proactive with safety is paramount. Toxins aren’t always causing immediate symptoms, they can easily be the silent cause of deaths. To understand this better, think about smokers. Eventually it’s accepted they will end up with heart disease or some form of cancer from the repeated exposure to toxins.

Metabolic waste on the other hand is way more murky. This is where everything else gets lumped in which are technically toxins because they are produced biologically and will poison someone if they are administered in abnormal quantities. This is when science shows they become dangerous to life.

But they are normal producers of biology. So, like faeces as we discussed earlier. What’s important is to two to three litres of water a day and keep moving so that your body has the correct chemical balance to operate as effectively as possible.

How toxins can affect people’s health and wellbeing.

*Eggs. They might be fine in normal life, but if women eat them when they’re pregnant, they can be dangerous.

*Swimming in contaminated lakes on holiday. That green water may be so due to algae. And don’t underestimate the damage Algal toxins are capable of when they are released into the environment. Likewise, look down. The newt produces a neurotoxin called tetrodotoxin (TTX), the same toxin found in pufferfish, and a number of other marine animals which can cause paralysis.

*Ethanol is contained in alcohol, so by drinking it you are also taking in neurotoxins (affect your nervous system).

*Marijuana. Sure this is a toxin because we’re breathing it deep into our lungs. But did you know that a recent study has shown that there are more toxins in these cigarettes than in tobacco smoke and nicotine? Worth thinking about the consequences if you’re a smoker
Fluoride in water that we drink and brush our teeth in is a toxin.

*Chlorpyrifos is a strong pesticide which affects our nervous system as well as eradicating bugs from crops and buildings and animal species. This affects everyone but has been cited by Landrigan and Grandjean to negatively affect the brain development of a foetus.

Interesting thoughts

*My mother went out for a curry. She got food poisoning and ended up with chronic rheumatoid arthritis. This is a sign of her body going into shock when she fell sick and going into overdrive to try to heal through inflaming affected areas. She’s never been right since. This is twenty years ago.

*Bacteria on your teeth. It’s well known that people with poor oral hygiene are more prone to disease. Perhaps this is why.

A word on how toxins affect neurology.Head shot of Frank Bosmans Ghent university who researched cell and toxicity

Frank Bosman has been studying proteins known as sodium channel within nerve cells. Essentially they are responsible for creating disorders in the electrical signal which connects the message sent out by the brain to the nerve to cause the reaction. They are responsible for a ton of things, ranging from pain to seizures, all the way down to breathing.

This means

This is important for modern diseases that we don’t quite yet fully understand, such as fibromyalgia for example. It’s thought that fibro is brought on by us over eating ‘bad’ foods.

I’ve personally read a report that links this specifically to drinking too much coke.

For sure, there is more to understanding the developmental tests. When we ask what do toxins look like, and these tests are ongoing. But this research is an important step to us understanding whether these illnesses may be brought on by our lifestyle factors.

If we start to understand this, maybe we can do more than read about changing our diet and our exercise routine, building in some holistic therapies to our week’s activities and taking time to allow our body to cleanse may actually be based on a solid research data.

How does massage fit into this?

There are different types of ways that bodywork helps to keep toxins flushing out of your system.

Lymphatic drainage keeps your lymphatic system moving. This is particularly good if you are not moving around enough for your body to operate effectively alone. Likewise with chemotherapy, another pollutant. Your lymphatic system is one of the key systems in your body that is in charge of getting rid of waste, so this is important and hence why we include this in the detox package.

Swedish massage gets the blood flowing. This helps your body to distribute the oxygen and nutrients that the cells in your body need to reproduce healthily. Remember earlier on when we mentioned how dormant toxins slowly de-rail healthy cells, which in the longer term leads to disease and illness? This is where this fits in.

Reflexology foot massage works a little like acupuncture in that it clears energy blockages in your body so that there isn’t a road block in place of A being able to reach B unhindered. This is great if you want a specific internal organs supporting with a health focused holistic therapy.

If you’ve had a stroke, this is the result of toxins attacking your brain and during the process of your body trying to repair them, your levels of inflammation soar through the roof. Reflexology is great for reducing inflammation and allowing your liver, kidneys and lymphatics to process toxins.

In summary

Obviously, we’re making broad brush statements here when we’re striving to explain what do toxins look like. We don’t claim to be chemistry experts. Many medical journals record full details of studies. The percent of people who were affected by this and archives going back years that detail that.

Our intention today is to bring you a simplified explanation. We want to help you to understand the evidence that a toxin eradicated is a development towards healthy living. And perhaps this will inspire you to spend at least a few days with your family being more healthy.

How to improve your immune system

With the Coronavirus forcing us to wonder whether we should even step foot outside the door, we’re all thinking about the key factors in how to improve your immune system. And decrease our chance of getting sick. Regardless of whether we have any of the cough, fever and breathlessness symptoms, we figured it was time to tell you about one of the less known health benefits of massage.

Girl trying to improve immune system in face of Coronavirus

Massage will not only relax you, but it has a ton of other health benefits too. It lowers your blood pressure, boosts your circulation and improves digestive disorders.

But here’s the biggy. In the face of COVID 19, research has confirmed that massage will help to boost your immune system. 

One such study was published in October last year by the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. So, if you’re wondering how to improve your immune system, then read on, because massage is a fabulous tool towards improved health.

Yep, we hear you. Massage you cry? How can a massage improve my immune system?

So, here’s what the study found. Massage increased the number of lymphocytes in the participant’s systems. These are the white blood cells that are in charge of defending your body from disease. It stands to reason that the more of these little guys we have knocking around, the more resilient we will be to those pesky bacterial that are floating around in our air at the moment.

Here’s a quote from a statement the researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles published.

This research indicates that massage doesn’t only feel good, it also may be good for you,” said study researcher Dr Mark Rapaport, chairman of the department of psychiatry and behavioural neurosciences, at Cedars-Sinai.

On top of that, the clinical study measured physical improvements. 

Those who received a massage had lower levels of cytokines. These are the molecules that reduce inflammation. The effects were strong even in people who had chronic levels of inflammation such as those suffering from microbiome conditions such as asthma, cardiovascular disease and depression. These are precisely the types of patients at a higher risk of Coronavirus.

The researcher in charge of the research project also went on to say,

“People often seek out massage as part of a healthy lifestyle but there hasn’t been much physiological proof of the body’s heightened immune response following massage until now.”

The participants of received a Swedish massage. The study was carried out In the study, 29 participants received 45 minutes of Swedish massage protocol. Their blood was taken via intravenous catheters, which took blood samples during the study period.

This is a wonderful piece of research that we have been waiting for in the therapy world. But here’s the thing. We’ve been quiet. People aren’t aware that massage is one of the best ways to naturally improve your immune system.
Here’s another study which looked into could massage boost your immune system.

The experiment

Professor Fulvio D’Acquisto, an immunologist from the University of Roehampton and the Bodyology Massage School teamed up with the BBC to run this research study into whether massage can boost your system’s ability to fight infection, thus boosting immunity.

Here’s what they found.

Massage boosts the number of white blood cells in patients suffering from HIV, a disease that causes a reduction in a type of white blood cell known as T Lymphocytes.

Research participants had their T cells analysed before the research commenced as a baseline reading for how their body would be able to react to infections after massage. They were then asked to lie down for an hour before anything else happened to ensure that the increase in cells wasn’t due to the body simply relaxing.

Then they had an hour’s massage, after which they had another blood test.

Prof Fulvio D’Acquisto, an immunologist from the University of Roehampton

The results shows massage boosts immunity

A 70 percent boost in white blood cells.

T-lymphocytes perform a wide array of immune system functions in the body, which include growth and repair. This could explain why massage has been reported to help with so many health conditions, as we mentioned above.

Extended antibacterial cleaning routine.

And here’s the thing, we’re not resting on our laurels here. We know people are actively searching out how to improve your immune system. So we’ve stepped up.

As normal, we are only working from our own base. We have massage therapy rooms in Gidea Park, Romford. We have stepped up our normal cleaning routine and now, after every client, we clean every surface that has been touched with an antibacterial spray. You don’t have to worry about catching anything from any of our previous clients, and as long as you are healthy and aren’t suffering from any of the effects of Coronavirus, we’ll be delighted to take your appointment.

We’re sure you all know this by now, but what are the main flu-like symptoms you need to look out for making sure that you self isolate?

*A high temperature above 37.8C (100F)

*A new continuous cough.

So, if you have either of these, then you need to keep yourself to yourself, we’re afraid. But, if you don’t, and like us, you do not want to get them, book in now for a massage to help improve your immune system.

You may be wondering if there is anything else that you can do to improve the function of your body’s ability to find infections.

You could exercise. There are a few really good home workouts online. Here’s a really great one.

Adding vitamin supplements to the foods you eat could also help, even generally in avoiding getting colds and a normal strain of flu. Let’s face it, in this climate, if you get a cold, you’re bound to self isolate, anyway.

Some vitamins and minerals that are best for boosting your immunity and why

* Vitamin C — probably the biggest immune system booster. Did you know that a lack of vitamin C can make you more prone to getting sick?

*Vitamin B6 is vital to supporting biochemical reactions in the immune system so dose up with those tablets.

*Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body fight off infection so throw that into the mix too.

*Zinc is a mineral that keeps your immune system strong, helps heal wounds, plus it supports normal growth.

Foods that are best for strengthening your immune system. And why.

While we’re all about making sure you get enough vitamins, we don’t think there is ever any substitute for a great balanced diet. At this time, when we’re all asking how to improve your immune system, scientists suggest eating garlic, turmeric, ginger and broccoli.

Of course there are a ton of other foods that are rich in the antioxidants that improve your respiratory system, so here’s a few that you can work into your nutrition plan over the next weeks and months (you may even have some fun creating recipes with them in your new found down time).

Watermelon improves your immunity.

One 2-cup serving of watermelon has:Watermelon improves immunity

*270 mg of potassium

*25% of the value of vitamin C

*30% of the daily value of vitamin A

*Calories in watermelon are minimal

Elderberry are not only tasty but packed with antioxidants and vitamins. But they specifically improve your immune system in the way that helps the symptoms of Coronavirus. They can help tame inflammation and protect your heart. If you get a cold or flu, then experts say these tiny berries will also help its symptoms. Other deep red coloured foods are also good* because they contain beta carotene so look for red bell peppers, grapes and berries and sweet potatoes. Did you also know that cooked tomatoes are better for you than raw, which is in contrast to most other vegetables.

Shiitake mushroom is an excellent food choice if you’re wondering how to improve your immune system. It is high in nutrients, such as B vitamins, vitamin D, selenium, niacin, and 7 of the 8 essential amino acids. This is why cancer patients are often advised to blend these mushrooms into a soup along with some garlic — because these micronutrients boost your immune system and thus your body’s ability to fight the infection.

Pomegranate juice contains the wonderful vitamin C as well as other immune-boosting nutrients including vitamin E which means that this fruit is a great choice to enjoy whilst supporting your body in preventing illness and fighting off infections.

The added benefit is that pomegranates have also proven to be antibacterial and antiviral in lab tests and are currently being studied for their effects on common infections and viruses. But their juice is delicious, so don’t hang around waiting for the results. What’s the harm in working these gems into your diet today? Other citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons are also great.

Oysters contain zinc. This is known to have virus-fighting powers, that, like massage, it creates and activate white blood cells. And as we know already, these are involved in the immune response.

The role of alcohol.

Normally you wouldn’t expect a holistic health expert to be talking about the wonders of alcohol on their blog. But, there is a ton of evidence that suggests that if you’re looking for an antibacterial god, then alcohol applied to your skin or surfaces helps to kill off bacterial and reduce its spread and thus your chances of infection. Sorry we’re not talking about drinking here.

The problem however is that the stores are empty. There’s no decent anti-bacterial gel around, the cleaning fluids are depleted and we’re left without access to the products we need to fight the source of the virus.

Here’s a way to make a natural antibacterial spray from the things you can get hold of from Amazon so you don’t even have to step out of your door.

Here’s the DIY antibacterial spray ingredient list:

*1 cup boiled water which you’ve allowed to cool but not be cold

*1/4 cup Witch Hazel (without alcohol) or white wine vinegar. If you can’t get that you can use alcohol like vodka too

*Add 15 drops Tea Tree essential oil which has been documented to kill many bacteria, viruses, and fungi on contact

*10 drops of either Lavender, Eucalyptus or Lemongrass essential oil which also contain antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

*Spray bottle, you can use an old one, but glass is preferred, since some essential oils can start to degrade plastic if left for too long. That said, in this climate, we doubt that will happen!

One final tip.

Get lots of sleep at night. The duration that is recommended as being optimal is between six and eight hours.

This is when a person’s body will fix itself. As a modern day human, we’re busy with our lives and find it hard to relax. But, when we’re not doing a thing, our body is using less energy. This means we have more available resource to support our healing.

If you have underlying issues such as gut problems, heart issues and so on, this is even more important. Your age is also a factor in your ability to fight the germs that are floating around, so please, think about the elderly, and help them.

So if you sleep, even if you encounter someone who has been under a rock somewhere and is coughing and spreading nasty mucus into the world’s atmosphere, at least your body will be less susceptible to those tiny microbes.

In conclusion.

There isn’t one single remedy out there to best help you avoid the effects of Coronavirus, and there certainly aren’t any medications.

This is about combining everything we know, to adapt our lifestyle to include as much of the recommended advice so we can avoid these new diseases. We know that working these into our life in order to strengthen our immune system is only possible with what is available to us as the store shelves are literally bare. So, in short, eat your citrus, ensure you aren’t exposed and have a massage.

*Fight the effects of free radicals.

Free radicals assault your body and can be produced internally as we convert food to energy. They cause our DNA strands to snap and produce kappa, which promotes inflammation and inhibits the ability of our immune system to respond. By regularly adding a variety of rainbow coloured foods into our diet, including spinach and other green veg, improves our chances of fighting these bad free radicals. 

Remember, without the entire colour complement of fruits and vegetables, free radicals remain active and continue to accumulate in the body, causing oxidative damage.

What is reiki?

We’re going to try and answer the often asked question, ‘what is reiki?’ here in a way that doesn’t sound like total codswallop. So, bear with us because to some people reiki is mysterious, foreign or just plain made up, and we’re here to try and explain why we’re of a different opinion.

So, for starters, answer this question. When you experience pain, what do you do?

The reality is we all naturally perform the fundamental essence of reiki healing on a daily basis. It’s innate within all of us because we’re willing to bet that most of you would at some point, particularly immediately following the onset of that pain, place your hands over the source of that pain. And from so doing, we’ll experience a dulling in the sharpness, and essentially begin to soothe away pain. That is healing energy that is otherwise known as the Japanese technique or therapy of Reiki healing.

Let’s explain this technique better.

If we have a headache we cradle our head with our hands. If you hurt yourself your hands grasp the area until the pain disappears. When you have a tummy ache you soothe it with your hands. We could go on and on about the wondrous natural nature of reiki healing. And yet so many people either don’t believe in reiki healing or are busy asking, what is reiki?

And yet, the pronounced situations continue. What about when we’re soothing others from their pain? Say for instance a little one falls, what do you do? You place your hands on their knee. You may even embrace them. You kiss their pain and make it all better. These are all alternative therapies. They ease pain and suffering, through your touch. And through the power of this touch, via this healing energy of laying your hands or your embrace, the little one’s tears will dry up. Because you’ve provided them with the therapy that they need to feel better and dull their pain. Inadvertently, you’ve passed on your energy through the practice of transferring the warmth and force of your spiritual touch.

Hopefully now we’ve explained that reiki healing is a universal method that we all use for the benefits of ourselves or others wellness. But, why do you use this holistic therapy to heal?

Reiki is a natural healing instinct. We may not understand it and we may therefore be the ones who ask, ‘what is reiki?’ but reiki healing a therapy that we all instinctively use. Often on a daily basis.

The fundamentals commonly remain the same even when you’re not dealing with a physical pain such as a cut knee. If you’re under stress and you just need some relaxation time, what do you do? You’ll hold your head, place your hands over your heart to stop it racing after a shock or you’ll enjoy some other spiritual treatment by laying your hands over an alternative source of discomfort. Emotionally or physically.

We can often tie this into the healing power of meditation, but we’ll come to that in another blog because that is another way that subtle shift in energy can help to promote us to heal in a non-invasive way.

The roots of both of these modalities can be founded in all of the complementary therapies that Essential Feeling provide, including massage and reflexology. When one person touches another with a healing intention, that energy passes to help the process along. Whether the desired outcome be mental, physical or emotional relaxed.

Face massage

What is it that you are doing?

The practice of this healing touch is reiki. And this is why we use this natural relaxing technique that facilitates wellbeing.

Think about reiki healing in another way.

Away from cosmic healing, chakras and energy centres and buddhist channeling. Let’s talk practical examples.

Our bodies are made up of energy. We don’t question that an electric socket carries energy to light up a bulb, nor that a wind turbine creates energy through movement. So why would it be any different with our bodies which are made up of millions of constantly moving parts (living organisms)?

We exist in a universe of energy and when we use our hands we are using our hands to comfort that hurt. But the use of our hands and energy goes beyond hurt.
What about an expectant mother caressing her baby bump. A baby will react in the womb to this touch. It will wake, and start to move. Or calm if it is stressed. And the effect is pronounced for expectant mothers that we often will see them soothing their unborn child by touching their bumps. It’s an ancient technique that we don’t question.

The same goes for a couple holding hands. When we first meet we fall in love and our energies are drawn to connect. We do this in the first phase by touching hands. Just like practitioners of any complementary therapy will make a gentle touch on your body during your treatment. If someone is crying and we’re sitting across the table from them, what do we do? We lean over and place our hand on theirs as it rests around their cold coffee cup.

And a handshake or a pat on the back — we all like that, right? Are we starting to make sense now about what reiki is? Sure, reiki is a form of alternative therapy, and yes, reiki is a healing modality, but it’s something that we don’t need training for.

It just happens.

However, a reiki practitioner has been trained to draw out this energy and use it just like that wind turbine’s energy doesn’t just fly off into an abyss. It’s channelled.

In a nutshell this is the essence of reiki healing. We could go into all the background about reiki is a Japanese healing technique, that reiki healing is an ancient modality. But essentially, reiki is using one person’s energy to benefit another by transferring some of their good surplus to a person that needs it more.

To be more specific, reiki is the transfer of the highest healing energy from one being to another. Reiki healing amplifies and intensifies the power of touch. It promotes balance and harmony in your spirit, mind and body. Reiki healing is a natural, simple and powerful practise anyone can learn to help themselves. Anyone of any age, at any time. But, if you don’t want to learn reiki healing then Essential Feeling have got you covered.

Experience the power of touch. Tap into and experience your life-force energy at Essential Feeling today.

Understanding grief

The role of a therapist is to build a relationship with the other person so they can gain an understanding of grief for that person and find healthy ways for them to express their grief.
Grief is invisible and people will be told that they look well, but underneath the person will feel let down because they’re really feeling terrible.

Pain and sorrow is the agent of change. It forces you to adapt to the new reality that you don’t want to face.

Counselling is the way to get help to adapt to this new reality.

The length of the grieving to some extent lasts years and a lifetime because we hold memories in our bodies and they live on in us, whether this be for a spouse or a pet. Understanding the longevity of grief is part of understanding grief. What we know from good recent research is that the bond is still there, the relationship continues even though the person has died and we mourn them.
Everyone uses a mechanism that they use to default to coping with loss. This may be to work hard, to drink, to have sex, keeping busy. People use these as blockers to stop them feeling so we need to find different, healthy, mechanisms to allow us to feel and reconnect with our past experiences with the close person we have lost.
As society we don’t accept people suffering because it makes us feel awkward. We don’t know how to say they must be really gong through it so we avoid these intense conversations with platitudes. But this is no support.
Every thought has a physiological outcome, we feel pain in e,g. our chest and it can affect our breathing. This can quickly start to take over if we’re not expecting it and we feel like we’re losing our mind. It’s easier to panic about the physical effects than deal with and recover from our emotional loss.
This is why exercise can help because you are telling your body that you are flying, your using the panic pro-actively. Massage helps simulate this same outcome by stimulating your blood flow and endorphins as sport would.

Grief is a small tidy word that describes a chaotic process.

Around 15% of psychological disorders come from unresolved grief, so understanding grief has a massive impact throughout the world on our mental health. The process of grief is finding the level of our grief, expressing the emotional loss that we feel in our being. The pain is what forces you to express your grief. Some people painting, others play music but these ways are outlets that allow us to express our grief and move forward, hence why we say that pain is the agent of change.
When we are grieving, we block our grieving and then we block our healing. We function on a daily level, but our emotional capacity to engage with love is shortened and often confused.


Pain is one of the most confusing aspects of grief and most people feel guilt. It could be that you’re alive, that they didn’t have the last conversation, there are many regrets and there aren’t any rules about how to cope with this.
The thing that helps the most is self-compassion. When we’re hurting we end up attacking ourselves. When we’re already down. The best thing is to allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling and treat yourself as you would a friend. Be kind and give yourself some compassion.
When someone dies the whole family system is disrupted. You have the different members of the family and one thread is cut out which tilts the balance. Each family members have different ways of expressing and dealing with their grief. Grief doesn’t follow one linear path.

Open communication

What’s critical is open communication where people are allowed to be different, grief will likely subside for some people faster than others who struggle more with getting back to normal. These family units with open communication are the most successful at reorganising because they understand the intensity of your grief is different, but no more or less relevant. Often a family is ruptured so not only the person dies, but the source of comfort is also now missing.
So, family and friends are the source of comfort, but when they’re missing this is when you need the bereavement after death services the likes of which Essential Feeling offer. A compassionate ear, a clear space to express your thoughts in a safe environment, whilst understanding the importance of how physical pain and emotional release interact and connect to help you with getting over grief.

How to help someone who is suffering with bereavement after a death.

1. Acknowledge the loss. Don’t try and avoid it, or negate it. Don’t say it’s a relief, they’re in a better place. The person who is grieving doesn’t feel this, they feel loss and grief and will probably want to punch you.
2. Be in it for the long-haul. There are many stages of grief, so stay in contact and allow the person to be honest and either speak or not speak as the person who is grieving feels the need. If someone is suffering from complicated grief, recognise this and help them with how they are coping with grief.

Men and women grieve differently.

Men tend to want to get on and fix things and not talk. Women want to go over the circumstances and focus on their loss. This can cause issues within a couple, if e.g. there is a miscarriage or loss of a child.
The biggest single factor in having a good outcome then it is love that helps us survive the loss, so we need someone who we can feel supported by. And also having anything that helps us relax our body and remove stress, such as a massage. And we mustn’t try and forget the person. Don’t try and push their memory away, we need to reconnect to them in a positive way.
Give yourself treats and have a break away from the grief. Watch a movie with a happy ending that will likely make you feel better, even for the short term. Being around friends helps even though you don’t think it will because its that emotional contact. And if you can’t face friends, then you can always book in with Essential Feeling who understand about your grief over the loss of your loved one.

Find out more here

The phases of grief

Before we get into the phases of grief, it’s important to understand, what is a bereavement?

Bereavement can be defined as the loss of someone close to you, or the loss of a loved one. The grief experienced is the response to that loss.

So in this context grief and loss is a process which can be considered permanent. There will always be an element of loss. But, grief does change over time. There are a series of emotions experienced, even though there will always be a reaction of some kind to losing someone we love.

Stages of grieving

There are stages of grieving which is comforting to people as they see themselves or others moving through these phases or stages in an ordered way. It helps us understand and contain the chaos of grief if we have five jobs to do. We’ve discussed these in more detail, here.

However, this breakdown of the various stages of grief implies there is a particular order to dealing with grief and that grieving is a linear model where in fact we know that grief is a roller coaster with good and bad days being unpredictable.

In this video, they discuss how grief can be conceptualised:

1. Acute grief (grief shock).

The initial stages of grief which usually begins shortly after the death of a loved one. However, in the case of long term, terminal illnesses such as cancer or alzheimer’s, it is not unusual for the grief to start even before our loved ones have died. Many people feel guilt at grieving for the terminally ill prior to their death. This is a normal part of our acceptance. We should expect to behave in this way. It is misunderstood sometimes as being disloyal, but mourning is distinct to individuals and everyone’s process is valid.

Acute grief can include a whole host of experiences that you have never encountered before and you may feel vulnerable in a way you have never felt before. Grief postulates a series of emotions which are deep rooted such as a need to reconnect with the loved one that we have lost or are losing.

This can be overwhelming and you may feel significant emotional pain that can feel physical pain. There may be physical pain that you’ve never felt before such as fogginess and dizziness, heart palpitations and feelings of unreality and denial.

In this phase you may have frequently distracting thoughts about your loved ones. You may have issues concentrating on things that you would normally have been fine with. When we’re grieving our brain is less concerned with remembering normal day to day things. Consequently small things that were previously easy are suddenly more complicated. We find ourselves bargaining guilt, dealing with anger or slipping into an emotional tumble. This could lead to depression later on.

2. Integrated grief.

This is the enduring residual form of grief. In this the reality and meaning of the death are gradually understood. We meet a period of coping and acceptance. This is when we’re able to start moving forward again with enjoying ourselves and forming meaningful relationships.

Integrated grief does not mean that we forget about our loved one, we don’t miss them any less or stop experiencing sadness when we think about them. But, when we deal with integrated grief we’re able to find a way to feel connected to our loved one. Without them needing to be a physical presence in our lives.

We’re able to start to enjoy our life again without the thought of our loved one being constantly on our minds. However, there may be periods when acute grief and grieving re-emerges and it’s common. It can occur around the times of significant dates, e.g. holidays and birthdays, another loss, general life stress etc. But, when we hit the integrated grief phase, we’re understanding and beginning our process of healing.

Prolonged grief

A number of people may suffer with prolonged grief which is a timeline of an extended period of acute grief with complicated features which impede the restructuring process necessary for integrated grief.

To grieve is the natural process to help us adapt, and with other natural processes they don’t always run smoothly and so complicated grief can go on for years without the intensity of the grief decreasing.

If you’re suffering from complicated grief then you should consult with your GP who can refer you to a clinical psychologist with experience in complicated or prolonged grief.
If you’d like to book a grief therapy experience, you can do this here.

The role of counselling psychology in healing grief

.It’s important to understand that many people who are bereaved will heal on their own without the intervention of medical measures or even counselling psychology. Grief is a normal phenomenon as a response to loss. When the loss is of a loved one, we call this a bereavement. Under normal circumstances, the best course of action is a sympathetic ear and a hug, and this is enough for people to make their way through their grief and eventually come out of the other side and get on with their lives.

However, not everyone has someone close to who they feel comfortable confiding in. It may be that you don’t want to be a burden, or you’re simply alone after the loss of your loved one.

Bereavement therapy at Essential Feeling

This is where the bereavement therapy at Essential Feeling comes in. We offer that loving touch, a warm and cosy space in which you can relax and process your bereavement and grieve with the comfort of a trained therapist. It’s not counselling per-se, but you have the opportunity to open up and for the tenseness in your muscles to relax without the pressure of professional psychology counselling for your grief.

Look for the signs

There are two major circumstances where a program of professional medical treatment of grief and bereavement may be useful and it’s important to look out for these signs:

1. When the grief from the loss of a loved one triggers depression

One of the symptoms of grief is feeling sad for a period of time, but a serious clinical type of depression is very different. We all know that because the loss of a loved one is so severe this could trigger a major depressive episode which is more serious than simple grief which people get over with a little tender love and care.
There are lots of aspects to the vulnerability experienced through tragic loss but someone who has a past history of depression either themselves or as a family history may become more vulnerable. In the first instance, a quick doctors appointment may not be a bad idea.

When a grief triggers a depression, then this makes everything worse. The grief is more difficult to get through and has significant consequences on its own. One of the things to look out for is whether the bereavement has triggered a major depressive episodes. If this is the case, then this is when the grief should be treated through the normal way that doctors would treat any other depressive episode, such as with drugs and so forth.

2. The pain of the bereavement just doesn’t heal on its own.

Most of the time supportive loved ones and time is all it takes for someone’s grief to heal. But for 5% to 10% of individuals time doesn’t help and healing doesn’t occur. Intense prolonged non-healing that lasts for more than 6 months is then likely to continue for years. At this point, deep grief will take a stranglehold on the individual and will interfere with their overall health and wellbeing as well as daily functioning. At this point, the bereavement increases the risk of a number of illnesses and psychological treatment from an accredited psychologist who has a practice speciality in bereavement can make a major major difference. Traditional medication may also help.

Daily symptoms of grief

When someone is still suffering from the daily symptoms of grief on a daily basis they will show certain behaviour. For example, they may have a preoccupation with the person who died on a daily basis. Or they may display acute pain or non-acceptance of the death, for longer than 6 months post the person dying. This is called complicated grief. This is a complication and extenuation of grief. In this instance grief treatment from psychologists who understand the mental effects of grief is necessary. And can be life saving. This specialist treatment from counsellors can help bring someone back from their bereavement. This will assist them in progressing forward having gained the support they need for healing to occur.


In one study of complicated grief, a specific form of psychotherapy can be curative. Some medication can help and may help in combination with the counselling and psychotherapy. There is work ongoing at the moment to look at the specific combinations of medication and psychotherapy.

If you would like to know more about these studies and how medical research into counselling psychology is supporting them, please feel free to watch this video.

To find out more about the bereavement therapies offered at Essential Feeling, you can check out the pages here.


Massage aids return to normal life after chronic arthritis — Find a massage therapist near me

Do you suffer with chronic arthritis but are dubious about whether you should find a massage therapist near me? Will it be worth it? Is it all just a scam?

Read on.

Find a massage therapist near me for chronic arthritis pain

British Medical Journal – Clinical Review: Diagnosis and management of juvenile idiopathic arthritis Juvenile idiopathic arthritis is the most common cause of chronic arthritis in childhood; it is characterised by joint inflammation that often leads to joint destruction with physical disability and chronic pain that affects daily life.

During the past decade, increased understanding of the disease has improved treatment, particularly through earlier diagnosis and new treatments that help to prevent long term damage to joints. Earlier this year, the British Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology published standards of care for children and young people with juvenile idiopathic arthritis, which outlined the importance of involving different disciplines within healthcare. One of these, in addition to massage is nutrient based benefits, including tumeric.

The British Medical Journal reviewed recent advances in the diagnosis and management of juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and summarised that physiotherapy is important to maintain normal muscle and joint function combined with rehabilitation-using heat or cold treatment, massage, therapeutic exercise, and splints is crucial to returning to activities of daily living again. 

Femke H M Prince, Marieke H Otten, Lisette W A van Suijlekom-Smit

If you’d like to book a massage with a qualified massage therapist (hopefully you’re now sure it was worthwhile for you to find a massage therapist near me) then give us a text on 07941 668456 and we’ll get back to you as soon as we’re free. If you’d like to read more about our massage services, then you can do so here.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Office chair based massage such as Indian head massage, keeps costs low & spirits high

Indian head massage near me helps workers & their employers

If you’re thinking how? And you’re not sure whether to bother searching further for Indian head massage near me, then read on.

With the economy struggling, and public outrage at a peak over lavish corporate expenditures, some companies are still treating their

Migraine relief head massage
Teenage boy laying on a massage table, having a head massage

employees well. They’re doing it cheaply, right from the office by hiring massage therapists to come to their businesses and provide employees with Indian head massage at or near their desks.

”The massages we provide on site in local companies are not the type of luxury that you might find at a resort spa,” said Karen Botha of Essential Feeling holistic therapy specialists based in Gidea Park near Romford, Essex and provider of office based massages in the area. “The cost is much lower, and employees get a significant stress relief and morale boost.”

And these are stressful times. With corporate revenue and earnings down sharply over this prolonged recession, times have rarely been worse for corporate expenditures on employees. However, companies are finding that office massage such as Indian head massage can be a cost-effective way to reward employees and de-stress the work environment.

“We need a way to reward our employees, to show them that they are worthwhile, even if the amount of money we can spend on them to do this has been reduced,” said Diana Cortijo with World Bank, the international financing and development institution and a recent recipient of office massage. “Chair massage offers us a low-price way to bring the luxury of massage to our employees.”

Office massages such as Indian head massage, in addition to being low-cost, is also low-maintenance for companies. Generally, therapists such as Essential Feeling for instance will provide their own transport to the business, and bring their own massage chair and supplies. They then perform massage on employees on-site, with the employees fully clothed in an ergonomically relaxed, seated position. Most on site massage happens at an impromptu station, often setup in an unused meeting room in the office.

“It really takes the stress out,” said Helene Mangones of Graf Repetti & Co, LLP, another recent office massage recipient “all of a sudden bigger projects seem easier to tackle. And the stress that builds up during the day is relieved, allowing for an easier finish to the day, and even the current week and month.” This is why they thought it was a good idea to make the search for Indian head massage near me.

This stress reduction could ultimately lead to increases in productivity and a rise in profits. Stress is one of the leading causes of lowered productivity in the workplace. One estimate puts direct stress-related costs to businesses in the US at £200 billion per annum. Studies by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami have shown stress reduction, mood and immune system benefits from massage therapy.

“We notice that things can get a little stressed, especially given the current economic environment,” Cortijo, of World Bank, said. “Office massage helps keep our workers’ minds and bodies fresh, and doesn’t stretch our budget to do it.”

Contact us now on 077941 668456 to find out how we can help you.

Indian head massage improves productivity

With the economy struggling, and public outrage at a peak over lavish corporate expenditures, some companies are still treating their employees well. They’re doing it cheaply, right from the office by hiring massage therapists to come to their businesses and provide employees with Indian head massage at or near their desks.

”The massages we provide on site in local companies are not the type of luxury that you might find at a resort spa,” said Karen Botha of Essential Feeling holistic therapy specialists based in Gidea Park near Romford, Essex and provider of office based massages in the area. “The cost is much lower, and employees get a significant stress relief and morale boost.”

And these are stressful times. With corporate revenue and earnings down sharply over this prolonged recession, times have rarely been worse for corporate expenditures on employees. However, companies are finding that office massage such as Indian head massage can be a cost-effective way to reward employees and de-stress the work environment.

“We need a way to reward our employees, to show them that they are worthwhile, even if the amount of money we can spend on them to do this has been reduced,” said Diana Cortijo with World Bank, the international financing and development institution and a recent recipient of office massage. “Chair massage offers us a low-price way to bring the luxury of massage to our employees.”

Office massages such as Indian head massage, in addition to being low-cost, is also low-maintenance for companies. Generally, therapists such as Essential Feeling for instance will provide their own transport to the business, and bring their own massage chair and supplies. They then perform massage on employees on-site, with the employees fully clothed in an ergonomically relaxed, seated position. Most on site massage happens at an impromptu station, often setup in an unused meeting room in the office.

“It really takes the stress out,” said Helene Mangones of Graf Repetti & Co, LLP, another recent office massage recipient “all of a sudden bigger projects seem easier to tackle. And the stress that builds up during the day is relieved, allowing for an easier finish to the day, and even the current week and month.”

This stress reduction could ultimately lead to increases in productivity and a rise in profits. Stress is one of the leading causes of lowered productivity in the workplace. One estimate puts direct stress-related costs to businesses in the US at £200 billion per annum. Studies by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami have shown stress reduction, mood and immune system benefits from massage therapy.

“We notice that things can get a little stressed, especially given the current economic environment,” Cortijo, of World Bank, said. “Office massage helps keep our workers’ minds and bodies fresh, and doesn’t stretch our budget to do it.”

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Massage near me

massage near meIt’s difficult finding a massage near me. You’re never sure who is professionally approved or on the other side of the equation, who offers massage along with a whole lot more!
Well, look no further.

Charlton offers professional massage. He’s ITEC qualified, licenced massage therapist who has specialised his services in healing muscular bodywork since 2011. This is when Essential Feeling was born and began operating out of their elegant massage studio location in Gidea Park near Romford.

Essential Feeling is the baby of Charlton and his wife Karen. Together the couple adore offering customised massage and reflexology services and this is why they are accepted to treat under many of the UK’s insurance policies (please check first).

Charlton is in charge of massage and Karen the reflexology although Karen will work with clients as part of a couple’s massage as she is also trained. Together they enjoy helping clients looking for therapeutic wellness relief from real health complaints. They get a real kick out of helping people overcome their personal issue, either with relaxing treatments or through customised deep tissue work that aims to overcome chronic pain. Charlton loves the way that working with different health complaints really challenges him to get the best out of his skill set. For instance, when you have an hours massage at Essential Feeling, you will receive a totally different service if you’re looking for relief for lower back pain to how you would be treated if you have a sports injury that is preventing you from training, or gymming.

Charlton massage therapist Essential FeelingCharlton’s reviews (which sit under the Essential Feeling brand,) are second to none. Check them out on Google, and Facebook to be certain that you’re choosing to visit an experienced professional who not only knows his stuff, but is also approachable.

Being run by the two owners means that when you visit Essential Feeling, you’ll be certain of receiving a massage therapy from someone who really cares about you. You are not a number; you are a person and Charlton will seek to understand your problems and how that not only affects your lifestyle but also how your lifestyle is contributing to your problem so that he can ease your pain with massage therapy. That’s because he believes that being a licenced therapist isn’t enough, no two bodies are the same and neither are two people’s lives. So, why would your treatment plan be out of a box? You are unique and your massage therapy will be too.
All of this will be done within a casual atmosphere where certified massage professionals live and breathe anatomy and physiology.

That’s not to say that if you’re looking for a calming Swedish massage that aims to relax you and help you unwind, then Charlton is more than happy to help.
Essential Feeling massage and reflexology specialists are based in Gidea Park near Romford, Essex. They take appointments 7 days a week, from 7am to 9pm for a 10pm finish. You will benefit from free off street parking during your appointment and we hope you’ll agree with such long appointment times, you’ll be sure to find a slot that works for you.

Essential Feeling is happy to take same day appointments by text on 07941 668456, but there is no walk in facility. If you’d like to book online, then you may do so here.

Quick fire questions answered:
What is a full body massage?
This covers everything from your fingers and your toes. We’ll work your tight muscles from your aching back down to your legs, and up to your head.
Does full body massage include private parts?
Nope. Not at this establishment.
How does it cost to get a full body massage?
It depends on how much time you need as you pay us for our time, not the type of massage. Different pressure requires differing amounts of time.
The pressure may be firm as in sports massage where we firstly warm your muscles up and then break them down so they reform in a more relaxed state. Due to needing to warm up before deep tissue, we need 2 hours for this style. If you’d like a lighter, more gentle touch such as a Swedish massage then this takes less time, although to do a good job we ask for a minimum of 1.5 hours so that we can ensure you have a quality treatment.
How much is a 60 minute massage?
£60 for one hour of our time. The price increases pro rata from thereon up. The minimum time is 60 minutes. Book online here.

If you’re dealing with hot flashes treat hot flushes with complementary therapies

If you’re dealing with hot flashes it can be uncomfortable, not to say inconvenient. Below is some research to show how complementary therapies such as reflexology can help to improve the side effects of this hormonal imbalance and thus improve the quality of your life.

Dr. Emad Tukmachi MBChB recently published a research paper to treating hot flushes in breast cancer sufferers with complementary therapies such as reflexology and body massage which work alongside Western remedies.  

He covered a number of things that can aid treatment and symptoms of hot flushes in breast cancer sufferers, because amongst other symptoms, these flushes can often be more severe in women who have been treated for breast cancer compared with healthy women, they have hot flushes twice as often and for longer periods of time. As do men who have been treated for prostate cancer.

Factors in hot flashes

Dr Tukmachi also listed a number of factors that precipitate hot flushes:

*hot foods

*lack of fitness/ exercise

*an unhealthy diet.

Options for dealing with hot flushes

As far as assisting Western medicine, Dr Tukmachi recommended a number of options which had one of two common threads:

* Re-introducing homeostasis to the body (re-balancing) as we do with reflexology.  The regulation of body temperature is geared to delicately balanced homeostatic mechanisms, mediated either through the nervous system or by chemical transmitters.  Generally, homeostasis is maintained by the balanced activity of the autonomic nervous system and also by the endocrine system.   Reflexology is well known for re-establishing homeostasis in the body.

* Relaxing the patient so their body has every chance of fixing itself.  Therefore, patients have several choices of methods used in relaxation.  Dr Tukmachi listed, Acupressure, the Alexander technique, Body Massage, Reflexology, Shiatsu and Yoga.


Paper written by Dr. Emad Tukmachi MBChB, DTM(Dublin), PhD(London), MD(MA)

Paper written on 23 December 2009  

Contact us now or text us on 07757 946023 to find out how we can help you with dealing with hot flashes

Easy strength training exercise may help treat

Easy strength training exercise may help treat tennis elbow, study shows

KEYSTONE, USA – People with pain in the elbow or forearm from playing sports or just from common everyday activities, might be able to use a simple bar and strengthening exercise to alleviate pain, say researchers.

Tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis is a common condition affecting nearly three percent of the general population, not just those who play tennis.

The study randomised 21 patients with tennis elbow into two groups. Both received the wrist extensor stretching, ultrasound, cross-friction massage, heat and ice for treatment. The eccentric training group performed isolated eccentric wrist extensor strengthening using the rubber bar (Flexbar, Akron OH) while the standard treatment group performed isotonic wrist strengthening exercises. Three sets of 15 repetitions were performed daily as part of a home program with intensity increased progressively during the treatment period. A variety of pain and movement scales were utilized to determine progress. Patients using the rubber bar had vastly better results on all scales, especially related to strength.

“Compared to other treatments for tennis elbow such as cortisone injections or topical nitric oxide which require direct medical supervision and often side effects, this treatment is not only cost effective but dosage is not limited by the patient having to come to a clinic,” said Tyler.

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Paper written by David Fewster – Worldwidehealth Editor  

18 July 2009