Massage in Romford

Massage in Romford — a professional service with no happy ending!

Whether you’re looking for full body massage or just one particular area such as head neck and shoulders or lower back, and your location is Romford, then we can help. Massage Romford is based just off the intersection of the A127 and A12 by Gallows Corner in Gidea Park and has been established for around ten years.

Fully qualified.

You can be sure you’re getting the best possible massage from your search of Romford area when you book with us. We’re fully qualified in all types of massages and your massage therapist is adept at deep tissue massage as a relaxing massage of your body.

Parking available

We have free parking off street so that you can relax into your experience happy and in the knowledge that your car is safe.

What do I need to do before my massage in Romford?

You should ensure you are clean and if needs be shower before you come along.

What should I expect from my massage Romford?

Don’t expect girls to choose from or that you’ll end up with a naked massage where you are your massage therapist are fully nude. That isn’t the point of the quality massage that we offer at Essential Feeling. Instead of thinking about protected sex and happy ending’s instead of any extras, think about making an appointment from the Romford search location and actually finding a real massage therapist. One who can introduce you to a quality body massage with years of experience.

No touching is allowed during our service, so keep your hands to yourself, we’re a fully professional service! In fact you’ll more than likely get a male massage therapist who is very nice as well as able to give a great massage.

How do I book?

You can make your booking online. Select from deep tissue massage, relaxing Swedish massage or any other of our modalities in the full confidence that you will only be getting a massage by a quality, experienced and trained therapist.

Where exactly are you located?

We’re two mins from Gallows Corner in Gidea Park, Romford, Essex.

The best third trimester massage

When you’re looking for the best third trimester massage in Romford, then it’s important to find someone who is not only highly qualified, but also experienced. This isn’t just about keeping your mind and body fresh, it’s also about caring for your baby.

What are the main reasons for a third trimester massage?

A prenatal massage in your third trimester helps as your body adjusts to the extra weight and changes to your posture that needs to happen to carry your baby full term. These stir up new aches and pains, in places you never even knew were there!

What you, as a new mum-to-be need to know about having a third trimester pregnancy massage.

Firstly, let’s address what is a prenatal massage.

We adapt prenatal massages to the anatomical changes that your body goes through during pregnancy. So if you’re in your third trimester, you won’t be able to lie comfortably on your front, so we’ll adapt with you laying on your side and your therapist working you from behind. You’ll be propped up by comfortable pillows, cushioning and pregnancy bolsters and many of our ladies surprise themselves by falling asleep as they relax.

It may also surprise you to know that there’s another reason we don’t do your prenatal massage in the standard face up and face down positions that isn’t to do with your baby belly. When you’re laying face up you can put pressure on a major blood vessel. This disrupts the flow of blood to your baby, and result in you being nauseous. This is why it’s always important to have a pregnancy massage, particularly when you’re in your third trimester from someone who is qualified and experienced, as we are at Essential Feeling, Gidea Park.

Can pregnant women get massages?

Yes. Especially in your second and third trimester. There are some questions about whether pregnancy massage is safe within your first trimester and this is why during this critical period of your baby’s growth, we only offer pregnancy reflexology. To be fair, we find this more effective at helping with the changes that your body goes through during the first three months of pregnancy anyway.

If you’re dead set on getting a first trimester massage then just go ahead and get a green light (letter) from your medical practitioner or GP and let us know at the time of booking.

On the note of whether massage is safe for mums-to-be, it’s worth pointing out that there is no magic eject button that will accidentally cause you to go into labour. There are specific pressure points that are thought to be best avoided but your pregnancy massage therapist knows these and adjusts your massage accordingly. When you’re due to go into labour we use these pressure points around your ankle and heel to help let your body know it’s time. But this takes work over a period of time, and even then there are no guarantees. Everyone’s body is different. Whilst we have been attributed with kickstarting labour in many clients, in all our years, so far we’ve only ever had one lady where her contractions were triggered whilst she was mid-treatment.

A few points about safety during third trimester massage and prenatal massage in general to help you choose a safe practitioner.


You may really feel like you’d like your tummy massaged as your skin stretches and it feels tight. But extra pressure on there can be surprisingly uncomfortable, so stick to a light pressure.

Second half of pregnancy

After the fourth month of pregnancy in the second half, it’s best not to lie flat on your back. This can be during your massage or at any time. We’ve mentioned this briefly above, but it comes down to the weight compressing blood vessels. This in turn reduces the circulation that reaches your placenta. And this creates more problems than any massage can cure. A good therapist will never ask you to do this.

Deep tissue massage during pregnancy

Many pregnant ladies are craving deep tissue work during their prenatal massage due to all the aches and pains. But, whilst gentle pressure is safe on your legs, it’s not a great idea to have deep tissue massage on your legs whilst you’re pregnant. This is because you’re more susceptible to blood clots which deep massage therapy may dislodge. It can therefore be risky, but the rest of your body is fine. So if you’d like a prenatal deep tissue massage on your back, then that is completely fine. A quick note, always communicate with your therapist. Let them know what feels good, or if you’re not enjoying a certain level of pressure. It helps us to tailor your session to your exact needs. Like we’ve said before, everyone’s body is different.


You can see there’s a lot involved in the training our therapist has done, over and above additional and adapted massage techniques for maternal massage. This is why a qualification is so important. But over and above that, there’s also no substitute for years of experience in adapting, padding, understanding the changing anatomy nuances a pregnant lady needs during her pregnancy and third trimester massage in particular.

Your practitioner, if credible, should run through a detailed consultation form before your treatment. This will cover off any health issues that they may need to be aware of including diabetes, high blood pressure, and any contagious diseases/ viruses. Essentially they’re looking for any complications that may make massage during pregnancy risky, so if you are at risk of preeclampsia or have suffered some abdominal pain or bleeding then be specific on your form. It won’t necessarily mean your treatment can’t go ahead, but your therapist will adapt their work accordingly.

What are the benefits of prenatal massage?

There’s research which shows that massage regardless of pregnancy reduces stress hormones as well as relaxing and loosening your muscles. But, importantly for pre-natal massages, it also increases your blood flow as well as keeping your lymphatic system working at peak efficiency. This is important because when you’re pregnant you’re not as mobile as normal so these are things your body struggles to maintain without some help, and are needed to ensure you’re not swimming in unwanted toxins whilst not delivering enough oxygen via your blood around your system.

During pregnancy, regular prenatal massages may not only help you relax, but may also relieve:

– Insomnia

– Joint pain, neck and back pain and sciatica

– Leg cramping

– Swelling in your hands and feet (as long as that swelling isn’t a result of preeclampsia)

– Carpal tunnel pain

– Headaches and sinus congestion

How much do prenatal massages cost?

Your prenatal massage including third trimester massage is the same price as a standard massage. We don’t charge you extra for your passenger and our additional training and expertise like some places. We love helping our mums-to-be get through their pregnancy with upmost ease.

You can book online.

How to give a prenatal massage at home

Ask your partner/ friend for an at-home, maternal massage with these tips:

Gentle foot rub.

Use lotion for smoother strokes, and start by rubbing the top of your foot with gentle pressure, working from the toes towards the ankle and making small circles, light around the ankle. They can then use both thumbs to make small light circles on the sole of the foot right beneath the toes.

On your heel, move one thumb down as the other thumb moves up, and continue to alternate. They can also gently tug on each toe and use the index finger or thumb to rub between them. It’s a good idea to avoid the pressure point between the anklebone and heel.

Back rub. Sit up or lie on your side then have your partner stroke up and down your back using both hands. Lotion helps their hands glide. They should focus on the muscles on either side of your spine and not go over your shoulders.

Head massage including your scalp. Moving from the base of the skull to the hairline, use both hands and spread fingers to apply gentle pressure to the scalp, circling hands together or apart. Add gentle stroking of your face, which can be amazingly relaxing.

Tummy. Don’t massage it! Instead, gently rub it with vitamin E oil for a soothing effect that can also help prevent stretch marks.

Massage therapies v’s beauty school massage.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Similarities between the two styles of massage therapies

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

General benefits of massage

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

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

Can improve muscular discomfort

May improve or give relief from pregnancy associated aches and conditions

A traditional complementary therapy based on rhythmic movements

Great gifts for friends and relatives including couples

Can promote improved sleep and reduce symptoms of insomnia

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

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

Deep tissue/ sports massage

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

Swedish massage

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

Pregnancy massage

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

Fertility massage

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

Lymphatic drainage

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

Myofascial release

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


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

Indian head massage

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


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

Mobilisation techniques

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

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

Mother’s Day this year

Struggling to find the perfect gift for your stressed out mum on Mother’s Day this year?

We know. Finding a gift for mother’s day this year, one that sums up just how special your mum is to you is tough at any time; but this mothering Sunday may be the toughest yet with some parts of the UK on different restrictions to others.

But don’t panic we have you covered this March.

Beyond making mother’s day this year a national public holiday where our patient and kind mothers are celebrated; what else can we do?

Let’s face it, this has been a trying year. What with home schooling and kids bored out of their minds and running riot, it’s time people mother's day this year home schoolingcelebrated the daily sacrifices of our mums across countries. It’s not fun and games sitting inside with no friends to visit for distraction. We’re willing to bet that on mother’s day this year, our mums will have a few more grey hairs than last.

Who would have thought it this time last year? That the global pandemic would have ravaged through last Mar, well beyond Nov and even Feb 2021 and still be affecting how tradition can honour the most special ladies in our lives.

It’s been a year where cards and flowers just won’t cut the mustard.

Let’s run through the options:

Businesses may or may not be open. So booking a meal in a restaurant used to be a fail safe, but what if they’re closed: then what?

Booking experience days out also falls into the dubious list. As is any kind of travel for a quick dose of sun and sand.

And mother is always watching her weight, so especially with lockdown bellies, is a cake a double edged sword?

What are the origins of this maternal celebration becoming a staple in the calendar?

mother's day this year new mum

To look at how best to celebrate, let’s take a second to role back on how the tradition of Mother’s Day started.

Back in 1907 or some say 1908, an American mum must have had enough. Her name was Anna Jarvis and she took it upon herself to honour her own mother with a set of activities that were personal to them.

It didn’t take long for the idea of a treat to become a common event, and seven years later, the US president made it a national holiday. Except that being a Sunday that was a bit of a non-event as it wasn’t like there were a lot of people working Sundays back then!

Anyway, regardless, I guess the thought was there.

Since then, the word spread and we’ve taken to buying marzipan cakes and whatever the current gift trend is worldwide.

So, why have we stopped really thinking about what our mums go through on a daily basis and what gift from their families would return the favour of all that motherhood is?

Think about your mum’s priority for a second.

*Making sure her kids eat at a well stocked table, often before she does.

*That they get to do their favourite things whilst she goes without. Sons go to football out of the household budget, whilst daughters play with overpriced dolls.

*And family time is key. They’ll get up early in the morning to clean the house, to prepare our food or iron our clothes, all so that this is done to free up time for a special family outing.

Mother’s give their time and their energy freely, with no request for reward linked to their handmade, homegrown, all-consuming devotion.

So what can we give mums back that gives them back a piece of the love they show us on a daily basis?


*A family trip, that they invariably end up organising?

*Perhaps a day off from chores, that they end up picking up the slack from the next day?

When you really think about it, there is only really one gift that observes with enough respect, just how diligently our Mum’s love and care for us.

The gift of time. And of relaxation. A slice of peace.

These are the treats that show our mother just how much we understand what she does for us. For sure, we can layer in a candy cake and buy a bunch of roses, after all, women always love flowers, but don’t leave it at that.

When would your mum ever not give time and consideration to a gift she buys for you?

So what’s the answer?

Buy her a gift card for Essential Feeling. She has something to open on the day, she can book at a time that suits her, either during or post covid, and we’re in her hometown (Gidea Park, Romford).

Specialising in massage and reflexology for people just like your mum, our treatment varies based on exactly her needs. She’ll enjoy a massage or reflexology dedicated to her collection of stress puzzles. Being a servant to giving your mum the best possible gift experience is what makes us happy.

How to buy your perfect mother’s day gift this year

You can buy a gift voucher here. It’s all done online and is fast and easy to process. Once you’ve done this, you can either choose whether you want to book an appointment for her on Mother’s Day itself, Sunday 14th March, or present her the voucher in a wrapped pink envelope adorned with ribbons and glitter.

Either way, you can’t really go wrong. Book an appointment on the day (covid-19 permitting) and she has an event. Give her the voucher to book at her convenience and she can make a social event of her treatment when she has maximum headspace to enjoy its health benefits.

Celebrating your mum and mother’s day this year has never been easier.


Back massage therapist

Need a back massage therapist near me in Havering

Being a back massage therapist and doing back massage treatment generally is our bread and butter. We help our clients with their muscle pain day in, day out with our therapy on their damaged and tight muscles.

What is a back massage treatment?

It’s a kind of back massage that your therapist uses to help alleviate pain caused from tight muscles in your back, neck and shoulders. This may include a variety of techniques and pressure.

We could focus deep tissue massage on a spot or spots on your back/ body. Or as our therapists work on feel, they may decide that the perfect back massage treatment is something more general using gliding lighter pressure to ease tension over time.

It all depends on what you’re looking to get out of your session with your back massage therapist.

Here’s our quick guide:

*Chronic joint pain — we may use trigger point therapy to heal pain in your e.g. shoulder by pressing on the source of the problem at a different location to relieve the pain where you are feeling it. This can be surprising to experience pain in an area where you often don’t even know you have it.

*Lower back pain — often caused by tight gluteus maximus and your hip and often the type of massage treatment isn’t actually on your back, but your hamstrings in the back of your legs and buttocks (sacroiliac). This may include sciatica in which your sciatic nerve becomes trapped in tight muscles. Whilst this can be tender and sensitive, we may get away with deep pressure because we’re not working directly where you experience the pain. Your massage may therefore be more relaxing than you’re expecting.

*Stress or to relax — your back massage therapist will use their hands to smooth away knots in and around your spine with Swedish massage styles. We may use some deeper work in some areas where we find particular tension or adapt some stretching movements to help ease away tense spots and maximise how relaxed you feel.

*Localised swelling — particularly because of a healing syndrome post surgery or one of the common effects of limited mobility — we will us a gentle manual lymphatic massage treatment.

*Injuries caused from sports or other physical activities — it is common to pull a shoulder during e.g. training and you need to find a specialist back massage therapist who will adapt whatever treatment from their extensive massage experience to give you the best benefits.

*Pregnancy — many of our clients are pregnant, either in the early stages or their final trimester where their back is undergoing an inordinate amount of pressure. The aim may be to relax and prepare you for birth, or to release tightness in specific areas of your back, or over your entire back with strong slow massage strokes. Although this post is on back massage, we may also help you with wrist and pain in your thumbs from carpal tunnel.

Your back massage therapist in Gidea Park, Romford, Havering, is experienced in using their touch to define where your issues have started. They will track back to the source of the pain to give you the appropriate back massage treatment. We will check with you that the level of pressure we are suggesting and using is comfortable.

We won’t use deep tissue massages if we don’t think that they are the best for your health or condition.

This is because they are uncomfortable and there’s no point enduring a painful hour if there is no real benefit. Not many of our clients want a painful hour just for the sake of it!

Aftercare following your back massage treatment

We’ll always advise you on the different ways you can help yourself between sessions with stretches or other self care. And then of course, it’s always good to know about future prevention. We’re not like chiropractors who explain about you needing an excessive number of sessions in order to improve your condition. We want you to heal as fast as possible so that you recommend us to your friends. This is the lifeblood of our business.

One tip we’ll give you for free now because it applies to pretty much everyone who walks through our doors is that you need to drink enough water that your pee runs clear. This is because water is one of the key tools our body uses to flush away all the bad stuff that is stored. The water may be hot or cold, but please, drink it.

Water will also help your body heal from a strain. Or from the massage if you’ve had a deep tissue back massage treatment. It’s like the oil that maximises fluidity. We’re not wagging our fingers, but we want you to be better fast. It also helps avoid conditions in the future.

How to book a session with a specialist back massage therapist.

We have appointments 7 days a week. And they run from 7am to 10pm so we’re sure you’ll find some availability to suit your busy schedule. You can book online, you don’t need to worry about the massage styles. Just book a slot with our back massage therapist and when you arrive we’ll figure out what will give you the most lasting relief depending on your consultation form and our pre massage chat.

Book your treatment with your back massage therapist in Gidea Park, now.

Back massage deep tissue

Back massage deep tissue — how it helps your entire health.

If you’re looking for a back massage deep tissue is the best for eking out pain from tight knots in shoulders and your neck. Don’t get us wrong, there are all kinds of pressure that you can use during a back massage but deep tissue therapy breaks down chronic tension in your muscles by applying pressure. This targeted type of massage techniques by your therapist during your treatment is beneficial for your overall health, not just your back.

Here’s why.

When we work a muscle, we may look at that area of your body. But, all muscles are interconnected — think about your body as an elaborate domino set. If we apply treatment to conditions on your back during a massage, these will indirectly affect other areas.

For instance — if your neck is tight, you may suffer with headaches. If your jaw is tight, you may also have to deal with headaches. This is because your muscles connect.

For instance, if you have lower back pain, you’ll probably be standing dominant on one leg. This pushes your hip out of alignment. This will affect the curvature of your spine and create pain or tension in your opposite shoulder. It could also lead to pain in your knee and foot/ ankle at the opposite side to your dominant leg. This is how massage can help to improve conditions that you never even thought about.

When you have tense muscles and tissues, they contract. This causes blood flow to be compromised. When we loosen the muscle, your circulation then improves. There are many a study that proves the importance of how good blood flow in a person can not only improve our ability to heal from injury but also how these strokes mean that people feel the benefits in their overall health.

This is because blood carries many of the nutrients our body needs for overall wellbeing.

It doesn’t matter whether we release tension in your upper back with deep tissue massage, your shoulder, arm, hand, forearm or even your legs. What’s important is that we allow the blood to flow and then your body fixes itself as the tools it needs become available.

When looking for a back massage deep tissue is hugely beneficial.

As we’ve seen, working through the different layers of skin, fat, fascia and using our hands and elbows may be uncomfortable for the short term of your massages, but the benefits last longer than the hour you’re on the table.

If you’re looking to just escape stress and relax, then book in for a Swedish back massage which uses light motion on your back with minimal pressure from our thumbs!

But, if you’re looking for a remedial back massage deep tissue helps with all types of muscular sports injuries. Down to the strain of poor posterior posture or a more sedentary lifestyle such as sitting at a desk. Deep tissue back massage is one of our best complementary rehabilitation treatments for sore muscles, stiffness in individuals and to provide relief from lack of movement.

Our clients range from professional athletes to general gym goers and team participants, all the way to people who will avoid exercise sessions at all costs!

Our therapists can work with all of these physical (muscular) medical conditions within personally tailored massage sessions. We may start with a therapeutic deep tissue massage on your back, and then gradually as we work out a specific condition we’ll uncover some deeper underlying painful condition that is the actual cause of your discomfort.

Referred pain example

If you have a condition called ankylosing spondylitis, this is when the bones of your spine fuse (see image at top of page). For sure as this presses on your nerves and as your range of motion reduces, you’ll feel some pain in the area.

But, you could also suffer with pain in your chest for example. This is because your problems with movement mean that there is an inflammation of the connective tissue which sits between our patient’s ribs. You may also feel severe pain in your forearms.

This referred pain can alarm, who’d have thought that a massage gliding over a concentrated area could ease such seemingly unrelated conditions.

Professional massage touch is an important part of modern integrative healthcare. Massaging isn’t just an hour out from life anymore.

We’re not just looking to hurt you with a dig of our elbow (or knuckles and fingers), we’re looking for the effects of your sessions so we can have you leave pain free.

How will I feel after my back massage deep tissue?

You may feel some soreness and perhaps even some bruising as we’ve had to use deep pressure to break down adhesions. This is intended damage to prompt our internal natural healing response; you’ll feel it in the area we have worked, so for instance, if we have massaged your calf this is where you will feel tender.

You may also have what we call ‘healing response’. If you’ve received a deep tissue back massage, then when you move your back or shoulder for a few days, you’ll be reminded you’ve had a back neck and shoulder massage. But, often an effective massage will also release dormant toxins which our system then needs to eradicate. This is a bit like the improved blood circulation we talked about earlier.


Until our system has had the time to get these out they may reach localised areas of our body, for instance our head and give us a headache. We may feel cold as our body diverts energy to eradicate these toxins rather than keeping us warm which it doesn’t see as being vital for life at this point in time. The best medicine is water. It helps your body to flush out the waste that has been lying dormant and is now overloading us. Every bit of help we can give our body, the better and faster we will enjoy the relaxation that follows a good deep tissue back massage.

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BBL post op care

A Brazilian butt lift or bbl as it is known is a fat transfer procedure which changes the shape of the buttocks by using excess fat cells from one area and transferring them, via an injection, to your butt. Essentially this is a surgical butt augmentation procedure and so there are some post op after care advice that not only aid your healing, but also the effect of your surgery. So what are the ins and outs of BBL post op care?

What is a Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL)

The process of taking fat from one area of your body e.g. thighs and repositioning this newly transplanted fat into another area e.g. buttocks is otherwise known as lipofilling, lipomodelling or fat grafting.

This procedure has been around since the nineties. However, it has hit the headlines in recent years for the Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL).

Many people don’t even know that they will need some help to maintain a good finish to their surgery for a good few months post op. For some reason many surgeons will mention the compression garment that you will wear to help keep your fat cells in place in your buttocks, but they often fail to mention the manual lymphatic drainage which eases your recovery period. Until after surgery is complete that is. And then they slip that in. So if you’re unsure, ask.

How many weeks post op do I need to have MLD (manual lymphatic drainage massage) on the buttock?

First, it’s important to understand that your lymphatic system runs throughout your entire body draining toxins and excess fluid. When you have MLD it therefore won’t just be on the buttocks even though this is where you’ve had transplanted fat cells.

Your consultant will advise you on wearing your compression garment, and then also usually they’ll say that anything from one day to several weeks post op, you should get an MLD massage. Manual lymphatic drainage helps your body to cope with the trauma of the operation. Because although you’ve had the fat cells from one part of your body transferred to another, this is still surgery. And so, still invasive trauma that your system still struggles to cope with many weeks post op.

During this period your immune system will send fluid containing healing properties to your butt. And then this fluid will drain away waste. What can happen during this time is that your lymphatic system which is incredibly fine, can become overloaded.

This creates a backup.

And as this system works through movement (which post BBL you’re likely not doing a lot of) or from drinking water (which you’re also unlikely to be doing as much of as you should); then this is why you often run into problems of swelling and hard fatty deposits which sit under the skin’s surface.

Your compression garment will help with some of these BBL post op care issues. But it isn’t a fail-safe. Our body will need a little helping hand to ease and speed up the recovery period. Without this, your healing process may not be fast enough and you run the risk of not getting the best possible outcome after the surgery.

Why does newly transplanted fat create hard spots (fat necrosis)?

The hard round lumps or dimpling (unevenness) that patients regularly find under their skin following all kinds of cosmetic surgery, and in bbl post op care fat necrosisparticular Brazilian Butt Lifts are in fact dies off.

This process of fat dying is called necrosis and happens when an area doesn’t have the correct blood supply to feet it the nutrients it requires to continue to live. The area may even turn black.

As we said earlier MLD massage helps your body heal in the period of time following your operation. It allows the body the support it needs to feed nutrients to the newly located fat cells. And for debris to be removed.

This is of paramount importance for a great finish, but also to healthy post-op cells.

Fat necrosis is a well-known complication after the surgery for BBL so always discuss the risk of developing the condition with your doctor ahead of your surgery. You should specifically ask about BBL post-op care.

What happens during a BBL (Brazilian Butt Lift)?

The fat transfer procedure happens in three stages:

*Thin cannulas are used to remove the excess fat
*They then was and filter the fat cells
*You receive an injection of this fat back into your body, in this case, into your butt

It depends on the area and how much volume of fat you’re having transferred, but the BBL operation can happen under either a local or general anaesthetic. The procedure itself can take up to two hours.

How long does it take after the surgery for bbl for me to see results?

Many people think that the results will be visible within a few weeks.


Patients often need to wait up to six months to see the final results of their fat transfer procedure.

During this time you should be vigilant in checking that there is no necrosis. Also, at the time of writing, BBL is renowned for being the riskiest cosmetic surgery, even inducing death of patients. This is because fat has been mistakenly injected into arteries which travels to the heart. Choose your consultant wisely.

Will I experience pain during the Brazilian butt lift post op massage?

This is an incredibly gentle procedure so even if your have a lot of bruising, you will be surprised at the ease that you can deal with even your initial treatment. You’ll feel more pain from the compression garment than you will from an MLD massage.

During the procedure, we’ll work around how you can lie and plump you with soft pillows and bolsters if this makes you more comfortable. We’ll only work on your swelling once you are settled.

How long will it take for me to see results following the MLD?

This depends on the size of the swelling and how long you have left it post surgery to come along for your manual lymphatic drainage massage.

Some people see results straight away. They’ll get back in their compression garment they’re wearing and immediately feel like the swelling has gone down. However, this result will not be permanent. Your body is constantly fighting to heal incisions, scarring and tissue damage. And so, it needs constant support during this fragile time to aid your healing.

Long term results take up to six months to see the final finish. During this period, you will continue to have your MLD sessions, although by this time you should need them less regularly than when you first start. You’ll probably be down to a maintenance programme of every week or so.

All of the information in this article is from our knowledge as massage therapists. For medical advice, you must always speak to your specialist practitioner, surgeon or doctor.


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Reflexology gift vouchers are the perfect gift of health and wellness.

If you’re looking to buy a treatment voucher for your loved one for Christmas or some other special occasion, then stop. You’ve found them the perfect gift of wellness. Buy electronic gift cards for reflexology treatments today and help the recipient find themselves again.

So much more than a foot massage.

When you buy reflexology gift vouchers, we’ll be working pressure points on your loved one’s feet. For sure, we’ll be using techniques that may seem a lot like massage, but reflexology isn’t a beauty treatment. We target pressure points to ease blockages in the body which when released, allow your body to operate at its most effective.

This means that we can help with any number of issues ranging from fertility to cancer care.

How does reflexology work?

Stress has a huge knock on effect of our body’s ability to effectively fight disease and stay in a healthy state. By alleviating the amount of stress that our body needs to cope with via reflexology gift vouchers, it has more energy for maintaining and improving general wellness. This is known as homeostasis.

Find out more about how reflexology works.

Are these electronic gift cards?

Yes they are. All our digital gift cards are available to purchase online through our authorised payment provider, Square. This ensures your healthy gift voucher cardsecurity and the absolute best service in terms of speed of delivery making them fantastic for last-minute gift ideas that allow your loved one to relax.

I can buy deals such as Groupon online, why would I spend more with you?

We are a local owner operator. When you purchase gift cards online with us, you’re not only supporting your local community, you’re also buying a quality massage or reflexology. Here’s the thing. In order to be able to offer discounts on sites such as Groupon, holistic therapists are prepared to not only cut the cost of their sessions by approx 50% but then they give a huge chunk of that amount over to the provider.

We were approached years ago about working with Groupon and it worked out that for every £62 session, we would come out with just over £10. This means you need to churn out a lot of sessions to break even on what we need to pay our bills. And this is tiring work. We don’t believe someone who is overworked and underpaid can effectively provide the gift of health nor the gift of wellness.

Fresh therapists with a vested interest in your loved one’s care.

We limit the amount of massage and reflexology treatments that we do in any one day to ensure that we always treat every client to the best of our ability. And to their unique needs. We tailor our massage and reflexology sessions to what they need to take away from their session. We never follow a pre-determined routine. You may be buying electronic gift cards from us, but you are certainly never buying generic products of a shelf.

At Essential Feeling we excel in providing the peace of rest and relaxation. Our excellence is born through maintaining our prices so that we have the energy to resolve the issues your loved one needs our help with during the hour that they are with us for.

You are not buying the recipient a standard treatment gift voucher, our reflexology gift vouchers and massage gift certificates are a period of time for your loved one to forget the heady details of real life and unload.

Who will be the reflexologist?

gift card shop order online massage reflexologyKaren will be your experienced reflexologist. She has been working full time in reflexology for the best part of ten years now and is experienced in helping clients with a range of wellbeing needs.

So if you have purchased reflexology gift vouchers from Essential Feeling, your loved one will have a reflexology treatment that is so much more than a convenient and easy to buy digital gift card. You’re buying them the gift of health.


Buy your reflexology gift vouchers online now.

About Massage Gift Certificates Available Online

Why not purchase the gift of comfort for your loved one with a massage gift certificate or reflexology gift vouchers?

What is an Essential Feeling Massage Gift Certificate?

Each Essential Feeling Massage or Reflexology Gift Card has a cash balance that can be used to purchase salon and spa treatments exclusively on the Essential Feeling website via our partner, Square.

Gift certificates include a unique code which, when entered before purchase, will apply a discount on the total order, or pay for the treatment in full if there is enough on the massage gift card to cover the total cost.

Where can I spend my gift card?

Gift cards are valid for online bookings and can also be taken as payment over the phone. Just browse and book in one of the array of massage and reflexology treatments on our website, You may also use your massage gift card when booking via the telephone with us directly.

Massage Gift certificates can be used as full or partial payment for all affordable treatments and stays at the adjacent AirBnb property, but they cannot be used to purchase more gift cards online.

If your processing costs more than the value of the gift card, you can pay the extra amount at the time of purchase. Similarly, if you do not want to spend the whole gift at the same time, the remaining balance will remain in your Essential Feeling Wallet.

How do I spend my massage gift card?

Recipients can enter the code in the special field during checkout where you would normally enter your credit card details.

massage gift certificate gift of comfort online reflexology


How long will my massage gift certificate be valid?

Your gift card balance will remain valid for as long as Essential Feeling are operating, they don’t have an expiry date. If you’ve added the card to an account, you can also see when your balance will expire when you sign in to your profile.

Can I purchase gift cards online?

Yes you can. It’s a fast and easy process, the perfect last minute gift. If you’re looking to order gift cards online, all you do is click the link on our website which will take you through to our partner Square who deal with all online payment processing.

You’ll be able to select the design of the massage gift certificate or reflexology gift voucher. And then from here, you’ll select one of the prepaid amounts, or you’re free to order gift cards online for a totally flexible amount — you choose.

Your massage gift card will then be emailed in real time to either you or directly to the recipient. When you buy a massage gift card online from our gift card shop, we really have thought of everything, meaning that this isn’t just a gift of comfort for your loved one. It’s so easy, it’s also a gift of comfort for you too, avoiding all those crazy queues when out shopping. There really is no more simple way to order personalised gift cards online that with Essential Feeling. After all, who doesn’t want the gift of comfort either during the Christmas holiday season, or just to show that you care.

This is a last minute gift certificate, how long will I have to wait when I use your gift card shop?

Delivery is as long as it takes for your inbox to accept the email which makes this the perfect gift of comfort when time is short and you’ve left buying gift vouchers until the last minute.

It also means that they are great if you have an unexpected visit from a friend who brings an even more unexpected gift along with them. You can simply nip upstairs, order gift cards online, download and print them out complete with an image of the design of your choice and head back to your guests without the embarrassment of being empty handed. The recipient chooses whether they want to use this as a massage gift card or reflexology gift voucher at the time they book.

Minimal stress for you at the push of a button and your friends and family as we ease away their pains with our excellent massage and reflexology therapy.

I don’t want a standard body massage experience, can I create something more tailored?

Yes of course. We’re happy to put together a total experience for your loved one. In this instance, give us a call on 07757 946023 and we’ll chat through what you need and process everything online for you.

What are the benefits of massages?

There are many skin benefits that people who have massage display. Such as smoother skin and more elasticity. But the real benefits of massage gift certificates are from what goes on under the surface.

Massage creates improved blood flow and circulation, and improves our general feeling of wellbeing, which makes them the best gift of comfort if we are looking to treat someone who has been stressed for months. They can take time out and enjoy a short time for themselves, whilst experiencing a form of benefit that they often say is like an escape or retreat.

Where about in London are you?

gift card shop order online massage reflexologyWe’re East London on the edge of Essex, 20 mins from the city via Liverpool Street. We’re open 7 days you can book appointments with us from 7am to 9pm for a 10pm finish.

Allow your loved one to lighten their mood and enjoy a reduction in stress and discover the power of healing touch. Buy them the gift of comfort, of escape and of pure bliss from qualified and experienced therapists that will work around their busy schedule. Purchase your massage gift certificate or reflexology gift vouchers online at our gift card shop today.


Massage vouchers

Massage vouchers.

Looking for the perfect gift voucher for our loved one. Our gift of a massage voucher is your gift of choice.

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for your loved one, you could do worse than the gift of some me time with massage vouchers from Essential Feeling. Buy their soul a retreat to unwind from the stress and tension sensations that dull their mood. And help them feel the love, from you and for themselves as they escape with the help of our magic hands.

We’re all crazy busy in this crazy world.

We barely have time to throw a meal down our necks without giving ourselves indigestion. It’s easy to consider a voucher for a spa, but who has the time to devote to spending a day of indulgent pampering? And let’s face it, the massage therapists in spas are generally underqualified and over worked anyway, so you’re giving all that time out of your day when their ability to soothe you is limited by their energy and how they have been trained.

Here’s why you should buy massage vouchers from Essential Feeling in Gidea Park.

One quality massage voucher experience in an afternoon can do more good than a few smaller treatments. For instance, if you go to a spa, you’ll usually get an out of the box half hour massage thrown in, perhaps with a facial or something too.

The therapy at a spa isn’t tailored to your needs, the routine type will always follow an exact form and your experience will more than likely not mean anything to the person giving you your peaceful wellbeing therapy. The rest of your afternoon is spent lolling around a pool sporting a borrowed robe and damp towel, not great in the post covid days.

At Essential Feeling, we are owner run. We care about every single treatment that walks through our doors. We want you to enjoy your time. We want you to benefit from your choice to visit us and we will customise your package to suit your needs. Your life doesn’t comply with a menu of options, and so neither will your session with us.

You will buy your recipient a gift card that cover a period with us and then for that we will work with our client to give them the perfect session based on their lifestyle.

Plus, you don’t have to redeem your vouchers within a certain amount of time.

We don’t limit the valid from dates, your gift doesn’t expire. It starts when you buy it, and it continues to run onwards from that date of purchase. We’re open 7 days a week too, so your loved one will be sure to find a slot that works for their hectic schedule. It doesn’t matter to us whether they come on a Friday, Sunday or Monday. And with our long appointment hours, and online booking system, your body will be crying out for you to book a spot on our massage therapy table.

Buy your massage vouchers now.

after all, that’s why they need a calming therapy right?

You may even be able to book in over the Christmas break.

We’re based on the outskirts of London, just 25 minutes from Liverpool Street Station in the East of the City. If you’d like more details about buying this massage gift voucher or vouchers includes then please, message us on 07757 946023 or you can buy the massage gift card online.

How to redeem your massage gift voucher

In terms of how to redeem your massage vouchers, it’s simple. The date of purchase of your gift voucher, the amount of gift vouchers you’ve purchased, or the type of massage experience or reflexology treatment you’ve selected from our range of gift cards is not relevant. Our therapist’s will work their magic with any massage vouchers you have purchased. All your loved one needs to do is call up and let us know that they have massage vouchers. Or they can select a suitable time online. Then we’ll book them in for the hour spa session that you have paid for at their convenience. It doesn’t matter how long after you have purchased their massage vouchers that they call, because the card will be valid for as long as we are in operation.

We’ll take the voucher code at the time of booking and as we proceed to payment, this will be used as a monetary value to purchase the slot that they have booked.

And then all that’s left is that your loved one turns up at their appointed time, having completed the necessary consultation paperwork and we’re all set. It’s that simple.

If you have purchased more time, then the balance will remain valid for as long as we are operating. This means your loved one can enjoy the extra whenever it suits them in the future.

Are you open on Saturday? My loved one doesn’t have a ton of time.

Yes, and Sundays too. We know that many people who receive a massage treatment or reflexology experience as a gift are short on time. This is the nature of this being an amazing gift choice for them. We’re also open from 7am in the morning through to 10pm at night, so they’ll be sure to find a slot where they can relax for their massage whether their down time is a Wednesday evening or a Saturday afternoon.

I’m pregnant, can I still use massage voucher?

Yes of course, we are not only qualified, but experienced in pregnancy massage and often work with mums to be who are the early or latter stages of their pregnancy.

My loved one has specific needs, can you tailor a package?

Yes! We love doing this. Tailoring unique packages that meet the needs of our clients is our speciality. So whether you’re looking for a trilogy of treatments, such as Swedish massage treatment for aches, reflexology on the feet for balance and Indian head massage to address total exotic relaxing experiences; down to just allowing someone who is lonely physical and emotional contact; our special massages are your safe choice.

We understand that the therapy work we do doesn’t just work muscles. It’s about allowing your loved one the chance to checkout of the stresses of their lives. It’s this warm style and can do mentality that means we’re winning back repeat clients years and month after month. Our clients are consistently telling us we’re the refreshment they need from their crazy lives.

When you send someone the gift of a gentle or deep tissue massage or reflexology with Essential Feeling, this isn’t just a manicure at a health resort with refreshments and lunch. It’s support for their lives. We’re so much more than a buffet lunch.

This is because our touch is blissful for sure. But we’re always incredibly qualified which results in a superior service. With us, you don’t need to book a deluxe pedicure, because you’ve already completed a detailed health questionnaire prior to your visit. So we won’t be offering anything that won’t give you the best possible outcome.

Your loved one’s time with us will be access to bliss. That’s what you’re buying them. Access to longer term health benefits by giving them access to someone in their locality who understands their pressures and who can adapt their massage techniques to offer them a tailored service.

We know how to adapt our massage to be soothing to deep-rooted pains, whether this be on their back, neck, shoulders or their foot.

Book massage vouchers and reflexology vouchers online now.



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What is massage for sports injuries?

Massage for sports is massage that involves the manipulation of soft tissues for the benefit of a person engaged in regular physical activity. This could be to treat pain, improve the effects of blood flow on your body or deep muscular work performed to improve flexibility and other performance benefits. So whilst most people think of sports massage as a massage for sports injuries, this isn’t always the case.

What are soft tissues?What is soft tissue in relation to massage for sports

Soft tissues are connective tissues that have not hardened in bones and cartilage; they include skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia (a form of connective tissue that covers and envelops other soft tissues).

Sports massage are techniques designed to help correct problems and imbalances in soft tissues from repetitive and intense physical activity and trauma.

Using sports massages, before and after exercise, can improve your performance, help recovery and prevent injuries.

History of massage for sports persons

Massage is registered as one of the first forms of physiotherapy and was used more than 3000 years ago in China, India and Greece. Its popular use in the Western world is largely due to the work of Per Henrik Ling (1776 – 1839), who developed the form of massage now known as Swedish massage.

Ling developed its own style of massage and exercise to help fencers and gymnasts, gaining international recognition in the process.

Many of his ideas formed the basis of modern sports massage. Today, there are many forms of massage available to help us maintain our health and well-being.

Sports massage has been accepted in the United States, Canada and Australia for many years, while in the United Kingdom the practice of easing away muscle tightness with massage for sports performance became known and more widely used only in the 1990s.

What is sports therapy?

Sport therapy involves a higher level of training that includes a broader set of supportive skills and knowledge. There is general agreement in the UK on some key areas that are essential for sports therapy, although the emphasis varies from one training provider to another, some favour soft tissue therapy and others focus on rehabilitation or emergency care.

It is widely accepted that sports therapy includes: Anatomy and Physiology Sports Massage. This is why your therapist at Essential Feeling is qualified in A&P.

The general area in which a sports therapist will work is to help individuals and teams move from the ability to perform normal daily physical functions to highly qualified sports activities.

Beginning in the mid-1990s they made a collective effort to make sport therapy a “regulated” profession with a protected title through the Health Professions Council (HPC). The term “protected title” would mean that only those who have proven that they meet the required standards can exercise under the chosen title; here, sports therapy.

All those interested in this area agreed that the minimum level of education to be practised in this area would be university level. More recently, however, HPC has limited applications to occupations that pose a risk to the general public. Sport therapy has been considered safe and will therefore not be presented to HPC unless there is a policy change in the future. This is not foreseeable at this time.

Are massages good for athletes?

If you are an athlete or an exercise enthusiast, receiving regular massages could transform the way you engage in your activity. Massage can help you do more than you want by increasing the range of motion and flexibility, reducing inflammation, reducing pain, relaxing the body and preventing injuries.

What are the benefits of sports massage?

Advantages of therapeutic sports massage Increased amplitude of movement, which leads to better performance. Decreased muscle stiffness and pain after exercise or physical activity. Reduced recovery time after injury Increased relaxation levels and reduced physical and psychological stress

How do you prepare for a sports massage?

How to prepare for a deep tissue massage

Do research to find a good massage therapist with experience and great qualifications.

Preparing relevant health information for the therapist via the online consultation form you’ll be sent once you’ve booked.

Drink a little water.

Take a hot or warm shower before the massage to loosen the muscles and help you put yourself in a relaxed state.

Wear loose and comfortable clothes for the massage appointment — this will help you stay relaxed when you leave.

Do sports massages hurt?

A massage for sports isn’t gentle. And so you are likely to feel some discomfort , during and after a massage. This is completely normal and, in general, means that it works. But a sports massage should never cause you as much pain as you feel the need to tire yourself to endure it. If your muscles are tense, they will not benefit much from the massage.

Sports massage is not only for athletes?

Sports massage techniques are suitable for athletes as well as non-athletes and can help relieve injuries, chronic pain, muscle pain and limited freedom of movement in all of us.

Will massage for sports get rid of knots?

Muscles can produce lactic acid in large quantities, which can solidify to form nodes. Techniques used in sports massage help to drain lactic acid and other waste from the body. This, in turn, helps to relieve the nodes and accelerate the recovery of muscles.

Can you run after a sports massage?

In general, it is usually normal to do some light exercise, such as walking or jogging, after receiving a massage. If you’re not sure, ask your therapist at Essential Feeling, Romford. They will be happy to provide some advice on post-treatment after massage

Is this a full sports massage of the body?

Unlike a full body massage, the therapist is likely to focus on specific areas of the body once an evaluation has been performed before treatment.

Is a deep tissue massage the same as a sports massage?

Sports massage is appointed for sports-specific injuries.

The difference between this and deep tissue massage is that this modality focuses more specifically on chronic muscle tension and stress reduction.

What is the best massage for muscle knots?

Deep tissue massage protocol: The best massage technique to relieve stress and muscle tension is deep tissue massage by qualified and experienced therapists. This friction can loosen the painful “knots”, release lactic acid in muscles and realign the deep layers of the tissues improving the feeling of strain and fatigue. This is thanks to a combination of firm pressure and slow blows. Your therapist will work not only on the usual muscles, but also on the connective tissue.

Is the massage good after the gym?

Benefits of a post-workout massage Getting a massage once you have finished training helps reduce muscle soreness by reducing inflammation and improving recovery time by accelerating cell regeneration. Studies show that the key to keep in mind is that massage intervention should be done as soon as possible after exercise.

What massage techniques do you use during a massage for sports?

It depends on what we’re trying to do, we could be helping you heal from injury, recover faster post workout, or improve flexibility. Each requires a different approach from your massage therapist which is why it’s important to choose a well qualified and experienced one.

You could expect some level of kneading, petrissage, effleurage treatments along with active strokes over a controlled period. We’ll also likely include some trigger point work which consists of sustained manual pressure on one area of a clients body. When this point releases, the domino effect will ease other problem areas.

To some degree, due to the unique nature of body mechanics, your session will always have a degree of being experimental, in that your therapist will adapt their skill to give you a dynamic treatment based on how they feel your body reacting to the treatment when you are on the table.

We’ll not only adjust the techniques but also the pressure and intensity under our hand.


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After surgery massage

After surgery massage can be an essential form of post-operative treatment. A person can undergo surgery for a wide variety of reasons. Some of the most common types of surgery include cosmetic surgery or removal of lymph nodes due to cancer.

After surgery, you may often experience pain, inflammation, scars and a condition called lymphedema.

Lymphedema occurs after the removal of lymph nodes causing damage or obstruction to the lymphatic system which increases swelling and pain.

A manual lymphatic drainage massage can help after surgery by encouraging increased healing, stimulating your lymphatic system to work optimally and breaking scar tissue.

Our massage therapist at Essential Feeling uses effective techniques to help reduce negative symptoms after surgery and this is why manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is recommended by surgeons.

Benefits of massage after surgery

*A massage can often be used to treat scars.

Scars are formed when damage occurs to the internal or external tissues of the body. As part of the natural healing process of your body, an accumulation of collagen fibres, fibrous connective tissue occurs, resulting in scars forming.

Scars have a different texture and appearance than natural body tissues and can often restrict movement.

As a scar can affect a person physically and mentally, symptoms of stress, anxiety and pain can also simultaneously increase.

Massage after surgery helps reduce scars by decomposing, loosening and realigning collagen fibres which have less elasticity than natural body tissues and are placed in a disordered position through the muscle fibres, which can increase restriction and pain.

Massage increases the temperature of collagen fibres thus encouraging them to soften and loosen. Softened and loosened collagen fibres allow you to realign to match the position of the natural muscle fibres and tissues of the body.

Loosening and realignment of collagen fibres reduces restriction, as well as the appearance of scars.

*Stress is common after surgery.

Stress can be both physical and mental.

Physical stress occurs inside the muscles of the body after damage caused by surgery leading to muscle weakness and tension build-up.

Mental stress increases due to lack of movement and pain that occurs after surgery.

Massage can help reduce stress after surgery by increasing healing and encouraging physical and mental relaxation by improving blood and lymphatic flow.

Improved blood circulation provides muscles and tissues with the oxygen and essential nutrients needed to repair and reform damaged muscles and tissues. Improving the lymphatic flow increases the removal of metabolic waste accumulated in a muscle that slows down the healing process. Increasing healing helps to increase muscle strength and reduces tension.

As pain and tension relieves, physical relaxation improves creating faster healing. A reduction in pain and tension increases relaxation and thus reduces mental stress.

After surgery, you may experience acute pain.

Acute pain occurs due to damage to fibres and muscle tissues and can include aching, acute or stabbing pains, and can restrict movement and increase stress and tension.

*Massage reduces acute pain by improving recovery and relieving tension.

Recovery may be slow due to the lack of available nutrients for tissues. Blood flow is what contains oxygen and nutrients essential to improve recovery. A massage creates friction between the skin and fingers, which promotes an increase in blood flow to the area.

An increase in blood flow leads to an increase in oxygen and nutrients. An increase in oxygen and nutrients speeds up the healing process, improves recovery and thereby reduces acute pain.

Tension occurs when the muscles are tightened to avoid further damage. When the blood flow increases during a massage, the temperature of the muscles also rises. Increasing the temperature of the muscles promotes relaxation of muscle fibres. Relaxing muscles relieves tension and further reduces acute pain.

What are the physiological effects of receiving a postoperative massage?

There is a range of physiological effects that occur during a massage after surgery. Some of the most common physiological effects that occur include increased:

*Lymphatic drainage

*Tissue elasticity


Lymphatic drainage

lymphodoema after surgery massage
Lymphodoema can be helped by after surgery massage

Lymphatic drainage is a common physiological effect that occurs during a massage after surgery as it removes excess fluids and metabolic waste from your body through the lymphatic system.

A frequent condition caused by surgery is lymphedema (lymphodoema). Lymphedema occurs when there is damage or obstruction in the lymphatic vessels which carry lymphatic fluids containing metabolic waste and excess fluids to remove them from your body.

When lymphatic vessels are damaged or blocked, lymphatic fluids can not pass through the vessels. This accumulation of fluids creates swelling.

Swelling can be sensitive to touch and often restricts movement. A manual lymphatic drainage massage after surgery stimulates lymphatic drainage.

Increased lymphatic drainage promotes an increase in lymphatic flow. Increased lymphatic flow increases the rate of metabolic waste and excess fluids that are removed from the body. It improves the overall disposal of metabolic waste and excess fluids reduces swelling and thus reduces lymphoedema and a better postoperative result.


*Postoperative massage can increase the elasticity of the tissue.

Tissue elasticity is the ability of a muscle to reach its full length without restrictions. Low elasticity of tissues can lead to restriction of movements, increased pain and decreased relaxation. Massage increases the elasticity of tissues by increasing muscle temperature. An increase in blood flow occurs during a massage encouraging the muscle temperature to rise. Increasing muscle temperature increases the flexibility of elastic fibres inside the muscles.

Increased flexibility allows muscles to stretch and loosen. Allowing a muscle to stretch and loosen increases relaxation and thus increases tissue elasticity. This also encourages you to move around more, which is important for lymphatic drainage.

*Increased vasodilation often occurs during a massage after surgery.

Vasodilation is the place where the muscles bordering the blood vessels relax, which allows the vessels to expand and approach the surface of the skin. Pink staining that occurs on the skin is often a sign of vasodilation occurred.

When the blood vessels expand, this allows an increase in blood to flow through them which then increases the availability of blood reaching damaged muscles and tissues. Increased blood availability provides muscles and tissues with oxygen and nutrients, which allows increased healing and rapid recovery.

Breast tissue scars

Scars are a common and known form of fibrosis and often occur following breast surgery, particularly for removal of cancer.

Most people with breast cancer undergo a surgery, which affects the lymphatic circulation in several ways.

*Surgical scar tissue can form a barricade to normal lymphatic circulation, creating stasis. When they remove lymph nodes, this can create more congestion.

There are many factors that can affect surgical outcomes:

*type and extent of surgery

*type of surgeon

*whether there are other treatments such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy that may aggravate wound healing and scars.

But the skin and underlying tissues of your chest and armpits will often feel like they’re getting harder and “stuck together”.

For instance, it’s not uncommon for clients to notice several “ropes” between their armpit and elbow which make it tricky to raise your arm.

Ropes following cancer treatment

Your hospital therapist has recommended special pads with padded cherry holes inside to wear besides their foam padded garments to speed up the softening of fabrics in your chest and armpits.

By combining this with after surgery massage styles including myofascial release, clients feel relief from the tightness and traction of surgical fibrosis, radiation and cord in the upper right part of the body.

It’s also common for clients who completed their cancer treatment 10, 20 and even 30 years ago who are referred for lymphedema.

Although early treatment always gives the best results as it can prevent the progression of lymphedema and fibrosis, I want to give patients hope. Treatment at any stage can improve symptoms, help your body cure surgical, radiation-induced and cable-induced fibrosis, and empower patients to gain the knowledge and tools needed to self-manage symptoms.

How long after surgery can you get a massage?

Your doctor will usually advise that you come for MLD massage therapy as soon as practical following your surgery. Often within a few days.

What is a post-op massage?

A post-op massage is any massage style which follows a surgery. Often this is manual lymphatic, but if we’re looking to improve scarring as a result of an incision then this could involve some deep work or myofascial release. Your therapist will always advise you at the time of your appointment when we see you, but we may also discuss this with you on the phone prior to your session.

Does massage help after surgery?

Absolutely. The sooner you come after your medical procedure the better the results. Many clients worry about the level of pressure that they will have to ensure as a recent patient. But for instance, MLD is a gentle procedure which eases rather than causes pain and discomfort.

What should you avoid after a massage?

This is best advised by your surgeon in their aftercare advice because everyone is different, but broadly, take it easy. If you’ve had abdominal surgery, then don’t start doing sit-ups. Your body needs as much energy as possible to heal. Give it the best chance to fix the post-operative damage by taking some therapeutic down time. And taking the appropriate massaging.

Find out more about after surgery massage.


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Benefits of a neck massage

Before we look at the benefits of a neck massage, we need to look at the muscles of the neck. Because without understanding how these interact with an increase in pressure around the shoulder areas and the trigger points of the shoulder and other parts of our anatomy, it’s impossible to truly understand how a neck massage can help you. Both in terms of cognition and brain functioning, and general comfort — or avoiding discomfort.

So here goes.

Neck muscles

As you can see from this image, your neck is constructed of a series of small, thin strands of muscle. Therefore, when Anatomy of the neck muscles for neck massageyou run your hand over your neck when it’s tight, you will feel these fibres as lumps and bumps under your skin.

These muscles are under constant strain, holding up our head, which on average weighs around 5kg of constantly moving weight.

If you look at a tree which needs to sway in the wind without breaking, it grounds the trunk into roots which splay out into the ground at the bottom.

Our body works similarly, connecting our thin neck muscles to a larger fan like muscle which spreads out over our shoulders and anchors down our spine.

Whilst this works great for meaning our head doesn’t roll off our shoulders, it also means that as soon as this way larger muscle becomes tight or in any way damaged, it’s easy for our neck to be pulled out of alignment. This results in us suffering with neck pain.

And this is how a neck massage from a qualified and experienced professional massage therapist has benefits.

Why shouldn’t I get a neck massage from a less qualified or experienced massage therapist?

As you can see from the image below, there are a ton of nerves and arteries running in and out of our neck, feeding our brain and taking the commands from our brain around the rest of our body. A neck massage from your partner, or using one of the neck massagers on the market, can feel great. But they come with an inherent risk. You run the risk of doing some damage if you press the wrong part of your neck.

Trigger points affecting neck massage

Even if it feels like you’re relieving tension in a particular spot with just the perfect pressure, you may inadvertently catch another area with your fingers, and what starts out as a relaxation therapy, can quickly turn into a bigger problem.

You could even damage the blood flow to tissues whilst trying to relieve knots and stress. And then a headache is the least of your worries. It’s not uncommon for people to end up having a stroke after a bad neck massage.

Seriously. It’s no joke.

neck anatomy and why you shouldn't massage your own neck

How many people do you know who apply pressure to their neck and end up in more pain?

So, if I want to give myself a neck massage, what advice do you have?

Put no firm massage on an area. You’re looking to only stroke the muscles with your thumbs and palms of your hands.

If this light, fingertip and thumb pressure doesn’t reduce your pain, then you can use some stretch techniques. Be sure to do this for long enough. And don’t just whip your head around from one side to the next, or even in a circular motion. That will cause more damage to the slight areas that connect the joints into your skull (suboccipital) and could cause even more headaches and problems.

My therapist will ball their fist and massage in a rolling motion, isn’t that dangerous?

Not if your therapist has studied anatomy and physiology as we have done at Essential Feeling in Romford. This is because we know where we’re heading with our pressure and the physical structure of your neck underneath your skin into the deeper layers of tissues.

What are the symptoms that I need a neck massage?

*A general tightness in the area or a stiffness across your shoulders

*Headaches and tension around your eyes. This can even run into your jaw.

*A crunching of the bones in your neck, either chronic or acute can be a sign that you need a neck massage because the muscles which surround small bones may be pulling them so the bones grind.

*Reduced nerve sensation may improve from a neck massage, but this very much depends on the deeper cause. This isn’t a fail-safe.

*If you’re suffering with mental stress, it’s often easier to relax after a gently relaxing neck massage.

What steps can I take to avoid needing a neck massage?

Our modern life is geared firmly towards us suffering with neck pain. Our shoulders are constantly up around our ears from a combination of stress, computer work and driving. Reducing this kind of static activity or moving around more frees up this tension and prevents the fibres from sticking in the wrong position. But, if that were possible, we’d all be doing it already.

Life and commitments don’t allow for us to be allowing continuous motions throughout the course of a busy day.

Perhaps you could do some types of stretching whilst you sit at your desk or in traffic? If you remember.

It may be possible to move your arms out of a static position which will help release how tense these connecting muscles are with a knock on effect on your neck.

Beyond this, you’re looking at treatment from a neck massage, we’re afraid. But it can be an enjoyable experience. And if you have them regularly, you will actually avoid injury because your muscles won’t ever become so tight that they cause you issues.

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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.

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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.

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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 look at the picture above, you’ll see the hamstring comprises three muscles.



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 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:



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 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 we minimise the effect of impact.

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, 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 and inhibiting sport’s performance.

Massage helps to break down scar tissue and 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 for sports 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.

Be happy

Martin Seligman did a great talk on how to be happy. He has spent literally years researching happiness in full on clinical trials, concluding in his results that we have a great reason to be optimistic about life.

Spoiler alert:

The state of psychology today may not be good enough yet, but we can improve it.

Psychology in the past.

In the past psychology was about finding out what was bad with someone, but today it’s more about fixing disorders. Through this, a science of mental illness has developed so we can now measure and classify mental illnesses such as depression and alcoholism.

We can look at people who are genetically vulnerable and isolate their variables by experimenting on their effects and rigorously. The end result is that we can make miserable people less miserable.

But there were three consequences.

1. By testing people in experiment ways we forgot people make their own choices.

2. Forgot about improving the lives of normal people, you don’t have to be depressed to benefit from an improvement in your mental state. There is always room for improvement.

3. In our rush to help people in trouble, and repair their damage, it never occurred to us to create interventions to make people happier.

What is positive psychology?

Positive psychology has three aims:

*Psychology should be as concerned with strength as weakness.

*Building strength and fixing damage.

*Making lives of normal people fulfilling by nurturing their genius.

If you’re interested in testing your own happiness, then you can take a test. This quick survey looks at all the different causations of happiness and the way the left and right brain works and interacts.

There’s a difference between happy people and those who are sad. There are a few ways, but the primary way is that intrinsically happy people are all social. Extremely so. They are all in a romantic relationship with a rich repertoire of friends.

Note this isn’t the cause, it’s the result.

There are three ways we can be happy.

1. The pleasant life – you crave as much positive emotion as possible and fill your life with activities that create this state for you. This could be physical activity such as running, or emotional such as spending time in study. Whatever floats your boat, but the commonality is that you naturally have the skills to amplify it by filling your life with as many exceptional experiences as possible and engaging in skills such as mindfulness to amplify their effects. If you’re an introvert, this could likely be your natural state of happiness and maybe money is a great barometer for you.


Approx 50% of people who create this state do so because of heritage, and this is a state which is not modifiable.

Positive emotion habituates rapidly, so it dilutes over time.

2. A life of engagement – you have the natural ability to focus and look at things in detail and stop time meaning that you enjoy even the smallest things around you. A flower blooming on a passing meadow could be a positive source against negative emotions that others may miss.

If you want to become happier, if this is your natural state, you can work on your highest strength to practice and build its intensity.

For example:

You can be a bag packer in the supermarket, but as long as you are aware of every customer interaction and making this as happy as possible, you will create happiness for yourself. And often for those around you, too.

3. A meaningful life — knowing your true highest strengths are and using them to belong to and in the service of something larger than you. This is a little like the bag packing example above, but it’s all about creating lasting change. The circumstances will be personal to you, but each exercise will have an overarching natural purpose which you feel is important. It could be relationships, learning and studying or literally spending a few minutes a day with a lonely person to improve their mood and outlook. Positive interventions.

There have been random rigorous tests in the same way we test drugs on this. When we teach people about the pleasant life, they take the mindfulness skills and design a beautiful day. You savour this day to enhance the pleasures.

We use gratitude in meditation by closing your eyes and thanking someone for something they did for you who you haven’t properly thanked. In this experiment you write a 300 word testimonial and go visit them when you read the testimonial. Up to three months later, people are still happier and less depressed.

This works for couples too. Design an evening whereby both use their strengths. It’s a great way to strengthen a relationship.

You can have a pleasant life and a life of engagement at the same time. For instance, an introvert who is a trader but no social life, could well be happy if they can stop flow and become totally engrossed in whatever is happening at that point in their time. For instance, they go to work and are only concerned with what is happening in that moment.

Life satisfaction.

How much life satisfaction do you get? Research of thousands of people shows that the above three pursuits of pleasure. The pursuit of meaning is the strongest, engagement is a close second.

If you have pursuit and meaning combined, develop long-lasting happiness.

Note: Don’t underestimate the role of health.

Not only does exercise, (which incidentally could be moderate walking, it doesn’t need to be vigorous) improve the chemical balance of our brains, whilst giving us a leisure pursuit to fill our time and allow us to appreciate the small things around us, but it also has other benefits.

If we’re healthy, then our body works optimally. Our blood is flowing and delivering all of the nutrients to the right parts of our body in the right quantities. This is where massage and reflexology come in.

The role in relieving misery and achieving happiness is important. If you make someone not angry or less anxious, this doesn’t mean they will become happy. The skills of being happy and achieving the pleasant life, the good life and the meaning of life are different to the innate skills of misery.

Woman dressed in white doing fertility yoga for infertility at Essential Feeling

The role of technology in your strive to be happy

Technology and design can increase happiness by increasing meaning engagement in life where people don’t have the base level internal skill set. For instance, if your natural studies involve you watching and listening to a professor, online video course can improve this percent of students success where in the past home study would have been paper bound.

As we’ve already seen, the state of happiness is linked to setting and achieving goals about which we are proud, so the successful achievement of an academic study will therefore links to that person’s happiness.

Likewise, if you’re more of a life-of-engagement-be-happy-kind-of-person, then researchers think building habits that allow you to track the small things you see while walking will make you happier if you can then remind yourself of these in your more down moments. Camera’s on our phone are an enormous deal.

Chat with us today on 07757 946023 to find out more.

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.

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?
£65 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.

Contact us now

Paper written by David Fewster – Worldwidehealth Editor  

18 July 2009