Each person is different with a different set of conditions, issues, needs and requirements,
but everyone can obtain positive benefits from massage. It is a great way to help
with aches and pains, deal with injuries, bring relaxation and help re-balance body
systems. Regular massage can also help to keep the body and mind functioning optimally
Increasing oxygenation of the blood
Stimulating weak muscle tissue and loosening contracted, shortened, tight muscles
Improving circulation of lymphatic and circulatory systems
For new clients - at the first appointment and before any treatment takes place -
I carry out a consultation to find out about you, your reasons for massage and the
results you are seeking. During the consultation I check possible causes of pain
and pain levels, identify other areas of discomfort, test for degrees of restricted
movement and make sure that there are no contraindications to actually carrying out
massage. Follow-ups take less time and the prices reflect this.
If you’re not sure what to choose or what will best suit your needs you can call
me to discuss. I’ll be happy to advise you before you make your booking. Also, once
you arrive and before the start of your massage we’ll discuss what treatment you
want that day, so the treatment can be tailored to you and how your are feeling at
the time of treatment.
If it is your first visit we’ll talk about your reasons and goals for massage as
well as your health, lifestyle, any medical conditions and specific requirements
and needs. I‘ll explain which type of treatment I believe will be most suitable
and beneficial for you, taking into account any likes or dislikes you may have. For
instance, for a deep relaxation massage I’ll use a lot of long slow strokes, while
for a clinical massage dealing with a specific particular condition or problem I
may use stretching, frictions, or deeper, faster techniques.
Each treatment is specific for you, using the most appropriate strokes, pressures,
stretches and manipulation techniques that are best suited and most effective for
you on the day of your massage. You can find more information about techniques here.
Each person is different and frequency depends on a number of factors, including
budget, reason for treatment and personal preference.
For example, for massage treatment to deal with a specific injury or chronic pain
condition I may recommend a course of 4 to 6 weekly sessions, because the body responds
best to regular massage in the early stages of a treatment. We discuss this beforehand
and agree a programme that would be best for you.
For on-going health and fitness, body maintenance, relaxation and stress management,
massage may become a regular part of your self-care lifestyle. For example, some
clients come to me monthly, some fortnightly and some weekly to help deal with conditions
such as relief from sore muscles, improving sleep, helping with headaches and reducing
A one-off massage, either as a gift to yourself or a loved one, is a lovely experience
and can be relaxing or therapeutic as required. The effects can last for several
days and many people may have a massage now and then, as a treat or for relaxation.
Today physiotherapists are trained to deal with more and more serious conditions
and consequently massage training is now only a very small part of a physiotherapist's
curriculum, as they don’t deal as much with minor soft tissue problems (involving
muscles, tendons, connective tissue and ligaments).
Clinical massage, on the other hand, deals fast and effectively with many minor and
chronic soft tissue problems, as these respond to this type of treatment better than
So physiotherapists, generally speaking, use very little massage, while clinical
massage therapists use mainly massage and other associated soft tissue therapies.
However the two therapies are complementary and many clinical massage therapists
work closely with physiotherapists, delivering synchronised treatments to effect
the best possible outcome for clients.
Is there any evidence that regular massage is a good thing?
Absolutely. Research is always ongoing to identify how massage benefits the body
and there are many authoritative papers to be found on the Internet, reporting on
studies that have been carried out into how the body responds in different scenarios.
To mention one example, in 2012 a study was carried out at Emory University School
of Medicine in America to test the effects of Swedish massage given over a 5 week
period. Those who received massage had lower levels of stress hormones, including
cortisol. They also experienced big changes in immunity, including increased counts
of white blood cells, which play a key role in fending off illness and infection.
Are there any medical conditions that stop me having a massage?
There are conditions and illnesses when massage would not be appropriate, so it’s
very important that before your first massage you complete the Consultation Form
accurately with regard to any health issues you have. You also need to let me know
about any illnesses or conditions you may develop between appointments, in case they
affect your treatment. This is not just a formality, it’s so I can make sure that
massage will be safe for you.
In some cases it may be necessary to get the approval of your doctor or other primary
healthcare professional before receiving massage - for example during pregnancy,
for certain heart conditions, or cancer. This doesn't meant that you can’t have massage
- depending on the condition often treatments can be adapted, but it’s always better
to check to make sure.
If you’re receiving treatment from a doctor or other healthcare provider that you
think may prevent or limit your massage you’re welcome to discuss this with me at
the time of booking.
You can choose the length of massage that suits you best. For clinical massage 60
to 75 minute appointments generally work well. For relaxation massage treatment times
can be between 1 and 2 hours, depending on your personal preference. If you’re new
to massage and aren’t sure what would be best for you, feel free to discuss this
with me when you make your first booking.
I have a tranquil relaxing treatment room at my home in Stokenchurch. For most massages
I use a specially designed massage couch and people often comment how comfortable
they find it - it’s not unusual for someone to drop into a restful sleep during a
massage treatment. For some treatments, such as seated acupressure massage, I use
a specially designed massage chair which leaves your back and arms free to be massaged
while supporting you in a comfortable seated position.
Some massage treatments, such as Amma Fusion, are regularly carried out through clothing
or towels and seated acupressure massage is almost always carried out through clothing.
So if you’d prefer to remained completely or partly dressed you’re free to do so
and will still be able to have a massage. If you want to receive massage through
clothing it’s best to wear light garments rather than anything heavy or bulky.
However most of the massages I give require the use of oils, massage lotion, massage
wax or similar, so if you’re receiving a regular massage it’s best to undress down
to your underwear.
I’m worried about being uncovered during the massage
Your privacy is respected at all times, whether you are getting dressed or undressed,
getting onto the couch, turning over during the massage and whilst you’re being massaged.
After I've shown you to the treatment room I’ll leave you to undress in private,
get comfortable on the massage couch and cover yourself with towels. I’ll knock to
make sure you’re ready before I come back in. I’ll then check with you to make sure
you’re feeling relaxed, whilst covering you with more towels to maintain your privacy
and keep you warm. I’ll also arrange any bolsters and cushions needed to make you
feel completely comfortable, covered and secure before we begin the massage.
During the massage I only uncover the part of your body that I’m working on and re-drape
you when I move to another area, so most of you is covered most of the time. When
you change position I’ll hold the towels in place so you are never uncovered. At
the end of your massage I’ll check how you’re feeling before leaving you to get dressed
in private. If you’d prefer me to help you get up from the couch I’ll do this in
a way that ensures you’re still covered up and hidden with towels at every stage.
You’ll be able to select from a number of different oils, lotions and waxes. For
example, I offer oils - such as grapeseed, coconut and apricot kernel - water-based
lotions which are easy to wash off, and soft supple massage waxes. If you have allergies,
or think you may be sensitive to any substances I might use, it’s important that
you let me know before the massage begins.
For an aromatherapy massage you’ll be able to choose from massage oils which have
been expertly pre-blended with essential oils in ways designed to deliver different
benefits and effects. For example some aromatherapy oils are intended to bring peace
and tranquility, others to relax and soothe. Or you may prefer to choose from oils
that are designed to uplift and rejuvenate, or release tensions or help ease aching
muscles. The choice will be yours.
Relax and enjoy, as massage is a wonderful experience!
During the course of a relaxation massage I may move one of your limbs, or ask you
to do so, and sometimes you’ll be lying face down, sometimes face up. Occasionally
I’ll ask you if the pressure I’m using is right for you. However if you’re obviously
relaxed and comfortable I’ll quietly carry on with the massage without disturbing
If you’re receiving clinical massage to deal with a particular complaint the session
may be more interactive, as I’ll be asking you for feedback about what you’re feeling
and I may move you around a lot more than during a relaxation massage. I may also
use more vigorous and/or deep techniques appropriate for the condition being treated.
Apart from that you can use your massage session as you choose. Some people like
to relax completely and fall asleep, or just lie quietly and enjoy the massage. Others
like to chat, ask questions about massage techniques being used or discuss what they’re
feeling. Whatever you prefer is fine - it’s your time.
Please tell me straight away so I can make changes to the treatment.
Although I’ll always check with you at the start of your massage and at other times
as it progresses, please don’t wait for me to ask - if something isn’t right, if
you change your mind about something or become uncomfortable, do let me know. For
example, you may feel that the pressure I’m using is too deep or too gentle, you
decide you’d like different music, or prefer quiet, you may become too hot or too
cold, or that you don’t want massage on certain parts of your body, or need tissues
for a runny nose, or a bathroom break.
Don’t worry that any of this will be a problem - after all this is your treatment
and your time so it’s important that it’s right for you.
If the treatment has been for specific pains or conditions, there may be relief from
aches and pains. Depending on what was required from the massage and how it was delivered,
some people become very energised and alert immediately, while others experience
a feeling of calm, relaxation and being ‘slowed down’. Sometimes there may be a feeling
of light-headedness for a while, particularly after an especially relaxing massage,
These reactions can be short-lived or, for some people, can stay with them for days
after the massage.
If clinical massage was given for treating specific conditions, or I used techniques
such as deep pressures and stretches intended to increase flexibility or improve
range of motion, there may be a reaction to the massage such as stiffness and tightness
afterwards. These reactions generally go after a day or so as your body adjusts
to the beneficial effects of the treatment.
Can I book a treatment for a friend, partner or spouse?
Yes you can! You can find details about purchasing gift vouchers here or call me
directly to make a booking. If the massage treatment is to be a surprise I’ll need
to ask you some standard questions beforehand, such as any health problems the person
has that you may be aware of and the type of massage that you’re are booking for
them. Also the person you are booking for needs to be sixteen or over.
If your friend has not been to me before I’ll carry out a consultation with them
before the massage begins, which takes on average 15-20 minutes, The consultation
is in addition to the treatment, so they’ll need to allow for this as well as the
massage time you’ve booked for them.
I support Stokenchurch Dog Rescue and a number of other animal charities. I’m always
happy to donate gift certificates to this and similar organisations for fundraising
purposes. Please contact me to find out how I can help you.
“I first contacted Sally as I was struggling to cope with back and shoulder pain.
Sally has a wealth of expertise in muscular problems, something I learnt prior to
our first session when discussing my overall health. I was instantly reassured by
her "big picture" perspective - she wanted to address issues in my body as a whole,
and not just specifically those where I had pain.
“In just one session not only was Sally able to provide me with immediate pain relief,
but she was also able to identify and address problems in other areas I was unaware
of which were contributing to my pain.
“I now use her services regularly and would recommend to anyone dealing with chronic
or long term pain!”