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Massage Therapy

Treatments You Can Trust

Massage therapy is used to help manage a health condition or enhance wellness. It involves manipulating the soft tissues of the body. Massage has been practiced in most cultures, both Eastern and Western, throughout human history, and was one of the earliest tools that people used to try to relieve pain.

Read about the types of massage offered below.

Holistic / Swedish / Classic

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The three terms above are often used interchangeably, but at Willow and Water we are strict on our definitions of the Holistic massage we offer.

A holistic massage is a therapeutic approach that focuses on treating the whole person—mind, body, and spirit. Holistic means whole (totality) so we see the body as a unity, as a whole of different parts. This is a professional, therapeutic massage for health and well-being. Treatment takes into account all aspects of a client's physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. Holistic massage therapists may draw from various massage modalities and techniques, such as Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, aromatherapy, reflexology, or craniosacral therapy and more. The treatment may range from stimulating to gentle relaxing and deep tissue to invigorate the body.

So what are the main health benefits of a Holistic Massage:

  • Increasing energy by invigorating all the body systems

  • A general sense of health and well-being

  • Reduce stiffness and increase joint mobility

  • Generally helps you to relax and unwind

  • Relief from stress, anxiety and tension

  • Improves skin and muscle tone

  • Improved sleep

  • Aids digestion

The benefits of massage have been reported to affect the rest of the levels from the body by increasing circulation, by increasing endorphins which are positive hormones of happiness, decreases stress hormones, decreases muscle tension and pain. A mind is free to concentrate in other things and to perform at it's peak. Which means improve ability to focus, improved concentration, and better mental clarity. On emotional level it takes away frustration and irritability, improve your mood. One feels supported during holistic massage, with gentle touch a feeling of peace and calmness.

Deep Tissue Massage

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Deep Tissue Massage technique uses slow, firm and pressure strokes of deep layers of muscles to help ease & release tension in the fascia, the connective tissue that surrounds muscles.

The muscles must be relaxed in order to effectively perform deep-tissue massage, otherwise, tight muscles prevent the therapist from reaching the deeper layer of the muscles. Commonly deep tissue massage is used to treat chronic aches and pains in the legs, glutes, quads, back, neck and shoulders. It is an intense but effective treatment ideal for relieving the source of tension, whether it is caused by sports, bad posture, stress or injury. 

Deep Tissue Massage drains excess fluid and encourages the blood and lymph to circulate effectively. It also helps relieve tension deep within the muscles as tense muscles can restrict oxygen and nutrient flow, therefore preventing swelling and a build-up of toxins. Deep Tissue massage releases hard tension caused by tightened and knotted muscle fibres, fascia, ligaments and tendons.

It offers instant relief of pain, poor posture, lack of mobility, tightness in the muscles and stress. Deep Tissue Massage is typically a lot stronger than other types of massage.

Do not proceed with Deep Tissue Massage if you have/are:

  • At risk of blood clots and heart disease

  • Wounds, tumours or fragile bones

  • Surgery

  • Pregnant

Sports Massage

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Sports Massage is a targeted deep tissue massage designed to improve flexibility, endurance and helping to prevent muscle soreness and injury.

Sports massage it is an ideal aid to recovery from injury as well as helping prevent them. It promotes faster recovery after competing or training and helps to maintain a healthy musculoskeletal system.

Sports massage can be useful to an athlete or even a frequent gym user or exerciser: pre-event, post-event, and injury treatment. Pre-event massage is often delivered at the performance site but can be performed prior. It helps to establish blood flow and to warm up muscles. Post-event massage calms the nervous system; begins the process of flushing toxins and waste products out of the body. It reduces recovery time, enabling an athlete to resume training much sooner than rest alone would allow. Sports massage also helps to prevent injury by ensuring the muscles are fit and healthy and strong prior to exercise.

Sports Massage aligns muscle and soft tissue fibres, drains toxins, debris and increases energy by boosting blood flow. It is highly effective at relieving pain brought on by lactic acid or injury by draining the tissues or any retained fluid. Sports massage is very effective at loosening tight muscles, and treating injury, chronic conditions, musculoskeletal damage and many more complex conditions.

Lymphatic Drainage Massage

Lymphatic drainage massage of legs and lower legs. Female feet in the hands of a masseur..

Lymphatic Drainage also known as manual lymphatic drainage is a type of gentle massage therapy that encourages the movement of lymph fluids around the body. 

The lymphatic system works by removing toxins, getting rid of excess fluid & helping your body to absorb vitamins from the digestive system. Lymphatic drainage massage helps to relieve swelling due to poor health or medical treatment that causes blockages to the lymphatic system. Certain conditions – inflammation, cancer or obesity may cause lymph fluids to build up, a condition known as lymphedema. The lymphatic system can often get blocked or overrun because of things like stress, illness and an unhealthy lifestyle.

Lymphatic drainage massage helps to keep the body running smoothly by using gentle pressure to move lymph (excess fluid) from your tissues to your lymph nodes. The delicate lymph vessels and nodes that sit just below the skin require very light pressure in order to move fluid through. In comparison, treatments like deep tissue, Swedish, sports massage use a firmer touch to work into a different area of the body and the muscles.

Manual lymphatic drainage can help the body to maintain proper blood circulation, body fluid balance and immune function in better condition. While a good diet and regular exercise are important, lymphatic drainage massage may give your lymphatic system a boost, speed up recovery after exercise and improve body aesthetic. Lymphatic massage can be relaxing and soothing, so there is some evidence that manual lymph drainage helps reduce anxiety and improve sleep.

Clinical Massage

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Clinical Massage is focused on treating a specific illness or condition.

It is a very different discipline from other therapy professions treating physical conditions (such as osteopaths, physiotherapists etc). It involves working with the tissues of the body. Clinical massage looks at nerves and muscles and specialises in treating pain felt in the body. It can help with injuries and long-term conditions. Clinical massage can help with a variety of complaints, even those defined as ‘untreatable’. On many occasions, frozen shoulders, carpal tunnel syndrome and lower back pain can all be helped by clinical massage.

Clinical massage works directly with the body. It is the combination of detailed client consultation and a tailored program of treatment that helps to address the pain.

Sports injuries, both recent and long-term, can be treated by clinical massage.  Sometimes after an injury, the pain of the injury remains, even when the tissues have healed. Helping you to understand and overcome this pain, is a major factor in the work. Your treatment session will incorporate hands-on body work, massage, mobility and movement.

A program of home strengthening and movement helps to reduce pain and increase mobility. Keeping your body active and mobile but within your pain threshold, will help to improve your general flexibility and reduce pain.

Everyday issues (such as those created by the workplace or lifting something incorrectly in the garden) can also be addressed by Clinical Massage. Tennis elbow can also be brought on by carrying heavy bags or painting walls (not just tennis). RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury), is a painful complaint often associated with repetitive workplace habits such as typing. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) can be caused by nerve compression often during pregnancy or through poor workstation conditions in the office.  Both RSI and CTS respond extremely well to clinical massage.  Similarly, a painful and stiff neck, a sore lower back or aching shoulders, are all muscular issues that can be improved with clinical massage.

Pregnancy for all the joy it brings, can be a period accompanied by a variety of discomforts too, especially as the baby grows. Fluid retention, aching hips, back and shoulders and carpal tunnel syndrome are just a few of the very real pains of pregnancy which can make it quite challenging.

Gentle work with mum-to-be can help to reduce fluid retention and ease nerves and muscles that are causing pain. The combination of touch, care and guidance can lower anxiety, improve sleep and general wellbeing.

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