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By West Norwood Therapies Team, Jul 6 2019 06:47PM

Massage therapist Melanie Howlett shares some thoughts on how she works as an advanced clinical massage therapist and what you can expect from her treatments



Advanced clinical massage is described as an East meets West approach and style of body work. A toolkit which incorporates the technical aspects of sports massage with a more holistic approach.


This kind of treatment combines Acupressure, Cranial Sacral techniques , Trigger Point Therapy, advanced sports stretching , Myofascial Release and Structural integration techniques alongside relaxation/ energy and meridian rebalancing. Influences which are inspired by a more Eastern approach and style to massage.


This fusion of techniques results in a massage “experience” which is deeply relaxing, stress busting, pain relieving, and anti ageing, often leaving recipients reluctant to leave the massage table.


It’s often not until we get on the treatment table and have a good massage treatment that we realise how much in need of a massage we were.


We often don’t realise how stressed and tired we are or how much tension we are holding in our body until our therapist starts to tune in and address TriggerPoints and adhesions which can often be the cause of undiagnosed musculoskeletal pain or tension headaches, fatigue and stress.


No two treatments are ever the same. As the therapist starts to connect with the soft tissue with and tune into the individual is when the magic happens and for that time spent on the treatment table it is not unusual you may be transported to another dimension.


It can be as if a universe of sensations hidden within the body is discovered that can only be awakened by the therapeutic touch of a good therapist. Relaxing the mind and body and seeking out pain and tension often leaving recipients snoozing and floating in between that place of the conscious and unconscious ( was I or was I not snoring just a little bit ? )

Such a great place to be and deeply relaxing.


However, different approaches can be incorporated depending on what each person is looking for and what is required.


Some sessions may be more technical focusing in on specific areas such as shoulder girdle or hip/lower back addressing specific pain conditions and others more general as a full body treatment with some focus to specific areas.


Some treatments are more fluid and passive and others are more active and dynamic where the recipient is more involved.


Ultimately the aim is to create equilibrium for the body mind and soul, make each person as comfortable as possible and to deliver what is appropriate for each individual at that particular time.


For the best results a course of treatment is recommended to really start to relax and get the accumulative effects of having a course of treatments.
For the best results a course of treatment is recommended to really start to relax and get the accumulative effects of having a course of treatments.

When a specific goal has been reached it is good to have a maintenance treatment every 3 to 4 weeks to check in with your body and to keep in optimum health and well-being preventing stress, overwhelm and injury.


To experience the healing and rejuvenating benefits of what an Advanced Clinical Massage will do for you and your body, mind and soul, please don’t hesitate to book in with Melanie Howlett ACMT @ West Norwood Therapies or get in contact to find out more.

I look forward to embarking on your massage journey with you.





By West Norwood Therapies Team, Jul 2 2019 07:29PM

Hypnobirthing teacher Clare Butler reviews her wonderful recent massage experience with colleague Melanie Howlett


I was really looking forward to meeting Melanie. Melanie recently joined West Norwood Therapies and specialises in therapeutic & deep tissue massage and Reiki - what a combo! I felt sure that I would receive a massage that would de-stress me and make me feel overall relaxed and balanced. I am glad to say that I was not wrong.


After a 3-year break, 6 weeks ago I started to work in an office again and, like a lot of people, I now spend the majority of my time sitting in front of a computer screen. Overall, I can say that I quickly adapted to my new work routine and I am enjoying it, but wow, my body has felt the shock straight away! On just day two my shoulder and neck started to freeze up and I could feel the balls of stressful tension sitting on my joints.


It was time to finally book my appointment with Melanie!


Over the years I have had many massages and seen pretty much all of the people at West Norwood Therapies. It is wonderful that you can confidently book any of them and you know that you will have a great massage experience.


A great massage experience is not just about the technique and pressure applied. Here is what I look for and how Melanie achieves great rather than good.


Atmosphere: Melanie is very aware of the importance of creating the right environment. The music was calming and swept me away as I relaxed.


Professional: Melanie’s desire to find out exactly where the tension was in my body, and what I wanted to get out of my session with her, immediately put me at ease.


Attentive: Melanie was very attentive and made sure that the pressure she used was to my liking. Melanie also informed me before she used a cooling gel in case I did not want it.


And last but not least…

Knowledge & Added Value: It is clear when talking to Melanie that she really understands the body and she tailors what she does depending on the individual. Melanie does not take a ‘one size fits all’ approach. I was really impressed when, after the massage, Melanie gave me some more insight into why I feel the tension where I do. Melanie suggested some follow up exercises to help give me relief.

If you are either feeling balls of tension in your body or just keen to give your body the TLC it deserves, then please get in touch with Melanie or one of the other great massage therapists at West Norwood Therapies. You will not be disappointed.






By West Norwood Therapies Team, Apr 29 2019 07:29PM

Sports massage therapist Lauren O'Sullivan shares her fabulous experience massaging at the London marathon in aid of the NSPCC this year, we're proud of her efforts and enthusiasm :-)



Last year I volunteered with NSPCC, giving post event massage at the London Marathon 2018. It was such a fulfilling experience that this year I went back for more and I couldn’t wait to put my green t-shirt back on! As you can probably remember, 2018 was the hottest London Marathon ever recorded. Water stations started running out of water and medical teams had their busiest year treating heatstroke. This year already looked to be shaping up for a stark contrast on the weather front. With strong winds and heavy rain dominating the weather forecast, I prepared to massage some soggy windblown runners!


Waking up this morning to calmer winds and a nice fresh feel in the air might have tricked some runners into thinking they were still dreaming! Pretty ideal weather conditions for long distance running. So far so good. I was feeling positive as I walked through Trafalgar Square and looking forward to working with Chris and the team again. After a quick hip loosening demonstration, Chris talked about posture and how to maintain good form. It’s all about keeping that chest forwards and proud!


At around 12:45 we applauded the first runner into our massage area. There was then a slow trickle of runners for about half an hour before the trickle turned to a steady stream and all 20 massage therapists were working flat out to ease the aches and pains. The atmosphere in the room was absolutely buzzing; you could almost feel a physical energy to it. Congratulations and elations never ceased and every time someone came up to me, no matter how exhausted they were, they had a smile on their face and such a sense of pride in what they had just achieved. Not one person was moaning or grumbling about any pain they were in, their achievement seemed to lift them above it.


At events it is likely that you will be massaging through clothes and there are several techniques to achieve great results with this. One of them is simply compressions and you can even try these on yourself (mainly on the legs) after a hard training session, event or performance. Simply use the heel of your hand or make a fist and press down on the muscle using your other hand to create the force, holding the compression for 10 - 20 seconds. Vibrations can also be another useful tool, as well as pin and stretch – compressing a muscle when contracted and then slowly extending the muscle whilst keeping the compression; something I like to use on the hamstrings especially and it can be done passively or actively.

Conversations with the runners sometimes verged on hysteria due to adrenaline and exhaustion! However the main topic of the day was their appreciation for the overwhelming support they received: from the crowd, from the charity, from their friends and family and from us! Times didn't matter. They had just run 26 MILES. I chatted to one runner who was running a marathon for every month of the year...that’s 314 miles this year! What an incredible human feat let alone the amount of money raised for charities. The 500 runners for NSPCC today raised £1.1 million between them. What an amazing event to be part of.
Conversations with the runners sometimes verged on hysteria due to adrenaline and exhaustion! However the main topic of the day was their appreciation for the overwhelming support they received: from the crowd, from the charity, from their friends and family and from us! Times didn't matter. They had just run 26 MILES. I chatted to one runner who was running a marathon for every month of the year...that’s 314 miles this year! What an incredible human feat let alone the amount of money raised for charities. The 500 runners for NSPCC today raised £1.1 million between them. What an amazing event to be part of.

Even though it was a long and tiring day, I went home ecstatic and full of inspiration from everybody I had met, runners and volunteers alike. Just knowing that I had helped some of those amazing people in some way gave me my own sense of pride and achievement.


If you ever get the chance to volunteer with a charity at an event like the London Marathon, DO IT. You’ll find me massaging next at the Windrush Aquathlon on Sunday 30th June at the West Norwood Therapies stall. If you’re racing come and see me for some post event massage! If you’re there supporting, come and say hi to some of the team – we offer a whole range of complimentary therapies and classes.




By West Norwood Therapies Team, Dec 6 2018 02:00PM

Aromatherapist Veronica Massa looks at some festive essential oils and shares the wonders of her festive aromatherapy massage oil blend. You can almost smell it as you read!


Looking at an essential oil blend that embodies the spirit of Christmas and

introducing Festive Aromatherapy Massage.


Aromas evoke memories and feelings, bring us back in time or to the present moment.


Scents can set an atmosphere and create a special moment.


Many smells are associated to Christmas and childhood memories that make us feel good. The scents of Christmas are so familiar that become part of the Christmas tradition, embodying the festive period.


The warmth of the festive season is captured with spicy/sweet essential oils that evoke the smell of ginger biscuits, the smell of pine from the Christmas tree, the smell of clove and orange of a pomander and the delicious fragrance of fruity spice in mulled wine.


One of my favourite Christmas fragrance is the blend for my Christmas Bath Truffle (bath melts) combining cinnamon, clove, orange, patchouli and ginger, so delicious! A classic Christmas fragrance perfect for the spice lover. If you are one of them, experience a Festive Aromatherapy Massage, be immerse in the Christmas spirit with these essential oils that will spice up and warm up your body and spirit. A real boost to your circulation, (both blood and lymphatic), your immune system and will also help with tensions and aches … in case you feel those too… The festive aroma of these oils will create a joyful atmosphere, an add-on to your massage experience.


Let’s take a look at these essential oils from an Aromatherapy point of view and get to know them better.


How do these oils influence our psyche, mood and emotions?


Clove (Eugenia Caryophyllata), probably mostly experienced for toothache, Clove has an anaesthetic effect. A warming oil, it helps with circulation, digestion and any condition associated with cold. It also helps relieve arthritis, rheumatism and sprains.


It is a mental and physical tonic and in terms of TCM, it tonifies Qi. If you feel things are stagnating in your life, Clove could help declutter and de-touch not only from material things but also believes and ideas about how life is or should be lived. Call for Clove when you need a change, open to new possibilities and attract new “clean” energies in your life. Get rid of what doesn’t serve you anymore and Clove will support you in the process of decluttering with the inner strength you may need.


Cautions: Potential skin irritant.


Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) warming energies are useful to relieve aches and chills in the early stage of colds and flu and for recovery afterwards when you feel debilitated. It is a great tonic for the Winter months especially for the elderly. Great warming oil, it stimulates the circulation and the digestive system, supports the immune system and relieves pain.


Its fiery energy gives a boost to whom has lost vigour and courage and bringsa sense of connection to the present moment.


Cinnamon bark can be a skin irritant so be careful!


Ginger (zingiber officinalis). Its scent will increase your determination and clarity. When feeling confused, undecided, demotivated, lacking in will, vitality and inner strength, Ginger will support, encourage and reconnect you to your will power and inner confidence. With ginger, the realization of your projects will feel a lighter task as you will feel more optimistic to manifest initiative and take action.

Ginger properties are warming and therefore beneficial for circulation and the digestive system, respiratory system and the reproductive one. It has also a warming and stimulating effect on the lungs and can treat chronic bronchitis.


It supports with lower back pain associated with muscular fatigue.


Ginger energy tonifies the kidneys and the heart.


Orange (citrus sinensis). Much loved by children, this sweet citrus will help them to sleep and will settle a belly ache. Just like cistus oils in general, the cheerful Orange uplifts the spirit and brings joy, warmth and a smile on the face of those who feel depressed, nervous, anxious and struggle to sleep.

Reach for this oil when life gets too serious and you forget how to laugh. Or if you are feeling self-doubt and fear when faced with new challenged and decisions to make.


In terms of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), Orange helps for conditions related to Qi stagnation, especially in the liver, stomach and intestines. In fact it is one of the best oils for the digestive system.


Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) warm and sweet qualities are beneficial for stress related conditions, the perfect oil for this time of the year! If you are someone prone to overthinking and worrying, who spends too much time “in the head” (too much mental activity), who feels “out of touch” with your body and also your sensuality, then this oil is for you! Patchouli will help you to come back to yourself. It is grounding and centring when you feel mentally and physically tense and detached not only from your body but also your creative expression. It helps alleviate anxiety, nervous strain and depression.


It will also help you with *Qi deficiency in the spleen and pancreas, leading to fatigue and tummy problems.


Patchouli reminds us to be in our body and take care of it especially when we put too much importance into the mental/psychic dimension while we are engaged on a spiritual path, it helps us to put things back into balance between the physical and the spiritual.


*Qi energy being the vital force of the body and mind, which moves and makes things move and it is the source of all bodily activities.

BIbliography:
BIbliography:

Battaglia S., The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, 2005

Mojay Gabriel, Aromatherapy for healing the spirit, 2005 (Gabriel is my Aromatherapy and TCM teacher)

Zeck Robbi, The Blossoming Heart, Aromatherapy for Healing and Transformation, 2014 (3rd edition)









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