book class book appointment who's working today? WNT Logo A green on white buy gift voucher RSS Feed

Web feed

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 18 2018 08:00AM

Sports massage therapist Tessa Glover discusses the importance of balance and shares some super simple every day adaptations we can all take to improve our balance.


How Important is it?

Balance keeps us upright, allows us to walk without assistance and helps prevent injury.

Balance is something we learn when we first stand on our two feet as toddlers. We don’t tend to think about it anymore, not until we join the gym only to find that we can’t actually balance on one leg, or perhaps, quite out of the blue, we have a fall and can’t understand why.

Thanks to the wonders of modern science we are all living longer and in order to remain independent, mobile and injury free well into old age we need to work on our balance.

No time?

As a sports massage therapist I know from experience that asking people to work an exercise regime into every day life can be a challenge for them. Below are a number of balance exercises that you can do easily at home that you can slot into your day-to-day routine.

1. On the way back from the bathroom - Walking the Line

We’ve all heard about ‘walking the line’ for an officer of the law but have you tried it at home as sober as a judge? It’s a great way to see just how good your balance is and to work on improving it.

• Line yourself up to the edge of a floorboard or rug or just parallel to the wall.

• Make sure you are standing upright and place your right heel on the floor directly in front of your left toe.

• Then do the same with your left heel. Make sure you keep looking forward at all times. You may hold your arms out to the side for balance. Take 5 steps or more.

2. While Cleaning your teeth - Balancing on one leg.

If you are doing this for the first time, you may like to have a chair or a wall within an arm's reach.

• Stand with your feet together then lift one foot with the knee facing forward or to the side. Hold the position for 5 seconds with your eyes open, then 5 seconds with your eyes closed.

• Change feet and repeat for four repetitions on each foot.

3. Waiting for the kettle to boil - Leg Swings

Stand on your right leg and raise the left leg three to six inches off the floor. With arms at your sides, swing your left leg forward and backward, touching the floor for balance, while keeping your torso erect. Now, repeat the moves, but don't allow your foot to touch the ground. And finally, swing the left foot to the left side, holding the right arm out. Switch legs and repeat.

4. Standing on the bus or train.

Don’t sit down! Start off holding onto a pole then if you can let go and try to keep your balance. Grab the pole if you feel you’re about to fall.

5. Dancing to your favourite music - One-Legged Clock With Arms

• Stand up straight, balance on one leg with your hands on your hips.

• Look straight ahead at the wall and visualize a clock face. Point your arm straight overhead to 12 o clock, then to the side at three, and then circle low and around to nine without losing your balance.

• Switch to the opposite arm and leg and repeat.

6. Watching Television – stand with a book on your head.

Stand with feet facing straight ahead, place a hard backed book (not too heavy) on your head, relax your shoulders and enjoy your favourite programme. Keep going for as long as you can.


If you have a medical condition always check with your GP before embarking upon these exercises or any fitness program.

All the exercises here should be carried out in a slow and controlled manner. The aim is not to finish the exercises as soon as possible to get them over and done with but to improve your balance.

By West Norwood Therapies Team, Jun 7 2016 08:00AM

Our sports and remedial massage specialist suggests how you can set up your desk for optimum benefit to your posture

A large percentage of clients who come to see me have neck,shoulder and arm pain and almost all of them work at a desk for up to eight hours per day (sometimes not even taking an hour out for lunch) and then often on their laptops at home for a further hour or two in the evening.

I am often asked about the correct way to set up the computer to minimise poor posture habits so I thought it would be useful to give some tips on how you and your computer should be positioned.


This should support your lower back so find one with good lumbar support. When sitting in your chair, there should be a space of at least 8cm between the edge of the chair and the back of your knees. You should be able to have both feet flat on the floor, thighs slightly below your hips. If you are on the short side, you could think about using a foot rest while taller people could adjust desk height.


If possible, this should be positioned so that your elbows are by your sides, and your arms at a 90◦ angle. Idealy it should be angled down and away from you and approximately 3-5cm above your thighs. So a pull out tray below the desk is ideal.


To find the correct distance, sit back in your seat and extend your arm. For perfect positioning, your middle finger should be able to touch the screen. For height, close your eyes and when you open them again your line of vision should be on the URL or address bar. Raise the stand or add a book or two here.

Laptops and Tablets.

What can I say? They are ideal for working from anywhere but terrible for your posture. Try to raise the screen and if possible use a separate keyboard. If you can't do this then try to limit your time using them.


Please take time to get up and move about at least once an hour. I suggest to my clients that they set a reminder on their phones and do a few neck stretches before sitting back down again.

Tessa is at West Norwood Therapies on Thursday mornings, Friday evenings and the second Saturday of each month.

Welcome to our blog where we share tips, advice and thoughts from our fantastic team of experienced practitioners

Historic blogs can be found on practitioner profile pages - they are a great way to get to know us!

NB some old social media links bring you to this page, so please use tags or profile pages to find older blogs