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 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, Mar 19 2019 09:44AM

Yoga teacher Emma Klein shares the importance of Savasana in yoga - often a love/hate part of a class - ahead of her restorative yoga workshop on Sunday 24th March.


Savasana the Corpse Pose

One of the hardest but the most important postures out of all of the yoga postures. It is a fully conscious, completely still meditation.


People who come to classes, generally fall into two categories

• Those who love savasana and wish half the class was a meditation; and

• Those who don't see the point and often leave before the end to avoid savasana


For both groups, it's important to understand why we do savasana.


For those of you who view yoga as purely a gym or aerobics class, having 5 minutes of lying on the mat doing nothing often seems like a waste of time and it can feel that in our crazy busy lives this time could be better spent. Maybe by getting to the showers faster so that you can get to work or home sooner.


Realistically, 5 minutes in the grand scheme of our lives is a very small investment into something that is the most important part of an entire yoga practice - Savasana.


Why is Savasana so hard?


A lot of people really struggle with lying still and allowing the mind to switch off. Either twitching and wriggling with the mind running wild and their thoughts going all over the place or in some cases falling asleep.


During an Asana class, if the mind has been concentrating hard on maintaining the breath, how the body feels in each posture and being fully aware of oneself, and the body has worked hard throughout then by the end both the body and mind should be tired. This helps to keep the mind clear of thoughts and the body still.


The mind can often still get in the way however, with thoughts still running rampant. Such as

• How much longer will this last?

• Am I breathing correctly?

• Did someone just snore?

• I really need to sneeze/cough/scratch an itch

• I'm hungry

• What am I going to make for dinner?

• What am I really doing with my life?

• Should I quit my job?


Having thoughts is not the issue, allowing those thoughts to expand and flow into a full conversation in your head that is where we fall off track. Being able to bring your thoughts back to your breath and stillness every time they wander is the hard part.


The Art of Savasana

In an ideal world, it would be easy to allow the body to rest and to calm the mind to have no thoughts for 5-10 minutes. However, this takes time and practice but is extremely rewarding once mastered.



A successful savasana takes practice, but here are some steps to help you find that calm space


• Find a comfortable position. Wriggle, stretch and move until you are comfortable, in a position you can maintain with stillness for 5 – 10 minutes. Traditionally, flat on the back with the feet flopping out and the palms facing up. Keeping the chin slightly in to help release your neck. The more comfortable you are the easier it will be to relax. The more relaxed you are the more benefits you will receive. If finding that comfortable space means putting on a jumper or covering your eyes, then do it. It is important to find what works for you. And if you need to roll onto your side or even sit-up then do it.


• Take a few deep cleansing breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth to release any tension. Sighing out loud if this works for you. This signals to the parasympathetic nervous system that is OK to relax.


• Slowly bring your focus onto your breath. Feeling the rise and fall of the chest and stomach as the whole body breathes. Observing as you breathe in and out any areas of remaining tension and consciously allow that tension to flow out of your body.


• When your mind wanders, because it will, bring it back to your breath. Allow yourself to observe without becoming attached to any one thought. Some days this will be easier than others, but that is part of the practice. Over time the moments of stillness and quiet will become longer. Don’t judge yourself when this happens, it is normal and takes time and practice.


There are lots of benefits to taking the time to practice savasana.


Stress Relief - Savasana calms the brain and helps to relieve stress and mild depression, reduces headaches, fatigue and insomnia as well as lowering blood pressure. The body holds mental, emotional and physical stress in the form of muscle contraction or tension. Stress is linked to many health problems and learning to release this tension is extremely beneficial to both short- and long-term health.


Healing - Giving the body time to rest, as well as relieving muscle stress allows the body time to heal. Draining any toxins that have been released during the practice and reoxygenating the body.


Self-Acceptance - During class we focus on our bodies and what they can do; today, in this class. In savasana we do not have the distraction of doing to keep us from being self-conscious. By allowing yourself to just be and surrendering to the moment takes practice. It is difficult to accept yourself just as you are in this moment.


Peace - Finding that moment of stillness, connecting with your breath, finding acceptance. Our lives are so busy that often the only peace we find is during sleep. Being able to find and appreciate peace during a conscious waking moment is extremely fulfilling.


Accepting Death - It is extremely common for people to fear death. To fear the unknown, pain and loss. Death however is universal and natural. Savasana is called the corpse pose as it is a living death. The peace we find while in savasana feels good. It is unintimidating. Savasana helps us to acknowledge and accept our own mortality.


When coming out of savasana, we often feel rejuvenated, energised and refreshed. It is so crucial to remember that all the postures we do have a purpose and that savasana is just as important if not more so than the rest of our practice.





By West Norwood Therapies Team, Oct 31 2018 07:03PM

Our newest massage therapist and reiki practitioner, Melanie Howlett, shares her experiences and suggestions for how to find and maintain balance and wellbeing when the pace and demands of life get too much


My introductory blog is about the art of how to keep sane balanced and healthy in the world today.


I personally find that when the demands, expectations and pace of every day life becomes more and more relentless and demanding, allowing little time to slow down and tune in, is when I start to lose touch with how I am feeling.

Everything in our society today has become more instant. We have information at our fingertips, fast food on our doorstep‘s, work deadlines that are looming, a not enough days in the week rolling schedule and everyone’s email seems to need immediate time and attention.. like yesterday...

Times are rapidly changing and AI (Artificial Intelligence) is looming with a new ‘buzzword’.

Machines have quietly reached singularity, which is that point in time when artificial intelligence /machines are smarter than human beings and can make their own decisions without us..

Can you speak to the self service checkouts for us please??


The internet and social networking gives the illusion that we are more connected than ever to everyone when in fact we are further apart with the whole world in our living room.

It’s those times when I loose touch with myself in the fast moving highly demanding, pressure and virtual reality of today’s city life that leads to me getting stressed and overwhelmed..


Stress can come on suddenly and affect our well being and those around us in many ways.

It is often difficult to express how we are feeling when it takes a hold and how to approach how we are feeling at the time.


It is the number one cause of disease in the world today and the root and beginning of many illnesses.

Some of the signs of stress could be muscle pain and tension and irritability. Illness and injury. Sleepless night’s, short patience with others and negative ruminating thought processes.

This can can lead to Anxiety and panic attacks and feelings of overwhelm.


So what do I do when the pace of life becomes too fast?

I am going to share with you the ways I find are an effective way back to inner peace, joy and how I like to reconnect.

Number One. Touch base with Mother Nature.

- Nature takes her time, she can’t be rushed

One of the ways I love to shake off some of the pressure when I’m starting to feel off-balance is to go for a long walk in nature.

I love to reconnect to Mother Earth in a world that has become so unnatural and synthetic.

When we take time to slow down and go for a stroll in the park, hug a tree and take in the beauty around us, it brings us back to ourselves and we come back feeling re-energised, re centred and relaxed.

- I love to take a long soak in an Epsom or Pink Himalayan salt bath with lavender and Roman Chamomile to relax and calm my body and mind. I feel so re- energised afterwards.

- I remember that I have to give back to myself by having a therapeutic massage.

Having a good massage really does help to calm the nervous system and help with feeling a lot less stressed. It is important for us to take some time for ourselves and give back to our body by releasing the tension and emotional stress which ends up stored in a soft tissue through times of pressure.

When I take my own advice and allow myself the time for a massage it really helps to put me back on track. I usually find that having 1 treatment a week for 3 to 4 weeks really helps me to re centre, calm, uplift and re energise.


A Reiki treatment is another really lovely way to nurture and awaken your bodies own natural healing abilities. It can be a deeply relaxing and restorative way to unwind.

Energetic blockages can manifest outwardly.

As within so without. As above so below.

Reiki works by going to the root cause of an illness or imbalances to release the energetic blockages.

As well as being a calming and meditative treatment, Reiki often initiates subtle changes to the energetic field to bring about positive shifts in a persons life.

- I stop drinking coffee and stimulants at this time and support my system with some Chinese tonic herbs to balance the three treasures and help my adrenals. I also like to drink chamomile and marshmallow root tea.



Before the big rush starts I remind myself to connect with how I am feeling. Connect with my breath and check in with how I am. Reduce screen time and mobile phone use in the evenings before bed and in the mornings when I wake up.

- Keep breathing. When we get stressed we come out of our body and into our head. The best way to try to reconnect with ourselves is to focus on our breath and practice deep breathing techniques to help us stay present and aware of how we are feeling when things start to pile on top of us.

I find taking a yoga (especially yin/restorative) or Pilates class to reconnect is a great way to come back to my breath, release the stress and to come back to my core.

I remind myself to stop giving myself a hard time.

I am not a machine 😉

Be good to myself and do things which nourish and support my body.

It is easy to neglect ourselves in today’s busy world.

Don’t feel guilty.

Remember we can only help others when we ourselves are fit and healthy, calm and relaxed.

And finally..don’t worry. The machines will soon read your mind and be able to answer all of your emails for you while driving you to your machine operated workplace 😉



By West Norwood Therapies Team, Oct 18 2018 08:19AM

Natural skincare expert Veronica Massa looks at the benefits of facial massage and shares her Special offer £10 OFF valid on bespoke face massage for rejuvenating, face sculpting and tension release. We will work on each aspect of your being to address your needs and desired outcomes.

ONLY UNTIL (AND INCLUDING) THE 3RD OF NOVEMBER

WHAT OUR FACE HOLDS….


Your face stores and reveals our emotions. They show through our facial expressions and cannot be hidden or ignored.


Negative emotions create blockages and tension that manifest in our face through contracted expressions, stiffness and aches. With time these facial expressions become habitual, causing our face to age prematurely and chronic symptoms to develop. When these muscular contractions are held for a long time (sometime since we are children) we lose awareness of them, without realizing that, through our facial motions, we are constantly sending messages to our brain. In the process of letting go of stuck emotions, the physiognomy of our face will change as it frees up, and habitual lines will soften. When we learn to express our emotions in a healthier way, let go of old thought patterns and negative perception of ourselves, our face appears brighter, joyful and youthful; we open up to a possibility of loving self-acceptance and respect, allowing the beauty within to harness and shine outwards.


AN OPEN FACE IS AN OPEN HEART


Connect to your femininity saying “yes” to who you are, opening your heart to yourself and let your inner radiance shine through!


It doesn’t matter how good you look from the outside, it’s really what’s in the inside that counts, Your inner radiance is what makes you truly beautiful.


Connect to your femininity saying “yes” to who you are, opening your heart to yourself and let your inner radiance shine through!

It doesn’t matter how good you look from the outside, it’s really what’s in the inside that counts, Your inner radiance is what makes you truly beautiful.


Looking at the before and after picture of this lovely lady (after 6 weeks of facial massage) it is clear the effect that facial muscle stimulation and relaxation can have on someones mood. Her face looks much more open, radiant and bright and her heart is too (just look at her eyes!), she doesn’t only look beautiful but also happier!


SO, WHAT IS YOUR FACE HOLDING AND ARE YOU READY TO LET IT GO?

Our face is an interface of our brain and through our face we can access the central nervous system, sedating the mind and, when needed, re-wiring brain/nervous system pathways and functions (through facial reflexology and specific exercises).


It doesn’t surprise that the major bodily senses are located in the face (vision, hearing, smell, taste including touch). This allows the shorter possible journey for the messages picked up by our senses to travel to our brain which will respond accordingly.


We can count 564 nerve ending on our face, which is more than we can count on our feet.

Body maps found on the face have been used for centuries in many cultures across the world and still used today in combination with modern neuro/reflex therapy.


Our traumas and negative emotions are stored in our face especially around the Temporal Mandibular Joint and that is why so many people suffer from facial tension, teeth grinding and wear a guard at night to protect their teeth. Clenching the jaw tells a story of anger, frustration, worrying, overthinking and ultimately, fear. It keeps alive the memory of a “trauma” (small or big) holding us on a fight & flight response mode constantly. This mode is exacerbated by stress that, if accumulated and not released, can cause chronic pain in the face (TMJ), head, neck and shoulders, and probably anxiety and insomnia.


DO YOU WANT TO FEEL GOOD? BREAK THE PATTERNS.

RELAX YOUR FACE, YOUR MIND WILL FOLLOW…


Facial massage helps immensely to release what we are holding so tightly, suggesting our nervous system to relax and let go. Reassuring those blocked energy channels that everything is fine in the here and now. Allowing you to be fully immerse in your body, present and consciously let go. Doing so “re-train” your mind and brake the patterns. This patterns also are reflected in our facial expressions which sculpt marks of “unpleasant feelings and emotions” on our prematurely ageing face. Tensed up, stressed, unrelaxed, tired and restless.

BE PRESENT TO THE BLISS OF LETTING GO…

EXPERIENCE FEELING BEAUTIFUL, CHERISHED AND HAPPY,

RE-EMERGE LOOKING DIFFERENT: CALM AND REJUVENATED


Regular face massage is a blissful experience, cherished and loved by those who experienced its therapeutic benefits and aesthetic achievements.


In this modern world and stress-filled lives, our mind can be more active than our body. Pent-up emotions and hectic thoughts cause the muscles of the face (neck, head and shoulders) to tighten and constrict causing pain. A sign that our body’s “natural energy” is not flowing freely.


Massage helps to release these blockages, dissipating the discomfort and freeing up the energy around the body in a way that the connections between our internal organ systems, energy centers, thoughts and emotions are harmonious, which leads to better health.



Facial massage helps to reach deep levels of relaxation, immersing in calmness and re-emerge feeling happier.







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