The healing process in massage is often under-rated and is possibly a truly preventative holistic therapy, as it is able to effectively induce a state of relaxation by easing not only muscular tension directly related to physical pain, but often relates to psychological tension and repressed emotions. The soothing of physical tension has a reflex effect on psychological tension.
The beneficial effects of massage include its influence on the muscular tissues of the body. Manipulation of the muscles assists the circulation of the blood and lymph fluid, stimulating the organs of digestion, improving the performance of the lungs and skin. As muscular tone is improved so to are the nerves which supply them, including the spinal cord and brain.
The extent to which massage can influence the functioning of the body makes it a particularly effective therapy in potentially helping to treat disorders which are caused by the complexities of modern life. Massage increases awareness of the body and helps raise levels of energy, leading to an enhanced feeling of well-being. This is achieved through gentle, persistent focusing on the whole person providing a refreshed perspective on long-standing problems - regardless of whether they are physically based or psychologically induced.
Therapeutic massage is a conscious, deliberate and formalised use of manipulation of the soft tissues of the body to produce beneficial effects on the nervous, muscular and circulatory systems.
Our therapies which incorporate massage include; Aromatherapy massage and Indian Head Massage, with the most frequently used techniques being; stroking movements (effleurage) and gentle kneading (petrissage). Tapotment, sometimes called percussion, is used less often. Holding techniques, palpation (soft touch) and stimulation of acupressure points may be incorporated into a treatment depending on the client's /patient's individual need.
The use of therapeutic massage is used as part of an agreed care plan to treat specific symptoms where evidence shows there may be benefit, e.g.:
- Musculoskeletal problems
- Stress related conditions
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Pain management
- Circulatory problems
- Neurological conditions, e.g. Multiple Sclerosis
- Palliative and end-of-life care
Potential Physical Benefits of Therapeutic Massage
- Helps relieve stress and aids relaxation
- Helps relieve muscle tension and stiffness
- Treats musculoskeletal problems
- Enhances healing of strained muscles and sprained ligaments
- Reduces pain and swelling - reducing formation of excessive scar tissue
- Reduces muscle spasms
- Provides greater joint flexibility and range of motion
- Treats injuries caused during sport or work
- Improves circulation of blood and movement of lymph fluids
- Reduces blood pressure
- Improves posture
- Strengthens the immune system
- Rehabilitation post operative
- Rehabilitation after injury
Potential Mental Benefits
- Fosters peace of mind
- Promotes a relaxed state of mental alertness
- Helps relieve mental stress
- Improves ability to monitor stress signals and respond appropriately
- Enhances capacity for calm thinking and creativity
Potential Emotional Benefits
- Satisfies needs for caring nurturing touch
- Fosters a feeling of well-being
- Reduces levels of anxiety
- Creates body awareness
- Increases awareness of mind-body connection
Examples of some available research evidence for aromatherapy:
Anderson, C., Lis-Balchin, M., Kirk-Smith, M. (2000). Evaluation of massage with essential oils on childhood atopic eczema. Phytother. Res. Sep;14(6);452-6.
Baker, J. (1998). Essential oils: a complementary therapy in wound management. Jorn. Wound Care. Jul:7 (7): 355-7. Review.
Barbour, C. (2000). Use of complemenetary and alternative treatments by individuals with fibromyalgia syndrome. J. Am. Acad. Nurse Pract. Aug:12 (8): 311-6.
Booker, D.J., Snape, M., Johnson, E., Ward, D., Payne, M. (1997). Single case evaluation of the effects of aromatherapy and massage on disturbed behaviour in severe dementia. Br. J. Clin. Psychol. May;36(Pt2):287-96.
Buckle, J. (2002). Clinical aromatherapy and AIDS. J. Assoc. Nurses Aids Care. May-June:13(3): 81-99.
Buckle, J. (2001). The role of aromatherapy in nursing care. Nurs. Clin. North Am. Mae:36(1):57-72. Review.
Buckle, J. (1999). Use of aromatherpy as a complementary treatment for chronic pain. Alter. Ther. Health Med. Sep;5(5):42-51. Review.
Burns, E., Blamey, C., Ersser, S.J., Lloyd, A.J., Barnetson, L.(2000). The use of aromatherapy in intrpartum midwifery practice - an observational study. Complement. Ther. Nurs. Midwifery. Feb:6(1):33-4.
Ching, M. (1999). Contempory therapy: aromatherapy in the management of acute pain? Contemp. Nurse. Dec;8(4):146-51.
Dale, A., Cornwell, S. (1994). The role of lavender oil in relieving perineal discomfort following childbirth: a blind randomized clinical trial.J. Ad. Nurs. Jan;19(1):89-96.
Daiki J.,Yuki, K., Miyako, T., Masashi, I., Katsuya, U. Effects of aromatherapy on patients with Alzheimer's disease. Department of Biological Regulation, School of Health Science, Faculty of Medicine, Tottori University, Yonago, Japan. Psychogeriatrics (2009)
Edge, J. (2003). A pilot study addressing the effect of aromatherapy massage on mood, anxiety and relaxation in adult mental health. Complement. Ther. Nurs. Midwifery. May;9(2):90-7.
Jardine, M. (2002). Aromatherapy: Introduction into a maternity service. Pract. Midwife. Apr;5(4):14-5. No abstract available.
Louis, M., Kowalski, S.D. (2002). Use of aromatherapy with hospice patients to decrease pain, anxiety and depression and to promote an increased sense of well-being. Am. J. Hosp. Palliat. Care. Nove-Dec;19(6):381-6.
Sigoutas-Emch, S., Fox, T., Preston, M. et al. (2001). Stress management: aromatherapy as an alternative. Sci. Rev. Alternative Med.,5(2):90-95.
Rowan Holistic Health Ltd
Saxon Spires Practice
West Haddon Road
Home Visits available,
You can reach us on:
Judith Crook: 07763 185413
Ann Studd: 07477 787471
You can also use our contact form on the contact page.
New - Complementary Therapy Outreach Service
made possible by the very kind generosity of
Support for Carers
Second and last Tuesday of each month
Complementary Therapy Relaxation Treatments available include:
Aromatherapy Massage, Reflexology & Reiki
For more details see our events page
Comapny Registration No.