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Massage – Just a Pamper or a Health Investment?

So, you're on that beach in Bali or you're on a bonding weekend in a Brighton spa. And there are lots of massages to be had. Obviously, you have one. It's great at the time – though the sand got in the way a bit and she did pull a bit too hard and didn't speak any English, there wasn't any feedback and you didn't feel any different the next day.  This, I would suggest, is the Pamper Massage.  It's for those types of situations – it's an indulgence and a treat, but, there's  been no lasting effects.  It's  like having a really enjoyable dinner in great surroundings, but still feeling hungry the next morning.


The Health Investment Massage, on other hand, is a totally different experience. It may not be viewed as that at the time: it's often booked in desperation – to relieve acute pain, to soothe arthritic aches, to relax tight shoulders and ease restricted neck movements.  After the treatment, it's evident that a real shift has  taken place. The discussion may move on to how to prevent those symptoms from happening again, and how to maintain the progress which has been achieved with follow up advice, exercises or further treatments. Or, it may be that the focus will shift to other health issues which have become apparent during the consultation or treatment and those can  be addressed subsequently.


In summary, the Health Investment Massage  helps you to know your body better, what its messages might be, how you can better manage your conditions and reduce the causes of your symptoms.  It may be that you are advised to seek the expertise of another health professional e.g. your GP, an Osteopath, Physiotherapist, Nutritionist or Podiatrist. 


Let's just look at that word investment more closely. One dictionary definition is 'An act of  devoting time, effort, or energy to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result'. It is often about money, and it's sometimes about time which is invested.  When you book a massage treatment, you are investing both, and hoping – if not expecting – 'a worthwhile result'.  You want some return on your time and money!  While it may initially seem like an extravagance, why is it that so many clients do prioritise it and it becomes part of their own maintenance programme and life- work balance regime?  They must think it worth it. Don't we spend far more in a hairdressers. without questioning those high bills? Yes, hair does grow and appearances are important.  But a massage every 2 or 3 months keep you in touch with all that's going on under the surface and allows you to reflect on any changes.  These can then be addressed and equilibrium regained. And there are a range of massage therapists with specialist skills for specific conditions: for example, arthritis, asthma, fibromyalgia,  infertility, IBS,  pregnancy, scar tissue.


'I didn't know I had so many aches and pains. They are so much better now'

'I've got a much better range of neck movements now you've worked again on my neck scars' 

'You keep me going from month to month' are some of the comments I've received.  It seems to me that these gains and benefits are worth every 

penny spent."


What could be more worthwhile than feeling better, no pain or less pain, reduced symptoms, more energy? (You can arguably then become more productive and earn more money!) 


But there are  people who will simply not consider paying for a treatment.  They have an NHS mentality: first it's the GP, then it's pills, then it's a physiotherapist if they're prepared to wait for weeks. There, during the course of about 4 sessions of 20 minutes each, exercises will be demonstrated rather than applied directly. In desperation, they may well come to me at that point.  They've already suffered for weeks. Yet their cars are new, and the whole family are in profitable employment.  Health spending has not been prioritised.  Health investment has not been made.


I hope that I've persuaded you that massage can be so much more than a pamper: that it can offer you a host of benefits: not just physical but also  provide an understanding, an awareness and information, and an opportunity to self monitor. It allows you to the space to listen to your body, as it's the body which really does know what's in your best interest. And when all this happens, massage has surely become a health investment.


This article was written by Moira Johnson of Hounslow Massage Therapy

How are you sleeping?

Insomnia HelpThis is National Sleep Awareness Week and, I wonder, how are you sleeping?  We all need regular sleep but, for some of us it just seems like an impossible dream – pun intended.  There are broad types of sleeping problems:

1.  Unable to get to sleep – this is often because of an active mind and worries or problems keep running through your brain.  Or it could be because of problems with your adrenal system.  Recently I had started to have a strong coffee a day and, not only was it difficult to get to sleep but my heart was pumping so hard I thought it wanted to jump out of my chest!  I have cut out the coffee (and remember, it was just one a day), and all is well again.  Clearly one or two a week is my limit.

2.  Keep waking in the night – this is often caused by problems with your bladder if you need to go to the loo each time.  Another possiblity is the worrying mind keeping you awake.  Or issues with your blood sugar, especially if you eat too many refined foods and too much caffeine. 

3.  Wake up in the early hours and can't get back to sleep – the time you wake up is important as, according to Chinese Medicine principles, each time has a particular meaning in terms of mind and body.  For example, if you regularly wake up at 4am, this is an indication that there may be a problem with your lungs or your large intestine.  Or it may mean that there are emotional components to the insomnia with grief, negativity, apathy and melancholy being likely causes.

4.  Sleep heavily and still find it difficult to wake up even though you've had the recommended eight hours.  This can be because of eating too much of the wrong kind of foods (not enough healthy food and far too much refined foods).  This can cause "foggy brain" too, so if you find your mind is very sluggish in the morning, make sure you book a health consultation. 

Nutritional deficiencies and hormonal imbalances can also affect your sleep.  Insomia can also be a symptom of a more serious problem such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, ME or a thyroid problem.  If you have any concerns, why not book a health consultation so that you can be sure you are doing all the right things?  In the meantime, do email me for my free insomnia tips at  You might also want to check out my Sleep Well MP3 to help lull you into restful sleep.

Sweet dreams!

PS  If you have a snoring partner keeping you awake, you might want to check out the Snoring blog I wrote recently.

© Tricia Woolfrey 2013

Tricia Woolfrey is an integrative therapist, an advanced clinical hypnotherapist, master practitioner in NLP, nutritionist and author, and utilises bioenergetics to help you be the best you can be.  She has practices in Surrey and Harley Street, London.  She can be reached on 0845 130 0854