All About Massage

4th Feb 2018

Our team of massage therapists are dedicated to helping you stay active and prevent injury. From left to right we have Charlotte, Sarah and Bernie. We got them together recently to answer some of your common questions. Let's see what they have to say...

Do I need to be a professional sports-person to have a sports massage?

Sarah: No, not at all, although if you are, you certainly can! Sports massage is appropriate for anyone, not just elite athletes... office worker, busy mum, regular gym goer or older person wanting to look after their body to maintain health and flexibility. Sports massage isn't a spa massage - it's a physical therapy designed around the patient's needs using clinically based musculoskeletal and nervous system techniques to help relieve soft tissue pain, restore movement and prevent injury. In essence it helps the body repair itself.

I'm training for an event. How can massage help?

Bernie: Massage is great at preventing injury and reducing "delayed onset muscle soreness" (DOMS) that you get after training. Making massage part of your training regime can aid rapid recovery between sessions. As it can prevent injury, a regular massage throughout training is advisable. Exactly how often depends on what you're doing, so come and talk to us for advice.

Before an event or a bigger training session, research suggests a massage 2-3 days before and 1-2 days after is most effective.

What conditions don't you treat?

Bernie: Part of our job is to know when a patient is suitable to treat or not. As massage therapists we are trained to assess where this line is and because of this, it means that whatever your issue is, we will always provide you with the best of our knowledge of what we can do for you. If we think that there is a better avenue for you, we will try and point you in the right direction.

When should I book in to see a Massage Therapist and when an Osteopath?

Charlotte: So firstly, I am both an osteopath and a massage therapist. I can certainly say first hand that there are some cross overs between the two and totally understand why this causes questions for people undecided about who they should see.

Massage is primarily looking at the muscles and soft tissues of the body and working with the tension patterns we find. Osteopathy is more about diagnosis of specific medical conditions and more complicated patterns, for example herniated vertebral disc, specific tendinopathy or pelvic torsion pattern.

So you are likely to want massage for muscle conditioning, flexibility, and relaxation. But if you have symptoms more than muscle pain (ranging from shooting type pain or pins and needles to headaches and more severe pain) then you should look towards osteopathy.

At Oak Park we all keep in close contact with all the other therapists. This means that once we have seen you, if we think that some other treatment would be more suitable then we liaise with each other so that there is continuity for you. Treatments are often complimentary, so multiple practitioners using different techniques can often be beneficial. But if you book in with a massage therapist and we think osteopathy is best, we will tell you, and vice versa.

With so many different problems people can have, how do I know if massage is right for me?

Charlotte: Now this is a tricky one because it really does depend on what is wrong. Generally, (although not exclusively) if your problem is musculoskeletal in origin then massage is likely to be a good starting point either as treatment, or in addition to another therapy to ease symptoms quicker. You are always very welcome to call the clinic to talk to one of us if you are not sure and we can talk through your specific needs.

I feel generally fine but I work at a desk all day and so my back is getting quite stiff. Should I get a massage?

Sarah: Massage can be really helpful for improving general stiffness and tight muscles, yes. However, you should also think about your general exercise and movement activity levels. Ultimately, if you sit down for most of the day, you do need to find time for  movement/exercise to counter the tension that naturally builds.

I'm pregnant, can I still have a massage?

Charlotte: Yes, absolutely! Both myself and Bernie are trained specifically in maternity massage and so know how to safely treat pregnant women. Massage can be fantastic throughout pregnancy at preventing or treating those aches and pains that can occur as baby grows.

Do you also do more relaxing, spa-style massages?

Bernie: Yes, we do! We hope all of our massages are quite relaxing, but we specifically offer Swedish massage and Indian Head Massage for those looking for pure relaxation.

What's more, research suggests that the psychophysiological response to massage, including relaxation, leads to mood enhancement and fatigue reduction.

These are just some of the questions we have been asked in the past. if you have any queries yourself then please get in touch on or call on 01252 850800. Do you have any questions about another therapy or want to know more about a specific condition? If so we would love to hear from you! We strive to give comprehensive care to our patients to empower you, so ask away.

If after reading this you think that you would benefit from a treatment, get in touch or click below for online booking.

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Opening Times

Monday 9am - 8pm
Tuesday 9am - 8pm
Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Thursday 9am - 8pm
Friday 9am - 5pm
Saturday 9am - 1pm
Sunday Closed

Oak Park Clinic

The Old Parsonage
Church Street
GU10 5QQ

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01252 850 800


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