Frequently Asked Questions
What is soft tissue massage?
Soft tissue massage is a type of massage that works on all soft tissues in the body (muscle, tendons, ligaments and fascia) to release tension, reduce discomfort and relax the body.
What are the benefits of soft tissue massage?
Soft tissue massage supports healing for specific aches and pains, and your system as a whole. Massage relaxes the muscles, stimulates blood circulation and improves lymph flow, supporting your immune system by cleaning unwanted bacteria from your body. Regular stretching can help realign the muscle fibers, and soft tissue massage gives that extra boost to target and release tension, which has a knock-on effect to realign the whole body.
Increasing blood circulation also speeds up the healing process for sprains, strains, and other injuries by loosening muscles and untangling muscular fibres. This leads to improved range of motion and flexibility, fewer episodes of muscle spasms and cramp and better overall physical performance.
Soft tissue massage also helps the body realise other benefits at a wider system-level, including:
Reduced joint inflammation
Lowered heart rate and blood pressure
Improved oxygen flow and haemoglobin production
Increased endorphins and reduced stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline
Eased discomfort associated with pregnancy and menopause
Reduction in symptoms of chronic illness such as fibromyalgia
How does soft tissue massage differ from normal massage?
Normal massage is known for being a generally relaxing experience, however soft tissue massage treatments are made with your specific goals in mind. This is why the initial chat is so important – during this we gauge what’s going on for you at that time, as well as your specific injuries or wellbeing concerns.
Who can benefit from soft tissue massage?
All of our clients have one thing in common – they want to support their long-term physical health. So most people can benefit from soft tissue massage, whether they have a specific ache or pain that they want to treat, or are interested in a more structured approach to massage that complements their lifestyle.
How do I know if this will help my particular ache or pain?
It’s impossible to predict how successful a treatment would be until we begin. Science and experience tells us whether we can help you, and we’d confirm this when we first speak. If soft tissue massage is not for you then we will tell you, we’re always happy to give advice on alternative treatment options.
When should I have a treatment and how often?
This entirely depends on your unique system and physiology. Some people come for a one-off treatment and others will have regular maintenance massages every 4-6 weeks. It’s always best to discuss this with you and agree on a plan that we’re both happy with.
Do you offer any other therapies in addition to soft tissue massage?
We offer CORE Fascial Release and ScarWorks as separate treatments to soft tissue massage.
What happens during a treatment?
If it’s your first visit we’ll spend around 15 minutes gathering a full history from you, covering specific complaints and overall health.
If you’re returning after your first treatment, we usually spend 5-10 minutes catching up with you on how you responded to the last treatment and how your body is feeling now.
We’ll spend the rest of the session delivering the treatment and working with you to release those muscles. Chats during this part of the session are welcome but optional!
What should I wear for the session?
It’s best if you arrive to your session in loose comfortable clothing such as gym-wear. Before your treatment begins, we will leave the room while you get comfortable on the bed – ideally in a vest and shorts or down to your underwear and covered by a towel. We pride ourselves on our towel technique to respect your privacy and ensure your comfort and dignity.
Is there anything else I should do to prepare for the session?
There are a few things we ask you to ensure are in place before your treatment:
Complete the consultation form if it’s your first appointment
Please wear your face covering during treatments
If you experience any changes health-wise, or have been away, please contact your therapist to discuss in good time before the appointment
If you are receiving a home treatment, please provide the following:
A space of at least 1.5m / 60” x 2.5m / 100” for the couch
Open windows or other ventilation in the room of the treatment
Two large towels washed at 60°
Antibacterial soap for the therapist
Finally we advise you to drink plenty of water after a treatment, so if you are attending a clinic, please bring some with you.
Will it hurt?
No – we always work within your pain threshold and based on what we find during the treatment. Some techniques may be a little uncomfortable for a short time, for example if we come across a particular trigger point or something that refers elsewhere. We’ll always check in with you if we come across a tender area, and it’s very easy for us to adjust the pressure at any time.
Pain is a very personal emotion and everyone has different tolerances, so it’s important that you let us know if something becomes too uncomfortable.
How should I feel after?
Everyone reacts differently – benefits can be felt immediately or it may take 1-2 days for the tissues to settle back in and feel a restored level of balance. You can take a look at our testimonials or follow us on Instagram to find out more about what our clients tell us after they’ve had a treatment.
I’m pregnant, can I still have a soft tissue massage?
Yes – we can work together to help you feel more comfortable and relaxed, and prepare you for the changes that pregnancy brings. In particular, hormonal changes can cause ligaments and joints to soften, putting additional strain on the skeletal system and bringing aches and pains in areas such as the hips, buttocks and lower back. The increasing weight of a baby can also pull on the lumbar spine, causing postural imbalances.
Massage can also reduce oedema (swollen legs and feet), lower blood pressure and support good energy levels and sleep.
Are there any reasons that this wouldn’t be suitable for me?
There are a few reasons that soft tissue massage might not be right for you.
If you have a recent injury (usually around 72 hours) then it’s best not to receive a massage during this acute phase, and wait until the pain and swelling has subsided.
In addition, some medical conditions or therapies can mean that massage isn’t a good idea. Some examples of those are:
Chemotherapy or radiation
Contagious diseases or skin conditions
Open cuts and abrasions
Furthermore, if it’s your first treatment, please use the First Treatment Consultation Form to let us know of any current or previous instances of these conditions:
Deep Vein Thrombosis
High blood pressure
Low blood pressure
Skeletal issues e.g. Scoliosis
These circumstances don’t necessarily mean massage isn’t right for you, but we would like to discuss them if relevant. Of course please let us know if you have received any relevant medical advice relating to massage. It is your responsibility to tell us if you have any relevant medical conditions, and always consult with a doctor if you are unsure.
In general, most people can benefit from soft tissue massage, and we tailor our treatments to help you get the most out of your session. If there is a very specific reason that soft tissue massage won’t work for you then we’d tell you, we’re always happy to give advice on alternative treatment options.
What is your cancellation policy?
We appreciate that our clients have busy lives and things can often come up, but we do ask that you can give us 24 hours' notice if you need to cancel, so that someone else can use your appointment time. If you are unable to give us this notice then we will charge 50% of the treatment price.
What’s your covid policy?
We ask all new patients to complete a covid declaration as part of their First Treatment Consultation Form. Otherwise please let us know if you have tested positive since your last visit. If you have a positive covid test within 14 days of your appointment, please do contact us to rearrange. This applies to any infectious virus or condition – as a ‘close contact’ therapy, we have a duty of care to minimize the spread of any illness between all clients, so we do appreciate your cooperation.
Is there a governing body?
We are governed by and adhere to all guidelines and policies of the ISRM (Institute of Sports and Remedial Massage). Membership of the ISRM also keeps us up to date with industry developments, gives us the opportunity to work at different one-off events including marathons and triathlons, and means we are covered by Professional Indemnity Insurance.
Can I claim the cost back through my health insurance?
This will depend on your policy. Please let us know if you need a receipt and we will send you one after you have paid for your treatment. Our ISRM membership and LSSM training is usually enough information for the major health insurance providers but if you are unsure, please check your policy.