The Quiet Space

12th December 2018 
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Canary Wharf
East London
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Therapies  #01
Over the past 15 years, the massage therapy sessions at The Quiet Space have evolved into broad categories. A wide variation of techniques and approach is used and can include for example trigger point, myofascial stretching, neuro muscular, reciprocal inhibition, facilitated stretching and so forth. If you are reading these terms for the first time, and unsure whether this is the right place for you to come for a massage, read on below. I have mentioned these terms only as an indication for some people who do have a little more knowledge of the technical side and are perhaps seeking reassurance or insight into what I may or may not know. (After 17 plus years full time practice that is a fair amount!) The various descriptions are tailored towards outlining the potential outcomes rather than a textbook description of what actually happens on a physical level to your muscle fibres,metabolic reactions etc. The use of simple language is intentional and hopefully facilitates an easier understanding for all readers rather than a lack of confidence! In my experience over the years simple language is also more appropriate in the attempt to describe the multi dimensional effects of body work.

Regarding sports massage, there are dozens of 'sports massage therapists' in Canary Wharf to choose from, so here is some insight into where I fit in with all of them. I have worked with swimmers, karate enthusiasts, kick boxers, cyclists, marathon runners, netball players, pole dancers, ballerinas, weight lifters, golfers, tennis players, gymnasts, rugby players and many others. Apologies to anyone who may be reading this to see what I am up to nowadays and is feeling left out..after 15 years in Canary Wharf there is a pretty long list of sporting endeavors!
RE the subject heading, Sports and Exercise do not automatically equal injury but lets be honest: injury and soreness are just part of sport and exercise even if you only sprained your ankle dancing in your stilettos..! Accidents happen, soreness and imbalance happen. Professionals have whole teams of specialists looking after them,committed amateurs have no one really until things start to go wrong. By the time they seek advice they have often gone a long way down the wrong road! Regular massage can sometimes help avert an injury that has been building up unnoticed. (more about sports massage)

Massage during pregnancy is aa individual to you and the day of your appointment as any of the other type of massage sessions. I have always taken my long term clients right from the conception through to the due date. For most of those who are unknown to me prior to their pregnancy, I normally prefer to wait until the first trimester and first scan has been completed. Anyone who has been here to The QS will tell you just how comfortable lying on their side propped up by lots of pillows is (until I spoil it by asking you to roll over!)but up until 15-20ish weeks you are probably still comfortable on your tummy; after that it is side lying. Once the bump gets a bit bigger it is comfortable but until you get your built in support we use all the pillows to keep you snug on the table. In any event the last half hour of your massage is semi reclined and this is normally the most relaxing part as your back has been released and a lot of the rib and shoulder tension has been eased whilst on your sides. Early stage reasons for seeking a massage tend to be the normal ones we all have: tight shoulders, day to day stresses. As the pregnancy progresses, lightening up heaviness in the legs and easing back pains and swelling of extremities are common outcomes. The week or so before due date is often all about deep relaxation and calming.

Therapies  #04POST NATAL
If you really cannot find someone to mind the baby whilst you have a massage, and are wondering if you can bring them along. I am always game to give it a go. (It has probably only been successful maybe 10 per cent of the time though.) The little darlings do have a knack of waiting just until you are really relaxed before letting out a wail! The better option is to let someone mind the babe and take an hour for yourself. This will allow you to check in with your body which you have probably been ignoring as all your focus goes to the engaging bundle (who gets a little heavier each week...who needs to go weight lifting at the gym?!)Babies wriggle around engagingly, you spend a lot of time staring down at them and lifting, bathing and feeding at awkward angles making it next to impossible to use good posture. So aside from spending all your time hyper alert to every sound, your arms and back are probably sore. By the time they are a little older (and heavier but still not yet able to move around under their own steam), you have no doubt developed the habit of carrying them around on the same hip more often than not. These are just a couple of good reasons for a post natal treat. If you have had a C-section and are wondering if you need to wait until you have had the all clear from your midwife for moderate exercise; everyone is different. Some new mums come along within a few weeks,others may need to wait a little longer before feeling comfortable lying face down once again. There is usually a way to make you comfortable and a soft gentle massage will still be beneficial. If not ready to lay face down but feeling a need to relax, think about coming along for a Reiki session.

There are many medical conditions that can benefit from massage. Unfortunately training of therapists in England is very unequal and GP's are rightly wary of referring or suggesting massage to a patient with a long term medical condition. Massage is very adaptable. It can relax, it can stimulate or soothe your nervous system, it can boost circulation. It depends on the skill and experience of each therapist. If unsure please discuss with your GP or Consultant, but you do not need a referral, I am quite able to decide whether massage is appropriate. However, if advised by your healthcare professional against it please follow that advice. I have worked with many types of illness and long term conditions including Chronic Fatigue, Paralysis, Multiple Sclerosis, High Blood Pressure, Cancer and Depression and many others. In my experience, if you want a massage there is generally always some approach we can take that you can both benefit from and enjoy.

Firstly I really do know quite a bit about the physicality of a yoga practice, so I can understand what you may be trying to 'achieve' physically in whatever style is currently capturing your attention.
However, Yoga is so much more than the popular physical practice, and for many the path of self knowledge taken during any period of intense or longterm regular practice will eventually enhance your internal body awareness and consciousness. As your awareness of the more subtle energies begin to stir you can benefit from receiving a massage from someone who can perceive and understand what you are experiencing as that heightened awareness and sensitivity evolves from within you.
Your life's history has been 'vacum packed' away in your body and can when ready expand (more about massage for yoga)

That is pretty much what it says. If the idea of a massage seems appealing as you are feeling a bit down emotionally; a little 'under the weather' physically; not inclined or able to exercise, or feeling 'stressed' for whatever reason, I can pretty much guarantee that it is great for your general health and wellbeing. Massage is very adaptable to the individual. Try it for a few months and see for yourself!

15 years ago I wrote the following:
Dear Body and Mind. When you are tense, your muscles are literally squeezing you internally; inhibiting the free flow of energy. You can think of this energy as circulation, nerve impulses, ideas, openness, enthusiasm, zest for life...general sense of well being, the resilience of your immune system.

Easing of this tension, with the help of massage can assist in enhancing the energy you have for your daily activities, how you relate to the people in your life and of course, your general health.

That is quite impressive for a regular one hour relaxing experience!

Therapies  #08REIKI
The majority of reasons for which people have been drawn towards a Reiki session here have seemed to be for a diversity of mental and emotional issues rather than physical. Some examples are acceptance of a serious illness; bereavement; relationship problems/emotional distress; studying hard for exams; or on one occasion, nerves before a driving test! How much Reiki flows is up to the person on the receiving end. A Reiki practitioner is a channel-you can think of it a like turning on a tap. There are many types of 'healing' in the alternative health world but a Reiki seesion here is non directive. The sometimes powerful effects from the seemingly effortless simplicity of a Reiki session are dependant upon us both. The tap's (ie the practitioner) ability to open up as a channel and the receivers capacity or ability to receive. As the 'tap' the less I zero in on what I think you need, the greater the flow and abundance for what you really need as opposed to what I am perceiving. Such an egotistic approach imposes an unnecessary limitation. You will never get more than you can handle. It is fair to say that nearly everyone no matter what comes up for them in a session will also feel very relaxed and peaceful after a Reiki Session.

Coming soon. Please let me know if you would like to be notified via email when available.

More about Sports Massage
Regular massage can help identify and correct imbalances; For an experienced massage therapist all is apparent as we work our way around your body assessing as we go. It is always interesting once careful interviewing and assessment have been completed to see how there is nearly always a chain of seemingly unlinked events that lead up to an injury. A typical example being: Repeated micro traumas(muscle soreness, minor sprain and strains to ligaments)leading to a gradual loss of range of motion in an affected joint-due to surrounding muscle stiffness-effecting a loss of proprioception in the joint-having an overall impact on co-ordination-eventually resulting in an accident of some kind. (close your eye and hold up your middle finger, bend it straighten it, how do you know that you have the correct finger and movement? That is an example of proprioception. Then imagine if a muscle was tight and it felt like it was straight but in fact it isn't, and how that might subtly affect your co ordination. Consider as you do your bicep curls how much more weight you might be able to lift if your triceps were able to release more fully. Can't touch your toes and blaming in all on your 'tight hamstrings'? Perhaps your body is just doing its best to keep you from falling over by putting the breaks on your hamstrings and back. Try pushing down through your feet, lifting your inner arches and lengthen your legs right from the feet all up into your pelvis, engage the abdominal muscles and then bend forward allowing the upper body to relax. Massage can help free up the connective tissue, highlight irregularities in muscle resting length and work to improve neuromuscular responses. Sports massage can also keep old scar tissue a bit more supple and therefore improve overal functionality, it can also increase muscular flexibility with special assisted stretching in a way that does not involve attempting pretzel like positions and danger of joint and ligament damage by too adventurous unsupervised efforts; it can improve strength for weight lifters and agility for other activities, improve your breathing and generally keep you enjoying your chosen activity.
As each discipline or type of exercise works your body in a different way, the muscular tone, fitness level and neural response is very different in a swimmer than a kick boxer or a weight lifter not to mention all of our different body types.
To summarise; In general I am always looking to improve overall body condition, fitness and co-ordination. I just need to do that in a different way for different people. For that reason I do not offer to massage 'bits of you' Runners always call telling me that they only want their legs massaged.. yes your legs might be tight but what about your shoulders and chest and diaphram (you know; the breathing muscle and aparatus that actually draws in and circulates the oxygen to those legs..!)
Tension, tightness, inefficient neural activity, faulty technique or muscular imbalance will all sap your strength and inhibit your enjoyment and development. Try a few massages, see how it goes. Don't expect a miracle in your first 60 minutes though!

more about massage for yoga
bringing back old memories and feelings ready for release as your yoga practice steadily primes your body and mind to open up and rebalance.
These experiences can also happen unexpectedly during a massage for someone who has never done a day of yoga in their life or any other reflective activity. For those who have not done any personal growth work, this is a bit of a shock when emotions and tears for example or long buried memories come to the surface. It is the kind of session where your body really leads the way and my role is to 'listen' ultra sensitively with my hands, and allow space and grounding and support as the subtle releases unfold.
Please note it is not possible to predict or 'book' this kind of session. I have only included this as a category to give an indication of the depth and potential of bodywork. It is not my intention to dig these experience out of your body, I am there to facilitate only.
(Anyone reading this out of curiosity who doesnt know what I am talking about is probably reviewing their decision to get a sports or pregnancy massage with me at this point!) However to them I will say that years experience have repeatedly proven to me that every single thought and emotion that you have ever had is all there in the brain and tissue of your body. A simple explanation is that: It took a chemical process for you to experience it in the first place and it will take a chemical process for you to mentally re experience it. Your brain has 'logged it' on some level in your subconsious mind and if a massage triggers a tissue memory you may experience a release of some kind in the course of a bodywork session. If this happens, it is an opportunity to let go of it or erase it a little physically and therefore mentally.
My personal experience over the years is that as internal awareness becomes ever more subtle, we understand that we never completely erase anything, only increase our capacity to see it in ever more detail, defuse the mental and emotional charge related to it, lessen the unconsious influence over us and make more space for it within ourselves.
So I can't promise all those eager yogi's and meditators and spiritual seekers out there enlightenment or magical healing, neither do I provide any form of counselling. I am just a supportive witness presence for what unfolds at the time of the massage. This kind of massage work provided the inspiration for the name The Quiet Space.