The Power of Massage

Massage is the No1 therapeutic treat for men and women. Massage is one of the oldest forms of physical medicine. It was practiced in Arab culture where the word “mash” means to “press softly”.

And most of the dominate civilisations have extolled the virtues of massage from China, to Greece, Ancient Egypt, and India. In Rome the gladiators had their injured limbs massages and Julius Ceasar, was treated with it for neuralgia and headache. Unfortunately massage fell out of favour in the Middle Ages when “pleasures of the body” were outlawed by the Church. Fortunately it became fashionable again after the Renaissance. But it was a Swedish professor, Per Henrik Ling who developed the technique we know today as Swedish Massage for alleviating the muscular aches and pains of athletes.

Massage is now more popular than ever with many techniques on offer including Swedish, Thai and Indian, along with combinations of these specialities for the treatment of specific conditions such as sports injuries and stress.

Many companies are also recognising the benefits of massage as a valuable therapy in managing stress and stress related aches and pains amongst employees. They include law firms, accounts and merchant banks, such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, The Law Society, Lexis PR, Ubisoft, Wings Corporate Travel and Many of the firms pay the full cost of treatments or subsidise treatments which take place during the working day.

Charlotte Hunter, director of The On Site Massage Company which works with City firms to provide practical solutions to stress and postural problems in the workplace explains: “On Site Massage is a very popular health initiative that is well received by employers and employees alike. It benefits individuals by helping to relieve the build up of stress and tension as well as relieving physical aches and pains. Companies are now realising the positive impact on morale and productivity of on site massage at work and are implementing regular massage programmes to improve their working environment and assist in the wellbeing of their workforce.

“Forward thinking companies are becoming increasingly aware that stress can be an issue in the workplace. Responsible employers are realising that by expressing a caring attitude towards the workforce and implementing a pro-active scheme such as on site massage, they can have a very positive impact on the working environment.”

It is recognised that massage can be soothing and sedative and helpful for those suffering from disorders such as insomnia, tension, headaches and other stress-related conditions. It can also be stimulating, benefiting the skeletal system, circulation, muscles, the skin and the lymphatic drainage system which removes toxins from out bodies.

Here are some of the massage treats to soothe your cares away:

Abhyanga massage at the Shymala Ayurveda Spa, Holland Park

One of the most therapeutic of massage therapies is practiced by the Indian system of medicine known as Ayurveda, which means life knowledge. In this doctrine, massage is known as Abhyanga therapy and is a way manipulating the body to produce strength, mobility and flexibility using the Marma points, the vital points of the body.

The massage acts directly on blood, nerves, and lymph circulatory systems. There is three main types of massage techniques in Abhyanga therapy: active, passive and persuasive. It also concentrates on the naval which is considered the epicentre of the body and abdominal massage is used to relieve constipation, tone stomach muscles and detox the body. The massage is also the first step in the ancient colonic cleansing ritual known as Basti, which uses oils infused with spices and herbs. The Spa creates bespoke oils for each client. A 60-minute Abhyanga relaxing whole body massage costs £85 and an energising massage costs £115. For two therapists at the same time add an extra £60. Shymala Ayurveda Spa, 152 holland Park Avenue, W11. T: 020 7348 0018

Irish facial and body massage rejuvenation from the SÁMAS Spa at the Park Hotel Kenmare at Urban Retreat at Harrods – St.Patricks Week March 13 – March 25 2006

The SÁMAS Spa is the no 2 spa in Europe and voted one of the top 25 spas in the world by Condé Nast Traveller. It is set in the beautiful, inspiring scenery of Kerry and the range of treatments on offer from the spa’s therapists will use oils from the West of Ireland to rejuvenate mind, body and soul: ‘Suaimhneas’ (Peaceful) – A distressing and relaxing massage that begins with a smoothing and hydrating body polish that leaves the skin glowing with radiance. ‘Spiorad’ (The Spirit) – A stimulating massage to invigorate and recharge energy levels and bring clarity of mind, focusing mainly on the back, feet and head and uses a powerful blend of mallow, mint and sweet almond oil. ‘Fe’ (To clam) – A purifying anti-ageing facial, combined with deep cleansing and massage. ‘Saoirse’ (Freedom) – Ideal for athletes and those experienced in massage, this deep tissue massage uses advanced forearm and elbow techniques to work deep into the muscle layer through stretching and lengthening techniques. ‘Anam’ (The Soul) – This is a nurturing massage that is a healing delight for the senses and is created especially for those times of high stress or emotional imbalance. All treatments cost £110 for 60 minutes. Call the Urban Retreat at Harrods on 020 7893 8333, for more information visit

Sports and deep tissue massage at Urban Remedies at the Apex City of London Hotel

The Apex which opened in January has a newly-equipped gym with sauna, steam room and treatment suites offering a range of holistic and lifestyle therapies from Urban Remedies. A holistic service focusing on physical and mental well-being are tailored as much to the busy professional male as female looking for remedies for their hectic lifestyles as well as the weekend breakers looking for a pampering treat. As well a reiki, Bach flower therapy, reflexology and a range of massages, there is also physiotherapy and neuro linguistic programming. Recommended is the 90-minute organic aromatherapy massage which costs £75. A quick pick-me-up is the 15 minute head, shoulder and arm massage which is done fully-clothed and costs £15.Apex City of London, No1 Seething Lane, EC3 Tel:020 7702 2020

Swedish Massage at Xfolia at Canary Wharf

The classical massage and also anti-stress massage are available in Canary Wharf. Both last 60 minutes and cost from £65. Xfolio also sells a range of own-products for massage and skin rejuvenation including for stretch marks and skin elasticity. Xfolio, Unit 1 Horizon Building (behind Marriott Hotel), Hertsmere Road, E14. T: 020 7538 1001

Black mud massage from the Kalmora Spa, Goudhurst, Kent

The signature massage is wonderful experience of warm and heat in which your body is enveloped in Dead Sea black mud. The mud is massages in with firm strokes, after which you are wrapped in heated thermal sheets while the 21 therapeutic minerals in the mud are absorbed by the skin. It is followed by an indulgent Indian Head Massage to complete this 75 minute heavenly experience. Costs from £25. Kalmora Spa, Goudhurst, Kent. T:01580212953

Aromatherapy massage at Beautyworkswest Westbourne Grove

Aromatherapist Michelle Roques-O’Neil and combines the principles of aromatherapy, cellular release, acupressure, reiki and reflexology, whist the ideals of Chinese energy balancing, incorporated to increase the flow of Qi (life-force). This energy flows along pathways called meridians, there are twelve in total and each relate to various systems of the body, by working along these pathways stagnant energy can be released enhancing vitality. This is a treatment to revitalise and experience greater energy. An ideal treatment when you feel distinctly lack-lustre, or when your get up and go has gone.
The first one and half session includes a 10 minute consultatation and costs £140. Follow up session is £120. Beautyworkwest, Lambton Place, Nottinghill, London W11. T: 020 7221 2248

Stone and water massage a K SPA at the K West Hotel

A two-and a half hour pampering with luxurious E’SPA products. It is a head to toe treatment which starts with a foot soak and foot and leg massage, an all over body exfoliation, hot stone massage therapy and express facial, as well as a restorative wrap and a dry floatation experience. The dry flotation experience leaves you feeling positively revitalised and a twenty-minute session is the equivalent to several hours sleep. Also included are complimentary facilities such as the whirlpool, eucalyptus steam room, lemon steam room, sauna and relaxation zone. The Dry Floatation Ritual costs £185 for two and half hours. K West Hotel & Spa, Richmond Way, London W14 T: 087 00 27 43 43 or visit

Holistic aromatherapy at the The Landmark Health Club & Spa

One of London’s most beautiful hotels, just opposite Marylebone Station, it has a 15-metre pool and all that a detoxer needs – a whirlpool, saunas and steam rooms and a fully-equipped gymnasium. The ultimate detox treatment is the holistic aromatherapy back, face and scalp treatment which begins with a deeply relaxing aromatherapy back treatment to soften, nourish and ease away those hidden stresses and strains. For total relaxation the treatment continues with an aromatherapy facial combining the therapeutic benefits of E’SPA active aromatherapy products with acupressure, lymphatic drainage and oriental head massage techniques. It lasts1 hour 30 minutes and costs £75.00 The Landmark Hotel, Marylebone Road, NW1 T: 020 7631 8000 or visit

Delanta Ethiopian Massage

One hour of the most intensive massage regimes by Yerous Sissaye-Raya, who brings massage techniques from Ethiopia. A qualified massage therapist she specialises in deep tissue massage using invigorating strokes that stimulate and relax. She also offers stress and relaxation treatments including back, neck and shoulder massage and Indian Head Massage in a calming and quiet atmosphere. Cost: Delanta Deep Tissue Massage £50, Back, Neck and Shoulder Massage, £30 and Indian Head Massage £30. Deltanta Holistic Therapy at Anita Cox Hair and Beauty Salon, 62 Britton Street, EC1. T: 020 7251 8220.


Tisserand’s Four Point Massager and aromatherapy oils

The Four Point Massager can be used over clothing for simple and effective on the spot relief or directly on the skin with any of Tisserand’s Massage Oils to enhance the experience. Why not try the Relaxing Oil, a blend of Orange Blossom, Bergamot and Lavender or the seductive combination of Jasmine and Clary Sage in Tisserand’s Sensual Body Oil. It isdeal for improving the circulation on those problem areas to help reduce superfluous fat deposits that can build up. Why not increase its benefits with Tisserand’s Cellulite Treatment Oil. Also ideal for use after sports or strenuous activity to relieve muscle fatigue. The massager costs £5.9. Tisserand products are available nation–wide and by mail order: Ring 01273 325666 for details or log

Body bliss from Laline

The Laline body scrub (330ml £14/140ml £9) with soy oil, almond oil, macadamia oil, Dead Sea salts and citric oils. Used twice weekly, this scrub in luscious scents of Vanilla Patchouli; Lavender Coconut; Cucumber Melon, Lemongrass and Ocean. Laline body soufflé (£18) is a rich cold cream, ideal for when winter skin needing an extra bit of pre-Summer TLC. Enriched with natural ingredients, citric oils and aloe Vera gel for soothing skin, it will not only soften and moisturise but, in scents of Vanilla, Coconut and Ocean. Meanwhile, Laline bath & body oil (£9), containing rich avocado oil is ideal for drizzling in a bath but, for maximum results, apply directly to skin. In scents of Vanilla, Coconut, Amber, Lavender, Rose, and Patchouli, it is fabulous for giving legs a natural sheen. Buy on line at

Home visiting masseurs

Ayla Cho of LA Therapy, also offers treatments at 6 Moscow Place, London W2, and is also a reflexologist, Reika master, and a baby massage instructor. Costs £45 per hour. Contact: 07886 705 633

Siva Raja offers Thai Massage and sports massage. Costs £60 for an hour of sports £120 for a two hour Thai massage. T: 07932 038202, Email:

The On Site Massage Company Ltd, Trident Business centre, 89 Bickersteth Road, London SW17 9SH 08450 090 212 Fax: 08450 090 213