WHAT IS A CLINICAL MASSAGE THERAPIST?

After 16 years as a massage therapist, I became an advanced clinical massage therapist. My massage work felt effective and clients gave great feedback, but I wondered if it was possible to increase the effectiveness of my treatments. During the year’s advanced training I felt my skills changing and evolving as I learnt new techniques that really helped ease my clients’ pain and, a year on, I’m learning more from every massage and loving the results.

So what IS a clinical massage therapist? Well, putting it simply, I’m an outcome-based therapist and my aim is to decrease my clients’ pain, increase their range of movement by improving the functioning of joints and muscles and, at the same time, give them a wonderful massage experience.

I often work with clients who have long-term chronic pain. That can be anything from neck and back problems, headaches, sciatica, RSI, fibromyalgia and other ongoing musculoskeletal problems. During each first session I complete a detailed consultation form looking at each individual holistically and taking into account any biopsychosocial factors - psychological and social - as well as physical issues. This helps me to get a picture of what’s going on in their life that might be impacting on their body. I then take clients through some relevant range of movement exercises to try and pinpoint the affected muscles and where I should start the work. Finally, I’ll do a postural assessment to look for misalignments in the body, which might help guide me towards what needs the most work.

A clinical massage differs from others in that the therapist tends to communicate more with the client throughout the massage. I work a lot with trigger points - those tight points within a band of muscle that feel ‘ouch’ when touched. These often cause referred pain in other areas away from the original trigger point itself. So, for instance, you might be getting pain down your arm or in your hand, but the trigger point might be in the muscles in your neck. Although I can feel some of these painful points, the more feedback I get on quality and intensity of the pain, the more effectively I can work. Focussing on these specific areas can relieve both the immediate and referred pain.

Clinical massage integrates different modalities, Eastern and Western techniques that I’ve learnt throughout my career as a therapist. These can include trigger point therapy, myofascial release and stretching techniques, as well as hot stone work and Chinese meridians, all of which form a multi-modal toolbox to help get clients out of pain.

What I do think is important is that massage should be a pleasurable experience, and working in this way means it doesn’t have to hurt to get results but can be effective within a reasonably comfortable pain level as well as using broad, relaxing massage strokes, and stretches with the aim of you leaving in less pain AND feeling relaxed.

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Bristol Massage Clinic

I've been very quiet since I started this blog as I've been building up my client base and spending a lot of time in Brighton at the incredible Jing Massage Clinic learning new skills including some incredible clinical massage techniques.  

The tutors at Jing are really special - they've all got amazing massage careers but, even more importantly, they're passionate about what they do and about passing their knowledge on to other therapists.  The exciting news is that one of my tutors, Minia Alonso, lives close by in Bristol and I'm SO excited to be joining her as part of her team at Bristol Massage Clinic!

I had a knee injury early last year and, looking for a Jing therapist in the area, I was thrilled to learn Minia was in Bristol and her massage made all the difference to my speedy recovery. She's such a wonderful therapist and has a really sound massage background with loads of experience and I'm always thrilled when I know she's going to teach on the course as she has such a passion for teaching. She's such an intuitive masseuse, with a gentle touch that has an incredibly powerful effect on the body and so I'm blown away that she's chosen me to be part of her team at the new Bristol Massage Clinic.

Based in Clifton, the clinic is a beautiful oasis of calm, in the basement of Clifton Dental Studio
on Queens Rd. If you think this is an odd mixture, it's actually the perfect fit because, as well as all the amazing massage techniques offered by the team, Minia is a specialist in TMJ, the temporomandibular joint, massage of which can help with jaw pain, ringing ears, teeth grinding, chronic headaches and, in fact all sorts of problems throughout the body, not just the jaw.

I'll be undertaking the TMJ course in the autumn and I cannot wait as it's so fascinating. Under Minia's expert supervision I intend to follow her lead and become a specialist in this really important area.

In the meantime, I can be found at Bristol Massage Clinic, Clifton Dental Studio, 92 Queens Road every Tuesday from 4th September offering a wide range of massages. I can't wait to start working as part of Minia's team!

To find out more please check out the Bristol Massage Clinic website: www.bristolmassageclinic.co.uk
 

PURE BLISS MASSAGE

Welcome to Pure Bliss Massage!  Whether you've come to this page looking for a therapist or just out of curiosity, I hope you'll take something of use away with you.

I have been a practising massage therapist for 16 years, during which time I've learnt many different massage techniques and added numerous skills to my massage toolbox so that I can help my clients with pain relief, relaxation and general wellbeing.

In the past all my massage clients have been word of mouth but I really want to spread the word about what I do as I know a lot of people think they have to live with pain when, in fact, lots of complementary therapies can help.  In my opinion, massage is a really powerful tool for helping free people from pain but also a place where you can learn self-help techniques putting you in control and a space to take some time for yourself - something many people almost never do in our increasingly demanding world.

I like to get to know my clients and to find out what works for them.  My massages aren't generic - I work with you, the client, and want to help with your needs.  So if you come to me with specific pain I will work to ease that pain, but if you're finding it hard to sleep I'll work on relaxation.   As I'm interested in health in general and constantly read and research about health and wellbeing, for those clients who want to help themselves, I can also give you tips and further reading.  Whatever you need from the treatment time, I will try to help.

Like most therapists, my massage training is on-going.  It never stops and I'm constantly learning new ways of working to help you get the most from my massage whilst, at the same time, ensuring my way of working is safe for my own body as I want to have a long and pain free massage career.

If you'd like to know more, take a look at my website and feel free to call for a chat or email me for more information.

Remember "Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes ... including you" Anne Lamott.