23rd June 2017 
Massage. Shoulder massage

Confused by all the different forms of massage?

The stresses and strains of daily life, the aches and pains of pregnancy, muscular injury from sport and heavy manual work or chronic ongoing pain can all make your life miserable. Massage techniques can bring very real relief.

A good massage therapist has a whole range of techniques which can be used like a box of tools as needed. Additionally hot stones and aromatherapy oils can be used to help muscles relax, respond better to treatment and recover from injury.

New to massage? Click here to go to frequently asked questions.


Massage. sonja backmassaging1

Remedial Massage

Remedial massage techniques can be used to help relieve stress and tension, muscular injuries, rebalance muscles so that your whole body functions better, prevent or treat muscular scar tissue, release muscles which have gone into spasm, tone and prepare muscles for sport, heavy physical work, cycling, hiking as well as help you to recover from these activities.

For example if you are a DIY enthusiast, gardener, office or physical worker you can encounter pain, back pain, stiff neck and shoulders or RSI (repetitive stress injury). A regular remedial massage can help the muscles to let go of accumulated tension and rebalance so they are less likely to sustain deeper injury. If do you have a specific problem though, perhaps because an already tense back has gone into spasm with an unusual movement or muscles have become injured as a result of carrying heavy loads - then a series of treatments can relieve pain and assist the rapid recovery of the damaged muscles.


Massage. lucy back

Sports Massage

Sports massage is also deep but a more specific style of massage, which can release and relieve muscular problems encountered by participating in some sports activities. The release or relief can be achieved by receiving deep tissue massage often combined with specific stretching techniques.
A sports massage can also help improve performance, by aiding the muscles to be at optimum condition and any injuries incurred will be less and recovery more rapid.
Sports massage techniques can help you to become pain free with a much shorter recovery period.



Massage. Head and chest

What massage can do for you

Good for general wellbeing and relaxation, massage can help to improve digestion and is a great stress reliever.
If you find yourself dependent on pain killers for general aches and pains or headaches for example, a regular massage can reduce or remove the need for medication.
Improve and re-establish a good sleep pattern.
Boost immunity and help your body to fend off sickness, colds, flu etc.


Massage. Sonja Face massage

Facial Massage

Many people hold tension in their facial muscles which shows itself in puffiness, lines and wrinkles. Releasing the tension can not only make you look more relaxed but it can also help you feel much more relaxed as well as smoothing, lifting, and toning helping you to both look and feel younger!



LA Stone (Hot stone)

Smooth, heated basaltic stones are used to help the muscle to relax and increase blood flow. This contributes to faster healing and deeper relaxation generally.


Indian Head Massage

A short head and shoulder massage which can be carried out sitting. Used with and without oils.


Respiratory Massage

Working deeply using specific techniques over the chest and back we can help to relieve and clear mucous that builds up in the respiratory tract following heavy illness or bouts of flu, bronchitis, cigarette smoking or from having been in contact with pollutants. Symptoms of Asthma and Emphysema are two more serious conditions that can also be relieved using these techniques.


Abdominal Massage

Relieve constipation, bloating, indigestion, dyspepsia and common digestive disorders such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
Stimulate a more efficient liver function.
This can lead to improved energy levels and a more comfortable digestive process.


Body Toning Massage

Reduce cellulite and fatty tissue. Deep tissue massage techniques can be used for decreasing subcutaneous fatty tissue, reducing the production of cellulite and to improve muscle tone. This method can also lessen the appearance of stretch marks. The result can be effective for more than a year with a regular regime, or if an ongoing course of treatment is maintained and combined with a healthy eating pattern and exercise the outcome can be longer lasting!


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a massage like?
Massage can release painful muscle tension, improve circulation, increase joint flexibility and reduce mental and physical fatigue. In addition, massage is among the most effective means available to combat stress.

What is a massage therapist?
Our massage therapists have completed many hours of education which includes a variety of techniques, extensive anatomy and physiology and knowledge of when massage is and is not appropriate. They are all qualified in remedial and/or sport massage which means they have additional skills and expertise enabling them to treat muscular injury, chronic issues, deep seated pain and discomfort at an advanced level. Sport massage techniques enable treatment of sport related injury, preparation and recovery from extreme physical activity as well as the expertise to advise on a personal regime of exercises and stretches.

What is the first appointment like?
Your massage therapist will begin by asking you general health questions since there are some conditions for which massage is not appropriate. This consultation time also allows you to begin to relax in the company of the therapist.

For a massage, most people undress to their underwear and are asked to remove jewellery. Your therapist will give you privacy to undress and during treatment you are covered except for the area being worked on.

You will relax on a padded couch designed for stability and comfort. The room will be warm and quiet, sometimes with soft music to set a relaxing mood. A light oil or lotion is used, which is good for your skin and absorbs well. A massage usually begins with relatively gentle pressure to calm your nervous system and begin releasing superficial tension. Gradually your therapist works more deeply to address specific areas.

What should I do during a massage?
Make yourself comfortable. If your therapist wants you to adjust your position, they will either lift you (for instance, lift your arm) or will tell you what is needed. Otherwise, feel free to change your position any time to make yourself more comfortable.

Many people just close their eyes and relax completely during a session while others prefer to talk. It's your massage and whatever feels natural to you is the best way to relax. The desire to sigh or take a deep breath is a sign that you are relaxing. In fact deep breaths can actually help you relax.

How will a massage feel?
Massage on healthy tissue feels good. The normal response is to slow down, breathe deeply and relax. Some people are surprised to find that a massage does not tickle. Your massage therapist uses gentle but firm pressure at first, gradually preparing you for deeper touch.

Working in the area of a previous injury or chronic pain may at first cause some discomfort, which usually lessens in the first few minutes. Your massage therapist knows ways to minimise pain, and will work carefully within what feels right to you. Always tell your therapist if you feel any discomfort so that they can adjust.

How long is a session?
An hour is a common session length. This gives time for a deeply relaxing massage, or more in-depth work on a particular area. A 45 minute session can be a excellent introduction to massage or for a follow up sometimes 30 minutes is enough - your therapist will advise you on this. Sometimes appointments longer than an hour are needed for some really deep work.

What should I expect afterwards?
Massage can be profoundly relaxing, affecting all your body systems. Give yourself time before slowly getting up off the couch. Your therapists will advise you to drink plenty of water after the treatment to assist with the elimination of toxins from the body.

After an initial period of feeling slowed down, people often experience an increase in energy that can last for several days.

How do I find out about the different massage therapists?
You can find out all about our massage therapists and their skills by going to our Massage Therapists page.

I would like to book an appointment. What do I do now?
To make an appointment either ring 01392 258855 or 07887 891218 or email by clicking the link in the top left hand corner of this page. You can ask any questions you may have and we can help you find the right therapist for you and a convenient time for your session.

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DIRECTIONS Massage and Wellbeing Centre, 18 Gandy Street, Exeter, Devon EX4 3LS - you will find us at the Museum end of Gandy Street, just off the High Street and right in the heart of the city. The entrance is next door to Moko. Walk through into the courtyard and the door is on the right. Press the intercom for entry, come up to the first floor reception area and take a seat. Your therapist will come out to fetch you. Please make an appointment by phoning or emailing as per the contact details at the top of the page.