Massage Therapy

Massage is a treatment that uses different kinds of physical contact to relax, revive and heal the body. It is used to treat a wide range of emotional and physical health problems. Massage has been practiced in most cultures, both Eastern and Western, throughout human history, and was one of the earliest tools that people used to try to relieve pain. 

There are lots of different kinds of massage, each with broadly different origins and aims, some focus on soothing muscle pain; others on increasing energy levels; some aim to improve a specific physical condition; others simply to help you relax.

Massage makes you feel good in lots of ways, and can have a positive effect on your whole body – your bones, your muscles, your heart, your skin, your breathing, digestion, and your mental health.

We offer a range of massage therapies tailored to your individual needs and musculo-skeletal or systemic conditions. Our massage practitioner is trained in a range of techniques which help to alleviate a spectrum of conditions and disorders.

Your therapist is registered with a professional association, ensuring high-standard care

Services We Offer

Reflexology

Reflexology is a unique type of massage that focuses mainly on the feet, although it is also beneficial for the hands, face and ears to be treated as well. As with every part of the body, our feet are an amazing structure and are made up of flexible structures of bones, joints, muscles and soft tissues that permit us to stand upright and to perform activities such as walking, running and jumping. The feet are also super sensitive which makes them a good medium for accessing all the body systems, organs, muscles, bones, nerves, lymph nodes and glands. Think of your feet as a miniature map of your whole body and, as such, they reflect the state of your health, physical, emotional and spiritual.

This touch therapy is based on the principle that the feet have ‘reflexes’ or pressure points that correspond to the various parts of the body. For example, on the right foot, the tip of the big toe corresponds to the brain’s right hemisphere. By applying pressure, using specific techniques, these reflex points are either stimulated if underactive or calmed down if overactive, thus imparting a direct influence on the corresponding organ.

The interwoven effects of relaxation and the physiological changes during a treatment ranks reflexology as a highly effective treatment for many conditions and illnesses. Moreover, Reflexology treats the person holistically by bringing harmony and equilibrium to the physical, mental and emotional states. It supports people suffering from chronic and acute conditions, and does equally well as a prevention and maintenance program.

Reflexology is suitable for every age, young and senior. It can be safely combined with both western and eastern medicine to further enhance the client’s health wellbeing but does not, as with all other touch modalities, diagnose, cure or prescribe medication.

Benefits of Reflexology

 

  • Releases stress and tension
  • Gives relief to arthritic conditions, diabetic feet, sore muscles
  • Dissolves headaches and migraines
  • Facilitates injury recovery
  • Reduces pain, both physical and emotional
  • Increases circulation, blood and lymph
  • Supports the immune system
  • Helps the detoxification process
  • Helps eliminate waste from the body
  • Improves digestion and nerve function
  • Helps balance hormonal function
  • Is safe during pregnancy
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Improves sleep quality
  • Stabilises mood swings
  • Helps cope with anxiety and depression
  • Increases energy levels
  • Calms restless leg syndrome
  • Promotes total relaxation
  • Leaves you walking on air
 

Looking to book a session with Mafalda?

Sessions

I currently offer my services at Alive Physio & Wellness on:

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2 pm to 6 pm

Maya Abdominal Massage

Maya Abdominal Massage is an external non-invasive massage that focuses on the entire abdomen and addresses tension around the hips, lower back, sacrum and the coccyx. Maya helps break up stagnation, loosens adhesions, helps reduce pain levels and stimulates the flow of lymph, qi and blood, creating balance and realignment. In general, Maya plays an important role in restoring the physical, mental and emotional health of a person.

Maya abdominal massage is beneficial for:

  • Adenomyosis and endometriosis
  • Cysts and fibroids
  • Digestive disorders
  • Emotional support post-miscarriage
  • Fertility support, including during IVF treatments 
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Menopause
  • Menstruation issues (amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, menorrhagia, polymenorrhea)
  • PCOS
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Postpartum recovery 
  • Post-surgical recovery
  • Relief of pain, stress and tension in general 
  • Toning the ligaments of the uterus

Please note Maya is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatments. If you have any concerns, please first consult with your specialist. Maya abdominal massage is a complementary therapy that can safely be combined with both allopathic and Oriental medicine.

Therapeutic Body Massage

A massage that focuses on a holistic approach to improving your health and wellbeing. Designed to suit your condition, a therapeutic massage combines relaxation and remedial strokes and techniques to induce both a sense of rejuvenation and re-energisation as well as a feeling of calmness. This massage will soothe aching muscles, soften tight spots and will address issues around the head, face, neck, shoulders, lower and upper back, legs, feet, arms and hands.

A therapeutic massage is beneficial for anyone suffering from anxiety, depression, headaches, insomnia, nerve pain, postoperative recovery, soft tissue strains and the everyday stresses of life. It will help reduce general aches and pains, improve circulation, lower blood pressure and heart rate, decrease muscle stiffness, improve flexibility, decrease joint inflammation, induce better sleep quality, enhance the immune response and ensure quicker recovery time from exercise and mental strain.

Moreover this massage will help subdue emotional distress and help manage better your stress levels by reducing the levels of cortisol, a stress inducing hormone, and increasing the “good feel” chemicals, including dopamine and serotonin. The results are magical and will help stabilise mood swings, make you feel lighter and more serene, as well as clearing a foggy mind so as to help you face decision-making times and the challenges of everyday life. Its circulatory effects makes this massage ideal for any age and is highly beneficial for chronic conditions of just about every kind.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)

About MLD

Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD), developed by Dr Emil Vodder in the 1930s while living in the French Riviera, is a gentle and rhythmic pumping massage technique that enhances lymphatic fluid movement to assist in cleansing the body of excess water, metabolic wastes, toxins, bacteria and inflammatory materials.

Underrated by many, the Lymphatic System is a silent operator that is in charge of the body’s main waste management transport system. Long-term stress, prolonged exposure to illness, toxins, pollutants, drugs (including prescription), chemotherapy, radiation, excess alcohol, sedentary lifestyles, improper diet and poor health habits in general, can lead to sluggish or stagnating lymph fluid, rendering the system inefficient.

Fatigue, lack of energy, foggy-headedness, idiopathic pain, feeling sniffly and headachy, slow post-illness recovery response, swollen limbs, digestive issues, can all be indicators of an overloaded and inefficient system.

MLD has a holistic approach to help regain health and wellbeing by targeting four body systems in particular.

  • The Nervous System: MLD reduces pain by sedating the sensory nerve fibres.
  • The Immune System: MLD relaxes the autonomic nervous system, i.e. it regulates the involuntary physiological processes such as heart rate, blood pressure, respiration and digestion.
  • The Digestive & Urinary System: MLD stimulates fluid elimination from interstitial tissues, resulting in higher urinary output and stimulating bowel movement.
  • The Muscular System: MLD indirectly has a relaxing and pain reducing effect on the skeletal muscles as well as having a tonifying effect on the smooth muscles, e.g. the large intestines

Benefits of MLD

MLD is beneficial for:

  • Allergies
  • Arthritic conditions
  • Arthropathy
  • Cellulite
  • Chronic pain
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Constipation
  • Detoxification
  • Digestive issues
  • Fluid retention, swelling, puffiness
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome and bloating
  • Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome
  • May facilitate weight loss
  • Primary Lymphoedema (i.e. lymphatic insufficiency)
  • Secondary Lymphoedema (post-operative, post-mastectomy, post radiation)
  • Oedema during pregnancy
  • Lipedema
  • Pre and post long flights
  • Post antibiotics, colds, influenza, viruses
  • Post cancer treatments (chemotherapy, radiation)
  • Post surgical oedema (lumpectomy, mastectomy)
  • Rheumatic diseases
  • Scars (post-operative, burns)
  • Sinus issues
  • Skin conditions (acne, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, scars)
  • Toothache (if no infection present)
  • Traumatic oedema (injuries, fractures and bruising)

MLD not recommended for

MLD is not recommended for the following conditions. Always seek medical advice first.

  • Acute inflammation with infection (viral, bacterial, open wounds).
  • Acute bronchitis/chronic bronchitis (if infection is present)
  • Acute hypotension
  • Acute venous and untreated diseases (thrombosis, DVT)
  • Bronchial asthma/asthma due to heart problems
  • Cellulitis
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Dynamic oedema (cardiac, pulmonary, renal oedema, untreated venous insufficiency)
  • First trimester of pregnancy (if history of complications)
  • Malignant diseases (undiagnosed, re-occurring or present)
  • Skin ulcers, open sores
  • Untreated cancers and tumours

Scar Tissue Release

About Scar Tissue Release

Scar tissue release therapy is a modality that uses gentle hand and finger-tip pressure to help free the restrictions in the scarred area and may be used as a stand-alone treatment or be interwoven with any other form of massage, including Maya Abdominal Massage and MLD.

Every scar has a story to tell. Deeper than just skin, scars can have long-lasting physiological and psychological effects. Scars, large or small, may have a huge influence on a person’s confidence, movement, posture and emotions.

A scar is an area of fibrous tissue that replaces normal skin after an injury, surgery or inflammatory condition, and is a natural healing process of wound repair in the skin, organs and tissues of the body. Scars may appear anywhere on the body either as an external or internal manifestation. There are also emotional scars but this is another story.

Scars present unpleasant and uncomfortable repercussions such as pain, itchiness, “tug and pull” effect, restrictions in fascia, reduction in blood and lymph flow, numbness, tingling, hypersensitivity, muscle weakness, restricted range of motion and reduced energy flow.

Scars can have many different appearances: reddish, raised and rubbery (hypertrophic); overgrown and spread beyond the boundaries of the original wound (keloid); pitted (atrophic); shrunken and tight (contracture), the latter usually after burns. The final appearance and healing process of a scar depends on many other factors, including skin type, location on the body, the direction of the wound, the type of injury, age of person and nutritional status.

But not every scar is visible. Here we are presented with very complex scars not visible to the naked eye. Internal scars can cause more pain and discomfort than the external ones, physically and emotionally, especially because they are usually a constant reminder of an internal trauma.

Internal scars, known as adhesions, can develop in the tendons, ligaments, muscles, joints and soft tissue. Adhesions are bands of scar tissue that can cause two separate internal organs that are not supposed to be connected to stick together. As with visible scars, adhesions develop as the body’s natural response to repair itself after surgery, inflammation in the abdomen or pelvis, infection, injury and radiation.

Internal scars can be caused by many reasons such as overworking the body with exercise; injuries such as sprains and strains; surgeries such as C-sections, which also form external scars; and, infectious or inflammatory conditions such as Crohn’s or diverticular disease, peritonitis, endometriosis and/or adenomyosis.

Unfortunately, adhesions are a major concern for the female reproductive system. They can form on the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes and can spread to other parts of the body. It is not unusual to find adhesions in the bowel, the bladder, the spine and around the heart or lungs. Apart from excruciating pelvic, back and leg pain, bowel blockages, painful urination, an unpleasant “tug and pull” effect, adhesions may also be the cause behind infertility and dyspareunia.

Benefits of Scar Tissue Release Therapy

 

  • A reduction in pain, numbness and visibility of the scar
  • An increased flexibility and range of movement of the scarred area
  • An improved blood flow, bringing oxygen and nutrients  to the scarred area
  • A softening of lumps, bumps and dips cause by surgeries
  • An increase in lymph flow thus reducing swelling and redness of the scar
  • A release of the so-called “tug and pull” effect of the scar on other parts of the body
  • A release of emotions connected to a traumatic experience, such as an unplanned Cesarean section
 

Scars continue to grow and change throughout the recovery process which can take up to 12-18 months. Scar Tissue Release Therapy can be performed on old or new scars but it is advisable to wait until the scar has fully healed, which can take up to 6-8 weeks after surgery. 

It is important to make sure there are no infections present on the day of treatment. While scar tissue release work is a good way of decreasing scar tissue buildup, it may not reduce the visibility of a scar that is more than 2 years old. 

However, work on an old toughened scar is still beneficial to help increase blood and lymph flow around the area, even to help release the emotional aspects of the traumatic experience.

While this modality is suitable for almost every conceivable scar, it may be inadvisable in some cases. Please disclose if you have an untreated medical condition or you have implants of any kind, including meshes, to assess the suitability of this therapy for your condition.

Pregnancy Massage

About Pregnancy Massage

Pregnancy Massage or prenatal massage is the ultimate relaxation experience during any stage of pregnancy. Utilising unique pregnancy belly pillows, you will be able to lie comfortably on your stomach on the massage table, completely supported, providing safety and comfort for both mother and baby.

This position ensures that the woman’s spine is in a neutral position, thus easing pressure on the back and resulting in a better balanced massage than when lying sideways. This massage type, which uses various relaxing techniques as well as some components of lymphatic drainage, not only nurtures the expectant mother, it also creates a harmonious environment for the developing embryo.

Pregnancy Massage Benefits

  • Alleviates fluid retention
  • Reduce swelling of the limbs
  • Dissolve heavy feelings in the legs
  • Help with digestive disorders and reflux
  • Prevent or reduce stretch marks
  • Preparation for delivery
  • General fatigue and tension
  • Reduce Anxiety
  • Stimulate and Improve circulatio

Pregnancy Massage Safety

It is generally very safe to have a massage while pregnant. Be guided by your Gynaecologist or Doctor if in doubt and be aware that there may be other options to consider if in need of relaxation.

For instance, reiki, a short lymphatic drainage massage of the legs or even a gentle reflexology or head and face massage may be recommended by your doctor.

Looking to book a session with Mafalda?

Sessions

I currently offer my services at Alive Physio & Wellness on:

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2 pm to 6 pm