Identifying the issue
In the clinic, a massage client will usually start by talking about their problem. If they are eloquent, they may choose a specific “language” to describe how they feel.
They may say:
- a muscle feels “tight” or “strained”, using PHYSICAL terminology to describe their discomfort.
- Or they may use ENERGETIC words, saying they feel “wired” or “exhausted”, or
- alternatively EMOTIONAL language, saying they feel “sad”, “depressed”, or “lonely”, or
- even MENTAL language, saying they feel “unable to think”, or have a “mind racing”, or
- occasionally SPIRITUAL language, saying they feel “lost”, “without meaning” or “directionless”.
More usually, they feel a combination of these things, and wrap it up in catch-all words like “PAIN” or “STRESSED”, and the outcome they want is to “RELAX”.
My job, initially, is to help people explore the uncomfortable feeling first, so they can work out how they wish to feel instead. We explore what it will feel like if the session has been a success. The more specific we can be, the better the chance of success, and the more the client will notice the change. Of course the therapist should echo the language the client wants to use in describing how they feel and how they want to feel afterwards, but should open them to the possibility of other languages as well.
This helps us focus on outcome rather than just on the problem. Most massage sessions miss out this step, maybe because massage therapists are not trained in this communication. This may explain why it when you have a massage it can feel all a bit hit-and-miss as to whether you feel better for the experience!
Regular massage clients may experience relief of discomfort with massage, and it may give them a “breathing space” so they can regain balance, but on its own it does not resolve chronic issues. Sooner or later a client will want to make changes in their life so not to continue with the uncomfortable feelings. Massage can powerfully support changes that people want to make in their lives. This is where it can be a profound therapy, rather than just a “treat”.
Once we identify outcomes, we agree what kind of treatment should be provided, to address the issues. This may mean for the therapist, where to work, depth and speed, strokes to use or avoid, etc. For the client this means identifying what to focus on for the session, allowing freedom to breathe, and getting the environment right – music, lighting, temperature all play a part.
The job of the therapist is then to deliver what was agreed.
The job of the client is to focus on the outcome they want. In the dreamy hypnogogic state that some people can achieve with massage, like the deep relaxation of hypnosis, the client can be very open to creating new patterns of thought and behaviour. Used thoughtfully, massage can be used to powerfully assist changing habits and other patterns of behaviour.
I hope it is becoming clear that massage is not just something that is “done” to people, but is a joint project. The client has responsibility for their session, even if physically they are lying, breathing, feeling, and releasing tension where they notice it. The therapist is not a car mechanic….the client is actively involved and an agent in the changes they make!
After the session, I ask the client to explore movement and how they feel, so we can see if the desired outcome has been achieved. Often we only notice how we feel in relaxed movement, so I may ask you to walk around for a while, noticing how you walk and your sense of balance. Of course, many changes are not immediately apparent, so I ask people to report back to me how they feel over the following few days.
After one of these sessions, a client will often become more open to the value of massage for profound changes, and they may want to try using it to support a project they have in their life. Sometimes, changes may take place over several sessions, and people may book a course in order to “bed in” a chosen new direction or habit. I encourage people to strategise, and to review progess in specific blocks.
Sounds unusual? Try it and see! You may find it is more profound, with longer lasting effects, than you expect!
Massage for Wellbeing » 07710 314432
Martin Kingston is a massage practitioner based in West London, near Chiswick, Ealing & Kew. He also works in Central London and can visit you at your home or workplace.
Prices to Suit Everyone with Fabulous Discounts
- A discounted, introductory offer to experience a massage with Martin
- Offer open to everyone living or working in the London area
- £90 for 90 minutes
- at Martin’s studio in west London
- £70 at Central London Clinic
- For last-minute pampering when you can’t plan ahead
- Applies to Central London Clinic
- £45 in west London studio!
- Perfect if you want to make massage part of your project for health
- Paid by monthly Standing Order in advance
Pre-Pay OfferPay for 5, get 1 FREE
- Applies at Martin’s studio in west London
- about £60 at Central London Clinic
- Paid in Advance by bank transfer
Relax in the informal atmosphere of my home studio next to Gunnersbury Park. You are welcome to take a shower after.
Lionel Road North, Brentford, Greater London TW8 9QZ
At your Home or Workplace
By appointment, at your home, workplace or hotel for intensive mobile massage therapy on a couch.
Fully Qualified Masseur
Martin Kingston McCloghry
Martin has always enjoyed classic Swedish Massage therapy for relaxation and wellbeing. He is enthusiastic about discovering new ways to massage for relaxation, and offers a variety of approaches to make sure you get the session that is just right for you at this time.
He discovered the benefits of Sports Massage, which many athletes and non-athletes alike use to cope with soft-tissue injuries, whether stress-related or not. Whether he incorporates Deep Tissue Massage and other robust interventions is entirely at your discretion, though as a Soft Tissue Therapist he recommends caution with their use. He thinks massage does not need to be painful to be effective!
Martin uses his anglo name for business, rather than the gaelic name – on the principle that if his patients can’t spell his name they won’t remember it! His surname, McCloghry is derived from “Clough Righ” Stone of Kings or King Stone (the keystone of an arch), so Martin Kingston is the trade name.