Category:Meet the Team
There are so many different types of massage treatment available, how do you know which one is right for you? We spoke to one of our massage therapists, Helen Nestor, to learn more about her specialism of Ayurvedic Massage and how it benefits her clients.
What is Ayurvedic Massge?
Ayurvedic Massage is a ‘therapeutic’treatment. It’s very calming for the nervous system and very nurturing, settling and restorative. It’s good for reducing stress, problems sleeping, digestive problems and during times of upheaval or change. It’s balancing for the mind and body.
How did you discover Ayurvedic Massage?
I was drawn to complementary therapies after being very ill in my early 20s. I started getting treatments to make myself feel better and so discovered how healing massage is, physically and emotionally. I had studied movement and dance so it seemed natural for me to work with the body, having a kinesthetic awareness and interest.
I had been working as a massage therapist for six years, providing a variety of other techniques, when I was introduced to this treatment by an Ayurvedic doctor. I was interested in providing a treatment that’s holistic and treats the whole person. The massage practice comes from the tradition of Ayurvedic medicine that combines nutrition, yoga and massage. It’s not just about relaxing muscles and treating problem areas, it works at a much deeper level to put the body and mind in a place of rest so it can kick start its ability to heal, both with the technique and the kind of oil used.
I have a total of 13 years’ experience in massage, and trained in the USA where I was living. In addition to Ayurvedic, I offer therapeutic, hot stone and deep tissue massage, as well as advanced massage techniques for rotator cuff problems, sciatica and whiplash. My work is intuitive and holistic and I can adapt my techniques to the individual needs of the client.
Who would benefit most from Ayurvedic Massage?
In our culture people suffer from a variety of conditions brought on by stress. Ayurvedic Massage can help alleviate symptoms or reduce stress on the mind and body. My clients report that they were really able to switch off and generally felt a lot better mentally and physically.
What can people expect when they come for a session with you?
The full 90 minute treatment combines a brief consultation to determine the ‘Dosha’ type. This is your unique mind and body constitution at the time and will be explained in the session. One of three types of oil cured with herbs is chosen for the individual. There is a heated table and warm oil used. It’s a meditative, soothing, balanced ‘routine’ that works on the head, face, abdomen and whole body. It’s generally a lighter massage with some pressure around the shoulders.
Does a massage need to have a lot of pressure to be effective?
Not necessarily. If your mind can relax fully then your muscles will also relax. Often your body will tense up in the same ways soon after if you are not relaxed. Massage shouldn’t be painful, it’s counteractive to calming the mind. Massage works to relax the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system, so all the body’s organs that function without us telling them to will relax and work more efficiently as well. Massage increases serotonin, which makes you feel lighter and happier, so it’s a natural mood enhancer. It is also a natural pain reliever.
How often should you get a massage?
A monthly massage keeps you in check. If you have a particular problem, then if you book every week or two you will see improvement until the issue is resolved. Also the benefits of massage are cumulative so will increase each time.
Can you exercise after a massage?
You should rest after massage and not go to exercise or to a yoga class. Your body needs to assimilate the changes, so let it adjust and work on your body fully and think of the treatment continuing beyond drinking water and the massage room.
What do you do when you’re not working?
I dance a lot. I do Lindy Hop, swing dance, tango and salsa. I also practice yoga, which is vital for taking care of my back. I make art, which is what I studied originally and have always done alongside being a therapist.
If you would like to experience the stress-relieving properties of Ayurvedic Massage for yourself, call 01273 698687 to book an appointment with Helen.