Rapture: Expert guide to natural highs #2

Rapture: Expert guide to natural highs #2

Our 'rapture' expert guide to natural highs continues this week with the joy of massage, and how it can benefit you to 'gain an overall sense of well-being', says Holborn VPT Freddie Osei.

Benefits of massage

If people realised the benefits/relief, received from massage they would incorporate it as a valuable tool in gaining an overall sense of well-being.

Massage helps to prevent injury and repair damage done by the harder elements that physical exercise and sport brings about. If you could sell all the benefits of massage in an 'easy pill' it would easily stand side-by-side with a pill promoting the benefits of exercise.

Massage can be applied using the hands, fingers, elbows, knees, forearm or feet, no matter how many times a person attempts to glide on a foam roller nothing beats the therapeutic touch of being massaged.

Types of massage

Massage helps to free the soft and connective tissue of the body, target tissues may include muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, skin and joints, which in turn promotes increased blood flow and softening of these tissues. All massage promotes the same thing in different ways.

There are many different types of massage, as a practitioner it is hard to keep up to speed with the different types - some of the better known massage types are;

  • Beauty
  • Swedish
  • Sports
  • Indian head massage
  • Thai
  • Deep tissue
  • Remedial
  • Hot stone
  • Reiki
  • Shiatsu

They are as varied in style as their names suggest, so you will find that practitioners also vary in their style, with practitioners mixing 2/3 styles of massage to reproduce another form of niche massage. The thing that links them all is the feeling of well-being that is had after a massage depending on whether you went in for relaxation or to fix an ailment.


Many people have experienced the healing properties of massage. It wasn’t long ago that massage along with treatments such as acupuncture, osteopathy and physiotherapy were seen as ‘quack’ untried and alternative therapies. Within the last 15 years opinion have changed and there are considered complimentary healing to hospital treatments, working in tandem.

Massage has been known to heal many types of soft tissue ailments and joint aches. People can go years either slowly deteriorating with increasing pain or after having a direct knock (sport or accident) "putting up" with pain, believing the passage of time will heal, rather than getting adequate treatment at the time of the injury/accident.

Many GPs mis-diagnose the arthritic type pain as would be described by the patient, when a course of treatment would fix the acquired pain. This goes to say that quite often massage relieves the arthritic type pain in joints, leading to a more pain free ambient state of existence.

As we get older the pains we pick up along the way become deeper and take longer to heal this is due to hardening of muscles, restrictions in the arteries and veins cutting down the blood flow thus supply of blood to the muscles, tendons and ligaments. Increased blood flow and a softening of soft tissues (increasing mobility) are ultimately the things which start the healing process.

Strength gains

Massage has helped clients increase immediately in many ways:

  • bench press by up to +20%
  • breathing difficulties
  • knee problems
  • old aches and pains
  • general joint wear and tear

The list becomes endless but having a general massage you will find yourself to have pains that you didn't realise you had once the massage has started. With a sports massage the illogical feeling of having and enjoying the 'good pain' and with the intuitive knowledge that the more pain the quicker the healing.

Many clients once having gone through the pain vow never-to-return but once the 2/3 day soreness has worn off and the benefits of additional mobility, enhanced functionality and increased strength are felt, they return again and again.

Fancy a massage with Freddie? Then don't be shy, drop him an email at [email protected]