Reflexology in York

Therapeutic Massage

Therapeutic massage. Photo: Massage is one of the most ancient and universal of the healing arts. For thousands of years some form of massage or laying-on of hands has been used to heal and relieve pain.

The sense of touch and of being touched by another caring person is of fundamental importance to our physical and emotional growth from the moment of birth, yet the therapeutic value and potency of this simple form of communication is often underestimated or ignored in today’s world of sophisticated medicines, machines and high technology.

Many common ailments may be helped by massage, including a great number of chronic conditions.

Moreover this help does not involve the damaging side-effects of chemical drugs. Effective by relaxing the body, massage may relieve stiffness, soreness and tension, its primary physical benefit being to the muscular, circulatory and eliminatory systems.

Taut, painful muscles can be loosened and relaxed and the circulation of blood and lymph stimulated. This results in the expulsion of toxins from the body and the eventual restoration of balanced tone in the muscles and greater freedom in the joints. However, while this alone would be a valuable consequence of massage, it is not the limit of its effectiveness.

Improve health

Some people think of massage as luxury. Others think of it only in connection with the treatment of sports injuries and problems arising from over-exertion, in which it is undeniably effective. ln fact, regular massage may go further than this and may actually improve overall health. lt does this by combating the chronic effects of stress.

General health deteriorates as a result of continuous stress. Under stress people do not digest properly, do not breathe properly, do not stand properly. Hormone production becomes unbalanced. Circulation does not function efficiently. lnternal organs become strained or clogged with toxins, ` Heart problems, stomach ulcers and many other ailments may have their origins in stress.

Massage counteracts stress by providing an opportunity for deep relaxation and revitalisation. As the muscles relax and circulation returns to normal, digestion, breathing and posture improve. This has further effects throughout the body, resulting in the gradual restoration of balance and health to the internal organs. Further, by stimulating cell functioning, massage actively strengthens the body.

As the body starts to change and heal, the feelings of depression, anxiety, fear or irritability that so often accompany chronic patterns of tension may eventually be dispelled. Thus regular massage can have a beneficial effect, not only on the body, but also on mental and emotional life.


A practitioner trained in the holistic approach treats the patient as a whole, integrating the energies of body, mind and spirit through a two-way flow of touch and response. Patient and therapist build a rapport of trust and understanding, and work together in the healing process. Massage therapy that is skilfully and sensitively given generates feelings of harmonious well-being and a sense of unity in which the healing energies of the body can be released.

Advice to patients

At your first appointment the practitioner will take a detailed medical history, in order to plan your treatment. You will·then be asked to get undressed. lt is probable that you will be given a full body massage, and for this it is best to remove some of your clothing and you will be given privacy to do this.

lf you experience any discomfort during the massage, let the practitioner know. Although occasionally it may be desirable to perform a massage stroke that causes some discomfort, normally massage should be a very enjoyable experience.

Because of the medical history, your first appointment will probably be longer than later ones. Your practitioner will tell you how long each treatment will take, as well as the fee. Give yourself plenty of time to take things quietly for an hour or two after the treatment. lf you are driving a car, you may need to rest for ten minutes or more before you leave.

You should not eat or drink immediately before a massage, and make sure that you wear plenty of warm clothes if the weather is cold. Alcohol and drugs should be avoided on the day of the massage, both before and afterwards. lf you have to take drugs for medical reasons, make sure that your practitioner knows this.

During and after treatment toxins are released from the cells into the bloodstream, so that they can be expelled from the body. This may occasionally result in headaches or a temporary worsening of symptoms. lf this happens, do not worry. lt is a sign that the treatment is being effective. However, if the symptoms persist or become severe, consult your practitioner.

lf you change your address or telephone number, please remember to let your practitioner know.

Therapeutic Massage Treatment from Linda Baker

I trained as a therapeutic massage practitioner in 1984 (ITEC), with a further massage diploma in 1987 (College of Holistic Medicine).

I am also a trained reflexologist (1991, Bayly School) and gained my Diploma in Aromatherapy in June 1995 (ITEC) and also with the Practitioner Register for Holistic Therapies (PRHT).

I mostly work now with people with various disabilities, notably Multiple Sclerosis, but I also practice from my home treatment room. I will also do home visits on request.

The initial consultation lasts about an hour and a quarter, and costs £45. Subsequent treatments cost £40 for an hour (30 minutes: £22). Reduced fees can be negotiated. Home visits are charged at an extra £5. To book an appointment, please click here