Welcome to Samantha Jaclyn

Sometimes I think massage therapists are like hairdressers and psychologists and sales assistants and yoga instructors and, well, anyone who generally listens in their day to day job. Listening is such an important part of my job because a lot of the stresses my clients carry aren’t communicated. These stresses in turn build up and create tension in common areas of the body. It’s not only agonising but the consistency of the pains can end up being really debilitating. 

I see quite a few clients who have these problems and from talking to them further I’ve found a few issues they share;

1. Office Jobs/Computitis – (I thought I made up this term but found it on the urban dictionary: quote 1)The state in which a person at a computer can no longer see the screen clearly nor can they move their fingers correctly.2) when a person is sick of being at a computer.) I believe the term should be “An unnaturally long attachment to a technical device”. People who work in an office don’t move about as much, whether it be because of important deadlines or the nature of the industry, they’re bound to their desks and spend up to 8 hours sitting in front of a computer.

2. Bad Posture – As soon as a client sits down to fill out a confidentiality form I analyse their posture to see why they might be experiencing strains. Many don’t sit with a straight back and their shoulders are up to their ears.

3. Lack of exercise – Once you’re done with a long day at the office, motivation to go for a run outside or spend time in the gym tends to go out the window.


Here are three points to help alleviate common back pains:

1. Get up more from your desk. Maybe offer to do the tea run, get up to the printer every time you print something off rather than waiting to collect a wad of documents or talk to the person on the other side of the office rather than using the internal communication network.

2. Stretch. You’ll see from one of my previous posts a great stretch to do at your desk. If you imagine being in the same position all the time, stretch in the opposite direction to counteract the tension. This will also help your posture.

3. Exercise. I’m a huge advocate of exercise and regularly practice yoga. This isn’t for everyone but there are so many different forms of moving from running to dancing, tennis to football that you can find something to suit you. If you want to strengthen your core then pilates is also a fantastic way to do so which will help postural problems.

If I didn’t listen to my clients, I would never find these common themes and issues that so many people go through.

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My first massage presentation, not as bad as I thought it was going to be

I wanted to share a presentation I did this week at a networking group I attend. Presentations are out of my comfort zone but I have to say once pushed beyond your limits, it’s amazing what you can do.

Here it is..enjoy

If I go back far enough, I knew I always wanted to help people. At school we had career advisors and it was always the therapies that stood out for me. I looked into psychology, physiotherapy, psychiatry…..I remember shadowing a physio for a week when I was 15 at my local hospital in Manchester, so no, I’m not entirely sure either how I ended up in the events industry for 4 years post university. You may be thinking well, her degree must have been somewhat relevant to therapy but, alas, you’d be barking up the wrong tree. I studied classical literature. The only link I can make is a tenuous one so bare with me…..
Like Homers Odysseus I too was lost and far away from home (my massage calling!) I’d fought battles and won against, well maybe not the cyclops but if you’d seen my old events boss you could do a double take, and been enticed by the sirens who paid me a steady wage each month. But eventually, after 4 years of straying off course and in the interlude, actual traveling round the world I came back to where I was meant to be. And so starts my massage odyssey and training.
I started my training at the London college of massage where I completed my anatomy and physiology exams as well as my long course in deep tissue massage which took 9 months and a lot of case studies. In the months to follow I then completed some shorter courses in Indian head massage, hot stone treatments at the london school of complimentary health and pregnancy and baby instructor massage at the london school of massage. This was rounded off at the end of last year with a two month trip to Thailand where I studied intensively Thai yoga massage. 9-5 Monday to Friday at the international Thai massage school.
I know it sounds like a lot, but each course provided me with not only more techniques but it opened up different client bases.
Deep tissue massage is probably my most popular therapy. The people who see me for this tend to be in a lot of pain or discomfort from either a sports related injury or on the other end of the scale, from sitting at a desk too long and leading quite a sedentary lifestyle. Deep tissue massage isn’t the same as sports massage, even if most of the techniques are the same. Sports therapy looks into rehabilitation for a particular injury and is specific whereas what I do gives a more immediate relief and is more general to the affected area. 
Pregnancy massage is quite self explanatory. I have to stress at this point  massage can only be conducted after the first trimester which is 12-13 weeks due to health risks. Now, don’t take this the wrong way, I care about all of my clients, but my pregnant clients are quite often the reason I wake up in the mornings. I had a client last week who was 8 months and she’s having a particularly bad pregnancy. After the hour was up, she said that was the most relief she’s felt in 8 months. I can’t begin to tell you how humbling it was to hear that. In fact, pregnancy massage tends to give me the most referrals. 
Following on nicely from this is baby instructor massage; I teach parents in either one to one classes or small groups of no more than 6 how to massage their babies. I could go on for more than 10 minutes alone about the benefits of baby massage but as a brief summary it’s great for sleep deprivation (both yours and baby’s!) teething, colic, bonding and learning and development. The sessions take place in people’s houses – it could be one host or they may want to change it weekly. One to one sessions are 3 consecutive weeks and group sessions are 4. 
I’m going to group Indian head massage and hot stone therapy together as they’re both holistic treatments and considered more luxurious therapies. In short, they’re pretty ronseal; Indian head focuses on the head shockingly and hot stones are used in hot stone treatments. The benefits though for both are amazing. They lower blood pressure, induce deep sleep, help anxiety and depression, increase circulation, the list goes on. 
And finally, Thai yoga massage. This is a completely different treatment altogether because Unlike the other therapies mentioned where oil is used with skin to skin contact, Thai massage is a fully clothed massage. It’s based on the yoga principles of stretching and it can actually increase a persons flexibility just by having a massage.
There always seems to be a therapy to suit everyone and I’m thankful I’ve had to opportunity to be able to learn so many treatments. I’m Sam and your bodies are still my business.

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