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Within the pages of this website are various references to massage, described in such as the page on Viruses, ME and elsewhere.  For those seeking to reference using the tag Massage, this page will offer some description of different massages and compare the methods used universally and in the UK.

Throughout the history of Man and certainly over the last 5,000 years it was found that to massage an injury achieved relief.  This is primarily due to the increase of blood flow, the removal of stale toxins, promotion of the lymphatic system and the comfort of touch.  If one knocks by accident the elbow, the first  thing is to rub it.  So it is with any impact injury and we see in nature that many primates and mammals will do just the same thing.
Licking an open wound introduces all the healing elements found in saliva and the enzymes that the body produces to combat infection.
All over the world this natural instinct and practice has lead to a multitude of methods and practices designed to help heal injuries and to bring comfort. Different cultures have approached this in a way that suits the customs of that civilisation and the attitudes of the time.
The laws in America for example, differ State to State where in some it is prohibited for anyone other than a Doctor to touch in certain places yet in other States, one only has to have a licence to practice.  The laws in France are different to those in the UK and one can only deal with what is allowed in the place where you are receiving treatment.  It is impossible to legislate as to what is or is not correct and the present laws in the UK relating to Informed Consent are sufficient to form a basis of the issue of Special Treatment Licences by each local council to the clinic or in the case of a home practice, the room and the person concerned.The rules are strictly applied and procedures are examined by local inspectors annually.
In the UK, most therapists belong to one of the many associations in order to practice with a recognised body that has good standards of membership and qualification.  That is NOT compulsory and some individuals do not carry insurance or have a Special Licence.
The more natural approaches have little inhibition to touch by one person on another and this seems to change as each culture progresses and different laws are enacted.

Tony's Treatment room

If we begin with a general look at the massage types and then look at the methods and practices applicable to a few.  This list may be extensive but it is by no means complete and if I have omitted your particular methods by name or otherwise, do e mail me and I will be pleased to hear from you.
Chinese Chi Kung, Tui Na, Korean, Indian and Ayurvedic, Swedish, Lymphatic, Sports, Therapeutic, Beauty, Head massage, Indian Head Massage, Shiatsu, Cranio Sacral Osteopathy, Reflexology, Aromatherapy, Meridian therapy, hot and cold massages, deep tissue, soft tissue are just to name a few off the top of my head.  So, how do you know what might be best for you.
The first thing to do is ask friends where they have been and had good results.  Of course, their experience may not be yours as some are not at all concerned with taking off their clothes and others are less inclined to do so.  One has to consider the implications in respect of religion, cultural upbringing, life experiences, jealousy by the partner and how you feel upon meeting the therapist, the presentation of the clinic or if one goes to a private house or has a visiting therapist.
In many advice columns it is said then to ask for the qualifications.  In the last 15 years and having seen over 6,500 different people here I could count on one hand the number who have asked for my qualifications before coming.  Reputation and personal recommendation is the best introduction.
Realise that an experienced therapist may well have spent 20 years learning the arts and is skilled in many different methods.  Just because one is labelled with a particular name does not mean that is the method that is correct for your condition at that time.
A good therapist will use all of perhaps 6 different methods to achieve the best result.

Vicky's treatment room

Anatripsis is described as the Art or Science of Applied Massage.  The most commonly referred to in the UK is Swedish, Shiatsu and Thai.

Therapeutic is usually that practiced in salons or such as hairdressers where there is no attempt to claim any remedy for a physical or medical ailment but suffices with the general 'Feel Good' factor so essential to the relief of stress induced headaches and related syndromes.  In this no contact is usual with the groin or breast.

In sports therapy, because of the situation of the muscle groups in the shoulder it is sometimes necessary to work under the breast tissue and to relieve leg oedema, in the inguinal (groin) areas.

In Chinese or Thai massage, one may be asked to don a light cotton garment and the massage is done through that garment.  It may also be done oil on skin if required.

In Chi Kung therapy, pressure points are used to promote the flow of energy, blood or to achieve relaxation of muscles.

In Lymphatic drainage massage, virtually all of the body is subjected to pressure designed to promote the flow of lymph to relieve congestion, ease aches and pain. This may, by informed consent include the breast tissue and inguinal areas to avoid the stagnation of the lymph flow.   Where this is the norm, the therapist will have had many years of experience and be trained far beyond the usual so called 'Minimum standards'.

Some lymphatic drainage methods are effected using very light touch (superficial) affecting the skin and dermis only.  Others are much deeper to open up muscle tissue and massage of the abdomen to stimulate release of lymph from the internal organs. This permits ready flow of fresh blood into the organs and the muscles in order to relieve ischaemia, pain and strengthen the function of the organ.

In all cases, if you are not comfortable with any aspect of massage, you are free to tell the therapist at the time or to have a chaperone in the room with you.

Over the course of the last 20 years we have seen an increasing number of male and female patients who have been the victim of long term violent or sexual abuse either as adults or children.  Having seen thousands who have been so affected we have found that massage is of great benefit as part of the ongoing opportunity to discuss the issues in a rational way.

Our approach is always to leave the patient in absolute full awareness of what is available, to make choice of treatment and to decide on each occasion what clothing may be removed.  Many are completely comfortable without any clothing at all and towels are optional at the behest of the patient.  The degree of confidence that this inspires is profound and offers the opportunity to feel fully in control, self confident and unafraid.

Only a highly experienced practitioner is able to do this work.  Please be aware that there are a number of short courses leading to 'qualification' in massage with little or no practical tuition.  We are aware of advertised 2 day courses purporting to offer qualification and insurance to practice.  We do NOT qualify anyone with less that 50 hours of instruction and 100 hours of clinical practice, then only to a first level with no diagnosis or manipulation techniques

Mr Hardiman has practiced Lymphatic drainage since 1970 and has treated several thousand individuals.  With 60 years of practice in all the arts taught and offered at The Chi Clinic he is considered by many to be an authority.


Only a person qualified to effect remedial massage should attempt any repair, reduction of a joint, spinal corrections or sports injury without reference to medical opinion and advice.