I haven’t bought fresh, new stationary for a course since I started my Advanced Clinical and Sports Massage vocational degree back in about 2008, so it was a real treat to go and buy fresh files, notebooks, sharpies and paperclips over the weekend. My Clinical Aromatherapy course starts next Tuesday, and since Saturday the B&B has been booked, the first essences and mixing bottles have been ordered and I am starting to map my route up to Herefordshire for Monday evening.
The anxiety as I open text books and see long latin words for plants I do not yet know reminds me of Harry Potter’s first day in Herbology, with Pomona Sprout. I won’t be in the glasshouses for my botany lessons, I shall be in Lorriane Davies’ kitchen. As I look at the stirring rods, glass beakers, amber glass bottles for storing my mixes, I can see that this is going to be a whole new adventure and a wonderful mystery ride of discovery.
I was asked this week what the difference is between Advanced Clinical and Sports Massage, Restorative Massage, and Clinical Aromatherapy is. It was a valid question seeing as I am about to invest a sizeable amount of Cornerstone Therapies’ time and money into seeking out new knowledge. With this in mind I thought I would outline how I see them now, and know that my views will change and meander during my study.
Restorative Massage is wonderful for rest and recuperation after long bouts of illness and stress. I use the Advanced Clinical Bodywork within Restorative work and blend the art of aromatherapy in a very gentle mixing grade, which helps support the body. Essences of High Altitude Lavender, Clary Sage, Geranium, Sweet Orange, Rosemary, Vetivert and Chamomile are seen as firm friends in this style of massage. It’s a relaxing way to unwind, treat painful limbs, backs and headaches and is perfect for maintaining health and wellbeing on a regular basis of once a fortnight, or every three weeks. I love this style of massage and I make sure I receive it regularly myself without fail.
An hour of massage allows full concentration on certain pathways around the body, giving time to spines that need relaxing, shoulders that need to let go, hips that need to sink into peace, and feet that need to be held. A full 90mins is certain bliss when the whole body is worked with massage, hot stones, passive stretching and trigger point work on painful areas that are causing restriction, leaving you with a sense of total tranquility.
Advanced Clinical and Sports Massage is targeted relief. Black pepper, yarrow, and turmeric can all be harnessed in their own blends to allow my clients to relax as we work through joint restrictions, soft tissue that has become grumpy and needs to let go, pain that is blocked or locked in, as well as young and old injuries that are becoming problematic. It is perfect for headaches that won’t leave, neck tension, and pathologies that need to be supported. This time allows us to work on getting the body going again, and we work together during treatments of close succession, every week or 10 days, for about 6 to 10 sessions working through the problem quickly and efficiently, enabling us to plan the regular maintenance sessions every three weeks.
Clinical Aromatherapy is the blending of all the two disciplines of Bodywork. Rarer essences such as Rose, Melissa, Sandalwood are blended and carried in specific oils that can enable the bodies chemistry to be bolstered, the cellular structures can be strengthened. Plants and herbs can be used in powerful ways through inhalations, compresses, and products. Clinical Aromatherapy allows us to take the massage to a new level of understanding of the body, taking in energy levels, our past and present state of mind, our need to heal, strengthen and encourage our forms to move to new places. It takes longer to specifically blend with these oils, and we go deeper into the practice, which is why I will be opening the studio up for a minimum of 90mins per treatment for this style of work.
I love my treatment studio, and Cornerstone Therapies is such a joy to work with. The focus is always bettering the work that I offer my clients to the results just get better and better. And so as I pack my pencil case with new pens, as I pack my bag with new text books and boxes with fresh essences and trundle off for botany in the kitchen, I shall be taking notes and filling you all in on where we are going together and what you can enjoy and embrace on my return.