Ian Itec Masseur Central London

Holborn near Kings Cross & City of London (+44) 07400590550 / 07378632350

Category: Male Masseur London Blog (page 1 of 6)

Massage therapy blog created by Ian Itec male massage therapist masseur who offers relaxing and deep tissue massage therapy in central London

Health Benefits of Massage

massage-therapy-for-wellnessWhy do so many people invest in their wellness through massage therapy? There are many different reasons to receive massage just as there are many different types of massage therapy available to address those reasons. For simplicity’s sake I’ll define two broad categories that massage clients typically fall into: relaxation and pain reduction.

Those looking for relaxation benefits from a massage recognize that decreasing stress levels and getting their body to relax is a critical part of a solid wellness regimen. Aside from the proven medical benefits of maintaining low stress levels, clients often find it helps improve their day to day functioning whether it be in the social, work, or home environment. Approaching daily tasks and responsibilities with less stress often makes life seem more manageable.

Clients looking for pain reduction through massage therapy are usually looking to reduce their discomfort due to a musculoskeletal issue. This can be as simple as a stiff neck from sleeping in a bad position to as complex as rotator cuff surgery recovery. The variety of musculoskeletal issues that can lead to pain necessitate a skilled practitioner who can accurately assess your condition and apply modalities that are most appropriate.

Bear in mind that even if you’re receiving the most effective modality for your condition, having a skilled practitioner makes all the difference. My clinical experience with physical therapists has help me develop a therapeutic approach to massage. This approach can help alleviate discomfort and increase mobility associated with common medical conditions such as arthritis, chronic pain, sports related overuse syndromes, etc.

The bottom line: if you’re going to the Bahamas or just sitting around at home and feel like pampering yourself with a massage, go ahead. But make sure not to overlook massage as a valuable component of maintaining the health of your muscular and skeletal system. Massage therapy could very well be the key that you are missing to taking your wellness to the next level.

Fix It with Massage

Neck Pain
Ten neck massages over 10 weeks. Sound good? People with chronic neck pain reported a 55 percent improvement after this regimen, according to a 2009 study in the Clinical Journal of Pain. They even scored 39 percent better on the worst-sounding test ever, the Neck Disability Index. (It assesses the pain’s impact.)

Athletic Performancemassage for men london
“Musculotendinous” massages target muscle-tendon junctions, and a 2010 study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that even a 30-second round improved hip-flexor range of motion. Try it: Find where muscle meets tendon just behind and above your knee, and rub the spot in small circles with your thumb.

You don’t need a full-body rubdown to feel good. In a 2010 study from Sweden, one 80-minute hand-and-foot massage significantly lowered people’s heart rates, cortisol levels, and insulin levels—all of which help lower stress.

Take your pick: Swedish, shiatsu, and other massage types may ease depression, a 2010 meta-analysis in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found. How? Massages reduce stress hormone levels, heart rate, and blood pressure, and boost mood and relaxation by triggering the release of oxytocin and serotonin.

High Blood Pressure
A study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that after people with normal blood pressure had deep-tissue massage for 45 to 60 minutes, their BPs fell—specifically, by an average of 10.4 millimeters of mercury (mm/Hg) systolic, and 5.3 mm/Hg diastolic.

Lower-Back Pain
Back problems can be complex. One solution is simple: Common massage techniques can help you relax, and trigger an endorphin release that raises your threshold for pain. And that might help people with all sorts of lower-back pain, notes a 2009 meta-analysis in the journal Spine.

Massage Therapy ‘for those who work with computers and tablets every day’

massageThere’s no doubt that technology has been a huge boon for many people. But, there are downsides to technology as well, particularly for those who work with devices such as computers and tablets every day. Repetitive use injuries and other conditions that lead to chronic pain are increasingly common and cause a variety of symptoms that can take a toll.

Common workplace problems that massage therapy can help relieve
Carpal tunnel syndrome and cubital tunnel syndrome are two issues that people in an office setting may face and with these conditions come a variety of symptoms that massage therapy can help relieve pain being but one. “Pain, fatigue, weakness, and stiffness in the affected areas are the most common symptoms of these injuries,”
Along with overuse, poor posture being the cause of painful conditions affecting the neck, shoulders and back. For example, a forward head posture can lead to neck pain as the person unconsciously reaches forward with the head to better see the screen. Additionally, improper posture can sometimes be the result of other conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome. Sometimes, improper posture occurs because the body is trying to find a comfortable position.

How Massage Can Help?

Massage therapy is proving beneficial in helping clients with chronic pain find relief and some of these conditions are no different. Massage therapy can help reduce postural imbalances, nerve entrapment, inflammation in the tissues, and trigger points and their referrals. In addition, massage therapy can address the symptoms caused by nerve compression if the nerve compression is due to improper posture.
For example, massage therapy being beneficial for clients who may have a hemipelvis imbalance that might cause back discomfort and pain, or those whose forward head posture is contributing to neck and upper back pain. A shortening of the anterior musculature in the abdomen and chest that causes back pain can also benefit from massage, as can shortened pronators of the forearms that might be causing forearm, wrist and hand pain.

Massage May Reduce Symptoms of Depression

One definition of depression can be found in the dictionary as a condition of general emotional dejection and withdrawal; sadness greater and more prolonged than that warranted by any objective reason.

Not all people with depressive illnesses will have the same symptoms. The National Institute of Mental Health states, “The severity, frequency and duration of symptoms will vary depending on the individual and his or her particular illness.

Symptoms include:

  • Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” feelings
  • Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and/or helplessness
  • Irritability, restlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details and making decisions
  • Insomnia, early–morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
  • Overeating, or appetite loss
  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
  • Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment

Depression can be an expensive and devastating condition. According to the Centers for Disease Control,”Depression can adversely affect the course and outcome of common chronic conditions, such as arthritis, asthma, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Depression also can result in increased work absenteeism, short-term disability, and decreased productivity.

The CDC has found that depression affects 1 in 10 adults in the US.  Those that are most affected are: “persons 45-64 years of age, women, blacks, Hispanics, non-Hispanic persons of other races or multiple races, persons with less than a high school education, those previously married, individuals unable to work or unemployed, and persons without health insurance coverage.

The CDC also recommends “collaborative care, an approach that involves the collaboration of primary care providers, mental health specialists and other providers to improve disease management for adults with major depression on the basis of strong evidence of effectiveness in improving short-term depression outcomes.

Research indicates that massage can:

– Improve mood

– Reduce depression:

  • in those with chronic pain
  • in those with chronic pain over time
  • in hospice patients
  • in children with cancer
  • in pregnant women
  • associated with lower back pain
  • in those with tension-type headaches
  • in children and adolescent psychiatric patients
  • in women with breast cancer
  • in people with chronic disease
  • in adolescent mothers
  • in those with chronic fatigue syndrome
  • in those with high blood pressure
  • in those with fibroblast
  • in adults with multiple sclerosis

– Reduce trait anxiety and depression with a course of treatment providing benefits similar in magnitude to those of psychotherapy.

Massage for Elderly Clients

While massage methods are not qualitatively different for a younger person than for someone over age 70, there are some important considerations to keep in mind. For example, an elderly person has less muscle tissue than a younger individual. Muscle is replaced by fat and more connective tissue as a person ages. The connective tissue is not as flexible as that of a younger person; bones are thinner and more easily broken, and skin is thinner and more easily bruised, all factors requiring adjustments in positioning, pressure, and massage strokes when treating an elderly client with osteoarthritis.


Approaching the elderly client with compassion and caring will go a long way toward creating a successful practice with that client base. Elderly individuals may be depressed, a side effect of medications, or the result of chemical imbalances or situational factors. Spending time talking to an elderly client can, in some cases, significantly ease some of the social isolation elderly individuals may feel after the death of spouses, friends, and loved ones. Massage for the elderly can be effective in easing loneliness and depression caused by situational factors, and can lessen dependence on certain medications.

Diminished cognitive function may also be present in an elderly client, in the case, for example, of Alzheimer’s disease or other complications. Massage may decrease the tendency toward wandering and anxiety in those with Alzheimer’s, but consent from a relative is necessary if the individual is unable to consent to treatment.

Extending your massage practice to the elderly is a mutually beneficial way to grow your practice.  Your local care facility may allow you have a chair massage day. Do you have a practice that serves the elderly?  Share your experiences in the comments below.

Massage can take away depression and anxiety


depression and anxiety need male massage therapist in london

Massage therapists use arm, hand, fingertip, and elbow pressure to treat physical and emotional problems. The word massage comes from the Arabic word mass’h, which means “press gently.”  Therapeutic massage was first described in China about 2,500 years ago. Around 400 bc, the Greek healer Hippo crates used massage to treat sprains. Most of the world’s medical systems, including Chinese medicine and India’s Ayurveda, developed their own versions.

Researchers at the University of Miami followed 37 breast cancer patients who received massage therapy or practices progressive muscle relaxation for five weeks. Women in the massage group reported feeling less depressed and angry, and they had more energy. In a University of South Florida study of high blood pressure patients, those who got 10-minute massages three times a week for three weeks lowered their higher number by 11 points.

A review of more than a dozen massage studies conducted by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine concludes that massage therapy relieves depression and anxiety by affecting the body’s biochemistry. In a series of studies including about 500 men, women, and children with depression or stress problems, researchers measured the stress hormone cortisol in participants before and immediately after massage and found that the therapy lowered levels by up to 53%. (Cortisol can drive up blood pressure and blood sugar levels and suppress the immune system.) Massage also increased serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters that help reduce depression.

Better Night’s Sleep Before Your Next Big Event

Not getting enough shut-eye is even more detrimental to work productivity than drinking alcohol, so getting quality sleep the night before a big event is vital if you’re to perform at your best.

A recent study of more than 21,800 UK individuals, commissioned by VitalityHealth, found that productivity is closely correlated to sleep, suggesting an optimum of seven to eight hours.

So what can you do to ensure you sleep tight when a big day looms? Here are 5 sleep hacks to help you get extra those zzz’s.

Turn to technology

Due to hit the market next year, Kokoon headphones incorporate electroencephalogram (EEG) sensors to detect the electrical activity in your brain as you sleep.

Unlike sleep apps, which simply sense how often your bed moves during the night, the headphones track brain waves to determine which sleeping phase you’re experiencing.

The headphones play relaxing soundscapes to help you fall asleep. When you reach R.E.M. deep sleep, the headphones automatically turn on ambient white noise in conjunction with noise-cancelling technology to mask outside noise disturbances.

In addition, the headphones can also determine the best period in your natural sleep cycle to wake you up around your pre-set alarm time.

The retail price for the Kokoon headphones is $319 but you can pre-order them now for $189 on Kickstarter (they can be shipped to anywhere in the world).

Banish your smartphone

While you might feel obliged to keep your mobile within hands reach in the run up to a big event, if you want good sleep, devices should be kept out of the bedroom.

A 2013 Mayo Clinic study found that the bright light emitted by smartphones and tablets can disrupt sleep by interfering with the production of melatonin, a hormone that plays an important role in sleep-wake cycles. And last year, research from Michigan State University found that people who regularly use their smartphones for work purposes after 9 pm are more tired and less engaged at work the next day.

Get sleep in a bottle

You may have already heard about the benefits of taking melatonin tablets to help with jetlag, but a new spray claims to be even more effective at inducing sleep.

Sprayable Sleep is the world’s first topical melatonin spray, created by the same Harvard dropouts who created Sprayable Energy, a topical caffeine spray.

Simply spray the liquid on your neck around one hour before bedtime and a great night’s sleep should be coming your way, say its makers.

Sprayable Sleep enters the bloodstream directly through your skin and attempts to mimic the natural production of melatonin, releasing it gradually during the night.

An oral pill, on the other hand, must first make its way to the liver where most of it is broken down. Because of this, melatonin pills must come in much larger doses – sometimes providing more than 300 times the body’s natural production, which could have long-term negative effects.

You can pre-order a 3-bottle pack now for £25, which is enough for three months if used every night (international delivery costs £10).

Breathe deeply
According to Dr. Andrew Weil, a pioneer in the field of integrative medicine at the University of Arizona, using the right breathing technique can send you off to sleep in just 60 seconds.

Dr. Weil says his 4-7-8 breathing technique works by bringing more oxygen into the body, which relaxes the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting a state of calmness. The method also helps by distract you from the everyday thoughts that can prevent you from sleeping.

So, how do you do it?

Before you begin, place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth just above your teeth and keep it there throughout the exercise.
Exhale completely through your mouth quite forcefully so you make a “whoosh” sound.
Close your mouth and inhale quietly and softly through your nose for a mental count of four.
Hold your breath and count to seven.
Next, exhale completely through your mouth, making another whoosh sound for eight seconds in one large breath.
Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three times for a total of four breaths.
You can watch a video demonstration of the 4-7-8 technique here.

Have a massage

It is well known that massage can help ease aches and pains and soothe stress, all of which aid a good night’s sleep, but research has shown that receiving a massage also helps boost levels of sleep-inducing serotonin in the body.

Serotonin is a vital component of sleep, triggering the production of melatonin, which helps to regulate circadian rhythms. One such study, carried out in 2000 by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami, involved subjects being given twice-weekly, 30-minute massages for five weeks. Urine samples were taken to measure levels of serotonin, with all subjects recording an increase.The participants were also asked to rate their quality of sleep against a sleep scale and all reported enjoying improved sleep but if you don’t have time to visit a spa for a professional massage, don’t despair – you can do it yourself at home. Research by the University of Alberta concluded self-administered shiatsu hand massage could work as a non-pharmacology sleep aid, particularly for people with chronic pain conditions. Although only a small study, the participants all reported falling asleep faster and sleeping longer.

Massage for Stress Relief


massage for Stress ReliefResearch has indicated that massage may reduce anxiety and depression; ease pain from headaches and backaches; relieve the symptoms of fibromyalgia; decrease stress hormone levels; enhance immune system function; and improve sleep quality and self-image.

A relaxation massage is one of the most joyous and beneficial experiences that life offers. It helps reverse the body’s physical reaction to stress and strain, calms the mind and helps satisfy the basic human need to be touched in a caring, nurturing fashion.

Massage is also one of the finest natural tools against insomnia. A sleep-improvement treatment is more than just a massage, because it combines the use of relaxing, soothing sounds, penetrating moist heat, diaphragmatic breathing, deep relaxation, and focused muscle relaxation in addition to the application of strokes.

Massage techniques are not designed to force the body of the client to change; they are designed to reeducate the client’s body to naturally relax, unwind, rest and assume its proper alignment. During massage, the client and therapist both get into a relaxed state. They perform focused muscle relaxation in which the client and therapist work together to melt areas of hypertonicity. The therapist searches the client’s body for areas of tension, and when one is found the client uses the heat and energy from the therapist’s hand to pinpoint its precise location. The client then breathes through the spot and uses his or her mind to relax it. The therapist does not stay in an area too long; he or she moves on to other areas of the body to prepare it for rest.

Techniques That Work

The following techniques work well to relax the client and help him sleep more soundly.

When performing a relaxation treatment, avoid deep friction or fast, deep compression and tapotement; stick more to effleurage, light compression, rocking, shaking and rolling, breathing and releasing tension, gentle petrissage and light friction. With this type of massage, remember that less is more.

Have the client select the background music that relaxes him and begin the treatment in the prone position with some moist heat to his neck, shoulders and back. The first goals of a stress-reduction treatment are to slow down the client’s rate of respiration and improve his breathing mechanics so that he is breathing more diaphragmatically and efficiently without unnecessary muscular activity. Instruct him to take a series of long, slow, deep, relaxing, complete breaths in through his nose, filling his lungs to capacity, and then to exhale completely through his nose, emptying his lungs totally. Instruct the client to let his thoughts relax as he focuses his entire awareness on his breathing.

After the diaphragmatic breaths, begin the treatment with the aforementioned gentle, rocking, soothing and relaxing strokes to the legs, hips and gluteus maximus. Then move the moist heat to the legs as you move up to the back and shoulders. After 20 to 25 minutes prone, turn the client to the supine position.

In the supine position, focus your treatment on the primary and accessory muscles of respiration, remembering to spend time working on all of the palpable muscles that attach to and have influence on the sternum, clavicle, ribs and scapulae. This should include the diaphragm, intercostals, abdominals, scalene, sternocleidomastoid, subclavius, serratus anterior and pectoralis major and minor. Finish this treatment by relaxing the muscles of the forehead and scalp and then the suboccipital muscles with some gentle friction and focused relaxation.


Benefits of Massage in Winter

Winter months decrease our opportunities to do our favourite sports.   With the dark nights we are more likely to stay indoors, exercise less, sleep and eat more.  But with Massage this can really boost the body again.


This time of year is all about picking up coughs and colds, massage is proven to help boost the immune system.  Massage therapy increases the lymph flow which is packed with white blood cells, which then go off and fight infections around the body, therefore boosting our immune system and helping us to fight infections better.


Are your hands and feet cold? Do your muscles aching more than normal?  Massage plays a crucial role in increasing circulation and providing stress and pain relief throughout the colder months.  Regular massage enhances blood flow and body warmth, helping to increase the flow of oxygen throughout the body.  Treat yourself to a warm and relaxing massage to ease those muscles.


Our skin gets drier over the winter months.  Massage therapy improves skin hydration during these months with oils and lotions that are used in massage as they contain lots of Vitamins to nourish the skin.  You’ll not only feel better on the inside but be glowing on the outside too.


Massage creates positive changes in the endocrine system where hormones are formed.  With regular massage this can have long term benefits on your health as after you receive a massage cortisol levels decrease (the stress related hormone) and oxytocin levels are raised (the happy hormone)  leading to the release of serotonin and endorphins, relieving the stress and enhancing your mood.


Massage has become a big part of many people’s lives in our busy and frantic routines.  High stress jobs, endless personal obligations, the list goes on….  Getting regular relaxing massage can be an excellent step towards improved well-being.  Stress plays a big part in our lives today and to reset the balance relaxing massage can certainly aid this release.  It’s so important these days to take time out for you.  It will help with improving your sleep and giving you more energy than before.

A sleep disorder and massage

Sleep DisordersMassage is often used to help babies sleep, and it can be useful in treating sleep disorders in adults. Massage is one of several hands-on strategies known collectively as bodywork and if you’ve ever had a good, thorough massage, you know the feeling of being “worked over.” But you also know how relaxing it can be.

The benefits of massage are many. It is regularly used in sports clinics and rehabilitation centers to loosen or soothe sore, aching muscles. Massage also helps to reduce stress, improve circulation, release tension, lower heart rate and blood pressure, and possibly even strengthen the immune system, these relaxing effects may therefore make massage a helpful aid in restoring restful sleep. Massage may be especially beneficial in treating sleeping problems that stem from stress, migraine headache, pain, and muscle and joint stiffness.

You might want to spring for a massage from a professional. One session may be all it takes to get you hooked. If you do opt for a professional massage, be sure to tell the practitioner if you have any particular illness or injury that they should be aware of, such as arthritis or fibromyalgia.

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