Saturday 1st November

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» Wave: New Depths

Zara Baker reaps the benefits of a deep tissue massage at Revitalise

A haven for fitness and wellbeing classes, Revitalise in Hove is also a therapy centre offering fantastic and beneficial treatments. The treatment room is where I meet holistic therapist Alicja Bodnar Micht. I’m here to find out more about deep tissue massage – a form of massage I’ve heard of but never experienced.

Alicja is trained in all forms of massage including pregnancy massage, hot stone and aromatherapy. She also does hopi ear candling (which I’m determined to find out more about on a later visit), and Reiki and reflexology – both wonderful healing treatments.

On a visit to a spa, a relaxing massage is normally the first treatment I opt for. I always thought deep tissue massage was reserved for athletes – or at least for those who put their bodies through more physical stress and exertion than myself. But the truth, as I discovered, is that deep tissue massage can benefit the average desk-seated Joe. Myself included. Strain on my muscles from walking around, carrying a handbag on my shoulder, sleeping awkwardly and hovering my hand over a computer mouse (yes, really) all takes a toll.

As the name suggests, a deep tissue massage is more intense than a Swedish massage as the deeper layers of muscle tissue are focused on. This makes it an ideal remedial treatment as it stimulates circulation in areas of pain as toxins are released from the muscles. Muscle tissue is loosened and scar tissue is broken up.

Specific areas of the body can be focused on such as the neck, lower back or legs, but a general all-over massage is also a wonderful choice. This form of massage is not for everyone as there can be mild discomfort as tight muscles are worked on. However, as after a workout session, a day or two later you feel fantastic.

Alicja talks through my needs, as she would with any client, and once we’ve established a general all-over massage encompassing some stretches, we begin. The therapist’s movements are stronger and slower when giving a deep tissue massage. Alicja uses deep finger pressure, her elbows and her palms to release tension in my body. At any time, I can say if the pressure is too great or small, so there is never a fear of putting up with an uncomfortable sensation.

This didn’t feel uncomfortable at all. It took a few minutes to adjust to the sensation of slow and deep pressure being applied to aching areas, in particular my right shoulder that bears the weight of my bag every day, but it was completely invigorating. Alicja previews a faster massage on my arms which some clients may choose, but the slower and more relaxed route is for me.?This, combined with stretches to the arms and legs, left me feeling tired and relaxed.

Unlike the massages I’ve had before, not only did I feel relaxed, but my muscles felt conditioned and healed. My shoulders felt more at ease, my hands, arms and feet had been coaxed into stretching and relaxing, and I was more aware of my posture.

For those with a specific area to treat, deep tissue massage is ideal weekly or fortnightly. For general wellbeing, a treat once a month will restore muscles to a relaxed state. After experiencing deep tissue, I’m wondering how I will go back to a gentle massage again.

Reader offer: Alicja is offering Latest 7 readers £10 off deep tissue massage at Revitalise, with an hour session costing just £30 (usual price £40).

Revitalise, 86 Church?Road, Hove, 01273 738389, www.revitalise-u.co.uk

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