person receiving back massage

Can massage do more than release tight muscles?

You learn a lot when you study a massage diploma; from the basics to the complex. You study the muscles, all the body’s systems and much more besides. But you really start learning when you start seeing clients. There’s nothing like hands on (pardon the pun) experience to teach you what massage can actually do.

When I first started as a massage therapist, I was so excited to get my business going. I massaged as many different people as I could and started to realise that our bodies are so much more varied than we think. How and where we hold our tension differs Continue reading


What do you see when you look in the mirror?

What do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you see a person worthy of compliments, with a body that has adapted through growth from baby to adult, compensated for injuries along the way and generally achieved amazing things?  Or do you see something else? A reflection staring back at you that, instead of inspiring compliments and love, inspires insults and negative feelings?

“Fat, disgusting mess’.

That was one of the many insults I
Continue reading

Passion lead us here written on the pavement

My work – my passion, part 2: Katy Lomas, Calm on Canning Street

When we decided to move to Edinburgh, I started looking around for places to work. Finding the right place is not as easy as it sounds. In theory, I just need a room with enough space for the massage bed and a few other bits and bobs. In practice, I want much more than that. I want a space where people start to feel relax when they walk in the door. I want warmth and friendliness, quiet and stillness so I can work to the best of my ability. I want Continue reading

girl sitting cross legged with her hands on her stomach

Why you might want your stomach massaged after all…

“No” is the answer I get from around 80% of my clients, along with looks of fear or puzzlement,  when I ask if they would like me to massage their stomach. But when it’s done well, stomach massage can be both wonderfully nurturing and incredibly beneficial. So why do so many of us shy away from it?

I get it, I really do. For years, I could not Continue reading

Passion lead us here written on the pavement

My work – my passion, Part 1; Marie O’Neill, True Connection

I have been fortunate in my working life to always come across people who are passionate about their work. In fact, I am usually drawn to work alongside them and never more so than since I took up residency within Calm on Canning Street.

To be passionate about what you do is an incredible thing. Even though it can still provide its own challenges, to really enjoy your work is extremely rewarding. Almost fifteen years ago, I left my own job to follow my passion and I have come across so many others who have done the same.

Choosing any kind of therapist or teacher, whether it be for counselling, nutrition, massage or something else can be daunting. You need to have some sort of connection to them; to feel safe and secure and, most importantly, to have trust in them. It’s my view that Continue reading

Self care is NOT an indulgence

Me Time. Self Care. Time Out. Whatever you call it, making time for yourself is NOT an indulgence. It’s vital to your personal well-being, both physically emotionally and mentally. And if you are under prolonged periods of stress, it’s even more important that you take that time to look after yourself.

One of my most used phrases is that you can’t pour from an empty vessel. Life these days is often full on; Continue reading

Learning to listen (or why I don’t mind ‘failing’ a challenge)

I was on a training course recently where we did a couple of exercises to do with listening. You would think it would be easy but actually these exercises were a great reminder of how hard it can be to really listen. Someone is talking, you latch on to a particular comment or topic and your own brain starts whirring into action, pulling up your own memories or experiences to enable you to empathise or comment.

But it’s not just listening to others that is key. Listening to ourselves is also important. And, regretfully, often overlooked. Continue reading

What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy. That’s just smelling things right?

This is a question I get asked on quite a frequent basis and if you want to keep things simple then yes, aromatherapy is partly about smell and the use of essential oils. But the truth is that aromatherapy is so much more than just a nice smell.

At some point, most of us have experienced the power of aromatherapy, whether we are aware of it or not.
A certain smell might trigger a memory that could date back to childhood and we then often experience an emotional response. This known as the limbic system – the part of the brain that deals with emotion, memories, hormones and more. (If you want to read more about the limbic system, the following article gives more detail:

The use of aromatherapy dates back centuries to the earliest civilisations and there is plenty of evidence Continue reading

The Christmas stress factor….

Stress. It’s often seen as on overused word these days. All too frequently, you will hear someone say they are “stressed out”. But just because it’s used more frequently, does that mean we should ignore it

There’s no denying that life seems to be more stressful now. In an unsure financial climate, more people than ever are having to travel further for work, or maybe can’t find work. Salaries seems to be dropping whilst other costs, such as food and fuel, are on the increase. The strain on family life and on our own health is on the rise. And at this time of year, when diaries fill up quicker than ever and there seems to be a hectic schedule of shopping and socialising, many feel it should be called the meltdown season, rather than the festive season.

So how do we combat stress? Continue reading

Fertility & IVF – Preparing to start treatment.

According to the infertility network, as many as 1 in 6 couples in the UK will experience fertility problems and perhaps you or someone you know are in that situation.

In my practice, I treat a huge number of couples who are thinking about or opting for In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF). IVF is a challenging and difficult process and not a decision that is taken lightly. Over the next few weeks, I will be posting my tips for how to cope with different aspects of the treatment. The reasons why people to turn to IVF are varied and complex and are far too many for me to cover. Instead, I have chosen to look at the treatment itself, what may be involved (in general terms, as treatment will always be tailored for each patient) and what you may be able to do to help yourself as you go through the treatment. Continue reading