Therapeutic massage is one of the oldest, most effective and natural forms of healing. Massage relaxes and calms the tense, anxious mind by slowing down the breathing from short, rapid breaths to more effective deep slow breaths. A massage counteracts your body’s negative response to stress, relaxing muscle tension and allowing your heart rate, blood pressure and circulation to return to normal. This relieves mental, emotional and physical fatigue. Therapeutic massage also helps you become aware of any unconsciously held body-tension. As part of this awareness process you will develop the ability to recognise tension when it starts to build, and be able to intuitively release it before it can have a negative effect on the body. Massage can be used for pain relief, muscular or joint problems, to aid relaxation and for more general health improvement. Studies have found that therapeutic massage may help with stress related conditions, such as insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue, and constipation. It can also be helpful for persistent back pain. Massage may also be used for people with depression or acute short – term anxiety. The intensity of the massage can vary and the practitioner will check that you are happy with the level of pressure.