From: What Katie Tried Next,
It's pretty hard to believe that I've never had a massage before, but my time finally came when I went to Chinese practice Good Nature, based in Paddington. Not knowing what to expect or what it would do for me, I was a little apprehensive but it was certainly a learning curve. Here's how I got on with Tui Na, which is a little like a Chinese sports massage - find out if it was worth the wait...
If you go to Good Nature with the intention of having a soothing and chilled out half hour, then you definitely have the wrong impression. It’s very much a Chinese Medical Practice, where they view massage, acupuncture and cupping as the Chinese version of physio, aiming to eliminate and tackle any areas of your body causing you discomfort and pain.
Granted, the location won’t knock your socks off – it’s the treatment itself that will really pack a punch. Situated above a dental practice in Paddington, it has good rail links with nearby tube and overground stations. It’s on the first floor so you’ll have to go up a few staircases to reach it, but the rooms are clean and neatly presented.
Not really fancying acupuncture or cupping I opted for Tui Na, a more traditional massage option that presses on key points on the surface of your body, stimulating your body’s natural healing process. As well as releasing pent up tension, Tui Na (meaning ‘push and pluck’) aims to increase circulation and break down muscle adhesions.
My practitioner was the highly experienced Dr Yang Hao Ran, who has entered the family business of Chinese medicine – his parents taught him the basics at nine years old and he began training in a private clinic at 15, so I was in very safe hands.
After a brief consultation, Yang suggested that I go for a neck and shoulder massage to try and release the tension that must build up as I slump over my desk on a day to day basis. I sat on the massage chair, my chest against the resting pad as Yang began his analysis of my neck, shoulder and spinal muscles.
As his hands deftly worked their way around, it felt like a doctor examining his patient, as he pinpointed heavy tension knots in the wads of muscles easily, explaining to me as he went along. He noted that my left shoulder and side held a lot more stiffness, especially at a point halfway down my back; however he also commented that my spine was slightly twisted, with additional pressure on my right knee. He soon set to work, really focusing on kneading out the tension and introducing a herbal oil, which he allowed me to sniff beforehand to make sure I was happy with it. It had a warm and tingling feeling that Yang said would help release the strain.
He kept the pressure rather firm at all times, constantly asking if I was comfortable. He explained that the massage had to maintain that level of pressure to really reach into the depth of the muscle to ease out as much tension as possible – any lighter and I wouldn’t see any benefits.
I must admit, I have never been more aware of my muscles as I was for that half hour. I’ve always viewed myself as pretty healthy, but this treatment really let me see how my muscles worked and actually how tense they were. The pressure is not unbearable and was fine for most of the massage - it was only slightly sore on one of my high tension areas, but you soon get used to it.
The day after I could really feel it in my shoulders, but Yang reassured me that after a couple of days the soreness would go and I should feel the benefits. There is a really professional doctor/patient atmosphere which means that they can really tailor the experience to your needs. A really invigorating and worthwhile experience - and the first of many massages I'm sure.
The Tui Na massage is available at Good Nature from only £55.
Being a rather nosy and curious person means that I am always intrigued by new treatments, products and places, and I always enjoy trying out new things. As a Copywriter here at Wahanda, I've definitely picked up a few things about the massive variety of beauty and wellness treatments available, but with such a vast array of choice, there is always more to sample and learn about!See my profile »