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Massage Sydney – What Areas We Cover

We provide therapeutic remedial, sports, pregnancy and deep tissue massage to the Inner West of Sydney. However, different people have different ideas about what constitutes the Inner West.

Now, the areas we visit are shown in the map below. The colour code used in the map is:

  • the green area is the area that we formally promote that we provide mobile massage to
  • the red area is effective the Sydney CBD and inner city suburbs which some therapists are happy to visit. However, given that it takes longer to travel to the city we do charge a higher rate and also require any parking fees to be added.
  • the blue area is what we consider to be the fringe of the area we cover. Some therapists may go there at particular times. However, this is subject to the location and the particular circumstances of the individual therapists.
  • If you have any doubt about if any therapists may be available for your suburb then we do suggest that you ring 0421 410057 and we can discuss your individual circumstances. Unfortunately we do have to limit the suburbs around peak hour when travel times can become excessive and unpredictable.

      Travel Surcharges

    Occasionally we are asked to go to a fringe area or an area that we would not normally consider going to. The enquirer will say something along the lines of

    Well you go to the neighbouring suburb – we are only 5 minutes from them. Why won’t you visit me? I’ll even pay an extra couple of bucks for the travel.

      
    Unfortunately it is not as straightforward as that. Effectively we average our travel costs/time over the (green) area we cover. Sometimes the true cost for a job for a therapist will be less than this average, sometimes more, depending on the particular suburb and the location of the therapist. Typically the suburbs at the edge of our service area will take longer to get to and the cost of going to these suburbs can be say $20 more than our average.

    Now it is not practical to have a price per suburb even though the true cost to the therapists does vary depending on when you live.

    But the situation does change when we go out of area. We are now going outside of the area we use to average our travel cost component and as such to go to the clients suburb then we would need to charge the true travel cost.

    And so although we may go to a suburb that directly borders yours, unfortunately were we to visit you then we would need to add a travel surcharge which may be of the order of $25 which can appear excessive and bizarre to travel an extra few minutes. As we do not feel comfortable quoting such high figures as a travel surcharge it tends to be the exception rather than the rule that we will quote to visits areas outside of what we consider to be the Inner West.

    Whilst it would be nice to be a Sydney-wide mobile massage companies, the logistics count against such a service. By constraining the area we cover then we can keep our rates both reasonable and competitive.

    By Richard Lane

Pain Between Shoulders

Although there are any number of reasons that people call for remedial massage, probably one of the more common is for pain between the shoulder blades. This can be an isolated pain or it can be in conjunction with neck pain and stiffness or headaches. The pain can be persistent and chronic or it can appear acutely after a particular activity or movement.

Many people will believe that the root cause of the problem lies in the muscles between the shoulders blades, namely the rhomboids. If they book in for a massage then they will expect that the therapist pays particular attention to these muscles and the muscles around the area to reduce the tightness and tension.

MHowever, often the problem is not associated with tightness in the area but weakness. Tightness in other muscles is causing the muscles such as the rhomboids to become irritated because they are over-stretched not because they are overly tight. A massage therapist that tries to eliminate the tightness by stretching and adding length to the muscles may even be adding to the problem.

Often postural professionals will refer this condition with terms such as forward head posture or upper cross syndrome. The pain between the shoulders actually results from the complex interaction of the muscles around the shoulder girdle. It comes about from an increase in tightness in the muscles at the front of the neck and upper chest and weakness with the upper back and back of the neck (technically muscles such as the levator scapula, pectoralis major, suboccipitals, SCM and upper trapezius tend to be tight whereas the lower trapezius and rhomboid muscles tend to be weak).

Typically when you have your posture checked, a therapist would notice that the shoulder blades (the scapulae) are depressed lower than they should be and they are spread apart towards the sides of the body. When the shoulder blades are in this position, the traps and the rhomboids are stretched to their maximum and they struggle to hold the weight of the arms. The force of gravity leads to a constant pulling on the muscles and nerves in the area. The results is pain in and around the neck, between the shoulder blades and even down the arms.

Postural awareness is the first starting point for reducing the impact of upper crossed syndrome or forward head posture. Left untreated it can lead to degenerative changes in the upper back and result in constant neck pain, back pain and contributes to the formation of the Dowager’s Hump and be implicated in TMJ dysfunction.

  
Being mindful of when you are performing repeated tasks with you arms extended in front of you (such as typing on computers or driving) is a good starting point. However, restoring the balance between the muscles of the shoulder girdle is of prime importance and this can often be quite a challenge as normal movement patterns may have been compromised by persistant pain.

Massage can help to address some of the issues associated with these problems, in particular by releasing those muscles that are pulling the shoulders blades forward and down. Your therapist can also suggest stretching exercises for the upper chest and strengthening exercises for the upper back.

Learn Massage Online

If you think that you would like to learn about massage then there are a number of options available for you. This is particularly true if you are looking for more of an introduction to massage rather than formal training (eg being able to give your partner a relaxing yet effective massage).

You could buy a book (or loan one from your local library. You could buy DVDs on the types of massage that you think you might be interested in be it for sports, sensual massage for your partner or relaxation massage. There are formal courses available either at massage schools or there are local colleges that offer one day or weekend introductory courses to massage.

However, the internet has introduced a further options, namely that of learning massage online. Now whilst this can be a convenient option, studying Youtube massage videos should not be considered as a substitute for hands-on tuition. It is not possible to really understand the finer aspects of massage from a random video (that is not to say that there are not good Youtube massage videos by any stretch of the imagination – just that some are good and some are not so good and a novice may struggle to differentiate between the two).

There are a number of online massage courses and DVDs which are intended to assist people obtain an introduction into the world of massage. One of the more established online massage courses which could assist you improving your (and your partner’s) massage skills is:

If you choose to buy the massage course online and video workshop you’ll get

  • 15 Online massage lessons (video). This include the basic strokes and routines for parts of the body including back, neck, legs, arms, feet, head etc.
  • Basic anatomy relevant for massage.
  • Step-by-step massage instruction to attack critical hot spots of the body – key areas of tightness on most people that ‘demand’ to be released.
  • Tips on how to perform massage safely.
  • Hard copies of the full body massage sequence to make it easier for you to remember.
  • Member support and other helpful resources.

One of the beauties of massage is that the power of touch can be so strong that it is difficult to go too far wrong giving a massage even with minimal training. Rubbing your partner’s shoulders isn’t that challenging particularly as they will be instructing you on what feels good and what doesn’t.

Probably for most important people can learn from an online massage course is what doesn’t feel good and what are the most important massage contraindications. If you are interested in understanding more about massage then you would do worse than check out this course.

By Richard Lane

Massage Videos – Fun

There are many massage videos on Youtube, some provide good instruction, tips and advice. Others try to offer good instruction, tips and advice but fall short. Many are tacky and there are a few that are just good fun.

The videos below embedded below are a couple of my favourite humorous massage videos. If you have any suggestions for other ones to add to the list then please let us know.

How Not to Massage – “Massage from Hell”

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Tough Jobs: Massage Therapist to Models


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“Day in the life of a massage therapist”


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David Beckham massage prank

Disadvantages of being a mobile massage therapist

We recently wrote about the advantages of being a mobile massage therapist compared to working in a clinic or day spa. To balance that article, we are now discussing the corresponding disadvantages.

Traffic facing mobile massage therapist in SydneyNow many of the advantages could also be considered as disadvantages depending on your point of view. For example, I enjoy the flexibility and variety that comes from being a mobile therapist whereas others may perceive that the more irregular nature and the variable hours of the work are a disadvantage. The reality of mobile massage Sydney is that the majority of clients want their appointments in the evenings (often relatively late at night when kids have been put to bed) or at weekends when they have the time. Being out and about at night in locales that you might not be familiar with is not for everyone (and particularly female therapists need to mindful of their security).

Similarly it can be argued that calls for mobile massage need to be screened more effectively than clinics. If you are working at a clinic then it is likely that there will be people you can call on at short notice should ever the situation arise. When you are out and about on the road then, although you can always take security measures of making sure that someone knows where you are, ultimately you are on your own. This is particularly relevant if you take appointments at relatively short notice.

As a male massage therapist, though, this has never really been an issue for me and only occasionally have I arrived at a clients house with a sense of unease about the fear of the unknown. In virtually all cases when this has happened, my concerns have been unfounded and the clients have often gone on to book regular appointments.

The previous comments are relevant with respect to the disadvantages of doing mobile massage and should not be underestimated. However, for most therapists the number one disadvantage when compared with being in a Sydney massage clinic or day spa comes down to the logistics.
Traffic hold ups and delays can be stressful and add significantly to your total time for a given appointment.
Parking can be a challenge in some locations (such as when someone books in for a hotel massage in Sydney CBD). You may have to park a significant distance from the house/unit/hotel and have to lug your massage table, towels and equipment to the venue. Some clients don’t realise as well that if you have to park in a car park it can take a considerable time and effort to get to the room
Stairs. If you working in a block of units then if there is a lift you will be on the bottom floor, no lift top floor. Without fail.
Room layout and environment. You are working in someone else’s house. The space may well not be ideal for massage in that it is too small, too noisy or the wrong temperature. Unfortunately, whilst there may be steps you can take to improve your working space a little, ultimately you are governed by whatever the client provides. In a clinic, you can (normally) control the environment to ensure that it is conducive to the bodywork session you like to provide.
Limit to what you can carry. In a clinic you can make sure that there is all the equipment that you require eg bolster, pillows, blankets, heat pack etc. When you are working in someones home then there may be occasions when you simply do not have something that you could really do with. Whilst it may be possible to improvise, often once client is on the table you just have to accept that you may have to work in a sub-optimal way.

  
Ultimately if you consider yourself to be a mobile massage therapist, then it is just a case of accepting the disadvantages and working around them as best you can. If you only do outcall massages to occasional clients (and you would prefer not to do them) then many therapists will charge a premium to compensate themselves for the perceived hassles. However, effectively the clients make the ultimate decision, if the convenience of having a massage at home gives them a positive experience compared with the clinic then they will continue to rebook.

By Richard Lane


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