Not only is December busy with Christmas shopping and socialising on top of day to day life, I’ve been been doing so much writing recently that my shoulders feel a bit like they belong to someone else. What I needed was to give them a new lease of life. What better time to check out what’s on offer at Brixton Therapy Centre?
After perusing everything they offer, I booked a shiatsu massage with Tony Austin. Shiatsu massage is a traditional hands on healing art developed from the principles of Chinese medicine refined through Japanese cultures and techniques. It sees the abdomen as the central gauge of the body’s physical and mental health and uses specific finger pressures similar to acupuncture points to stimulate and heal the body.
Like many ‘alternative’ treatments, shiatsu applies a holistic attitude linking body and mind and their effects on each other. Compared to the short appointments with a GP or consultant, shiatsu can allow time to delve deeper into symptoms rather than just see someone as a diagnosis. It can be used in conjunction with Western medicine and modern psychotherapy. You can have one off sessions or use it regularly.
I’ve had shiatsu years ago and was keen to try it again. This was my first time at Brixton Therapy Centre and I felt very welcomed by the owner Fergus and the other staff. It felt more like being welcomed into someone’s house than a clinical setting. I liked the lack of incense and whale music…
Tony introduced himself and took an extensive medical history before explaining some of the principles and ideas of shiatsu. He started training back in 1985 and has been at Brixton Therapy Centre for a year, enjoying working in his local community. His ‘bedside manner’ was excellent and it felt like chatting to an old friend as the hands on work began.
Wearing loose clothing, you lie on a futon with eyes covered as Tony works on the energy and meridians in the body as needed. It’s surprisingly physical and interactive compared to a massage and I felt my body loosen and relax as Tony worked. He explained what he was doing as he went and I was pleasantly pleased to see how much my body worked with what he was doing, but without any pain or discomfort. The session ended with five minutes relaxation in the room alone and I almost nodded off in the warm room with the oddly calming sound of the pumping music from the clothes shop below drifting upstairs.
Tony then returned to the room bringing me a much needed glass of water and discussing how I had felt during the session. People sometimes find the effects of shiatsu can be emotional as well as physical and it’s useful to have this catch up with the therapist. My session was just over an hour in total and I felt lighter and looser and slept like a log that night. I particularly enjoyed Tony’s friendly and interesting conversation about wellbeing in general.
I was a guest of Tony and Brixton Therapy Centre but was so impressed I booked a second session for mid January before I left. Tony can be contacted through reception or by email to make appointments and discuss what options work best for you. Appointments are available throughout the week and Brixton Therapy Centre is open until 10pm on weeknights. Prices start at £55 per session. My shoulders and I are very glad I went.
Brixton Therapy Centre can be contacted on 020 7733 9944
Tony is available on 07967 827399 or 020 7274 6033 or email@example.com