I am not open for massages at this time, mainly due changes in my time available.

[The following information is for information purposes only, once I re-start massages.]

I provide a relaxing, safe and peaceful space for your massage treatment so that you can fully unwind and enjoy the experience.

Room with massage table and fireplace with lights behind
The massage room

Benefits of massage

Massage therapy can bring many benefits including:

  • feelings of relaxation
  • feelings of release from muscle tension
  • relief from chronic pain
  • improvement in range of movement in stiff joints
  • improved sense of physical and emotional well-being
  • feelings of reduced muscle stiffness and soreness
  • promotion of healing after injury
  • calmer nervous system, often leading to feeling less stressed and being able to sleep better
  • stimulation of the ‘rest & digest’ response (the relaxation response), and dialing down the stress response (‘fight, flight or freeze’).

Modern theories about the benefits of massage focus on the whole person, rather than single muscles, and I take time to listen to you and understand the key things going on in your life and what you are looking for from the massage.

“Alyson has made a considerable positive difference to my back pain and the cramps in my shins that I suffered from during the time I’ve been seeing her. She is very professional, warm and approachable at the same time. 
On each session, Alyson made sure to adjust the massage to concentrate on the areas where I had most pain and/or tension. I felt completely relaxed during the treatment sessions and for many days afterwards!
I only wish I lived closer as I would love to continue to have her pampering treatment on a regular basis.” Roksana Cowan, Wales

The massages I offer are suitable for:

  • feeling more relaxed
  • restoring health and well-being
  • general pampering and ‘me-time’
  • those suffering from stress and tension
  • shoulder and neck issues
  • lower back issues
  • rehabilitation of sporting and other injuries
  • those suffering from long-term pain.

My massages can be for general relaxation and de-stressing as well as for particular muscular conditions, as I’m a qualified sports massage therapist (Level 3, accredited by VTCT). Sports massage is a deep tissue massage which uses particular techniques to address muscular and other physical and emotional conditions including pain. It is also known as remedial or therapeutic massage and can help the body heal and reduce symptoms caused by a one-off incident or ongoing repetitive issues.

I am particularly interested in persistent or long-term pain and how massage and relaxation can help someone manage their long-term pain.

My approach is less about manipulating soft tissue or specific muscles and more about changing the nervous system via touch and other relational (‘soft’) skills such listening, providing a safe space, and creating an environment where you feel able to relax. (Or rather, where your nervous system can switch to a more healing mode, activating the parasympathetic nervous system.)

Three towels rolled up

The treatment session

Each session includes a brief consultation at the beginning to establish what your requirements are and to check any health issues. Depending on your reason for booking a massage, I may also recommend self-care at the end of the session such as particular movements, stretches or things you can do to help improve your condition. The massage is carried out in my home in Dumfries*. I am fully insured and a member of the Federation of Holistic Therapists. Some typical questions about massage and the treatment session are listed below.

Treatments and cost

I offer the following treatments:

  • 30 minutes – £20
  • 45 minutes – £28
  • Full body relaxing massage (1 hour) £35

For your own planning, please allow 10+ minutes for the consultation before the massage, and some time afterwards for getting changed etc.

Gift vouchers are available. I accept payment in cash, cheque, bank transfer and online or by invoice. To book or ask further questions, use the details on the ‘contact me’ page.

Massages take place in relatively central Dumfries.

Female massaging person lying on massage couch
Massage on my nephew

Questions about massage and the treatment

  1. What should I expect during my first massage session?

You will be required to fill out a health history form and we will have a chat about any issues and establish what areas you would like worked on.

  1. What do I wear during the massage?

Depending on the techniques used, you may or may not need to undress. For example, for a remedial or sports massage you may keep a top and shorts on but for a full body massage, most people undress to their underwear. You will be covered with towels at all times, except for the area being worked on. I will give you privacy to undress and get dressed again.

Depending on if I use a lotion or oils, you may wish to wear or bring clothes you are comfy having some residual oil on, although most of it is absorbed by your skin or can be removed with a towel prior to getting dressed again.

If you have long hair and are having treatment on your neck and shoulders, please bring a hair tie or clip to put the hair up.

  1. What do I do during a massage therapy treatment?

You will lie down on the massage table and relax! Even during a sports or remedial massage you should be able to relax – I don’t generally think you can treat pain with pain! Depending on the type of massage chosen and the techniques, you may need to adjust your position or I may move your limbs. You can ask questions any time during the session.

  1. What does a massage feel like?

Depending on the techniques used, you will feel light, moderate or very firm pressure on your muscles and body. It can feel very soothing, but if there are problematic areas, they may feel tickly, sore or slightly uncomfortable when massage techniques are used to improve the area.

  1. What’s the difference between a relaxing massage and a deep tissue/remedial or sports massage?

A relaxing massage, often referred to as a Swedish massage, will generally use slightly less pressure than a deep tissue or remedial massage. It is ideal for restoring health and well-being and aiding deep relaxation. It can relax tense muscles, reduce stress and stimulate the lymphatic and circulatory systems.

Deep tissue, remedial or sports massage are the terms used for massages which address specific issues or conditions and there may be more after care advice provided such as stretches to help. More pressure is applied through different massage techniques to help restore musculoskeletal balance, contribute towards rehabilitation of sports-related or other injuries and restore well-being.

  1. What massage oils will be used?

I generally use plain oils such as almond or grapeseed, or for a sports massage a lotion may be more appropriate. I also use pre-blended oils such as ‘restorative’ which have a mix of essential oils in them. If you are allergic to any ingredients please let me know.

  1. Where will the massage session take place?

Your massage will take place in a warm, quiet, private room in my house. *NB A cat lives in the house as well.

  1. Is massage always appropriate?

No, there are several medical conditions that make massage inappropriate. That’s why it is important to fill out the health history forms before you begin your session to find out if you have any contraindications to massage.

  1. How long should I allow for the treatment?

The treatment times are specified and include a short discussion about your requirements before the massage starts. Do allow time after the session to gather yourself together and try not to have to rush to something immediately following the massage.

  1. Can I eat before a massage treatment?

It is best to avoid eating up to 2 hours prior to a treatment, particularly if you are going to be lying on your front to have your back massaged.

  1. How will I feel after the massage therapy treatment?

Depending on the treatment undertaken, most people feel very relaxed immediately afterwards. Your may feel temporary muscle soreness e.g. the next day, in areas where deeper techniques were used, but then you should experience relief in the longer term. You should drink plenty of water or other non-sugary non-caffeine drinks after the massage.

I’m qualified and insured with the Federation of Holistic Therapists.