MANUAL LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE (MLD) Massage: the healing power of gentle touch

ManualLymphaticDrainageWhat is MLD really? Let’s start by debunking the myth as, if you have never received MLD treatment or read about it before, your body is in for a nice ‘shock’ when you next try it! The name makes it sound slightly clinical and scary to start with.

After initially having read a considerable amount about its benefits to physical and emotional health, a couple of clients requested the treatment at the clinic but none of us therapists were trained in it so, unfortunately, we could not offer it. I then decided to train in MLD at the London School of Massage so that I could help a wider range of clients. The technique was harder to master than I originally thought and maximum concentration was required at all times to get the moves right. It was especially hard for those like me having previously trained as standard massage therapist. It was a whole new challenging experience in uncharted waters but truly rewarding nonetheless.It’s certainly nothing like you’ve seen before as the technique it’s very different to that of standard massage routines. However, do not underestimate the healing power of MLD!

I was taken aback when practising the MLD massage technique and routine. All my course colleagues questioned how a very ‘fairy’ massage starting on the side of the neck face up and working all the way down the body just using very light touch with no pressure whatsoever could be so effective. Well, you’d be pleasantly surprised to hear that this extremely relaxing massage is hugely beneficial to your immune system.

When I went to visit my friends after my training they commented on my ‘special glow and how beautiful my skin looked’ on that day. I was delighted to hear that and that people had noticed an important physical change in me but, also, I personally felt much lighter, extremely at ease, full of renewed energy as if my batteries had suddenly been charged.

From body detox to extreme relaxation and help with relieving swelling, stress, etc… the benefits of MLD are plenty and clients generally love it. They have reported looking and feeling ‘re-energised’ and ‘deeply relaxed’ following a treatment. It’s a massage recommended for most and you don’t need to be ill at all to have a MLD treatment – in fact even if in good health one every 3 months is generally recommended. This is also the all-in-one solution therapy for those of you who generally do not like standard massage.

In a nutshell, the MLD therapist works by manually moving the lymph (body waste) located on a very superficial layer under the skin to the nearest lymph nodes so that the lymphatic system can process and remove its waste from the body. S/he performs it by gently stretching the skin and using a rhythmic circle motion, physically ‘moving’ the unwanted fluid in the direction of the nearest lymph nodes.

Research has shown that MLD has numerous general benefits to the nervous and muscular systems. Moreover, by helping improve the flow of lymph it has a powerful effect to health and wellbeing: It helps fight infection, aids healing and recovery from illness and relieves pain including migraines. It is not just a deeply relaxing massage, MLD helps improve chronic conditions such as sinusitis, arthritis, acne and other skin conditions, it is also a great addition to other detox programmes as it encourages fluid flow in the connective tissues. Therefore, it is an effective treatment for cellulite and water retention, being especially effective for the treatment of ‘lymphoedema’ (swelling in the arms or legs due to an impaired lymphatic system). It is also an ideal Pre/Post-operative treatment that improves the skin’s texture and promotes healing of scar tissue, torn ligaments and sprains.

Pregnant ladies and the elderly can also hugely benefit from MLD as it helps Clear areas of congestion such as swollen ankles, puffy eyes and swollen legs and improvement stretch marks after childbirth

All in all, this is the ultimate body and mind detox experience to feel pure inside out. MLD is a decongestive massage therapy that stimulates the lymphatic system with gentle, light rhythmical massaging strokes, accelerating the processing of toxins, excess fluid and bacteria. In turn, this helps the body eliminate fat. The technique was invented by massage therapists Dr Emil and Mrs. Estrid Vodder in the early 1930s. I have just introduced the treatment in Salus Wellness Clinic in Cambridge. Visit to take advantage from an introductory offer and feel free to contact me on for more details (Elena Gonzalez, Aromatherapist and Massage Therapist @ Salus Wellness Clinic, Cambridge, UK)

Facts about our deals offered via Groupon

grouponOur clinic has been using Groupon to promote some of our services, particularly some massage treatments.  For us it works well because it helps some of the practitioners which recently joined us to get exposed to new clients and some of them get converted into further treatments at full price.

Having dealt with over 1000 new clients over the last 9 months ad still finding a lot of people that do not understand how these deals work I decided to collect some of the many explanations that our team here is giving to members of the public both during phone conversation and via Email.

Here they are:

  • To the best of my knowledge Groupon is the largest voucher based marketing organisation in the world and they are also very strong, if not the strongest, in the UK too.
  • Groupon have invested much time and resources to create a very large database (or list) of people that offered their contact details in order to receive super discounted deals on goods and services.  You are probably one of them.
  • Groupon keeps in touch with their contacts mainly via Emails and by publishing offers on their website.  People can decide from time to time to buy these featured deals.
  • The deals are offering prices which are greatly discounted, usually at 40-60% off the standard price.
  • The contact becomes a client when she pays Groupon for the deal; the money she pays goes straight into the Groupon bank account.
  • In exchange for that money the client receives a voucher that clearly states what she has paid for and what she has bought for that money; the voucher states, in the small prints, how to redeem the voucher and when the voucher expires.
  • Each voucher must be redeemed from the company that offers the service; in our case all redemptions must be done on line on a specific page of our website.
  • Companies like Salus Wellness, that sells deals via Groupon, will receive a fraction of the price paid by the client; in most cases less than 50% of it, once the Groupon commission and VAT have been deducted.
  • Each voucher has an expiry date and we cannot redeem it after that date; if we cannot redeem it we cannot get paid so we cannot offer the service after the voucher expiry date.
  • Before the voucher gets redeemed, even if the voucher has our company name on it, the transaction is between the client and Groupon; once it has been redeemed then the client should be dealing with the company itself unless they think there is a breach of contract and they should in that case report the company to Groupon for investigation.
  • In our case many of the therapies we offer via Groupon are offered by a selected team of massage therapists, which can be different every time; each redeemed voucher gets assigned to the most suitable therapist for the type of therapy requested and the preferred time of the appointment.
  • Some of our practitioners work mornings, other afternoon and other evenings or week ends and they are all busy dealing with their regular clients.  For this reason some vouchers can be redeemed within days while others might require weeks, exactly in the same way as you were calling us to arrange an appointment for a specific treatment with a specific practitioner.
  • Our company is offering the exact level of service for Groupon deals that we would offer when paying full price for a treatment.  This is both because of our strong code of ethics as well as because this is a standard requirement from Groupon.
  • Our latest deals always have the “new customers only” condition: this is to indicate that JUST NEW CUSTOMERS should buy these deals, to help them finding our clinic and appreciate our super skilled and professional practitioners as well as our cosy therapy rooms and our friendly customer service.
  • All of our deals have a 48 hours cancellation notice; if you change or cancel your appointment with less than 48 hours or, much worse, you don’t turn up for your appointment you lose your deal with no possibility of rebooking.

Groupon works very well for any business that would like extra exposure to a particularly located demographic; it’s well organised and with high level of professionalism which makes it a great partner to work with.

Salus Wellness collect £87 for charity at the PACT Summer Event 2013

2013-06-22 13.31.20Last Saturday 22 June 2013 PACT was running the traditional Summer Event and we at Salus Wellness run a charity day where members of the public had the opportunity of enjoying short taster sessions in massage, reflexology other treatments and accepted donations to be paid to PACT itself.

A total of 7 of our practitioners attended the event and offered their services to the local community; people treated during the day included 3 fire fighter which were officially attending the event with their fire engine parked in front of our premises.  The day was a great success and we also managed to collect £87 in donation from nearly 20 member of the public. Salus Wellness has also donated 4 massages for a total value of nearly £200 to PACT’s blind auction and tombola.

Petersfield Area Community Trust (PACT) was founded in 1997 and aims to organise supportive structures to foster local community spirit in the Petersfield area of Cambridge. We are a forum which seeks to further the interests of residents and to fulfil community needs. As Salus Wellness is located in the heart of Petersfield we are more than happy of getting involved and helping PACT ib any way we can.

The benefits of chair massage @ work

Could a 15 minute chair massage whilst working at the office save employers 24 days off sick/year?

Naomi DavidsonStress is a well-known cause of sick leave, but how much does it really affect workers and is there anything employers can do to alleviate this?

The latest Health and Safety Executive (HSE) figures show that in the UK stress is the second most commonly reported condition in self-reported work-related illnesses. An estimated 428,000 workers (40%) in 2011/12 suffered from stress due to their current or past employment and on average each person took an estimated 24 days off work. It is also estimated that 10.4 million working days were lost in 2011/12 due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety.

What is onsite chair massage?

On site acupressure massage is a hybrid of the ancient Oriental massage arts of Anma and Shiatsu. It is a meridian based therapy in which thumb, finger, elbow and knuckle pressure are used on over 90 specific acupressure points on the back, arms, hands, neck, head and legs. It is carried out with the client fully clothed and sitting in an ergonomically designed chair and takes between 15 to 30 minutes.  On site massage is therefore one of the most effective, convenient and popular therapies particularly in the Corporate sector. This helps to stimulate and balance the flow of energy throughout the body in turn stimulating the circulatory, muscular, nervous, immune and lymphatic systems. It promotes the release of endorphins and important mood regulating neurotransmitters which leaves the client feeling relaxed but energised and alert. It also helps reduce muscle tension in the upper body by concentrating on those areas most affected by prolonged repetitive activity.

Benefits to the employer

  • improves staff health, energy and performance
  • demonstrates genuine commitment for the welfare of your employees
  • improves productivity and concentration
  • reduces sickness absence
  • creates a healthier and happier workforce
  • is affordable

Benefits to your employees

  • relieves stress, tension, anxiety and irritability
  • increases energy levels and helps boost the immune system
  • promotes a sense of well-being
  • lowers blood pressure
  • reduces stiffness, muscle tension and improves flexibility
  • reduces and prevents repetitive strain injury

An American Study, recently published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, looked at the “feasibility of chair massage during the work hours of nurses in inpatient and outpatient settings and its effect on stress-related symptoms.” Thirty-eight nurses, ranging in age from 21 to 65 years, each received a 15 minute chair massage once a week for ten weeks. These treatments were specifically tailored by three massage therapists to suit the individual’s needs.

The participants were assessed at five and then ten weeks for overall quality of life, levels of stress, anxiety, and symptoms relating to anxiety. The results demonstrated that stress and anxiety related symptoms improved for all 38 participants at five weeks and further at ten weeks. Those nurses working a 12 hour shift (rather than those working 8 hour shifts) reported considerable benefits from massages between week five and week ten. Thirty-five of the 38 participants (92%) gave positive feedback about chair massage in relation to improved sleep, a reduction in pain, headaches, tension and stress. 70% felt it had improved their overall job satisfaction, and 60% suggested they would be willing to pay for short chair massage sessions if these were made available in the workplace.

The researchers concluded that “offering chair massage for nurses in a psychiatric unit or a pain rehabilitation unit during work hours – although challenging because of busy clinical schedules – reduced stress-related symptoms significantly and was highly appreciated by the nurses.”  (Source: International Therapist Magazine, Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT). Issue 103 January 2013)

Salus@Work, official launch

Salus Wellness is officially launching today Salus@Work, a corporate service offered to local service companies, helping employers to improve the quality of their working environment.

Long hours sitting at the desk and stress can cause tension to shoulders, arms and neck. If ignored, these can cause debilitating pain which may reduce productivity and possibly even increase sick leave.  Work related stress, according to the Health and Safety Executive, is costing British companies in excess of half a billion per year with over 14 million working days lost between sick leave and reduced productivity.

The Salus@Work scheme offers a practical hands-on solution to release tension and stress in the form of a short 5-15 minutes massage to the shoulders, neck area, hands and head for all employees who wish to partake.  These massages are performed while fully clothed and from a seated position, either at the employee’s desk or in a purposely set-up massage chair located in a function or meeting room depending on the employer’s preference.

Obvious benefits are:

  • Increase productivity
  • Improve working conditions and environment
  • Increase staff retention
  • Reduce sick leave
  • Promote team building

After running successful trials with a short list of local companies Salus@Work is now available to all companies in Cambridgeshire that care about their employees and keen to invest in their wellbeing and make their company a place people want to work for.  Moreover Salus Wellness is offering a totally free session to the first 5 companies that get in touch before 21 December.

Julie Taylor-Allan joins Salus Wellness

We are very pleased to announce that Julie Taylor-Allan has joined Salus Wellness Clinics this month. Julie is a highly passionate and professional massage practitioner.

The team here at Salus are looking forward to working with Julie in building a successful client base in Cambridge; Julie is a great addition to our already extensive list of professional therapists.

Visit her profile by clicking on this link.

Naomi Davidson joins Salus Wellness

We are pleased to announce that Naomi Davidson joined Salus Wellness Clinics.  Naomi is an excellent massage therapist offering various types of massage including, deep tissue, Swedish, acupressure and more.

Naomi is a great addition to the already comprehensive and successful team, we are confident that she will achieve great outcomes whilst offering fantastic treatments to the members of the public.

Visit her profile by clicking HERE and book a session with Naomi soon.

Interview with Elke Hausler

Salus Wellness well into its second year in business decided to interview some of the practitioners who joined during the startup period and are now celebrating a year of activity with the health centre.

Elke, what is your specialisation and how long have you been practicing?

I believe in empowering my clients to help themselves as much as they can. That’s what I do. Since 2007, I have mainly helped people stepping out of pain, emotional or physical pain. I love my work. It is so rewarding!

I started out as a complementary health practitioner in 2004, doing Swedish Massage, Reiki and Indian Head Massage. The more people I saw, the more I realised how stressed many of them were and that they often were in emotional and/or physical pain. I went on to deepen my knowledge and get more qualifications (Thought Field Therapy, Dorn Method, Sports Massage and Rossiter System Workouts).

When did you start working at Salus Wellness and what influenced your decision to work here?

About 15 months ago, I met Luca and Massimo who run Salus Wellness clinics at a business networking event. When I mentioned I was intending to spread out my work to Cambridge in the near future, they invited me to have a look at the premises and we arranged a meeting. I loved the atmosphere straight away, the location, the rooms and easy parking seemed ideal and my gut feeling told me to go for it. I’m glad I did.

How many clients do you see in an average week?

I currently only work two half days a week in Cambridge – every Monday plus every other Wednesday and alternate Saturday. I have been able to fill most slots easily and am looking to increase my hours at Salus Wellness in the future. The rest of the week I am busy working at my clinic in Newmarket.

What is your general view of the facilities offered by Salus Wellness?

They offer a variety of rooms with different equipment, so a wide range of treatments can be offered. I like the idea of having it all under one roof.

How did the help received from Salus Wellness in terms of running your business, sales, and marketing helped to develop your business?

I was pretty impressed with the workshops they put on – free of charge or next to nothing -, Profit Dojo, a networking meeting every second Friday of the month including a free workshop afterwards, tips and tricks they give away all year long, the help with and design of my promotional material including my website etc. All of it, I am sure, has helped me build my practice in Cambridge fairly quickly.

What are your future plans at the clinic?

I am planning to be part of it for a long time. I would love to meet more colleagues with the possibility to cross-refer clients if I feel they benefit from their treatments.

Would you recommend Salus Wellness to other practitioners?

Yes, I certainly would.

What advice would you give to new practitioners?

What are you waiting for? Jump at the occasion!



Exercises to deal with back pain

The Rossiter System Workouts explained:  fast, safely and effective therapy for back pain

This revolutionary stretching technique was developed by and named after the American, Richard Rossiter, a couple of decades ago and only came to England about 3-4 years ago. It is a fast, safe and effective method to help people with back pain!

Since 2003, I have been very passionate about helping people with complementary therapies: and I feel that this is by far the quickest way I learnt to help people to literally step out of pain.


How do Rossiter System workouts work? All you need is a Rossiter System coach who will put one clean socked foot on a part of your body, depending on where your pain is. You work as a team; you, the person in pain, are in charge. The warmth of the foot,  a bit of weight that  is put on your limb and the movement that you will be instructed to do under the foot, will stretch the connective tissue – a network of ligaments, tendons and fascia that holds everything together – in a way that it has probably never been stretched before. The Rossiter System workout gives the body  the space it has lost over time either through injury, overuse, bad posture or a mixture of those.

What happens in a session?

Let’s imagine that we are dealing with a client who suffers from back pain. The client gets to lie on a yoga mat on the floor, face up. The Rossiter System coach will put one foot on the side of the client’s leg. This may sound strange as we are addressing back pain but it works. If it’s an acute problem in the back, we will do the exercise on the leg of the same side, if it’s a chronic problem, we will do the exercise on the opposite side. The coach will put as much weight on the leg as the client can take at this point. The client needs to move the limb under the foot as well as the opposite leg according to the coach’s instructions. After 3 repetitions, the client may get up and walk around the room for a bit. After a few “laps” the client stands still and checks out the back, i.e. s/he does a few movements that were painful or restricted to do before this exercise. What happened? Is the movement easier? is there more range of movement? how is the pain? Then the client goes back on the yoga mat for the next challenge. We do 3 different exercises on the same leg and then the client decides which of these 3 exercises s/he felt benefited the most in terms of his/her back. That would be the one that we are going to do on the other leg to balance things out.

Let’s face it, people don’t necessarily like these exercises – as they will be somewhat uncomfortable to do – but people love the results! People don’t mind going through that bit of discomfort to finally be out of pain/discomfort in everyday life!

I often see people with rounded shoulders – due to too much work on the computer, too much driving etc – tennis or golfer’s elbow, knee pain, sciatica, frozen shoulders etc. They usually feel the benefits and changes from this workout almost instantly. The improvement is also quite visible for those with rounded shoulders. You can see the shoulders drop down and move back in just one session! We do one arm first, have a look in the mirror and then do the other. It’s usually noticeably improved.

This workout may well save you time, energy and money in the long run!

To find out if this is for you or to book your appointment at the reduced introductory price of £35/hour (until 30 November 2011), please don’t hesitate to give me a call on 07814089272 or visit