Neurological Massage Therapy

Introduction to Massage for disability

If you have Multiple Sclerosis, a Head Injury, Parkinson’s disease, a Spinal Cord Injury or have had a Stroke, finding a massage therapist who knows how to work with disability can often be a daunting task. At Neurolink we have the specialists what you are looking for.

As a wheelchair user you are more likely to develop tightness in your upper neck and back, the front of your chest and arms. Soft tissue massage helps to create length in these affected muscles to prevent shoulder injuries.

Here at Neurolink Physiotherapy our philosophy is to use a combination of FES Neuro Physiotherapy, Massage, and Personal Training to improve flexibility and create length in tight muscle. We also aim to improve your strength and control in weak muscles to maximise your functional ability and prevent long term physical problems. This includes shoulder pathologies if you are a wheelchair user, and back and shoulder pathologies if you are walking with walking sticks.

Can I have a massage with a disability?
Absolutely! In fact Massage Therapy is essential in the management of tight muscles, aiding circulation and overall relaxation.

It is important that your massage therapist is experiences and works very closely with your treating Neuro-Physiotherapist to help direct which muscle groups or areas of your body should be focused on. If you have reduced or no feeling in your arms/legs, it is important that your Physiotherapist directs the massage therapist about how much pressure to use, and why. Your Physiotherapist at Neurolink Physiotherapy will also direct your massage therapist to the most appropriate positions to use, and how to manage your spasms during the sessions to aid relaxation.

You will notice that after a massage your hands, legs or feet may feel less swollen with a healthier skin colour. This results because massage therapy helps to move the fluid that has pooled up in that area through the direction of movement and help to improve your circulation.

Benefits of Massage for Disability

Everyone can benefit from massage.

Massage is an effective therapy for releasing muscle tension and restoring balance to your body regular massage may help prevent injuries caused by overuse. For example, pushing your wheelchair or walking with your walking sticks can lead to tight muscles. This is very important if you regularly use the FES systems as the aim is to develop more muscle bulk but with good flexibility. Neuromuscular Massage therapy is essential to achieving this. Any activity repeated over and over may lead to a build-up of tension in the muscles causing stress to the joints, ligaments, tendons and the muscles themselves. These muscle imbalances may develop to cause discomfort or impede your movement. The skilled massage therapist will be able to detect variations in the soft tissues and by using the correct techniques, help maintain a healthy physical state.

Massage can be used in the treatment of specific injuries, correct muscle imbalances, overuse and/or postural issues. By improving the condition of the muscles, massage may prevent future adhesions developing and improving the efficiency of your muscles.

Massage can…

  • provide a release of tension or pressure build up by stretching
  • improve mobility and flexibility in the muscles
  • increase blood flow to tissues by stretching blood vessels enabling nutrients to pass through more easily, repairing tight or damaged muscles
  • remove waste products and toxins from the muscles reducing inflammation which can cause pain.
  • reduce pain and injury from previous injury or trauma.
  • desensitise sensitive areas

How massage can help you?

Relieve pain and stress

Relax and stretch muscles

Relax the body and mind, enhance body awareness

Flush out toxins that cause muscle stiffness and soreness

Identify problem areas before they develop into injuries

Improve circulation, aid recovery and healing

Improve range of motion, suppleness and elasticity

Free muscle adhesions and soften scar tissue caused by injury or overuse

What our Massage patients say

  • "I have a spinal cord injury and have been paralysed for ten years. Natalie and her team at Neurolink have been a very positive and encouraging force in my life during many of these difficult years. In addition to our regular physio sessions, Natalie has assisted with wheelchair, cushion and backrest purchases. She has also ... " advised me on other key pieces of equipment that enable me to keep my body active - for example specialised gym equipment and a standing frame. She introduced me to the benefits of FES RT300 leg bike which is an excellent way of keeping my leg muscles exercised and in condition. I had the opportunity to try an exoskeleton at Neurolink and it was fascinating to stand and a walk a few steps with the technology.

    I have a regular massage which helps reduce muscle spasm, stiffness and pain.

    There is always a positive, welcoming buzz at Neurolink and you feel immediately that the people who work there are dedicated to improving the lives of their clients. Natalie is an expert in her field and she has made a significant change to my life - I honestly cannot imagine how things would have turned out had I not met her."
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    Nina Hartley
    Nina Hartley FES Cycling & Massage Client
  • "In 2004 I could walk as far as I wanted without any difficulty and run 10 miles easily. By 2007 I had stopped running and after a couple of relapses in 2008 and 2009 could not ride my bike safely and began using a stick to walk. I stopped skiing after 2007 and thought I ... " would not be able to ski again. I subsequently went skiing in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

    In 2013 I had two relapses that again limited my ability by making my muscles stiff after any exercise. At this point my EDSS was assessed as 6.0 by my consultant and I started DMT i.e. Tysabri. I started attending Neurolink in January 2013 having massage and neuro physio sessions. The massage and physio sessions release stiffness that accumulates the further I walk and the more I exercise during the week. Massage sessions before physio help remove muscle stiffness, consequently the subsequent physio session is more effective. I still do the same activities, but the quality is improved. I can walk further and for longer and I also know which physio exercises to use afterwards to recover. My independence and confidence with walking, cycling and swimming have increased since attending my weekly sessions at Neurolink. I would definitely recommend Neurolink. My physio sessions are not only beneficial in keeping me mobile, but also specifically geared to my own needs, fun and in a secure environment."
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    Alan Davis Neuro Physio & Massage Client
  • "I have MS and have been attending Neurolink for over 3 years. Natalie and her team have been extremely helpful and since I have been attending the clinic weekly for a combination of massage, physio and FES my flexibility has improved and my MS has remained stable. The team is always up to date with ... " new treatments and also provide me with invaluable advice on diet and lifestyle. They are always cheerful, supportive and great fun! I strongly recommend them to anyone with a neurological condition."Read more

    Pat Garth Neuro Physio, FES & Massage Client
  • I have used several services (and had contact with several practitioners) at Neurolink (neurophysio, massage, Bioness L300 Plus) but all have stood out for their professionalism, enthusiasm and warmth. Neurolink has helped alleviate many of the symptoms and challenges of living with MS and I look forward to continuing to benefit from their expertise and ... " empathy. I have used and purchased the L300 Plus Bioness system in July 2014. It is very easy to fit for effective daily use and assisting in walking for greater distances, particularly in helping me to overcome foot drop and producing a greater stride when walking outdoors. I am also regularly using the RT300 leg bike to strengthen my legs. This is an enhanced training method and, more importantly, I have found it gives me increased energy. I would certainly recommend the Bioness system and Neurolink Physiotherapy's services to other clients looking to improve their mobility and function.Read more

    John Wood
    John Wood Neuro Physio, FES Leg, Massage Client
  • "Having had my spinal cord injury for over 5 years, this is the first time I have found a clinic that fully understands my needs and has the expertise and equipment to cater for them. All the trainers are very knowledgeable, helpful and enthusiastic and importantly the whole atmosphere in the gym is upbeat and ... " positive. My strength, conditioning and flexibility have improved dramatically over this time and as a result I will continue to seek their professional help going forward. Being able to exercise effectively has increased my independence and general health along with reducing pain that I used to suffer. I would have no hesitation in recommending Neurolink Physio to anyone with any sort of Neurological impairment. Sports massage is the best in SW London. Highly recommend trying Neurolink Physiotherapy."Read more

    James Taylor PT & Massage Client
  • "I use Neurolink for physio, PT and massage and don't think there's a better place to get the best service and advice. Natalie knows everything there is to know about spinal injuries and is very easy to talk to if you need advice about all aspects of living with an SCI. The atmosphere in the ... " clinic is very friendly but when you need to work hard the staff will push you to get the best results. Whether you have an injury, want to gain some strength or just want to lead a healthier lifestyle, Neurolink is the only place to go."Read more

    Nathalie McGloin
    Nathalie McGloin Neuro Physio, PT & Massage Client
  • "Before working with Neurolink I was very unsteady, in pain, weak and felt like the NHS and my doctors didn't understand how to treat me properly and successfully. Since having neuro physio and massage at Neurolink I have felt such an improvement in my walking and general mobility. I feel more confident and am able ... " to do more. The Neurolink team is so understanding, supportive and inviting. I feel like they totally understand me and help me in a way no other physio has. I would say to anyone with reservations, Go for it! It's the best thing I ever did. With their expertise and support, you can't go wrong!"Read more

    Claire Ruby
    Claire Ruby Neuro Physio & Massage Client
  • "I have had MS since February 1997 and since I have been attending the clinic I have felt a vast improvement in my mobility and state of mind. As I improve physically, my treatment plan is changed to increase my strength and needs. I was having FES on the RT 200 machine weekly which is ... " like a sitting down cross trainer. Then I purchased a Bioness L300 Plus which I can use every day as it can be worn under my clothes as it is wireless.

    This has really helped as I use it when walking but also it has a training setting so while at my desk at work I can switch it on exercise my leg. Now when walking instead of me having to concentrate of the whole of my energy on pulling my right leg along the Bioness L300 Plus system lifts the leg and I can then concentrate on what the rest of my body should be doing when walking.

    All the team at Neurolink are very professional and always working out solutions to any obstacles I encounter and the clinic has all the latest equipment. I am very happy that I found them."
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    Mary Meighan
    Mary Meighan FES, Neuro Physio, FES & Massage Client
  • I am using massage therapy at Neurolink in conjunction with my FES cycling training and standing frame use - after years of poor standing posture in my Oswestry standing frame (and constant wheelchair use) my hip flexors are unusually tight. Thanks to this expert massage, which aims to loosen off my tight hip flexors, I ... " will hopefully soon start regularly using a new type of standing frame which will help provide a significantly better standing posture. This, is turn, the hope is it will reduce the lordosis in my lower back and reduce my back/hip pain.

    Additionally, the massage therapy, in conjunction with my Personal Training sessions at Neurolink, is being used to strengthen my entire shoulder girdle/area.
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    Sarah Orr
    Sarah Orr Massage Client
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