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Deep Tissue Massage

A deep tissue massage treatment aims to target the deeper layers of muscle tissue underneath the superficial layers of muscles that lie just under the skin. The treatment uses a combination of techniques to first warm up the muscles, increase the circulation and bring vital oxygen and nutrients to the area and as the surface layers begin to relax, deeper working techniques are introduced enabling the release of tension and the gradual softening of the muscles. 

Potential benefits of Deep tissue massage

  • Increase to circulation
  • Oxygen and nutrients delivered to the muscles
  • Improved mobility

Each therapist will have their own style when providing your massage but to give a general idea; for a deep tissue massage your therapist may begin the massage with soothing effleurage techniques consisting of long slow, flowing movements to warm and soften the top layer of muscles. They will then introduce stronger massage techniques, incorporating the use of elbows and forearms and using their  body weight to gain a stronger and deeper pressure to help to relax and release the deeper layers of muscle, tendons and fascia. 

If you are suffering with chronic localised pain then a deep tissue massage can be a good option to help loosen tension that has built up over time and help to relax the area, bringing a fresh supply of oxygen and blood and soothe built up tension away. If you have long standing pain from a past injury then a deep tissue massage or a sports massage could be beneficial to help the process of healthy tissue healing but not necessarily straight away.

A deep tissue massage can be profoundly relaxing but there may  be more need for a dialogue between you and your therapist than there would be with a relaxation massage. During your first session you will need  to help guide your massage therapist  to the areas that are causing you pain and to help them find the perfect level of pressure for you by communicating as you go. A deep tissue massage may feel slightly uncomfortable at times but should never feel painful and once the discomfort subsides you will be left feeling profoundly relaxed. There is usually a ‘sweet spot’ with releasing tight muscles that a deep tissue massage treatment is able to target more directly. A relaxation massage is more focussed on enabling your mind to relax without the focus so much on removing stubborn tension areas and therefore less need for dialogue between your massage therapist and you.


If you can’t decide if you want a deep tissue massage or a relaxation massage then please choose a bespoke massage and you can tell us exactly what you would like in the health notes or speak to your therapist when they arrive. 

A Sports massage is a therapeutic treatment that is used to treat specific injuries or muscular conditions and is carried out only by a therapist who has qualified in both body massage and sports massage. A deep tissue massage treatment can be carried out by a therapist who is qualified in body massage and has trained in deep tissue massage techniques.  A deep tissue massage can induce an overall state of calm and relaxation by the end where as a sports massage will be more targeted  on specific areas to enable healthy recovery from injury, improve your range of movement and mobility. If you can’t decide you can choose a bespoke massage from one of our sports massage qualified therapists and ask them to tailor you a combination treatment suited to your specific needs. 

Every therapist will approach a deep tissue massage slightly differently, there is no set deep tissue massage routine that we use. Some therapists may start the treatment with gentle rocking movements to help to relax and loosen the skeletal frame before starting, some may use stretches to start and some may begin by immediately applying oil. A deep tissue massage may feel slightly uncomfortable at times while your therapists works with you to target and help remove and soothe any tension areas.

You will be asked to remove your clothes, leaving just your lower underwear on, lie on the massage table in a comfortable position with the sheet or towel covering you. It’s important to let your therapist know what you’re experiencing during your deep tissue massage treatment so they can adjust their pressure accordingly.  Other than this there is nothing for you to do other than relax and enjoy your treatment.

Massage Treatment: After your deep tissue massage you may feel a little sore in areas that have been given more attention and to feel thirsty and tired is normal too. It’s a good idea to drink plenty of water and to allow yourself to properly rest for a good few hours after. Any discomfort can be helped with a hot shower or bath and the benefit of the treatment should be felt a few days following.

Massage Treatment: Yes, there are afew instances where it would be better to choose a Different type of massage instead, such as:

  • If you have difficulty lying on your front – choose Bespoke
  • You would prefer a treatment tailored to you – choose Bespoke massage instead. 
  • You’re pregnant – choose Pregnancy massage instead. 
  • If you have had recent surgery- best to avoid massage until you have completely healed.
  •  When you have any open cuts or bruises- choose Bespoke. 

Couples Massage

Provided back to back by your own personal therapist, so while one prepares dinner the other relaxes, swap and the Chef for the evening gets their turn to chill out! The perfect antidote to modern family life, our back to back couples massage gives both people, whether they be friends, family or partners the opportunity to relax in complete privacy before reuniting to enjoy the ‘post massage glow’ experience together!
Our hectic lifestyles are not good for us. Many of us are living with chronic stress and anxiety, with little time to relax and switch off. All of this is damaging to our immune systems, wellbeing and overall health. We’re often left with feelings of exhaustion and low energy, as well as ailments such as back pain, joint aches and stiffness. Feeling constantly stressed can also have a detrimental effect on our relationships, whether with our partners, parents, friends or children. Massage is one way to reconnect with our own bodies, giving us space to reconnect with others, release emotions and be present in the lives of our families, friends and partners. All of our therapists share the view that massage can be beneficial for anyone, at any stage of life. However, our couples massage options may be particularly suitable for couples who are working long hours, have caring responsibilities, or who have recently undergone stressful life events – all of which can place additional stresses and burdens on relationships. A couples massage from Relax & Be is the ideal opportunity to take part in a shared experience which will allow you to relax, reconnect and take some time out from the stresses of life.
All Relax & Be therapists are highly trained and able to adapt their practice to your needs. You can opt for a relaxation massage, the aim of which is allow the body to completely relax and rejuvenate. For this type of massage, our therapists will use a variety of techniques including long, slow strokes with the hands or arms, kneading of the skin and muscles, circular movements and tapping of the skin. Alternatively, you can opt for a deep tissue massage. This type of treatment uses more pressure, and the therapist may use techniques involving the elbows. They may also use more of their own body weight throughout the session. This is a more intense treatment that is designed to reach the deeper layers of muscle in order to alleviate longer-term pains, aches and stiffness.

At the start of your session, you’ll also have the chance to discuss any particular needs, symptoms, or physical health problems you may have. It’s important that you remain in communication with your therapist throughout the session, particularly if you’re having a deep tissue treatment as you’ll need to let your therapist know the appropriate amount of pressure to apply. One or both of you will then be invited to undress, keeping your underwear on, and to lie face down on a massage table. You’ll then be part covered by a sheet or towel. After that, there’ll be nothing left for you to do but relax and enjoy the session. It will then be your partners turn afterwards. 


The same precautions apply as for our individual massage treatments. For instance, massage is not advisable if you currently have burns, cuts, opens wounds, or health conditions including skin infections or bleeding disorders. If you are pregnant, a pregnancy massage from one of our specially-qualified therapists may be more appropriate. Please see our pregnancy massage page for details.

Essential Oil Massage


Aromatherapy is the ancient art of using essential oils derived from plants to boost physical and mental wellbeing. Particular scents have been shown to trigger powerful neurological responses, inducing states of calm and deep relaxation when the oils are inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Aromatherapy massage incorporates the use of these essential oils with traditional massage techniques. An aromatherapy massage treatment from Relax Bristol is perfect for those seeking relief from aches and pains coupled with a boost in mood. An aromatherapy treatment from one of our qualified therapists has the added benefit that it can be tailored to your specific needs, whether you want to feel revitalised or better able to sleep.

There are a number of potential benefits of aromatherapy massage. These include relief from the symptoms of anxiety and depression; improved sleep for those experiencing insomnia; reduction in menstrual pain and a soothing of the symptoms of menopause. For some, aromatherapy can also help with the symptoms of nausea.

Essential Oil massage can offer many mood-enhancing effects. As such, it may be particularly suitable for people currently experiencing chronic health problems or mental health difficulties such as anxiety and depression. Aromatherapy massage not only helps relieve tension, aches and pains, but the massage oils also have mood-boosting properties in themselves. However, massage should not be seen as a substitute for professional mental health treatment and it’s best to confer with your doctor if you feel unsure. For those who have recently recovered from a bout of illness, the stimulating effects of many massage oils can help boost the body’s healing natural processes.


In general, the techniques used during an essential oil massage will be similar to those found in a relaxation massage. These include long strokes using the hands or arms, kneading of the skin and muscles, circular movements and tapping of the skin. It’s important that you remain in communication with your therapist throughout the session and let them know if you’d them to apply more or less pressure.


At the start of your session, you’ll have a chance to discuss with your therapist exactly what you’d like from the treatment. This will be a chance for you to explain any symptoms you are currently experiencing, and to talk through the details on your treatment forms that you would have filled in when booking. The forms will include details about how you’d like to feel by the end of the session. Your therapist will then be able to choose an appropriate oil blend for you. Different oils have different properties. For example, chamomile or lavender may be used for their calming properties, whereas rosemary or lemon oil can have more invigorating effects. It’s also important that you let us know of any allergies that you may have, in order to avoid any negative reactions. Once you’ve talked through your treatment with your therapist, you’ll be asked to undress and lie face down. You’ll then be covered by a sheet or towel. After that, they’ll be nothing for you to do other than relax and enjoy your treatment. Once you’ve finished, your therapist may suggest essential oils that you can use at home to maximise the benefits of the treatment.


There may be certain circumstances in which an Essential Oil massage is not appropriate. As mentioned above, it’s important that you mention any allergies that you may have with your therapist. It may also be best to avoid Essential Oil massage if you currently have any open cuts, wounds or lesions, or if you’ve just undergone surgery. If you’re pregnant, then a pregnancy massage may be a better option for you.

Bespoke Massage


The stresses and strains of life can affect us all in different ways. Muscle tension and postural issues can manifest themselves in unique ways depending on our medical history and overall physical health. Knowing that all of our clients choose Relax Bristol with specific sets of needs and experiences is part of the reason we offer our bespoke massage service. We are firm believers in the restorative power of massage for people from all walks of life. Bespoke massage allows our therapists to create a treatment catered specifically to your individual needs. Perhaps you’ve tried relaxation massage before and it didn’t quite hit the spot. Or maybe you’ve got a work-related injury that you can’t seem to shift. If that sounds like you, then a bespoke massage may be the solution.


Bespoke massage treatments can be particularly effective for: Dealing with muscle tension related to work-related or postural issues, aiding recovery from injury, reducing stress, anxiety and depression, improving mood & overall wellbeing.


During your treatment, your therapist will be able to draw upon their training and experience to select the most appropriate techniques for you. These may include techniques from Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, sports massage and other forms, depending on what you have discussed with them. In general, your massage will normally begin with smooth, slow stroking techniques, followed by a combination of kneading techniques to relax the muscles, friction techniques and cupping techniques. Your therapist might offer to use massage oil, but this is totally dependent on you. Bespoke massage gives you total freedom to decide what is most suitable for you and your body’s needs. You’ll also be able to choose the level of intensity that feels comfortable for you.


Anyone. We believe that massage has something to offer people at any stage of life, regardless of age, background or level of physical health. The benefits of massage are well researched and include reductions in stress levels, tension and anxiety as well as improvements in mood, sleep and overall wellbeing. The beauty of a bespoke treatment with Relax & Be is that it is you are able to shape it according to your requirements. People who might benefit from this approach include those who have a specific injury or ailment related to their work – for example from sitting or driving for long periods of time. It’s also suitable for those who just want to relax, but want to focus on a specific area of the body.


At the start of your treatment, you’ll be able to discuss your precise needs, requirements and expectations with your therapist to make sure you get exactly what you want out of the session. Your therapist will also take some time to ask you about your medial history and any current symptoms you may be experiencing. You’ll then be invited to undress, and the massage will usually take place in your underwear, covered by a sheet or towel, provided this is something you feel comfortable with. The treatment will also normally start with you lying on your front, although your therapist may move you into different positions depending on what you have discussed with them and which areas feel particularly tense.


While we would normally offer this treatment to anyone, there are some circumstances in which it may not be the most suitable treatment for you. These include if you have recently had a serious illness or injury, currently have any open cuts, wounds etc, have an infectious illness, are pregnant (in which case, please see our pregnancy massage page).

Pregnancy Massage


The stresses and strains of life can affect us all in different ways. Muscle tension and postural issues can manifest themselves in unique ways depending on our medical history and overall physical health. Knowing that all of our clients choose Relax Bristol with specific sets of needs and experiences is part of the reason we offer our bespoke massage service. We are firm believers in the restorative power of massage for people from all walks of life. Bespoke massage allows our therapists to create a treatment catered specifically to your individual needs. Perhaps you’ve tried relaxation massage before and it didn’t quite hit the spot. Or maybe you’ve got a work-related injury that you can’t seem to shift. If that sounds like you, then a bespoke massage may be the solution.

Pregnancy Massage can offer a number of benefits including reducing stress and anxiety levels and improved mood regulation. As well as helping ease and soothe muscle pain, particularly in the lumbar region and other areas of the body affected by postural changes during pregnancy, as well as helping to reduce swelling and improvements in circulation.

We offer Pregnancy Massage only to those is their 2nd and 3rd Trimester. 

We also encourage you to check with your Midwife or GP if you have any concerns or health issues. 

Sports Massage


Training for any type of sport inevitably puts strain on the body. Sports massage is one of the most effective ways of reducing the risk of injury and aiding recovery for anyone engaged in regular physical activity. Whether you’re a runner preparing for a triathlon or you’re concerned that you overdid it during your workout at the gym last week, getting a sports massage with a therapist from Relax & Be can put you on the path towards optimum physical performance. But it isn’t just professional athletes who can benefit from this type of treatment. Sports massage can help to improve flexibility, posture and reduce aches and pains. It can also be beneficial if you’re experiencing physical health problems such as back pain, or muscular pain related to work or other types of physical activity. Sports massage tends to be quite vigorous, so it might be a little different to other types of massage you’ve experienced in the past. But regardless of your reasons for getting one, it’s always an invigorating experience.

There are a number of physical benefits from having a regular sports massage. These include: Increased flexibility and reduced muscle tension, improved posture, reduced pain – especially from DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) which you may experience after training, improved performance – having muscles that are mobile and relaxed means that you can perform at your best, whether it’s at the gym, on the yoga mat or on the football field.
Sports massage can help prevent injury and can assist in recovery if you’re engaged regularly in sport and can be incorporated into any stage of training. But though it’s designed specifically to help with sporting problems, you don’t have to be an elite athlete to reap the benefits. Many of us sustain low-level problems in our muscles and joints due to poor posture, being slumped in front of a desk all day, or doing a physically demanding job that requires a lot of repetitive movement. In this instance, sports massage could still be beneficial: it can be a way to hone in on specific physical problems you’re having and find ways to rectify them.

In contrast to relaxation massage, where the aim is simply to relax the entire body, sports massage tends to be more focused and intense. Your muscles can get very tense and stiff after training hard. Therefore, the aim of sports massage is to correct problems that have developed due to repetitive physical activity. It can help to ease symptoms as well as prevent other problems from developing. Sports massage tends to use vigorous strokes, aimed at delivering better blood flow to the muscles, releasing tension and making them more mobile. All Relax & Be therapists are fully trained and will tailor the treatment towards your needs, using techniques including stroking (effleurage), using varying amounts of speed and pressure; kneading and compressing of the soft tissue (petrissage) to relax the muscles; friction techniques, which help to stretch and relax muscle fibres; and cupping and/or hacking techniques which stimulate the skin.


If you’ve had other types of massage before but this is your first sports massage, be prepared for a slightly more intense experience. We recommend that you don’t eat anything too heavy or consume alcohol for the few hours prior to your massage. It’s also important to stay hydrated both before and after the massage. We normally recommend that you wear loose, comfortable shorts or underwear – whatever feels most comfortable to you. Unlike traditional full body massages, sports massage is more likely to focus on specific parts of the body. You might be moved into different positions by your therapist, and it’s important that you stay in communication with your therapist, letting them know if it becomes too painful or uncomfortable. Afterwards, you may feel a little sore, so make sure you give yourself some time to relax. But you should also feel relaxed and rejuvenated in the days immediately afterwards.


Sports massage might not be suitable for you if you’re currently experiencing any of the following: high fever, recent illness or a serious medical condition, open wounds, burns, lesions etc, skin infections, if you’re pregnant (please see pregnancy massage page).


Head Neck and Shoulders Massage


At Relax & Be we know the importance of switching off mentally as well as physically, which is why we think you will fall head over heels for this deeply relaxing treatment. Not only will you get all the benefits from a deep tissue back, neck and shoulder massage to ease away knots and release stubborn tension, but this treatment also includes a calming and soothing head massage. The whole treatment will leave you feeling physically relaxed, mentally rejuvenated and with your spirit feeling blissfully restored.


Head, Neck and Shoulders treatment can benefit you in many ways, including reducing the recurrence of headaches and improving the condition to hair and scalp; reducing tension from the muscles aiding you to feel more comfortable in your body, improvements to sleep, aiding muscle relaxation and joint mobility, improving circulation and encouraging a deep sense of relaxation.

Our head, neck and shoulder massage is ideal for those seeking a rest from demanding work/ family pressures in order to revitalise back to their full potential to tackle what’s at hand. This might include students preparing for exams, office workers going for a promotion or parents feeling achy from lifting young children and lack of sleep. But with soothing tension relief to the back, shoulders and neck and invigorating scalp massage we think everyone would feel amazing after receiving this unique and uplifting treatment.


Your therapist will use a range of different massage techniques to release painful knotted tissue, gradually dissolve tension in the back and shoulders and help to re-educate muscles in the neck and back into their full range of motion A scalp massage will follow, sometimes incorporating friction and tapotement techniques to help stimulate the nervous system and increase blood flow, oxygen and nutrients to the head. The techniques used can also help to promote the release of endorphins; the body’s natural pain killers. This is a great massage to choose to help reduce the possibility of headaches and ease stress build up leaving you feeling calmer and more clear headed.


At the beginning of your massage appointment you will have time to discuss with your therapist briefly your specific requests for the treatment. This could include how you would like to feel after your massage, if there are any areas you would like focus on and the kind of pressure you prefer. Your therapist will go through your medical history, and if there’s any health conditions that could affect your treatment. Before the treatment you will be asked, once your therapist steps out of the room, to remove your clothing except for your lower underwear and lay on the couch, usually face down with your face comfortably supported by the cradle and with a towel or sheet provided by your therapist covering your body. The massage routine will include the back, shoulders, neck and scalp and if there’s time, some therapists may ask you to turn over towards the end of the treatment to include the face and upper chest as well, or you can request this. Following your massage treatment you will be given time to gently bring yourself round and sit up from the table while your therapist gives you privacy. They will then quickly pack up their things and you will be left to enjoy the relaxing after glow from your massage.


It’s advised to avoid head, neck and shoulder massage if you currently have any open cuts, wounds or lesions, if you’ve just undergone surgery or experienced any recent injuries or fractures or if you feel ill or have a fever. If you’re pregnant, then a pregnancy massage may be a better option for you.