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Massage can ease some of the stresses of modern life
WE have all had one of those days at work were it seems nature, fate, and indeed mankind is working against us to make life as difficult as possible.
With stress being the major cause of long-term sickness amongst UK workers, it’s not surprising that by lunchtime, most of us are starting to feel the aches and pains associated with being bent over our keyboard.
Wouldn’t it be great if during a day from hell, you could take 15 minutes away from your desk and those emails and phone calls for a massage at the hands of an expert.
With companies everywhere feeling the pinch and making cut-backs, it may be some time before your boss sees fit to employ the services of an office masseuse.
However, a York massage practitioner, who lists Simon Cowell amongst her previous clients, is offering stressed workers in York the chance to get a pair of helping hands in the office.
Cathy Hagan began learning message after she realised the benefits it could bring in helping her cope with her job as a teacher.
She said: “I was a stressed-out primary school teacher and it wasn’t for me,” she said.
“I went for a massage and I thought ‘this is nice’ and I thought ‘I would like to do this’ so I re-trained.”
That what was back in the 1990s, while Cathy was living and working in London with her journalist husband Tony. And it was Tony who got Cathy her first few satisfied customers after he introduced her to colleagues in his office.
“I did a few freebies and then it became really popular,” she said.
“I established myself in London in the late 1990s, giving clothed acupressure massages mainly in the publishing sector at Guardian Newspapers (Kathryn Flett was a regular client), Reed Publishing and GQ magazine among others.
“I even massaged Simon Cowell before he was famous, at BMG Records. Courtney Love was also a client at the Metropolitan Hotel.”
While Cathy offers several forms of massage, she says the one which lends itself best to the workplace is the seated accupressure, which can be carried out through the clothes – making suitable for people who have never had a massage because they may have felt embarrassed about the whole process.
“It’s based on Chinese medicine and meridians, or energy points,” she explained.
“I use my palms and forearms to work the whole upper-body such as the scalp, shoulders, arms, right down to the lower back. That’s a 30- minute treatment.
“When I was going in to offices I was doing a special short treatment of about 15 minutes, so people would come in their lunch breaks or, perhaps if the company was amenable, they would allow someone to take 15 minutes out.”
“People would feel a lot more loosened up after being over a computer all day and would feel relaxed but it’s not one of those massages which knocks you out – you feel brighter but more relaxed.”
Eventually, the demand for Cathy’s services became too much and she developed painful repetitive strain injury. Eventually, the birth of her first child, Victor, and a move with her family to North Wales, saw her put her massage skills on the back burner – only treating the odd friend or family member.
Now however, at 46, Cathy is setting up sessions in York and is looking forward to re-establishing her business and launching it on Tuesday next week with a number of free 20-minute taster sessions.
The new business, called Pressure Points will be based at York Yoga Studio on Acomb Road.
For more information, and to book one of the free taster sessions, call Cathy on 07500 845291 or visit her Facebook page at facebook.com/PressurePointsAtYorkYogaCentre