Browse through our various therapies and techniques that we offer here at
Essential Thyme


pregnancy massage

sports massage



bellabaci cupping

hands free massage

trigger point release

myofascial release

easy muscle management

hot stones massage

thai foot massage

crystal tranquility therapy

indian head massage


Clinical aromatherapy is natural, non-invasive and therapeutic, and is equally effective at reducing mental stress and relieving physical tensions from your body.

Aromatherapy makes use of blended essential oils that can be applied through massage, steam inhalation, or by using hot or cold compresses, determined by your individual needs.

Essential oils work best when applied by a qualified and skilled therapist, so at Essential Thyme you receive a full consultation on your first visit; this consultation is important as it covers your medical history and records any medication you might use. Only then does your therapist create the blend (or blends) of essential oils that will work best for you…

On each subsequent visit, you receive a mini-consultation; your therapist will check on how you have been since your last visit, and will ask you about any changes to your health before creating and applying your own particular blend of essential oils.

Some examples of essential oils – and what they can do in the hands of a qualified aromatherapist:

Lavender: helps with sleep
Chamomile: relaxation, anti-inflammatory
Ravensara: anti-viral; anti-inflammatory; helps with congestion
Nutmeg: muscle-warming
Lime: uplifting; mood-boosting; helps combat tiredness
Bergamot: uplifting; anti-congestive (and is also found in Earl Grey tea!)

Pregnancy Massage

Pregnancy is an exciting time, but it can also be physically demanding and stressful, so what better way for you (and your bump!) to relax than with a pregnancy massage at Essential Thyme?

This type of massage is very similar to other massage therapies, but its main difference is that, instead of lying flat on your stomach you will be carefully positioned on your side, supported using a range of pillows and cushions to make you completely comfortable. (This massage can also be given with you sitting in a chair or leaning against a wall – whichever is most comfortable for you).

Pregnancy massage can be carried out from the 2nd Trimester onwards and it can help reduce tension in your neck, shoulders and lower back. It is equally valuable for improving circulation, relieving nervous tension and promoting relaxation.

When you arrive for your appointment, Sandra will discuss your full medical history and any issues you might be having with your pregnancy. (Do please check in advance with your midwife or GP that a massage is appropriate for you).

Sports massage

Sports massage – as the name implies – was originally developed to serve athletes as a way to prevent and relieve injuries caused by too much physical activity.

Not just for sportsmen and sportswomen…

But the benefits of sports massage need not be confined just to sportsmen and sportswomen; all the non-athletes amongst us can gain just as much from these therapies, as they help on both physiological and psychological levels.

If you complete rigorous physical exercise, you can fall prey to delayed onset muscle soreness (known as DOMS). This delayed soreness typically begins between 12 and 24 hours after exercise – and can show itself for up to 72 hours. Sports massage therapy helps reduce this delayed soreness by encouraging blood and lymph flow throughout your body, and thus prevents muscle fatigue.

When you receive your sports massage, your body releases endorphins (known as your body’s natural pain relievers). These endorphins not only provide pain relief: they also help to decrease anxiety, improve your mood and generally contribute to your state of well-being.

So, whether or not you participate in sporting pursuits, you can draw real benefits from a sports massage delivered by a skilled Essential Thyme therapist…


Most people who take exercise will know how important stretching is; by incorporating it into your massage, your Essential Thyme therapist can take those stretches a little further than you might yourself and help to increase the range of movement in your muscles and joints.

Used together, stretching (sometimes described as soft tissue release) and massage can also provide exceptional results in the rehabilitation of chronic pain conditions, as well as developing flexibility and giving you a feeling of general wellness.

There are 3 types of stretching:

• Passive: where you relax and the therapist does all the work

• Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF): this is when you are asked to do a little work resisting against the therapist

• Active Isolated Stretching (AIS): this is the tough one, as you do all the work here. The therapist just assists where necessary

Stretching can be provided either as a stand-alone session or incorporated into a massage session to suit your needs.

Oncology Massage

Sandra has undertaken specialised training to offer Oncology Massage to clients in different stages of their cancer journey. Massage is used to complement their mainstream treatment not as an alternative.

Massage can help to:-

• Reduce anxiety levels
• Improve body self image
• Reduce fatigue
• Improve appetite post chemotherapy
• Deep rest and relaxation
• Improves the immune system

As with any prior medical conditions, you must speak with your consultant/medical team to check that massage will be suitable for you during your treatment. If you have any questions please contact Sandra.

bellabaci cupping

Bellabaci cupping was created by Keren Trabelsi in South Africa, and is based on the ancient Chinese art of cupping – but with one significant difference.

In Bellabaci cupping, your therapist slowly and continuously moves silicone cups around your body (thus preventing any marks on your skin), and this continuous movement of the cups introduces an element of massage to the process. The result is an amazing combination of positive and negative pressure with slow and relaxing movements…

Bellabaci cupping has been described as ‘where science meets nature to kiss your body better’, and is ideal for men and women, offering these benefits and more:

Relief from tight or sore muscles

Help with digestive disorders

Better circulation

Less cellulite

Relief from headaches and migraines

Hands-free massage

Hands-free massage puts special emphasis on using the soft part of the therapist’s forearms (and sometimes their elbows, knees and legs) for a deep and effective massage that helps relieve your stiffness and improve your flexibility.

This massage is mostly carried out on your back and the backs of your legs, but the sensations can be felt all over your body. Both invigorating and deeply relaxing, hands-free massage is also good for improving circulation – and it can be incorporated into any other massage therapy.

Essential Thyme’s principal therapist, Sandra Hope, has trained with renowned expert Gerry Pyves and has completed both the ‘Transforming Touch’ and ‘Practitioner’ courses in 2011.

If you would like to sample hands-free massage, simply ask Sandra for a brief ‘taster’ during your next appointment…

Trigger Point Release

A trigger point is a tight area within muscle tissue that causes pain in other parts of the body.

For example, a trigger point in your back may produce what is called referral pain in your neck. Your neck, now acting as a satellite trigger point, may then cause pain in your head, pain that may be either sharp or a dull ache.

Trigger point massage therapy is specifically designed to alleviate the source of your pain through cycles of isolated pressure and release, and your Essential Thyme therapist is trained to quickly find and act upon these trigger points.

The result? Constricted areas in your muscles are released and many people can experience significant relief after just one treatment.

In addition, receiving massage with trigger point therapy on a regular basis can help naturally manage the pain and stress experienced from chronic injuries.

Trigger point release can be incorporated into any other Essential Thyme massage therapies.

Myofascial Release

Myofascial tissues are the tough membranes that wrap, connect and support your muscles – and myofascial release is a therapy that works on the pain that arises from these membranes.

Myofascial pain differs from other types of pain because it originates in so-called ‘trigger points’ which are related to stiff, ‘anchored’ areas within the myofascial tissue.

Your trained therapist locates areas that feel stiff and fixed (instead of elastic and movable as they should be) and then applies light manual pressure to them. This pressure loosens up restricted movement and leads, indirectly, to reduced pain.

Myofascial release can be used effectively for:

Lower back pain
Neck stiffness
Shoulder injuries
Arthritic conditions
Sports injuries

And the benefits of Myofascial release include:

Reduction in muscle spasms
Improved joint movements
Decreased muscle tension
Improved breathing
Reduction in chronic recurring injuries

Myofascial release can easily be incorporated into any other Essential Thyme therapies.

Easy Muscle Management

Easy Muscle Management (EMM-Tech) is a safe and simple muscle release therapy first developed in Australia by remedial therapist Ross Emmett.

It uses light finger pressure at specific locations to gently release tension in many problem areas such as the neck, shoulders and back and can be applied directly to the skin or through clothing, with the client sitting, standing or lying down.

Essential Thyme offers EMM-Tech either as a stand-alone therapy or in conjunction with other massage sessions.

Hot stones massage

Hot stones massage is a natural therapy that allows your massage therapist to manipulate your deep tissues effectively and gently.

The stones used are typically river rocks or other very smooth-surfaced stones. Basalt stones are commonly used, because their high iron content helps retain heat during your massage.

Before your massage begins, the stones are heated in sanitised water, and your therapist carefully checks the surface temperature to ensure your comfort throughout. The stones are then gently placed at various points on your body, most commonly across your back (but sometimes in the palms of your hands or between your toes).

The heat from the stones helps your muscles relax, allowing your therapist to more effectively massage your deep tissues to help relieve the pain often caused by tense muscles, stiff joints or injuries.

Your therapist will allow the hot stones to rest on various trigger points in your body before beginning the actual massage. This is a real benefit, because as the heat penetrates your tissues, your blood vessels open up resulting in improved circulation. This increased circulation delivers more oxygen to your muscles, which can help to ease your aches and pains.

Thai Foot Massage

Why not give your feet a treat?

A Thai foot massage involves a hands-on stretching and massage of your feet, ankles and lower legs by your therapist, and it produces a deep and unique feeling of balance, relaxation and wellbeing – true bliss!

If you are looking for a real stress-reliever, this treatment is just what you need…

Crystal Tranquillity Therapy

For thousands of years, crystals have been recognised in many cultures for their healing properties, aiding physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

This Essential Thyme therapy incorporates a neck, face, hand and arm massage using techniques drawn from Tibetan, Indian and Ayurvedic traditions.

Rose quartz crystals (known for their particular healing properties) are used for your massage, complemented by the use of lovely fragrant Neal’s Yard Rose Facial Oil.

This is an ideal therapy if you need to release built-up tension and introduce more calmness, peace and relaxation into your life…

Indian Head Massage

Indian Head Massage is based on the Indian Ayurveda system of healing and has been practised there for over 1,000 years. This style of head massage was brought to the West in the 1970’s and subtly adapted for our culture.

Indian Head Massage works on your upper back, shoulders, neck, arms and head, with you seated and fully clothed during the session.

The aim of this therapy is to release stress which has been built up in the tissues, muscles and joints around your head, neck, face, shoulders and upper back. There are no oils used – and it’s a great massage to squeeze into your lunch break!