Holistic Centre for Body, Mind & Spirit


Because touch is such a primary human need, massage has been deeply rooted in human culture since ancient times. The Chinese were practising massage as long ago as 3000 BC and in India, sacred, ancient Hindu texts include massage in their guidelines for hygiene and wellbeing. Egyptian tombs also contain evidence that massage was important in their culture.

Holistic massage is incredibly calming and can make you feel more relaxed and less stressed. But it can also help improve circulation by increasing oxygen flow in the blood and helping the body eliminate toxins. It can relax, tone and soothe muscles and also relieve stiffness and sometimes pain. It also helps to break down cellulite and fatty deposits. Some people believe it strengthens the immune system too.

While Eastern massage addresses energy flow and balance within the body, stimulating and soothing specific points along the energy meridians, in the Western world most massages are based on an understanding of anatomy, pathology and physiology by working on the digestive, nervous and musculoskeletal systems.

Potential benefits of massage can include:

  • Enhanced feelings of relaxation, calm, contentment and confidence
  • Relief from pain, eg headaches and back pain, and from stress, anxiety and tension
  • The release of endorphins, the body’s feel-good hormones
  • Improved blood and lymph circulation
  • Increased energy levels and feelings of vitality
  • Injury recovery
  • A general sense of health, wellbeing and clarity of mind
  • Improved sleep patterns
  • Encourages deeper and more efficient breathing
  • Increased flexibility helping towards good posture
  • Eases tired, aching muscles

One of Anam Cara’s practitioners says, “Twenty-one years ago I started as a fitness/aerobics instructor. I then decided to go back to college and train in Sports Therapy. I went on to train in Sports Massage, Aromatherapy and other holistic therapies. I also trained in Beauty as I wanted to help people not just on a physical level but on an emotional level too, as I feel most illness and disease comes from life’s stresses and emotional challenges. Later I found Dru Yoga which works on all levels of experience (physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual). Five years ago I went on to train as a teacher and have continued my training to eventually become a Dru Yoga practitioner specialising in back care and pregnancy-related health and wellbeing.”

Another of Anam Cara’s practitioners says, “My journey into holistic therapies started in 1999. I studied Aromatherapy, Reflexology, Swedish Massage, Indian Head Massage, Reiki and Hopi Ear Candles. This led to Advanced Aromatherapy and Advanced Reflexology qualifications. My aromatherapy tutor then introduced me to Shiatsu. I studied Complementary Therapies at Derby University and obtained a B.A.(Hons) Degree in Shiatsu. Nowadays this enables me to tailor treatments to the client’s needs, as often they require more than one therapy and I can fine tune various combination treatments.

“My experience at Anam Cara is that it is client centred, client focused and client led. The holistic ethos supporting the client’s personal quest towards health and wellbeing by creating a therapeutic environment to help clients physically, emotionally and psychologically. And it isn’t just about caring and supporting the client, the emphasis is placed on the client and the therapist feeling nurtured and protected whilst at Anam Cara.

“In my experience, the essence is to provide a peaceful and relaxing environment. I pride myself in being part of the team and showing a personal interest, compassion and empathy in the client’s issues. I feel Anam Cara truly supports me in this role by creating a safe environment for me to practise in. All the therapies and treatments under the Anam Cara umbrella complement each other, and their aim is to guide and support clients. From talking therapies, bodywork, herbs and so on clients will often come to supplement traditional medicine or come to us when all else has failed.

“All at Anam Cara share a common belief and philosophy that the mind, body and spirit should be treated in a holistic manner, and that we are here to increase the client’s self-awareness and to help them understand how they think and feel.”