Frequently Asked Questions

Massage - What are the benefits?

Massage treatments and holistic therapies help balance the body's systems, promote well being, prevent illness, and relax both mind and body. This occurs through the 1-on-1 attention received from the therapist, the relaxing atmosphere, and the energy provided by the therapist. The therapies help in both physical and emotional ways.

Physical benefits can include:

  • A source of external energy for your body
  • Stimulation of internal energies
  • Reduced oedema, cellulite and improved lymphatic drainage, which helps fight disease and infection
  • Prevention of colds, headaches, migraines
  • Improved immune system function
  • Stimulation of internal organs such as the lungs, kidneys, and brain
  • Improved diaphragmatic muscles, leading to deeper breathing into the stomach
  • Increased peristaltic (colonic) flow, improving waste removal
  • Removal of toxins and waste products from body tissues, for example lactic acid from aching muscles after exercise
  • Improved supply of oxygen and nutrients, feeding body tissues
  • Increased blood circulation
  • Improved hair condition
  • Improvement of skin colour, suppleness and resistance to infection
  • Desquamation (shedding of old skin)
  • Improved posture
  • Relaxation and prevention of hard, contracted muscles, tight knots and adhesions
  • Stretching and broadening of muscle tissue, improving muscle tone
  • Warmth for the body
  • Positive effects on serotonin, which is vital for a good night's sleep, endorphins which regulate pain, and dopamine, which affects our ability to feel pleasure
  • The stress hormone cortisol, is also significantly reduced during massage

Emotional benefits can include:

  • Reduction in stress, anxiety and depression
  • A calmer, serene, more laid back approach
  • A feeling of well being and a positive attitude
  • Promotion of body health awareness, enhancement of self-esteem and image
  • Eased emotional expression
  • Improved concentration and clarity of thought
  • An invigorating, tingling, refreshing glow
  • Comfort and relaxation

Massage - Which essential oils are good to use?

Add a few drops of your chosen essential oil or oil blend to your bath, shower buff, to a pan of warm water to inhale under a clean towel, add to wood on a fire, handkerchief, place a tissue behind a radiator or lightbulb, add to an oil burner, add to alcohol to make a perfume,  or blend with base oils and massage into the skin or rub on the temples and wrists. There are many ways to inhale or absorb these energies, nutrients and vitamins.

Here's a quick summary of which essential oils are best suited for common situations, including mood enhancement, making balanced blends, and chakra balancing.  All oils are available in the suite. Ask me about making specific blends for your mood, condition, personality, star sign, room, or season. For medical or clinical conditions, use aromatherapy only as a complementary therapy - please [continue to] consult your GP or medical practitioner. Ring or email Steve now on 02380639913 or 07968065885 to buy products that aren't available on my Neal's Yard Remedies shop or my Amazon shop.

Romance: Rose Absolute, Rose Otto, Rosewood, Marjoram, Ylang ylang, Clary Sage.

Sensual/Erotic: Rose Absolute, Sandalwood, Jasmine, Ylang ylang, Patchouli, Clary Sage, Cardamom, Black Pepper, Neroli, Ginger, Rose Otto, Rosewood, Juniper.

Helping sleep: Lavender, Marjoram, Chamomile Roman, Sandalwood, Clary Sage, Neroli.

Enlivening: Rosemary, Peppermint, Basil, Cardamom, Eucalyptus, Clove, Black Pepper, Coriander, Bergamot, Mandarin, Neroli, Cinnamon, Grapefruit, Ginger.

Relieving worry, sadness or stress: Grapefruit, Bergamot, Basil, Neroli, Melissa, Geranium, Rosemary, Rose Absolute, Rose Otto, Frankincense, Mandarin, Peppermint, Pine, Lemongrass, Juniper, Marjoram, Neroli, Chamomile Roman, Verbena, Jasmine.

Calming/Giving patience: Lavender, Chamomile Roman, Neroli, Marjoram, Ylang ylang, Clary Sage, Sandalwood, Rose Otto, Rose Absolute, Melissa, Cypress, Patchouli, Bergamot, Vetivert, Neroli, Jasmine.

Giving confidence: Jasmine, Ylang ylang, Clary Sage, Bergamot, Frankincense, Lavender, Coriander, Ginger.

Easing muscles/nervous energy: Lavender, Rosemary, Marjoram, Chamomile Roman, Thyme, Geranium.

Cleansing and clearing skin/sinuses/head: Tea tree, Lemon Lemongrass Eucalyptus.

Balancing: Geranium.

Each essential oil can also be characterised by its volatility (how quickly the molecules vaporise). You smell top notes first, then middle, and bottom notes provide the longer-lasting smell in a well-balanced perfume or remedy.

TOP NOTES: Basil, Bergamot, Cajuput, Lemon, Lemongrass, Eucalyptus, Niaouli, Petitgrain, Tea tree.

TOP TO MIDDLE NOTES: Caraway, Clary-Sage, Coriander, Peppermint, Thyme.

MIDDLE: Black Pepper, Chamomile Roman, Fennel, Geranium, Juniper, Lavender, Marjoram, Melissa, Rosemary, Savory.

BASE TO MIDDLE: Cinnamon, Clove, Cypress, Nutmeg, Pine Needle, Tarragon.

BASE: Benzoin, Cedarwood, Frankincense, Ginger, Jasmine, Marigold, Myrrh, Neroli, Oreganum, Patchouli, Rose Absolute, Sandalwood, Ylang ylang.

Another way to use essential oils is for chakra balancing. Here are key essential oils for the 7 major chakras:

Base Chakra (Grounding/Stabilising Earth energy)
Patchouli, Myrrh, Cedarwood.

Sacral Chakra (Transmuting sexual energy)
Sandalwood, Jasmine, Rose Absolute, Ylang ylang, Champaca.

Solar Plexus Chakra (Transducing solar and pranic energy)
Clary-Sage, Juniper, Geranium.

Heart Chakra (Flow of unconditional love)
Rose Absolute, Melissa, Neroli.

Throat Chakra (Self-expression, Communication, Will)
Chamomile Roman, Lavender, Rosemary, Lavender, Thyme.

Brow Chakra (Balancing the Higher and Lower Selves, ESP)
Frankincense, Basil.

Crown Chakra (Divine Love and Super-consciousness)
Ylang ylang, Rosewood, Linden.

Massage - Which base oils are good to use?

Base, or Carrier Oils, can be full of nutrients and vitamins, and are ready to massage into the skin and hair. My guide below shows you the properties of each base oil. Use them as they come, or add Essential Oils for extra goodness. All are available to buy in the suite or buy almond, grapeseed and rosehip oil online.

Almond Oil: Light, almost odourless. Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, D, E, protein, and a high percentage of unsaturated fatty acids. Protects, nourishes and calms eczema irritation, dryness or inflamation. Excellent hair and skin conditioner, as well as helping reduce muscular pain and tightness.

Grapeseed: Green in colour, extremely popular as a base oil for skin massage, noted for its fine texture and low odour. Contains Vitamin E, protein and a high percentage of linoleic acid (unsaturated fatty acid). It is a gentle emollient, leaving the skin silky without the grease.

Rosehip Oil: A beautiful golden red oil, usually organic from wild plants. Again, a high percentage of unsaturated fatty acids, but does not keep as long as almond or grapeseed. Good for scar tissue, wounds, sunburn, eczema and ageing skin.

Argan Oil: A fantastic multi-purpose, intensely nourishing and soothing 100% organic oil – argan oil is made up of 80% skin-nourishing fatty acids, with extremely high levels of antioxidant vitamin E. Organic Argan Oil is perfect for deeply moisturising and soothing the skin, nails and hair, and helping to protect against premature ageing caused by free radicals.

Soya and Wheatgerm: High levels of Vitamin E, particularly good for dry and ageing skin.

Sesame: A clear, yellow oil with Vitamin E and rich in many vitamins and minerals including iron, calcium and phosphorus, proteins, lecithin and amino acids. Very commonly used in India for all Ayurvedic types, for head massage, and for blending herbs. Can help improve skin texture, for example in the treatment of psoriasis, eczema, rheumatism, or arthritis, reduce swellings, alleviate muscular pain, and protect from the sun.

Coconut: A light, pale yellow oil widely used in Southern India, especially in the spring. Very moisturising and softening on the hair and skin, it also helps relieve inflammation, and is suitable for dry and brittle hair. Take care for use with sensitive skin. Solid at room temperature, so requires heating to liquify.

Mustard: A heavy, dark yellow, strong and pungent oil, one of the most popular oils in north-west India, and suited for the winter months because of its hot, warming sensation increasing body temperature. Take care for use with sensitive skin and always dilute with a lighter oil such as almond. Well known for its ability to break down congestion and swellings from tense muscles and relieve pain. For dryness of the scalp, using mustard oil with a small amount of turmeric can prove very effective.

Olive: Green, viscous and pungent, this oil is very popular in the western world for cooking. Containing protein, vitamins, minerals and high levels of unstaurated fatty acids, it stimulates heat in the body and is therefore useful in reducing tightness and pain. Mix with a lighter oil such as almond and use for dry skin and hair.

Training - Why should I train with you?

Looking at a training course to learn a bit more to realise the benefits of massage and holistic therapies for yourself, your partner, or clients?Training and workshops can be held at the suite, at your own venue, in a Spanish farmhouse retreat or a rural Cypriot retreat.

  • All courses are provided by qualified and experienced therapist Steve in an informative, personal and informal manner. Steve has PTLLS Level 4 teaching qualification, many years experience as an international therapist, and runs his own therapy business, and is HABIA, FHT and Guild endorsed.
  • A variety of practice models are provided.
  • Professional accredited courses are underwritten by the Guild of Beauty Therapists, who offer insurance and certification for my successful students.
  • My customised and speciality practical courses give you practical experience in a relaxing environment without the burden of accreditation, assessment, and theory.
  • All training is supported by my training booklets, recommended holistic therapy training books and my range of products and treatments available to you.
  • No VAT is to be added to my prices. A 5% discount applies to returning students.
  • Certificate of Completion awarded to you. This is from me, or from the Guild of Beauty Therapists.
  • I am happy to advise before and after training on treatments, training, products and further resources for your massage or therapy practice.
  • Follow up sessions or advanced techniques are available by the hour.
  • Your private health insurance or employer may provide you with subsidies or full payment for your training here.

Specific benefits of training at the Southampton suite:

  • Training can be provided so you are the only attendee(s), there are no other people of different experience, ability or goals.
  • Flexible days to suit you - not pre-determined dates by me.
  • Flexible course lengths to suit you - such as 2, 4, 6, 8, 12 or 24 hours, depending on your previous experience and your required depth of experience and knowledge from your training.
  • You can split longer courses into two or more sessions to fit around your preferred learning pace.

Not sure which of my training courses is right for you? Have a chat with me on 02380639913 or 07968065885. I look forward to helping you. Steve

Training - What are the benefits of setting up a holistic or massage business?

Why consider earning extra income or setting yourself a new career in massage in holistic therapy? Below are listed a few key benefits to you, the newly qualified therapist:

  • Quick start up. There is no need to complete a full time 3 or 5 year degree before you can start earning. Start small with a profitable treatment such as massage or waxing, and expand as and when you see fit, when you can afford it.
  • Affordability. Most training courses come in at under £500, and can provide full time employment on completion.
  • Extensive treatment possibilities. Cranio-sacral therapy, colour therapy, beauty and facials, hair removal, sports focused treatments, nutrition, weight loss, well-being, counselling- the vast arena of possibilities this business will be at your doorstep.
  • Product range incomes. Increase your income with a range of products, either branded or home-made!
  • A portable job. You can practice anywhere in the country or world. See the world and learn about its therapies. I went to India and South East Asia and I loved it!
  • Low overhead costs. You can work from home or as a mobile therapist - so no costly overheads of getting to work or paying rent on a workspace. This menas you can easily test a market area without expense.
  • Self employment. This is a goal for many workers - you choose your hours, your clients, your goals, how you spend your time, and your business ethos. No meetings with lots of different departments!
  • Client choice. Meet a variety of people that you choose. You can target specialist sectors, such as hospital/care homes/ surgery patients, mothers, children, animals, ladies or gents, sports professionals, physically or mentally impaired clients, overweight or image conscious clients, just as you wish.
  • Achievement. You get a real sense of achievement from setting up and managing your own business.
  • Satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is one of the key reasons people choose holistic therapy. You provide 1 on 1 care, and your clients will leave feeling so much better than when they came in, and that is down purely to your service!
  • Advice and guidance. Choose from a variety of professional and friendly support networks from international therapist bodies to local groups of therapists.

Not sure which training course is right for you? Have a chat with Steve on 02380639913 or 07968065885. I look forward to helping you.

Male Waxing - What about aftercare?

Certain activities can risk irritation and infection of newly treated skin. Please avoid the following:

  • Scratching and touching the area
  • Sunbathing or sun beds for 48 hours
  • Having a sauna, steam or any heat treatment for 24 hours
  • Taking a hot bath or shower for 24 hours
  • Doing any exercise that encourages sweating for 24 hours
  • Applying any different/new moisturisers or body lotions, perfumes, deodorants, shower gels etc, other than those recommended by me, on the area for 24 hours
  • Having sex for 24 hours after Brazilian hair removal (the friction may cause irritation or bleeding of newly waxed skin)
  • Light exfoliation twice a week after hair removal greatly reduces the occurrence of ingrown hairs. The first exfoliation should be done 4-5 days after hair removal.

Keeping the skin clean with a light antiseptic will reduce likelihood of infection.

Male Waxing - Is waxing suitable for everyone?

Waxing is a very safe treatment, however all clients must be over 18 years of age and are required to complete a health consultation before waxing can take place. Contagious skin conditions will prevent me from waxing the affected area until the condition has completely cleared (for intimate waxing, this includes STIs and urinary tract infections). Clients taking Roaccutane must wait 6 months after finishing their medication before receiving a waxing treatment. I am unable to remove hair from skin that is sunburnt, chafed or broken, or from skin that has been treated with steroid creams, Retin-A, Differin or other retinoid acne medication within the last 3 months. Waxing is not suitable for people with lymph oedema in the treatment area, severe haemophilia, or those with diabetes that is not managed by diet, exercise or medication.

Male Waxing - How should I prepare for my treatment?

Do not shave, clipper or use hair removal creams (e.g. Veet) on the area for at least 3 weeks prior to your appointment, as hair needs to be a minimum of ½ cm long in order to wax successfully. If you are already getting waxed on a regular basis, you will need to leave at least 4 weeks between treatments. If possible, please shower before your appointment and gently exfoliate the areas you are having waxed for a few days beforehand. This helps to remove excess dead skin cells and lifts the hair for better results. You may want to bring clean, loose cotton clothes to wear after your treatment to avoid any friction and possible bacterial infection from dirty clothes.

Male Waxing - Will there be any side-effects?

Skin redness and irritation immediately after waxing are common. This is resolved easily by applying a cold compress and/or tea-tree and lavender cream to the area. Reddish bumps or subcutaneous bleeding can occur when a person is extremely sensitive and also after Brazilian waxing. Stretching the skin during application and removal of wax prevents excessive blood spotting, bruising and removing the upper layers of skin, which are all preventable side-effects. A cooling, light antiseptic, anti-bacterial cream will be massaged into the skin immediately before and after waxing to help prevent infection.

Male Waxing - How important is hygiene?

Very important – to me and to you. Pulling hair out of your skin will leave empty hair follicles, which can be a haven for bacteria. For each client, I wear fresh nitrile gloves, and use skin cleansers on you before and after treatment, and follow universal Habia rules: clean wax and wax pots, avoid double-dipping, fresh couch roll and spatulas, correct disposal of waste, and disinfection or sterilisation of tweezers, clippers, scissors and all waxing equipment. I provide a free aftercare pack to help keep your skin clean, exfoliated and moisturised for the following day. I also provide an aftercare leaflet with advice about caring for your waxed skin.

Male Waxing - Why wax?

Waxing pulls out the hair at the root, rather than shaving, clippering, and depilatory creams, which instead cut the hair at the skin. A common analogy is pulling grass out at its roots, rather than mowing it. That means your smooth skin will last much longer - usually for a week or 2 on the first wax, rather than a day or so with shaving. Waxing also offers less or no itchiness and no hard rough stubble - hair re-growth is much softer and finer, sparser and weaker. This is because the hair follicle becomes distorted by waxing, which can reduce hair growth such that after regular waxing for a long period of time, some hairs may not grow back at all. With repeated waxing, smoothness can last for up to 2-3 weeks. It is common for athletes, cyclists and swimmers to wax for performance reasons, and for non athletes to wax for aesthetics, cleanliness, social or religious reasons. Ideal before beach holidays – but come at least 2 days before you fly so the skin can recover before exposure to sun.

Male Waxing - Does it hurt being waxed?

There's no denying it, yes! Because hair is thicker at its root, waxing is like pulling an arrowhead the wrong way out of the skin. But the more often you get a wax treatment, the more accustomed you'll grow to the experience and the less it'll hurt. Some people take a paracetamol before being waxed. There are ways I reduce your pain – using best next generation waxes in the right areas, the right techniques, and a friendly manner to help you relax. I have pain relieving gel with Lidocaine for those with sensitive skin. I use two of the latest non-strip waxes invented by Perron Rigot, which provide the perfect removal of all hair types, even on sensitive areas. They share the unique ‘shrink wrapping’ abilities of older hot waxes but are lower in temperature, easier to apply and stay flexible as they cool. This makes them much more comfortable and an ideal choice for removing short, coarse and stubborn hairs anywhere on your body.  Immediately after waxing, I will apply gentle pressure to the area with my hands; this confuses the nerve endings and stops the pain. I use a skin soother and tonic after treatment to cool the skin and any burning sensation.

Male Waxing - What is warm waxing?

Warm waxing, or strip waxing, is used to remove hair from your back, chest, shoulders, stomach, abdomen, arms, underarms, buttocks and legs. Warm waxing is the most popular method as it removes hairs quickly and efficiently. It can be used as a film across large areas and is suitable for most hair types. The warm wax is applied to your body with a spatula, then a strip of cloth is smoothed down on top of the wax, then ripped off quickly, taking the hair with it. After the treatment a cleanser, and then soothing cooling antiseptic lotion is applied to calm the skin and fight any infection.

Male Intimate Waxing - What is it?

Also known as the infamous 'back, sack and crack', Mankini, Boykini, Boyzilian, Brazilian, Hollywood, Sunga (after a skimpy Brazilian male swimsuit), BBC (butt, balls and crotch), The Aussie Outback (everything off 'Down Under'), The Tropicana (banana and coconut smoothie), The Copacabana (all off South of the border), XXX Waxing, The Bald Banana, The Kojak, The Full Monty, Extreme Waxing... this increasingly popular service involves the removal of hair from the groin, speedo line, penis, scrotum, buttocks and crack. As much or as little hair can be removed as desired by the customer, with the final price adjusted accordingly.

Male Intimate Waxing - Are STI's a concern?

Clients with known STIs and urinary tract infections cannot be treated. If in doubt, I don’t treat. To protect myself and my clients, I follow the universal hygiene procedures recommended by the governing HABIA regulatory body: wearing of gloves, avoidance of double-dipping of waxing spatulas, disinfection or sterilization of equipment as appropriate, clean towels for each client and the correct disposal of salon waste. Waxing and sugaring are very safe treatments.

Male Intimate Waxing - What is a popular choice?

Many men today opt to remove hair from the scrotum and penis, and trim and/or shape pubic hair. This can lead to the 'optical extra inch', plus a clean, fresh and tidy look. Removing hair from the speedo line defines and pronounces the pubic hair to enhance the look. If hair is removed from the pubic hair area, I can 'blend' it into a hairy area of the tummy (unless of course you have the tummy hair removed aswell). Hair immediately around the anal area can also be removed for cleanliness and smoothness. I can also blend any treated area of the crack or buttocks into the buttocks or legs if these remain hairy.

Male Intimate Waxing - What happens if I get an erection?

Don’t worry, it happens! Most erections that occur during a Brazilian service have nothing to do with sexual arousal. Instead, it is likely to be no more than an involuntary response to the manipulation of the genitals. Any such arousal normally subsides fairly rapidly. I tend to carry on working, asking the customer to hold himself out of the way or moving to a different area of the body if necessary. It is not a bad thing - it helps the skin to be stretched taut, which helps remove hair less painfully and prevents bruising of the area.

Male Waxing - What is hot waxing?

Hot waxing is also known as hard waxing, peelable waxing, film waxing and non-strip waxing. It is used to remove strong, coarse, and stubborn hairs, and also used on the more sensitive areas on your body, normally found around the underarms, back of the neck, face (ears, nostrils, eyebrows), genital area and crack. Hot wax is applied to your body with a spatula in an ice lolly shape, it is left to cool slightly so it contracts around the hair, then flicked and peeled off quickly by hand rather than with a strip of cloth, taking the hairs with it. The hot wax is ideal for sensitive areas as it doesn't stick to your skin. It is more expensive than warm waxing, and takes longer to wax the same size area. It is very important that the skin in the area being waxed is kept taught to avoid any bruising. To help with this I will ask you to change positions during the treatment or to use your hands to pull down on your skin. After the treatment a cleanser, and then soothing cooling antiseptic lotion is applied to calm the skin and fight any infection.