Real deep tissue / sports Massage
Advanced bodywork and remedial treatments
at LipoTherapeia in London
A real deep tissue massage in London
My name is Georgios Tzenichristos and I have been addicted to sports / deep tissue massage for the last 33 years.
I received my first sports massage when I was 16, to help me recover from a sports injury (in my teens I was a competitive runner - 110m and 400m with hurdles). Since then I got addicted.
I know from my own experience how difficult it is to find a good deep tissue / sports massage in London. You know, the kind with long, deep, rhythmical strokes; strong, firm kneading; transverse friction to break down trigger points; and muscle stripping to stretch contracted muscle fibres. So for the last 19 years I have been offering this massage, the massage I would like to receive, in London.
I have been qualified in sports massage in this country since 1998 and over the next 10 years I have provided more than 12,000 massages to more than 2,000 clients, alongside my other specialisation, cellulite reduction and skin tightening (the main focus of this website).
My deep tissue massage passion
Deep tissue massage for me is a passion and I make sure I receive a treatment every week - or at least every two weeks - courtesy of a good colleague of mine. What I do not understand is how sports therapists who want to be taken seriously about their sports massage skills, never receive any massages themselves. To understand how a massage move feels - or should feel - you must experience it yourself. Otherwise, you never become good in massage. As simple as that.
Receiving massages for the last 33 years is one of the cornerstones of my technique. The other three are anatomy, empathy and flow.
A deep tissue massage based on anatomy
I love massage, I love natural health and I love the human body. So to be good in massage, I had to learn good anatomy. And I did.
I pride myself in the knowledge of the anatomy of the human body: muscles, muscle attachments, tendons, ligaments and the various fasciae along the whole body. I base my massage on this knowledge.
Every time I massage a muscle I visualise the muscle underneath and at the same time I feel it under my fingertips (and palms, and forearms, and elbows, and feet)... All my massage moves are based on what a specific move achieves to what fibres of what muscle. It is definitely not random moves here and there.
And when I massage a particular muscle, I try to produce the effect I would like to receive on that muscle. Which brings us to the next point: empathy.
Empathy: the secret sauce of a good deep tissue massage
When I massage someone, I aim to make the person who receives the massage feel how I would like to feel. Do they have tightness on the neck? How does that feel? How would a specific massage move make me feel on that area if I had it done on me? Every time I massage a specific body structure, from a muscle to a fascia, I internally feel how that muscle feels. I automatically recreate the feeling of the massage move on that structure and how it can be relieved by a specific pressure.
This doesn't come because I am gifted or anything. I don't mean to say anything like that. It comes from having more sensitivity and lower muscle stiffness threshold than the average person So I "feel my muscles" and their tension more. Some people are cursed by this, because it makes them feel constantly tense and even tired. It may be low level tension, but it is there.
I tried to make the most of it, and turn a curse into a skill, by learning how to break down that tension with deep tissue massage. This takes thousands of massages, both received and given to other people, but it enabled me to feel how my clients feel. So I use this skill in order to offer my clients a deep tissue massage with empathy: as my hands glide over a specific muscle, I visualise the anatomy of the muscle and feel how the muscle feels - and should feel - from within.
This takes us to the next point: flow
A massage without flow is not a massage at all
Have you ever had one of those chinese massages or those sports massages comprising almost entirely pressure point work? Yes, you remember them being strong, sometimes excruciatingly strong, so they qualify as deep tissue. But are they massage? Nope. They aren't. You may call them technical work on pressure points, or acupressure, or anything else, but these are not massages, they are thumb pokes.
For me a massage must encompass rhythm. Movement. Flow. Slow rhythm at times, fast rhythm where needed, but there must be a rhythm, a hypnotic, repetitive movement, that makes both muscles and mind relax, blood circulation and lymphatic flow reboot.
Yes, from time to time I may use some pressure points, but that is the exception, not the rule. The rule for me is long, repetitive, rhythmical, flowing moves. My rhythm tends to be a bit faster than your typical massage, which many people erroneously think is not relaxing. But with repetitive, gradually firmer, alternate movements, a slightly "faster" massage is way more relaxing than any slow massage. And it allows me to treat more areas, or offer specific area "more massage" per unit of time. Win-win.
So there you have it. When you have massage with me expect:
Firm, repetitive, rhythmical, flowing movements and detailed work on muscles, fasciae and tendons, based on anatomy, and applied with empathy and gradually firmer pressure, until tension is released. That's real deep tissue massage for me.
Oil & massage
Many people think that if you use a lot of oil, then the massage is superficial, while if you use little oil then it is deep tissue. Well, allow me to express my opinion on this with one word: rubbish!
Using little oil means that the pressure of the hand is transferred mainly on the fascia and on the skin - and little goes on the muscle. Yes, fascia work has it's significance, but muscles are always number one. And no, nobody comes to have their skin massaged if they come for sports massage, so using very little oil is either stingy or stupid.
On the other hand, using a relatively high amount of oil allows you to work directly on the muscles, leaving the skin and the fascia alone. And if you need to work on that fascia, you wipe off some of that oil, and you use a specific fascia release technique. But, in general, oil allows for very good muscle work. And it also allows for a free flowing massage technique.
What oil do I use? Well, I use a very special virgin, cold pressed almond oil that smells divine and comprises mainly monounsaturates (omega 9) and some polyunsaturates (omega 6 and omega 3), provides good "slip" and at the same time good "grip", while nourishing the skin and leaving it soft and silky.
Whole body massage
Which parts of the body can be massaged? Well, literally everything. And for those more technically minded (usually athletes or massage connoisseurs) I love working on:
- Foot massage: There is no better "feel good" factor than a few minutes of foot massage, either at the beginning or at the end of the treatment
- Calf / lower leg massage: The first massage I received was for my calves - and since then I got hooked! I love massaging the gastrocnemius, soleus, tibialis posterior (always tight in my case, so I have lots of techniques for it), tibialis anterior (always forgotten) and all the other "bad boys" on the lower legs
- Quad massage: I always have tense quads, so believe me, I feel how you feel. Expect some nice ITB work too, always essential for runners, and even everybody. And not forgetting some empathetic VMO work. VMOs can cause - and solve - a lot of knee troubles.
- Hamstring massage: Those leg biceps and semis can accumulate a lot of tension and can also cause a lot of trouble on runners - hamstring massage is important.
- Hip massage: Hips and buttocks are the massage therapist desert, especially in prudish Britain. Massage therapists are afraid of hip massage. Nobody works on hip muscles and nobody knows what to do with them, anyway. However, "blessed" with permanently tight hip rotators, courtesy of my flat feet, I have developed very early a comprehensive "arsenal" of massage moves to release the tension on those muscles. And boy, how this helps people! I had several clients who went through multiple scans, x-rays, physio sessions and osteopath "sacroiliac joint facilitations" for years, only to get back to normal function with a handful of sessions and a few stretches prescribed. I don't pretend to cure all illness, but I do know my hip muscles and I do care about releasing them.
- Back and shoulder massage: Paraspinals, "lats", rhomboids, quadratus lumborum (QL) cause tension and agony to millions of people every year. I especially love working on the QL and the lumbar area in combination with hip work, to release low back tension and pain
- Neck massage: Now if one thing is my favourite, that's neck massage. It allows me to provide a deep, rhythmical, hypnotic, super relaxing massage that helps the client both feel physically free (neck range of movement) and mentally relaxed (neck muscles accumulate a lot of mental / emotional tension). Neck massage rocks!
- Chest massage: Yet another massage desert. When last did someone release the tension on your pectoralis minor? Who knows that the pectoralis major is in essence five muscles, not one, courtesy of the multiple attachment points? Who last did work on the tension that accumulates on your intercostal muscles (the muscles around your ribs) and your sternum (breast bone)? Did you breathe better after that? Not to mention breast massage which is normally a big taboo, despite it's numerous benefits for lymphatic drainage and overall tension/stress release. Chest massage is crucial but almost always omitted.
- Arm and hand massage: How many people have pain due to typing on the computer or due to iPhone use? iPhone thumb anyone? Tennis elbow? Golfers' elbow? Repetitive strain injury / carpal tunnel syndrome on the wrists have destroyed whole careers. Triceps are always tight and hand massage feels so loving - and so lovely. Hands and arms should not be forgotten.
- Face massage: Face massage is a weird case. Sports massage therapists don't even want to know. And all beauty therapists do is wishy-washy featherlight work, which doesn't even qualify as massage. Not to mention the typical massage oils used, which are not of that great quality, and not suitable for the face anyway. My face massage is firm yet gentle, and it works on the facial muscles. People love it. Expect to look, not just feel, more relaxed and happier after a deep face massage.
- Head massage: Head massage is also important, but it is usually poor. There is no more value between therapeutic head massages and hairdresser massages: they both touch the surface in an epidermal manner. On the area of the head covered by hair, there are important muscles and muscle attachments, and they can really benefit from a good, firm-yet-gentle muscle work. Actually, my head massage is really an extension of neck muscle massage work.
- Cellulite massage: Cellulite is my current focus, so expect expert, cellulite-specific massage work. This website is all about cellulite and skin tightening, so I won't go into any more detail into that. Expect the best.
Foot pressure massage
Elbows and forearms are great for big muscles and muscle-y people - but foot pressure is second to none for those cases. I use foot pressure either specifically for bulky muscles (such as the glutes) or as a stand-alone, foot-pressure only treatment which can cover the whole of the back - even the neck - and legs. Don't worry, my pressure is always accurate, gentle where it's needed and firm where it counts.
Massage duration for different body areas
So there you have it. That's how I believe massage should be on the different body areas.
You can choose a whole body massage (I recommend two hours, or at least 90'); a back, neck and shoulder massage (I recommend one hour); perhaps just a focused head, neck and shoulders (again, normally one hour); or maybe a full leg massage (great for runners and cyclists (one hour).
And you can "pick and mix". Do you want just quads and neck? We can do that. Legs with emphasis on cellulite? Sure. Quads and calves? No problem. Hips and low back? Absolutely.
It just has to be either one, one-and-a-half or two hours, to fit with the rest of my schedule (no 30' unfortunately).
If this sounds like a massage manual, well, it kinda is. I taught massage for several years and still do from time to time.
But the main purpose of this page is to help you understand my massage philosophy and to get an idea of what massage to expect when you book with me.
Benefits of sports / deep tissue massage
A good deep tissue massage should:
- Release muscle trigger points, thereby reducing pain and tension and liberating movement
- Provide micro-stretching on the muscle fibres, releasing tension, restoring range of movement and preventing injury
- Break down adhesions that keep muscles tense and knotted, thereby allowing muscles free motion
- Boost circulation and lymphatic drainage (way better than lymphatic drainage massage for anyone who has not had their lymph glands removed)
- Release negative emotions and emotional tension "stored" in muscles
- Relax the mind, reduce blood pressure and take psychological tension and stressful thoughts away. Provide valuable "me time". In two words: feel human.
Cost, location and booking
The cost is the same: £135/60', £202.50/90', £270/120'. And 60' is full 60', not 50' or 55' (the same applies to 90' and 120').
It is not cheap, but then you do not get a" cheap treatment" either. I studied really hard to develop my knowledge of anatomy. I worked really hard on thousands of bodies to develop my skills and my technique. And most importantly I work really, really hard when I massage you.
I practise at the Hale Clinic, 7 Park Crescent, Central, London, W1 and you can only book directly with me (not at the clinic reception) on 0207 118 2014.
VIP deep tissue massage at your home
Over the years I have treated several celebrities and quite a few household name billionaires, so believe me I know what I do and I am used to demanding clients who had massage with the best around the world.
My home visits are a minimum of two hours and a maximum of six, for yourself and your family or guests (for the six hour session I need 30' rest sometime in the middle of the session). I bring my own plush massage table and luxury massage oils and high end creams.
Home spa VIP treatments at your home
Longer sessions are also ideal for high-end "home spa" experiences before a hen party etc. For example you can offer 6x one-hour massages or 12x half-hour massages to your guests. No pointless fluffy massage for you and your guests guaranteed!
Anti-ageing facial treatments and skin toning / anti-cellulite leg treatments can also be provided instead of massage, at the same prices.
VIP home treatment prices
My fees are exactly double those of my clinic fees, i.e. £270/hour, so a minimum two-hour massage session at your home is £540. Sessions of 3+ hours benefit from a set 10% discount.
For VIP home massages I am available Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays (i.e. the days I am not at the clinic), from 8am-11:30pm (must finish by 11:30pm) anywhere in London, Heathrow, Gatwick and Surrey.
To ensure I offer a good service to everyone and keep a healthy practice, all sessions must be prepaid at the time the booking is made. A full-fee 48-hour cancellation policy applies; and late arrival will mean treatment may have to be reduced accordingly. For all Monday sessions, 90' sessions and 120' sessions, a 72-hour cancellation policy applies. Only exception to the cancellation policy is emergency hospital admission.
Of course, I will always try to find a replacement if you cancel within the cancellation period, and I will try to offer you a full treatment if you arrive late, but I cannot guarantee that. So kindly give me at least 48/72-hour notice and kindly arrive on time for your appointment.
I do not pretend to cure any diseases and I have given thousands of treatments to know that results vary from person to person. So I cannot guarantee anything, but please be assured that I always do my best, with every single client, to offer an amazing deep tissue massage.