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Which massage technique speaks to you?

A breakdown of each bodywork technique you can receive at suryalila

Bodywork has long been recognised as conducive to health and wellbeing. Ancient Hindu practitioners referred to massage techniques as ’life health’, and evidence of bodywork are also seen in Egypt, China and the Far East dating back 5000 years or more.

Bodywork has been applied in different ways throughout the centuries to compliment a healthy lifestyle. Some of its main benefits were used to:

✓ promote equilibrium and vitality

✓ condition the body for sports

✓ rehabilitate from injury

✓ balance energies in the body toward homeostasis

✓ heal from trauma and held patterns

✓ as a holistic cure for illness and disease

Safe to say, bodywork practices are integral to human health. A key element of bodywork is the art of touch. Loving touch is a core necessity in human development. Therapists listen, feel and approach the client with love and care. This, in itself, is deeply healing and harbours a connection, not only between therapist and recipient, but also between the recipient and themselves.

You may be wondering what the difference is between massage and bodywork. Well, simply put, bodywork encompasses all types of massage therapy, whilst extending to other modalities such as reflexology, chiropractic, energy healing, reiki, cranial sacral therapy and somatic experiencing.

Bodywork concentrates attention on physical and energetic aspects of the self to increase awareness of a body-mind connection, viewing the body-mind as an integrated whole rather than separately functioning entities. This holistic approach invites integration and empowerment for recipients, and is highly effective in stabilising the nervous system, reducing stress and anxiety and releasing held tension.

Here at Suryalila we recognise that the path to wellbeing is unique. Health and contentment are gained over time and dedication to your journey. A sense of chipping away at the blocks and pain points that may hold you back, bringing what's held in the shadow into the light to facilitate healing and growth. There is no one solution that fits all.

This is why we offer a selection of modalities to enhance your journey of healing while you are here in a way that speaks to you as an individual. From yoga, meditation and philosophy talks to a broad range of bodywork practices offered by highly skilled and intuitive therapists.

In this blog we want to provide a breakdown of each bodywork technique so you can explore the right fit for you. We encourage you to listen to what resonates as you read; you may find one speaks to you more than another which suggests your intuition is guiding you, your body is talking to you. We believe that the body speaks, and can be a faithful teacher when you learn to tune into the more subtle layers of being and listen to its messages.

Integrative Thai Yoga Massage

This ancient technique is founded upon sharing loving kindness through touch. It is a grounded, floor-based practice, taking place on a thick and supportive mat. Clients are fully clothed, providing a sense of ease and comfort.

Contrary to popular belief about this particular method of healing, Thai massage can be gentle and deeply nurturing. At Suryalila our therapists guide you through a full-body restorative journey of rest and release.

Thai Yoga Massage offers a sequence of movements that combine compression, trigger point release and assisted stretching. It alternates between static and dynamic handling to provide a fully rounded and complete experience in body, mind and spirit. This practice helps unlock energy stagnation, improves fluid circulation and has a deeply calming effect on the nervous system.

Holistic Deep Tissue Oil Massage

A table-based oil technique, focused on sinking deep into the connective tissues to release held tension patterns. This style of massage involves long, slow strokes and direct pressure to target deeper tissues and emotional and muscular trauma.

Muscle tissue adhesions can develop over time, creating ridges or contracted tissues that can impact circulation, mobility, flexibility and cause inflammation. Deep tissue massage provides targeted release, gently but firmly, by breaking down these adhesions for greater range of motion, pain relief and full-body release.

It is now widely recognised that we hold stress and trauma in the body, which can result in chronic pain, inflammation, emotional unrest and health issues. Through slow, deep work and focussed awareness, we invite the body into a loving environment to begin to undo held tension patterns and release what no longer serves us.

Ayurvedic Yoga Massage (AYM)

AYM is a full-body treatment that combines elements of deep tissue massage and yoga-based assisted stretches. It is inspired by the Indian traditions of yoga and Ayurveda.

Ayurveda is an ancient healthcare system that is still widely applied today in India and, more recently, across the world. It is a natural and holistic approach to health and translates to ‘the science of life’. Ayurveda is known as the sister science to yoga; in combining these two bodywork techniques, full vitality is harnessed.

This style of massage is integrated, dynamic and deeply restorative, opening the body to experience complete rejuvenation. Each treatment is tailored to individual needs and complaints. Some further benefits of this healing treatment are as follows:

Improves mobility and flexibility, reduces muscle and joint tension, stimulates the circulation of body fluids, improves general posture and body alignment, prompts breathing, helps the digestive system.

Swedish Massage

This is arguably the most common massage therapy in the global west, and forms the basis for many oil massages, you may also hear it referred to as classical massage. The focus of this technique is to release muscle tension, improve circulation and promote relaxation.

Swedish massage is a highly rejuvenating and relaxing modality. Applying long, smooth strokes with hands, fists or elbows, it targets the superficial muscle layer to promote wellbeing. It can also involve joint manipulation and tapotement (tapping).

Swedish massage is beneficial for immune system health through the stimulation of lymphatic flow, muscle release, stress relief and improved range of motion.

Cranial Sacral Therapy

Cranial Sacral Therapy is a gentle and intuitive modality used to calm and integrate the nervous system. Despite its gentle approach, this is a powerful practice in promoting equilibrium and is a highly effective approach to health.

Cranial Sacral Therapy treats the body as an interrelated system connected through an intelligent network of fascia. Therapists apply meditative touch to specific areas to examine the flow of fluids, membranes, fascia and pulse to encourage the system toward homeostasis.

Your body is held in a loving and attentive state, allowing a process of healing and healthy adjustment. This technique helps improve self-regulation and promotes balance physically, mentally and energetically.


Reiki balances, cleanses and purifies the energetic body, helping integrate body, mind and spirit. During a reiki session you can generally expect to be fully clothed and lying down. The therapist applies light touch or hovers their hands over different areas in the body to relieve stress and anxiety and promote overall well-being.

Reiki is a form of energy healing, transmitting a natural healing force through the therapist to the recipient to release blockages and stagnant energy. Reiki energy is said to channel into whichever area it is most needed and can greatly improve quality of life, bringing a sense of ease and alignment.


Reflexology is based on the thesis that the foot, and sometimes the ears and hands, represents a map of the body. Placing applied pressure in certain areas corresponds to different body parts, organs and tissues and is effective in promoting vitality.

Reflexology is a non-invasive therapy that works to prevent ill-health and facilitate harmony within the body. It is widely used across the world today as a complementary therapy and can aid recovery for specific ailments and conditions.

For a long time, body and mind have been perceived as separate in western science, creating a sense of disconnect from the wholeness of being. Bodywork practices are without doubt a wonderful tool for facilitating a conversation between your body and your mind that is empowering, deeply healing and calming for your nervous system.

There is much more to say about each technique we’ve mentioned here, but as they say in the UK, the proof is in the pudding! Come along and try one out for yourself! We have 3 night, 5 night and 7 night Retreat Yourself packages running throughout the year so you can come anytime that suits your schedule and melt into a world of self-care, exquisite health-food and yoga. Check out all our retreats here.

We absolutely love to hear from you, if you’ve experienced one of our treatments, drop a comment below and let us know how you got on!

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