Massage therapies that make a difference
Aileen Durkan offers a range of holistic therapies at the Dublin Wellness Centre, giving her clients a fantastic opportunity to look after their physical and emotional wellbeing
How did you become a therapist?
I went straight from secondary school into a two-year full-time holistic therapy course. At the time I wasn’t sure whether it was what I wanted to do; I knew I wanted to do something to help people, maybe psychology or counselling. But when I did that course I knew it was what I wanted – I got lucky!
After that course, I completed a one-year part-time course. All in all, the courses gave me a huge scope to explore different therapies. Also, over the years I learnt more and more.
How would you describe the massage therapies you offer?
Lomi lomi is a therapy I specialise in and I also teach. It’s a Hawaiian massage and is different to many massage therapies in that it is truly holistic – it examines the mind, body and soul. Lomi lomi works on the body’s energetic levels, and also helps people to recover from trauma. It gives people space to release their physical, mental and emotional tension.
Usually, but not always, people come to me when they’re in a period of transition. This therapy helps them to unfold, open up and look deeper inside themselves. We chat before and after the massage, allowing space to talk. I think that’s really important. When someone gets a massage, they could be releasing things, getting flashbacks, and more. Then if they are shown the door immediately afterwards, that doesn’t seem right to me.
After treatment is when real conversations can start happening. Also, over years I’ve developed an ability to differentiate between physical and emotional symptoms. They’re often linked and it can be subtle, but it’s a skill of mine.
What is your aim for the people who attend your therapies?
It really depends on the person, more than the therapy. For example, if someone comes to me with a frozen shoulder, I’ll do a sports or tissue massage, then perhaps start aromatherapy with oils to help to reduce inflammation. Moxibustion – a form of Chinese heat treatment – also works well to release trapped nerves. Everyone is different, and my approach reflects that!
How can people take the lessons from your therapies and apply them in their own lives?
Often, I’ll give people advice. That can be stretching or mediation techniques, or dietary and lifestyle advice. There are plenty of things that people can do at home to help.
How do you unwind when you’re not in the centre?
If you’re giving treatments to people, you have to receive. There has to be a balance otherwise you’ll burn out. It’s a very fundamental thing and it also applies to life in general. I advise clients that they should also find that balance, so they can attain mental relaxation.
What makes the Dublin Wellness Centre a great venue for people?
There are a huge range of therapists and therapies, so people will surely find what they’re looking for. It also feels like a community to me – we are so supportive of each other and take care of each other. It’s an amazing space to work in.