Leisa De burca

I discovered shiatsu through, oddly enough, television… I saw it preformed on a series called ‘six feet under’ and thought ‘hey, that looks like something I’d like to do’.
I had been working in music pr and events and was feeling a need for something ‘meatier’. Enter body work.

So from there I embarked on a life changing three year course in Shiatsu in North London. My first teacher was with the very skilled Doe Warnes at The British School of Shiatsu and my second and third year was with two immense men called Chris Osbourne and Gray Crisp at the Kikai School of Shiatsu.
The BSS was more classical shiatsu and the Kikai School of Shiatsu more of a zen approach so I got a fabulously broad spectrum of learning.

From there, and my love of working with the body, I went on to study Sports massage therapy with Chaika Holste at city and Islington college.

This was a very different modality (to shiatsu) as you pushed much deeper into the muscular fascia and a totally opposite approach to shiatsu, which I really desired and appreciated.

And not long after I did a Deep tissue massage qualification at the integrated massage dynamics company in Islington. The deep tissue coupled with the sports massage therapy really deepened my knowledge of the body on a muscular, skeletal, nerve and circulatory systems level and broadened my appeal as a practitioner as we all have different preferences in relation to how we are touched.

How I tend to work now incorporates all of these skills, so if I’m doing a sports massage treatment, there will often be acupressure points incorporated. Equally I may do a deep tissuey shiatsu treatment.

So essentially the client chooses the style i.e. shiatsu, deep tissue etc. then I bring in whatever other components are needed.
The goal is the same: working towards a balance within and without.

We all have different ways of healing and being healed, and for me it has always been touch. I also see touch as crucial to good mental health.


Shiatsu – Deep Tissue – Sports massage


is an ancient Japanese massage which is thousands of years old.

It’s roots are in Chinese medicine, a vastly different medical model to the west. This simply means the diagnosis is very holistic and much less ‘end symptom’ based. The body is seen as a fully interconnected whole and not as separate parts.

It is preformed on a futon, fully clothed. It incorporates acupuncture points, stretches, meridian(lines attaching acupressure points), palpation and many massage techniques.

For me its real strength is in its support -mentally, physically and emotionally, which in turn allows the body to heal itself. This also creates awareness in the recipients body which enables them to correct postural imbalances and to notice muscle or skeletal holding patterns. It can also be very heart connecting.

It is also truthfully enjoyable to receive!

Deep Tissue Massage

I you’ve had massages that you felt weren’t quite deep enough then deep tissue may be for you.

Deep tissue will address your areas of bodily tension but it also has a good flowing feel to it. It treats the deeper layers of muscle tissue. It thereby focuses on muscle fibres, tendons and ligaments.

Deep tissue releases tension often carried in muscles, which can cause skeletal or circulation problems if not addressed.

It works through the superficial layers of muscle and connective tissue and it also affects the deep fascia surrounding muscles and helps loosen adhesions.

It also helps realign the skeleton giving improved posture and comfort of movement. This too improves range of movement(ROM) . The neck and back are areas most commonly associate with restriction of movement.

Sports massage

Have you ever gone away after a massage and wished the practitioner spent much longer on a certain area? If so, sports massage may be for you.

Sports massage encompasses all the elements of deep tissue, and more, but the main difference is the work tends to be more concentrated. That is the work is more likely to address specific muscles or muscle groups, or ligaments and tendons. It is also used to treat strains or injuries and to maintain muscles in their optimal conditions.

For this reason the massage experience is generally more intense than deep tissue, and the work tends to be more focused on areas that need particular help.

Beyond deep tissue, Sports massage commonly uses one or more of these proactive or assisted stretches: STR (soft tissue release), NMT (neuromuscular technique) and PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation). These are simply proactive stretches , whereby the client works alongside the practitioner to do certain moves.

Thursday 1pm - 4pm Studio 3


To book this class or make further enquiries contact the teacher:

Email: massageworksstroud@yahoo.co.uk
Telephone: 07844 402730