Give massage a chance

Local massage therapist Tatina Semprini explains why she’s launched a national petition

Massage

Tatina Semprini practising massage (credit Emma Kelly)

Having been a massage therapist for 16 years I have seen the many benefits massage has offered people with a wide range of conditions.

In this time I have worked at Ashlins Natural Health clinic in Walthamstow as well as massaging the dancers of the Royal Ballet. But the lack of massage in the NHS has been frustrating.

I was filled with hope for change last summer when the Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) held a short public consultation before the renewal of their musculoskeletal contract, and decided to get involved.

I was, however, disappointed when not many local people knew about this consultation, very few responded, and nothing changed.

Coincidentally at the same time the BBC broadcast a programme called The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs, showing a doctor at a Chingford GP medical centre reducing patients’ medication and improving their health and wellbeing with exercise alone.

I knew I had to do something to change the way the NHS treats patients, especially with musculoskeletal issues, and help patients receive a better and healthier service than they are currently offered.

Looking at the CCG’s facts and figures I also realised that if massage was used instead of medication or other expensive and invasive treatments, the NHS would save time and money, which would be a huge benefit in these times of austerity.

Two of my client stories will illustrate this; one came in with back pain and sciatica. He had a prolapsed disc earlier and the originally intermittent pain was now constant. NHS physio treatment had not worked and he was not keen on a back operation, so he decided to try massage. After the first treatment his sciatica had almost gone and after a couple of massages the back was much better too. He eventually didn’t need the operation!

Another client had severe shoulder pain. She couldn’t sleep on her shoulder and had been in tears as a result. As she came for her second treatment she was all smiles. The massage had ‘amazingly’ taken the pain away, she was able to sleep on her shoulder again, and everything was fine now.

Obviously not everything can be resolved as quickly as this, but all my clients over the years have benefited from massage. With such good results possible, why not give massage a chance before suggesting more invasive and expensive treatments? I believe many people would prefer massage to the current NHS options. It could save the NHS both time and money.

Knowing this I proposed to start a pilot in Waltham Forest using massage for musculoskeletal conditions, to prove massage works. This proposal has so far been ignored, which is why I have now started a petition proposing to offer massage on the NHS.

With public support behind me I’m hoping to change current NHS attitudes, and eventually get my pilot accepted. If you agree with me, please sign and help spread my petition to a larger audience.


To sign Tatina’s petition calling for massage to be offered by the NHS:

Visit you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/offer-massage-on-the-nhs

To find out more about massage:

Visit tatinasemprini.com