Therapists are forever bigging up the benefits of massage. I sometimes think they overdo it. I had a woman come to me last week who began by saying that she was suffering from tension headaches and had tried loads of massages both in London and in Paris where she was from but nothing had helped. She’d heard great things about me and was sure I could do something. I told her that I was sure I couldn’t and that she should ask herself if any massage was the answer to her problem. When people present with headaches, the alarm bells always ring and although massage can often help, I like to know more about the headaches and will quite often refer the person to my colleague Radi, a wonderful osteopath in Stoke Newington. I sent my client off to see him and he treated her far more effectively than I could – and also referred her to her GP for scans. As it turned out, it was just as well he did. Now, of course I’m not saying everyone who comes to me with a headache is referred – I’ve helped many people get rid of their headaches – but it’s always good to be aware of the limits of massage. Massage deals with soft tissue and every therapist should know that not all headaches are caused by muscle tension. Both therapists and clients need to be realistic about what a massage can do.