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Massage therapy for your self care

Massage Therapist Sonia Dart

At Garden Village, we’re delighted to open the Wellbeing Centre to offer more holistic services to residents and the community.

Introducing massage therapy supports a whole-person approach to wellness. Massage holds great power and can be particularly beneficial to reduce the aches and pains associated with ageing. Making a massage part of your weekly routine is now easier than ever.

Joining the Garden Village Wellbeing Centre is massage therapist Sonia Dart. Sonia commenced massage training in 2011 at the NSW School of Massage and is currently studying a Diploma of Remedial Massage. Most recently she has offered mobile massage through her business Muscle Massage Therapy. Sonia is delighted to have a space at the Garden Village Wellbeing Centre to offer her services. 

Sonia believes in providing quality healthcare to those who need it most. Her philosophy is to undertake each and every massage with compassion, kindness and care. We ask Sonia about what’s available in the new treatment room on Level one of the Wellbeing Centre. Bookings can be taken online 

Sonia, tell us more about the wonderful benefits of massage therapy

Massage is no longer only a ‘treat’ or ‘spa day’ pampering experience. Massage has proven health benefits and may become a favourite part of your self care routine. Looking after yourself is so important but oftentimes is overlooked. We think that massage is more of a luxury but Massage should be part of any physical therapy program and I believe that self-care is a necessity, not a luxury. If we don’t look after our bodies… who else will?

Anyone can benefit from a massage but those who are in pain, experiencing chronic health conditions or who feel any soreness, tension or tightness in their body will benefit from massage. Massage is also a great way to ease stress, anxiety and depression. 

Recent studies have shown numerous health benefits of Massage:

  • Increases blood circulation 
  • Reduces muscle tension and pain
  • Relaxation is stimulated via the nervous system, overriding the ‘fight/ flight’ response
  • Increases joint mobility and flexibility
  • Reduces stress, anxiety and depression
  • Stimulates the lymphatic system helping with swelling and filters toxins out of the body
  • Lowers heart rate and blood pressure
  • Improves immune function
  • Decrease in joint inflammation
  • Improved mood 
  • Increased energy and feeling of wellness

Are there any age or health restrictions? 

You are always able to have a massage no matter what your condition. I had a client who was 101 years old and looked forward to his weekly massage. I massaged him in a chair which he absolutely loved. Never underestimate the power of human touch, it can really help with day to day living.

Massage can offer a great sense of calm and relaxation. Massage should never be painful or uncomfortable. I have experience helping people with the following conditions: 

  • Acute or chronic back pain
  • Parkinsons
  • Arthritis, Osteoarthritis 
  • Stroke
  • Lupus
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Hypertension
  • Osteochondritis 
  • Anxiety, stress, depression
  • Insomnia
  • High blood pressure
  • Muscle soreness
  • Digestive disorders
  • manage chronic health conditions
  • cancer treatment, diagnosis or survivorship
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headache
  • Nerve Pain
  • Scar tissue
  • TMJ disorders
  • Soft tissue sprains and strains
  • Post operative care

How often should I get a massage?

Get a massage as often as you can afford it! For regular maintenance I would recommend a massage every week, fortnight or once a month depending on your individual circumstances. 

What can I expect?

Comfort, kindness and care. A pain free Massage. I ensure you are comfortable, warm, and not in any pain throughout our massage session. Depending on what part of the body you would like massaged you may need to remove clothing but this will depend on individual circumstances and comfort levels. 

You will be positioned comfortably on the massage table and supported with pillows, blankets and bolsters. With your consent aromatherapy oil may be chosen and added to the special massage oil blend I have created. This creates your own unique blend of massage oil.  Hot towels are used to clean off any excess oil and there will be an eye mask and relaxation music. A space of peaceful tranquillity is created so you can relax and unwind with ease. 

Aged Care Massage

What types of massage are available at the Garden Village Wellbeing Centre?

Relaxation Massage: 

A very relaxing soft tissue massage that is gentle and flowing and aims to work on your aches and pains. Flowing stroked are used and the pressure should never be painful. The purpose if this massage is to relax you and leave you feeling peaceful and calm. Warm towels are used to wipe of any excess oil and aromatherapy oil may be used at your consent to enhance the massage.  You may have a massage lying face up or face down on the table depending on your mobility, comfort and needs. 

Every massage is individual and designed in consultation with me to get the most out of your time and treatment. I always work with you to ensure you feel at ease and comfortable and will be guided at all times by your requirements and wishes. Massage can be conducted on just the legs, feet, hands and arms. Perhaps you would like a head and neck massage and don’t feel comfortable taking clothes off. Working within your comfort level is priority and I can even massage through clothes. The massage table can be adjusted for a variety of seated positions as well as lying down on your back or on your side if that is preferred. 

Specific benefits: relieves back and neck pain, lowers blood pressure, improves circulation, helps with digestion and improves bowel movement, reduces muscle tension, relieves stress related symptoms, improves range of motion, improves sleep, supports the bodies natural healing process, reduces headaches. 

Home Care Massage

Remedial Massage: 

Remedial massage is defined as “the systematic assessment and treatment of the muscles, tendons, ligaments and connective tissues of the body to assist in rehabilitation, pain and injury management.” There may be some range of motion testing, postural observation, and a focus on rehabilitation. The main aims of the treatment are to reduce pain, increase the range of motion and correct postural abnormalities through use of a variety of massage techniques. 

Benefits of Remedial Massage:

  • Relaxed muscles and connective tissues
  • Increased flexibility and joint mobility
  • Lessens recovery time from certain injuries and stressors
  • Improvement of treatments of depression and anxiety
  • Stronger muscular balance throughout the body
  • Improved circulation to all areas of the body, not just the massaged areas
  • Sense of well-being and freedom of movement

Home Care and Aged Care Massage 

This is a massage offered in your home via the Home Care Package. It may be conducted on a mobile massage table but is often completed in bed or in a chair.

Aged Care massage is also available in your home or an aged care home.

These therapeutic massages offer relaxation, and promotes mental and physical wellbeing. A caring touch is very powerful and may help to improve muscle tone, mobility, range of motion, and circulation. This may include hand and feet massage, neck shoulders and head and leg massage. This can all be completed seated or in bed. Clients who are wheelchair bound or who have limited mobility are always able to have a massage and every massage is designed for each individual client and their needs. 


  • Improves quality of life and self-esteem
  • Improves length and quality of sleep
  • Relief of stress, anxiety, depression and loneliness
  • Alleviation of headaches and pain
  • Supports healing from injury and illness
  • Partial restoration of mobility lost due to Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, etc.
  • Mental and physical relaxation.
  • Improves lymphatic flow which increases the excretion of toxic substances from the body

Sonia also offers oncology massage and manual lymphatic drainage massage, please contact her for more information. 

We look forward to welcoming you to the Garden Village Wellbeing Centre for a massage soon. You can also book direct with Sonia at Muscle Therapy Massage.


Located in Port Macquarie on the NSW Mid North Coast, Garden Village is a leading Retirement Living, Aged Care, Disability and Home Care Service. As a registered not for profit we’ve provided care services to the community for over 40 years.

For more than 40 years, Garden Village has provided homes, care and support for ageing Australians on the land of the Birpai people. We pay our respects to all First Nations Ancestors, Elders and People in our community and throughout Australia. We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of Country, and their continuing connection to land, sea, culture and community.

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