Can massage offer you more than relaxation and stress relief?

Thomasi Family CC 2.0 TermeValpolicela 

Are you stressed, or you just want to relieve some tension within your body and feel a lot more relaxed? Whenever I can get an opportunity to book a massage, I always feel so much better afterwards. An exception could be a ‘sports massage’ as I did find it a bit painful, but a couple of days later, felt flexible and energised. The therapist always asks you  about the level of pressure being applied to your body, so your feedback is really important.

Which massage should I choose?

Dependent on your needs, you may choose a different type of massage at your local spa. Many saunas or steam rooms may not be open at the moment, especially in the UK due to Covid19 restrictions, so choose this alternative therapy to banish your aches and pains and feel amazing again.

More than ever with all the uncertainty around us, the level of stress in the “Covid19 new normal” we need to take care of our bodies and find the Oasis of tranquility, peace. Imagine yourself in  an exquisite spa treatment room, with a dimmed light and lit candles, invigorating scents, gentle sounds of nature and as you lie down on luxurious  covers of the bed, you drift into a world of pure relaxation. An ultimate treat is to book an ayurvedic or aromatherapy massage as it is particularly relaxing, if aromatherapy oils are used, as you not only will gain the benefit of the  gentle strokes and touch, but also uplifting aroma filling your lungs, helping you clear your airways of congestion. These oils will also nourish and moisturise your skin too.

benefits of massage
Bruno/ Germany – Pixabay (CC -O)

Research studies tell us that there is more to massage that one can think of. So let’s explore the surprising benefits of massage.

Studies to date indicate that massage, if done correctly, by a well trained masseuse/ masseur can provide relief from anxiety and headache, nervous problems and disorders, diabetes, calm our nervous system, improves sleep and boost our immunity, as we expel toxins from the body quicker, stimulating our lymph nodes. Due to stimulating the blood circulation massage improves the health of the skin, functioning of the urinary and digestive systems. It also helps improve growth in infants and provides strength to developing muscles, and of course relaxation, as the baby’s muscles are very gently manipulated. Children’s massage usually is very gentle, calming and soothing and a masseuse / masseur usually uses the Shantala method (an Ancient Indian massage), so make sure that when you book a session, the therapist has been trained to do this type of massage with your child.

Have regular massage sessions and say goodbye to stiff neck and shoulders. Indulge yourself with an Indian head massage to keep headache at bay. 

Looking for a great relaxing experience with your friends? Book a friends or couple’s session. Many reputed SPAs offer suites where you can chat with your friends, unwind with loved ones, whilst masseuse / masseur performs wonders with your stiff body and when you step off that bed, you feel energised and content.

Hua Tuo; famous Daoist Physician of the Zhou Dynasty (1028-221 BCE)

A  massage forms part of a regular health intervention in traditional Chinese medicine (TMC) as it allows the “Chi” energy to flow, ensuring physical and mental wellness.I have to say, my experience of massage combined with acupuncture and cupping therapy in the past not only relieved my untreated sinus, but after 10 sessions, the symptoms had gone and did not return, therefore through my own experience, I am a strong supporter of alternative, preventative therapies. Through regular massage sessions I help my body to stay healthy. They say “Prevention is better than cure” and I truly live by it. There are ongoing studies investigating the benefits of massage in asthma patients and results seem to be promising. 

(public domain CC- 0)

Reflexology massage especially of the feet, hands and ears is regarded as a doorway to your body pressure points. In Traditional Chinese medicine it is believed that our body is interconnected and by manipulating specific points in the body i.e meridians, acupressure points, we can help the flow of “Chi” therefore helping the body to release the blockages and “vital energy.” TMC explains that the meridians are regarded as invisible energy pathways, or channels, that run through the body. 

Massage is used by beauty studios i.e face massage to combat dull skin and puffy dark circles. I love a facial with a massage. With babies when they are very young, through a baby massage, you support their growth and relaxation, helping to strengthen their developing bodies and also support the development of the bond (attachment) between the baby and mother, so crucial to their emotional health. In the wellness sector, SPAs give you an opportunity to unwind and have unforgettable experience relieving stress, pain, helping you to relax, restore, rejuvenate. 

A 2007 study published in the journal Current Oncology suggests that massage may help reduce these symptoms of pain, fatigue, stress and anxiety, nausea in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and may help improve their overall psychological wellbeing.

Cancer Research UK suggests that massage helps the cancer patient in coping up with pain, headaches, fatigue, stress, and anxiety and is a welcomed alternative therapy that can support patients prior and post treatment, especially lymphatic massage which helps the body to get rid of water retention and works to stimulate immune cells into action. Although massage is not used to treat cancer itself, the massage can provide a relief to undesirable side effects of treatment i.e fatigue, stress, water retention, muscle spasm, eliminating toxins. 

In the book “Power of Minerals, Healing Spas of Europe” I have broken down for you 11 main widely known massage techniques and benefits of each massage technique. You can also learn how to SPA for maximum health benefit, not just beauty. As you may imagine, there are many types of massage for example using healing sounds, water, heat, oils. I described most of these in chapter three of the book.  If you want to know more about it,  you are welcome to read more for free on Amazon Kindle Unlimited or you are welcome to purchase your own kindle version or paper copy here. https://themineralspa.com/

Look around you, I certainly noticed that we are increasingly becoming  more aware of the impact our lifestyle is having on our bodies. We read more about preventative health, researchers are trying to find how the alternative practices can support our wellbeing. We are reaching out for sustainably sourced products and these seem to have the “feel good.” appeal. There is a wealth of medicinal benefits that massage has to offer. Unlike medications, massage has no side effects,it feels good, and the research points out that it can improve your health and quality of life. If you suffer from any health condition, always disclose these to your therapist, as they will be able to advise you, if a particular massage is safe to perform and tailor the session to your health needs. 

Do not feel guilty for taking the time to switch off and do something just for you, self-care massage sessions are a modern life necessity,  these will help you to unwind from the busy world we are living in and enjoy the benefits of massage.

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