Many of us might consider massage a pleasant luxury experience, something enjoyable, perhaps rather frivolous, which can be enjoyed as a treat with friends or partner as part of the celebration or special occasion. The other principal experience of massage is associated with alleviating pain when used as a therapy applied to help fix or relieve health problems such as back pain or muscle strains.
Massage has many benefits, below is an introduction to just a few key ones.
Helps to reduce muscle pain and soreness…
Exercising, a hard workout cycle ride or even a distance swim inevitably leaves muscles feeling tired and aching. A therapeutic massage is one of the top recovery tools elite athletes use. In addition, for people who struggle with chronic pain or any syndrome of which pain is a side effect, the targeted soothing of sore muscles through gentle massage therapy can really help to reduce or alleviate the experience of body pain.
Relieves for stress and anxiety…
Many of us experience social, family and work-related pressures. We often create never ending physical and mental to-do lists with impossible deadlines. Such pressure induces an underlying feeling of anxiety which can lead to muscle tension, mental fatigue and lack of sleep. Just making some time for yourself is often a first step to the process of self healing and feeling good. Introducing regular massages into a daily or every other day routine, will help you with the tension experienced inside your body.
Physically a massage will help release muscle tension often counteracting the natural fight-or-flight response which for many of us have and which is a repetitive state stimulation. As much as massage soothes the muscles, the experience of human touch and the scent of oils, mentally, induces a feeling of calmness. which has very positive benefits to wellbeing and helps reduce hidden levels of stress and anxiety.
Helps you sleep better…
The lack of sleep caused by stress and anxiety, and of course our obsessive use of social media is a very common problem. Sleep is essential to wellbeing, refreshing the mind and body, so that we can properly engage socially and make the most of each new day. So using a calming massage at the end of the day with a massage oil such as our Restoring Lavender blend, will help you to unwind and fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer and improve the quality of your sleep.
How massage oils work…
The goal when undertaking a massage is to help your friends and loved ones relax and feel better, when using massage oils this experience is enhanced.
The main purpose of massage oils is to lubricate the skin, reducing friction while performing a massage, ensuring a smooth glide and easy workability to the skin surface. When made with essential oils, massage oils also help to boost your mood through their therapeutic scents, and further help to relax and soothe muscles. The natural, plant oils also work to deeply nourish the skin.
Because they apply smoothly they will require fewer applications, and can easily help relax muscles. Each massage oil serves a unique and different therapeutic benefit and purpose.
They are designed to give an average length massage on the body, hands and feet. The length of time the massage oil is workable on the skin depends on the amount used, the temperature of the skin, the age of the skin and the skin type.
Preparing for your massage… Experienced massage therapists agree that taking a shower before your massage is always a good idea. You should rinse off chlorine, perspiration or environmental pollutants before your treatment or therapy, because you don’t want all that to be rubbed into your skin. A shower will also help loosen up your muscles to help you receive more benefits from the treatment. Plus, it’s easier to feel confident and relaxed about the massage when you know you’re squeaky-clean.
Begin by drinking a large glass of water while you stand your bottle of massage oil in a basin of hot water to warm. During this time, start the session with 5 minutes of dry skin body brushing, this is beneficial for both exfoliation and to stimulate the lymphatic system. When the oil is at a comfortable temperature, stand on a towel (one you’re not worried about getting oil on) and apply a layer of the massage oil to the entire body. Wait for 4-5 minutes to let some of the oil absorb before massaging, ideally for about 15 minutes.
The massage technique, in 4 key stages…
1. Rub the back.
Work down from the shoulders on either side of the back, rubbing the muscles as you go. When you get to the lower back area, knead the tight muscles there with your hands and thumbs. People who stand or sit for hours every day often develop pain in this area, so you might want to spend extra time loosening the muscles. Remember not to exert pressure on the spine and other back bones. Focus on the muscles to either side of the spine.
2. Go deeper…
By kneeling beside the person and placing the heel of your hand on the lower back muscle on the opposite side, with your fingers pointing away from the body. Place your other hand on top of your other and lean into the muscle. Knead the muscle this way for a few minutes, then switch to the other side.
3. Massage the hands and feet. Have the person you’re massaging turn over so that his or her face and torso are now facing up. Massage each hand between your thumb and forefinger, taking care to work the muscles in the palms, thumbs, and each individual finger. Do the same with the feet, making sure not to press too hard on the bones. Use gentle, even strokes on the feet. Try not to tickle the person, since that could break his or her state of relaxation. Bend the hands and feet back and forth to stretch the muscles as you massage them.
4. End with the face and head. Wash hands first to remove any residue of the massage oil. Kneel behind the person you’re massaging and use your fingers to rub his or her temples in circles. Gently rub the forehead and sinus area. Place your fingers on the person’s scalp and massage it using the same motion you’d use to shampoo your hair.
At Bath House, we are passionate about self-care and wellbeing, taking the time to concentrate on your wellbeing through massage therapy, is a great way to do this. Choose your massage oil to suit the mood you wish to achieve…