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From Tip to Toe: Everything You Need to Know about Massages

There are so many benefits to receiving a massage, most of us know about the stress relief and relaxation component but what we didn’t know is that there are so many more benefits. This article will unpack the different types of massages that an individual can receive and also look at the benefits of receiving a massage.

Benefits of massaging – Stress relief

Everybody; no matter what your job title or your background, you have experienced stress at one point in your life.

Whenever the word stress is mentioned we usually have a negative connotation towards the word, however, stress is not always a bad thing, sometimes stress can push us to accomplish goals and set new ones.

Stress can be the driving force that pushes you to get things done. When you experience stress, your body experiences a rush of adrenaline which boosts your heart rate, cortisol is released to boost your blood sugar, and diverts energy from your digestive system and immune response – when your body experiences all of this then stress is doing its job because it causes you to take action just as it taught prehistoric humans how to use this experience to fight their enemies.

Stress can be considered as negative when an individual does not have relief from it. When a person is under pressure or feels stressed their brain will automatically respond in fight or flight- this response to situations could be problematic. According to research, stress can bring about or make certain diseases and symptoms worse.

Stress can cause changes in behaviour:

  • Outbursts of anger.
  • Abuse of substances such as alcohol and drugs.
  • Eating to reduce stress or lack of eating.
  • Withdrawal from social situations.
  • The use of tobacco and tobacco products.

Stress can cause changes in mood:

  • Stress can bring on or worsen anxiety.
  • It can cause an individual to be irritable or angry.
  • Stress can cause a lack of motivation and focus.
  • Restlessness is also a symptom of stress.
  • Sadness and depression can also be caused by stress.

Stress can cause changes in the body of an individual who is experiencing it:

  • You may experience chest pains.
  • Stress may cause headaches.
  • It is not uncommon to experience muscle tension and pain.
  • Stress may affect your stress drive.
  • You may experience difficulty sleeping.
  • Stress may even cause stomach upset.

How massage therapy can help alleviate stress.

Did you know that going for a massage can lower your heart rate and blood pressure, relax your muscles, and increase the release of endorphins?

After receiving a massage, you will feel relaxed and revitalized, resulting in a feeling of calmness.

Massages can assist you with combating daily pressures and anxiety – a mental condition that seems to be becoming quite popular in our fast-paced, ever-changing world.

Benefits of massaging – Improve circulation.

If you are someone who suffers from bad blood circulation, receiving a massage can help improve your circulation.

Massaging can loosen muscles and tendons which will allow for increased blood flow through the body.

Increased blood flow has a number of benefits: namely, its decreases the risk of heart diseases such as cholesterol, coronary heart disease and heart attacks; good blood circulation allows your white blood cells which are located in your immune system to be transported around the body as needed, in addition, good blood circulation will keep your organs in good shape and working condition.

Benefits of massaging – Reduce pain.

Another benefit of massage therapy is that it will help you reduce pain and stiffness in your muscles. You need to ensure that you are seeing a massage therapist who can identify the source of pain and help achieve your body’s needs by using the right massaging routine.

 

Benefits of massaging – Eliminate toxins.

Massaging stimulates your soft tissue which releases toxins which has a number of health benefits. Detoxification can boost your energy levels, support digestion, assist with weight management, reduces inflammation, promotes healthy skin, it helps strengthen your immune system and can even affect your mood in a positive way.

Benefits of massaging – Improve flexibility.

It is a well-known fact that yoga helps improve your flexibility but what you didn’t know is that massaging can also help improve your flexibility. Massaging loosens your muscles which helps your body reach its full potential in terms of movement.

Benefits of massaging – Improve sleeplessness.

If you have trouble sleeping, your answer could be as simple as getting a massage. Massaging helps you to relax and boost your mood. Going to sleep with a peaceful mind and relaxed muscles will help you have a restful sleep and help you feel less tired when you start your day.

Benefits of massaging – Enhance immunity.

Having a strong immune system has a number of health benefits. Having a strong immune system will assist your body’s natural defence system. Defence against what you may ask? Against viruses, diseases and harmful bacteria.

Benefits of massaging – May reduce fatigue.

As mentioned above, massage therapy is proven to boost your mood and help you have a better nights’ rest which in result, helping you feel more rested and less worn-out at the end of your twenty-four-hour day.

Benefits of massaging – Help with the effects of anxiety & depression.

There are a lot of people in this day and age that suffer from mental illness such as anxiety and depression, it is not uncommon and is very popular in our fast-paced lives.

Massage therapy encourages your brain to release the ‘feel-good’ chemical known as endorphins. Endorphins help you feel good, energetic, happy and at ease – these are all emotions which are rare when you suffer from any one of these mental illnesses.

Benefits of massaging – Reduce swelling.

After you have gone in for a surgery or even after an injury the result is usually swelling, massage therapy can help to alleviate the after-effects and reduce swelling.

The different types of massages – Swedish massage.

Swedish massaging is the most common form of massage.

The goal of the Swedish massage is to relax the entire body from head to toe, this is accomplished by massaging the muscles with long glided strokes in the direction of the blood as it returns to your heart.

Swedish massaging can also be beneficial for increasing the amount of oxygen in the blood, detoxifying, improving blood circulation, and improving flexibility. Additional massage techniques known to the Swedish massage is circular pressure applied by the massage therapist’s hands and palms, firm kneading, bending & stretching and percussion tapping.

 

The different types of massages – Hot stone massage.

Hot stone massage therapy helps your body relax, eases tense muscles and damaged soft tissue throughout the body.

The technique that is used by a massage therapist doing a hot stone massage will place smooth, flat, hot stones onto specific parts of your body.

The stones that are used in a hot stone massage are not the ordinary stones found in your garden, they are made of basalt which is a volcanic rock that is known to retain heat.

The stones are heated to 130 to 145 degrees before being placed on your body.

The stones can be placed along your back, stomach, on your chest, on your palms, feet, toes and even on your face.

Hot stone massages are helpful for relieving pain & tension, reduce mental illnesses such as stress & anxiety, promote sleep, reduce symptoms of autoimmune diseases, decrease symptoms of cancer and boost your immune system.

The different types of massages – Aromatherapy massage.

Aromatherapy massages use essential oils during massage treatment.

Aromatherapy massages are not designed to physically work out the tension and the sore parts of your body, rather the purpose is to use the restorative properties of essential oils to relax the body and your mind. There is an essential oil for any problem that you may be faced with.

In aromatherapy massaging the motion and the technique is not as important, the important aspect of the massage the essential oil with its healing properties.

Essential Oils and their healing properties:

Ailment Essential Oil
Stress Lavender, clary sage, lemon
Inflammation Chamomile, helichrysum
Insomnia Chamomile, clary sage, marjoram, patchouli
Lack of energy Eucalyptus, grapefruit, lemongrass, rosemary
Depression Nutmeg, lemon, bergamot, anise

 

The different types of massages – Deep tissue massage.

Deep tissue massages involve applying firm pressure to the area that the therapist is massaging using small strokes to penetrate deeper layers of muscles and the connecting tissue that surrounds muscles.

It is beneficial for postural problems, improves mobility that is limited, relieves back & neck pain, helps with sports-related muscle recovery, assists with injury rehabilitation, and eases muscle tension. Common techniques of a deep tissue massage are known as stripping and friction.

Deep tissue massages sound as if they are painful but the truth is it is not painful and shouldn’t be, you may feel discomfort but the pain will make your body tense up which is not ideal for the massage therapist.

The different types of massages – Deep tissue massage.

The molten wax of a soy candle is poured over the skin to melt away tension whilst receiving a full body massage.

The benefits of the soy candle wax are as follows: the oil absorbs easily into the skin, it is rich in vitamin E which your skin needs, after the massage your skin will feel nourished/hydrated & rejuvenated, soy candles have healing properties, the candle relieves skin conditions such as dry skin/eczema/cracked heels/rough cuticles, and in addition the candle wax contains essential oils.

 

The different types of massages – Sports massage.

Sports massaging involves vigorous and deep muscle stimulation. Sports massages are specific and work deeper on the muscles with a specific area and goal in mind.

These types of massages help to increase nutrients and oxygen to your muscles.

The benefits of a sports massage are increased range of motion, they help decrease the build-up of lactic acid, they decrease the potential of muscle injuries, sports massages help increase blood circulation and increase cellular metabolism.

The different types of massages – Pregnancy massage.

Many women wonder if it is safe to receive a massage whilst pregnant, the answer is yes, it is! It is safe to receive a message in your first, second and third trimester of pregnancy.

A pregnancy massage is any kind of hands-on massage which a woman receives during pregnancy. The most common position is for a pregnant woman to lay on her side whilst receiving a pregnancy massage because this is most likely the most comfortable position for her.

The benefits of receiving a massage whilst pregnant are that it can reduce anxiety, decrease back and leg pains, improve sleeping patterns, it can also improve your mood, and decrease levels of the stress hormone which is known as norepinephrine.

Examples of common types of massaging techniques which are used on pregnant ladies are the Swedish massage, deep tissue massages and shiatsu.

Looking for the perfect wellness spa? Contact the Aurora Wellness Spa.

The Aurora Wellness Spa is a great place to visit if you need to relax, alleviate stress, promote blood circulation, feel good, improve sleeplessness, reduce pain, detoxify or reduce pain and swelling in your muscles.

They have a variety of treatments available in terms of massage therapy, namely: Swedish massage, hot stone massage, aromatherapy massage, deep tissue massage, soy candle massage, sport massage, back/neck/shoulder massage, foot & leg massage, head massage and even massage therapy routines specially put together for pregnant ladies.

Not satisfied?

You can even add on your favourite treatment whether it be hot stones, aromatherapy, body wraps, exfoliation, cupping massages and boogie legs treatments.

Contact the Aurora Wellness Spa for Details

Contact Aurora Wellness Spa to book your spa day or massage therapy treatment today, you can contact them directly on 021 110 5500 or book your appointment online www.auroraspa.co.za. You will find a list of all of their treatments on their website so have a look and happy window shopping.

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