It is lovely to see the days getting longer with more sunshine and daylight; it certainly feels as if the dark days of winter are behind us. Now is a good time to start preparing your skin for spring and summer. Massage therapy involving dry skin brushing is one of the best ways to improve the condition of the skin on your body. Not only does dry skin brushing improve the condition of the skin by whisking away dead skin cells, it stimulates lymphatic drainage and the elimination of as much as one third of body wastes. Complaints such as arthritis, cellulite, high blood pressure and even depression have been linked to poor lymphatic drainage.
In order to perform this massage treatment you will need a purpose designed natural bristle brush with a long handle so you can reach your back. The brush must always be used dry but cleaned in warm soapy water (with a few drops of tea-tree added) every two weeks. Massage the body with the brush daily before your morning bath or shower. It is a good idea to take a week’s break every month as skin brushing, like many natural detoxification techniques, is more effective if the body does not become too accustomed to it.
To brush the skin, make gentle sweeping upward movements. Don’t apply too much pressure as you will scratch the skin, you will find that you will be able to gradually increase the pressure used over time, but this shouldn’t hurt so ease off on the pressure if it does. Begin with your feet (including the soles) and sweep upwards and move up the legs covering the front and back, sweep out across the buttocks and up the back. . Brush the hands; work up the arms, across the shoulders, down the chest and down the back. Finally brush the abdomen using a clockwise circular motion, following the colon. Always work towards the heart and bring toxins towards the colon.
The skin on the face is too sensitive for body massage treatment, but there are softer varieties of facial brush / exfoliating pads that are suitable for the face.
Skin brushing need take no longer than a few minutes and is easily done while you are waiting for the shower to heat up or the bath to fill. After the bath or shower apply your favorite essential oil blend to damp skin to nourish.
Skin brushing is a unique massage therapy that is safe for almost everyone. But remember not to massage over infected or broken skin, i.e. eczema or psoriasis. Also avoid any areas where you have severe varicose veins.
If, during the first week of skin brush massage, you break out in pimples here and there, do not be put off. This indicates that your body is throwing off toxins and eliminating these through your skin. After a week or two your skin will look and feel healthy and glow!
Massage therapy is often based on Swedish massage and frequently includes the use of one or more of the following techniques:
- Swedish Massage uses a system of long strokes, kneading, friction, and percussion and vibration techniques on the more superficial layers of the muscles, combined with active and passive movements of the joints. It is used primarily for full-body sessions and promotes general relaxation, improves blood circulation and range of motion, and relieves muscle tension.
- Rehabiliatative/Sports Massage is used to decrease recovery time for injured athletes. This unique method of massage is based on the experience of hundreds of therapists and professional athletes.
- Deep Tissue Massage releases the chronic patterns of tension in the body through slow strokes and deep finger pressure on the contracted areas, either following or going across the grain of muscles, tendons and fascia.
- Cross-Fiber Massage is a friction technique applied in a way that to create a stretching and broadening effect in large muscle groups or on site-specific muscle and connective tissue.
- Lymphatic Massage is a stimulation technique that is focused on draining lymphatic pathways, which improves the body’s removal of edemas and effusion.
- Trigger Point Massage combines positioning and specific finger or thumb pressure into the tender points of muscle and connective tissue, to reduce the hypersensitivity, muscle spasms and referred pain patterns that characterize the trigger point.
- Pregnancy Massage helps relieve lower back and abdominal pain, it reduces swelling in the legs proven to increase circulation and enhance nutrition to the baby.
Aromatherapy massage is a wonderful relaxing treatment. Usually a lifestyle analysis and consultation is carried out to enable one to obtain a holistic view of your life. Then the specific priorities for treatment and blend an appropriate choice of oils for you are discussed. There are over 60 essential oils for massage to select from, ensuring you have a bespoke, individualized and specific treatment.
Your treatment begins with you selecting some crystals, followed by relaxation and visualization. The specialists cocoon you in warm towels and blankets, and relax your body by applying warm towels to your feet and carrying out some pressure point massage to the feet. The face is then cleansed in preparation for massage. The essential oils are gently warmed before use for maximum relaxation, the treatment then begins on the back, continuing onto the back of the legs and feet , then the front of the legs and abdomen, finishing with the decollete, shoulders, face and scalp.
The massage techniques used include lymphatic drainage and deep pressure point massage. This is a truly relaxing and recommended experience. Only pure natural botanical essential oils are used for these kinds of massage treatments.
What is Sports Massage?
Sports massage was initially designed for professional athletes to prevent pain, injuries, anxiety, discomfort, muscle spasm, stress, etc. This kind of massage therapy helps them prepare for optimal performance and recover general health and wellness.
How is Sports Massage Beneficial?
People find that sports massage can help with a wide range of athletic conditions, including:
- Myofacial pain (a condition of the tissue connecting the muscles),
- Sports injuries, including pulled or strained muscles or sprained ligaments,
- Reduced range of motion,
- Helps to achieve better peak performances by removing more toxins and scar tissue,
- Increases stamina.
When is Sports Massage not used?
- In acute phases of injury,
- When heat application is contraindicated,
- In some cases of osteoporosis or RSD,
- Certain types of athletic predispositions like Osgood-Schlatters Disease,
- When heart conditions exists,
- Deeper techniques immediately before or after an event.
I am nervous because it is my first massage, what do I wear?
If it is your first or your tenth massage, people can wear what ever they are comfortable with. Every client is professionally draped leaving them at ease.
Every therapist I go to doesn’t really work the area I need work on properly, how can I tell him what to do?
Communication between a client and a therapist is vital. The more a client can tell his therapist about what they need, or what they are concerned about, the better quality of service the therapist can provide. If the pressure is too light or too deep, the clients should always feel comfortable enough to tell their therapist. From that point, he will be much more effective in the treatment.