Ian Itec Masseur Central London

Mecklenburgh Square near Russell Square West End / Holborn / City of London / Euston & Kings Cross Station Booking by Text (+44) 07400590550 / 07378632350

Category: Male Masseur London Blog (page 1 of 6)

Massage therapy blog created by Ian Itec male massage therapist masseur who offers relaxing and deep tissue massage therapy in central London

A sleep disorder and massage

Sleep DisordersMassage is often used to help babies sleep, and it can be useful in treating sleep disorders in adults. Massage is one of several hands-on strategies known collectively as bodywork and if you’ve ever had a good, thorough massage, you know the feeling of being “worked over.” But you also know how relaxing it can be.

The benefits of massage are many. It is regularly used in sports clinics and rehabilitation centers to loosen or soothe sore, aching muscles. Massage also helps to reduce stress, improve circulation, release tension, lower heart rate and blood pressure, and possibly even strengthen the immune system, these relaxing effects may therefore make massage a helpful aid in restoring restful sleep. Massage may be especially beneficial in treating sleeping problems that stem from stress, migraine headache, pain, and muscle and joint stiffness.

You might want to spring for a massage from a professional. One session may be all it takes to get you hooked. If you do opt for a professional massage, be sure to tell the practitioner if you have any particular illness or injury that they should be aware of, such as arthritis or fibromyalgia.

Are You Nervous About Receiving Massage?

There are many reasons someone might be hesitant about receiving massage. Your fears or concerns need not be barriers to treatment however if you are considering massage or if massage has been recommended to you to treat a specific health issue  do some research to learn more about the condition and how bodywork can help. Massage is contraindicated (or discouraged) for very few if any health issues. In some form or another bodywork can either work around or address any complication you might be experiencing.

Consider also talking to colleagues and friends who have experienced massage to hear about the treatment they received and how they went about finding a practitioner. Learning more about how massage is used today, and the many different bodywork options, can open your mind to its hundreds of applications for physical and mental well-being.

Some people question the legitimacy of massage for healing purposes, since for many years massage therapy and other forms of bodywork were considered taboo, especially in the western world. Some unfortunate misconceptions still linger about massage therapy’s place in contemporary medicine though research and extensive studies have helped dissolve that reputation and massage is now widely understood to reduce pain and improve health. The more you read about bodywork practices, the more you can understand why so many people, including medical professionals, endorse massage.

Massage During The Summer

Of course there’s a lot to do in summer gardening, grilling , traveling, you name it but that does not mean you should not take care of your self. In fact massage is a terrific thing to treat yourself to during the summer months, when your body badly needs it.

Some main reasons to treat yourself to a massage this summer:

Massage is ‘your time’. During summer, plans and activities seem to spike. Hikes, picnics and park trips become the norm. Even if you don’t have any kids and work is still relatively relaxed, most people make more plans in the summer months. A massage is a great excuse to get some time for yourself.

Massage Counteracts Swelling in Joints and Limbs
Summer heat and humidity tends to lead to swelling and discomfort, due to static accumulation of fluids. Massage can help increase blood flow, reduce swelling and make movement more comfortable, even during the height of heat.

Massage Compensates for Increased Exercise
Most people also exercise more in summer, when nice weather makes being outdoors easy. Whether your exercise of choice is gardening or running, swimming or playing organized sports, you’re likely more active this time of year. That’s great, but can lead to strains and pulls if you’re not careful. Massage can help ease pain from problems as well as make them less likely to occur.

Massages Clears Thinking
If you are busy, stressed, overwhelmed massages clear thinking and make it easier for you to stay on top of everything you need to do without feeling stressed out. Even going once every month or two can have major benefits.

Of course, the truth is, any time is a good time to get a massage. Its perks include relaxation, clearer thinking, better decision-making, reduced stress and better sleep.

A Good Massage

A side from the fact that a good massage makes you feel better, what are some of the other benefits to this practice? As a long time advocate for massage, I decided to delve into its not as well known aspects to see what else it offers beside a well spent hour on the table. What I discovered are the following five hidden benefits of a good massage.

Circulation improves
For people with impaired vascular function or limited mobility, research has shown that regular massage may offer significant benefits, especially in improved circulation. A study from the University of Illinois at Chicago found that massage helped improve vascular function in people who had not exercised. Researchers said this suggested the benefits of massage for circulatory function for anyone regardless of level of physical activity. Those with physical injury who underwent massage showed improved blood flow and vascular function was changed at a distance from the site of the injury and the massage.When you’re on the table, you can almost feel your circulation changing. At least, I can. This can’t be just my imagination. My massage therapist says my overall skin colour – a nice pink – is evidence of the improved circulation. No wonder I feel good afterwards.

The lymphatic system gets a workout
There is a type of massage known as lymphatic massage or lymphatic drainage that stimulates the lymphatic system. The benefits of such stimulation are improved metabolism, removal of bodily waste and toxins, and promotion of a healthy immune system.Some people are prescribed lymphatic massage following breast cancer or other surgeries. But this gentle form of massage, alone or in conjunction with deep tissue or Swedish massage, is also helpful for those with a sports injury, emotional problems, stress, low energy, illnesses, or an impaired immune system.During the massage, the therapist exerts gentle pressure and pumps toward the direction of the lymph nodes throughout the body. A combination of deep thumb pressure (shiatsu) and Swedish techniques help relax the body. The therapist may focus on one area requiring attention (at the request of the client) or do a whole-body workout.

Massage loosens muscles
Being in physical therapy for a recent low back pain episode means I’m working muscles that have not seen regular activity for some time. That results in soreness that proves I’m doing things right, but it’s also a little uncomfortable.While the therapy starts with dry heat and then massage before exercise, I also find that getting a good massage at times other than during physical therapy helps loosen those tight, sore muscles.

Stress and tension melt away
Everyday stress is unavoidable in today’s fast-paced world. Tension headaches, tightness in your shoulders, stomach-aches and assorted pains are signs of built-up stress. The confident hands of an expert massage therapist help melt all that stress and tension.This is a case where you don’t need to do anything other than relax and feel your body ease a sigh of relief. As you breathe in and out, visualize the stress and tension escaping, like a dark cloud being chased by the wind. The warmth you feel is like the sun bringing life and energy to every part of your body.

Massage therapy and benefits

Ancient Western and Eastern civilizations dating back as far as 3000 years discovered that massage and touch therapy have many health benefits. From being rendered a disreputable form of indulgence, massage is now seen as a holistic method of healing, which is practiced all over the world today. Benefits range from relieving migraines and stress relief to improving circulation and having the ability to rehabilitate physical functions.

Tense muscles can cause the body to lose its natural balance. This can lead to pain as other muscles in the body tense to try to compensate for those which are causing the initial pain. It soon becomes a chain reaction, which causes the problem to spread, often quite far from the initial problem area. Experienced massage therapists will be able to locate the source of the problem and thus begin the healing process. This in turn may be able to assist a person with eliminating a dependence on pain medication.

Massage therapy assists with releasing endorphins into the body, which can help with pain relief. It is able to lessen depression and anxiety while improving the condition of the skin, which is the largest organ of the body. Those suffering from lower back pain are able to experience relief as well as a greater range of motion after a massage treatment.

Massage has also been shown to assist with other conditions such as blood pressure control, immune system boosting, infant growth and sports-related injuries. Research has also shown that massage can be beneficial to autistic children, who seemed to display less erratic behaviour after a massage session. Office workers who make use of massage therapy tend to be more alert and display less stress than those who don`t. Patients who have undergone any form of abdominal surgery tend to heal quicker when making use of massage therapy. It also decreases itching, anxiety, pain, depression and tension in patients suffering from burns.

Premature babies also benefit from massage therapy, as research has shown that infants who receive massage therapy grow and develop faster than those who don`t. Those suffering from cancer were also reported to be less anxious after receiving massage therapy. It also increases lymph flow and stimulates weak muscles. It is also able to reduce cramps and swelling in the body.

It is important that massage therapy be done by qualified therapists. It is also not recommended for people who suffer from open wounds, fractures, severe osteoporosis or blood clots. Pregnant women should also exercise caution with regards to massage therapy.

Massage is More than Just Relaxation

The tremendous benefits of regular massage are irreplaceable to the human body. Massage is a variety of sometimes ancient techniques that manipulate the soft tissues of the body. It can definitely relax you, but there are some benefits of massage that go far beyond relaxation.

Pain and anxiety are two common problems associated with receiving massage therapy. By soothing muscles and nerves a greater state of well being is achieved for the recipient. When you take this concept further you find that massage can also benefit chronic pain and even self esteem. Massage allows for person to person contact that promotes feelings of comfort and soothing.massag-relax-london

Medically massage is used for sports related injuries and to promote optimum performance of muscles. Through a pattern of exercise and massage, injuries can be avoided and greater athletic achievements can be accomplished. The regular massage prevents small injuries from becoming bigger ones and the athlete avoids the pain cycle all together. Massage is also an immune system enhancer that benefits patients with chronic immune system diseases like HIV. Increasing the circulation of healthy blood cells in the body helps these patients fight off disease better and keep a more positive mental attitude that is crucial for their survival.

Infants and babies have shown positive responses to massage through toddlerhood. The birthing process is often made easier and less complicated by regular massage during pregnancy and throughout the labor process. Massage for premature babies promotes better weight gain, and massage for babies with diabetes correlates with better lifelong compliance with regimens and healthier lifestyle choices.

The effects of massage on patients with high blood pressure should also not be overlooked. Massage can play a key part in the regulation and control of chronic high blood pressure by not only relaxing the patient, but also by helping the central nervous system to balance as it regulates blood flow throughout the body more efficiently. Regular massage combined with isometric exercise has been shown to improve both the blood pressure and blood regulation in patients.

Massage Therapy is a technique that can benefit a great number of people with a wide variety of complaints both physical and mental. This form of therapy can be incorporated into a balanced and healthy lifestyle to promote continuous and further health and well being as well as to be used as treatment therapy for those with chronic mental and physical conditions.

Fibromyalgia – condition that causes pain in different places in your body.

fibromyalgiaFibromyalgia (FM) affects more than 3 million people every year. This chronic condition causes widespread muscle pain and increased sensitivity to stimuli that often lead to pain and difficulty sleeping, among other symptoms. Treatment is varied, but some of the current research indicates that massage therapy can be effective in helping to relieve some of the discomfort.

But FM is a complex disorder, and so working with clients who have FM is no different than working with clients with other chronic or pre-existing health conditions: you need to have a better-than-average understanding of how the condition affects the client, as well as when massage therapy can be helpful. Following, you will find information on what recent research is saying about FM and the role massage therapy can play in helping people better deal with some of the symptoms.
What is Fibromyalgia?

im212112Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread muscle pain and tenderness. Other common symptoms associated with FM include fatigue, tension headaches, cognitive difficulties and irritable bowel syndrome.

Interestingly, more of the research on FM is starting to suggest that the condition is actually a central nervous system disorder, even though muscle pain is one of its primary symptoms. More specifically, evidence points to the idea that FM is a disorder of central nervous system pain processing pathways instead of a primary auto-immune disorder of the peripheral tissue, as once believed.1 “There were studies that showed the association between stressors and FM,” explains Stephen Perle, Professor of Clinical Sciences at Bridgeport University. “For example, fMRI has shown that people with FM, when exposed to non-painful stimuli, have activation of the brain in areas that are normally activated only by painful stimuli.”

Accordingly, central nervous system involvement may explain why people with FM are often hypersensitive to all sorts of stimuli, not just mechanical pressure or touch. Dr. Michael Schneider, Associate Professor at the University of Pittsburgh and the author of multiple studies on FM, provides more insight: “The classic fibromyalgia patient just isn’t tender to the touch and can’t submit to mechanical pressure,” he explains. “They’re sensitive to light, sound, multiple food allergies, multiple chemical sensitivities, and they don’t tolerate heat and cold real well.”

Who Develops Fibromyalgia?

The short answer to this question is that women are much more likely than men to develop fibromyalgia—but it is more complicated than that. The likelihood that someone will develop FM isn’t well-known, but there are two variables that seem to be related: genetics and personal trauma. Genetics is fairly straightforward. FM tends to run in families.

Trauma, however, is a bit more complex. There seems to be a link between FM and post-traumatic stress disorder, though one does not necessarily cause the other. A 2001 study of 600 participants with FM showed “an extremely high prevalence of past emotional, physical and/or sexual trauma associated with the onset of FM symptoms.”2 Schneider’s review of the FM research literature suggests that the connection between personal trauma and FM may be that trauma often causes a person’s limbic system to go into overdrive, contributing to the central nervous system hypersensitivity. Remember, not everyone with FM is going to have experienced trauma, but you should keep the possibility in mind when working with clients with this condition. “There’s a high association with trauma, and people need to be aware of that when they’re treating these patients,” says Schneider.

Treatment for Fibromyalgia

There is no one pill or treatment that cures fibromyalgia or even relieves all of the symptoms, so many people with FM deal with this condition using multiple approaches. Most will likely be taking medication prescribed by their primary care physician, so be sure you do a thorough intake and understand how any medication they are taking may affect the massage therapy session. Remember that for these clients, self-care is crucial to being able to better control the major symptoms of FM. Therefore, focus on how massage therapy can help them reduce stress, for example, or get better sleep.

Along with massage therapy, these clients may be using other complementary approaches, such as acupuncture and yoga. When combined, Schneider sees real benefit from both traditional and complementary treatment. “These patients are best treated with a team approach,” he says.

Massage Therapy and Fibromyalgia

Of all the alternative therapies available, more and more research is showing that massage therapy provides real benefits to people dealing with a number of health conditions, including fibromyalgia. A study in 2011 showed that massage therapy caused reductions in sensitivity to pain at tender points in patients with FM, as well as lowering anxiety levels and increasing quality of sleep. Another study from 2014, which systematically reviewed nine other studies about massage therapy and FM, found that massage therapy had immediate beneficial effects on improving pain, anxiety and depression in patients with FM.

According to this same study, massage therapy is particularly effective when it is administered to soft and connective tissues because this improves muscle flexibility, as well as modulating local blood and lymph circulation.4

There is not one specific technique that is more effective with FM than others, although myofascial release has been shown to be somewhat helpful. “To new massage therapists who would like to work with FM clients, I would tell them to fill their proverbial tool box with as many techniques as they can,” says Joseph Swinski, a massage therapist from Rhode Island who regularly works with clients with chronic conditions such as FM. “When working with the FM population, it is not one size fits all.”

For many clients, using the right amount of pressure is going to be imperative, so it is important to clearly communicate with the client both before and during the session and adjust when necessary. Remember that deep pressure will likely be too much for these clients. “If they’re hypersensitive, then the idea is you’re going to have to go really light with them and kind of coddle that client and be a little more gentle with them,” says Schneider. This idea holds true for all aspects of the massage session. “Speak in a lower voice to them, and that person’s going to like the dim room with some nice relaxing music,” he adds.

Flexibility is also a key ingredient to success when working with people with FM. “The most important thing I could hope to impress on a new massage therapist working with a client with FM is to be patient, not in a hurry and as observant as possible during the actual session,” says Erika Crisafulli, a massage therapist with the Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth. “Be compassionate. We all know what it is like to deal with physical ailments that we cannot get a hold of on our own.” Crisafulli knows this better than most, as she herself has had to deal with symptoms of FM. “Trying to control the symptoms so you can still live a full life is challenging, but not impossible if you are willing to help yourself,” she says. “It is so important to practice what you preach. If I don’t take care of myself, how in the world can I take care of my clients, something I love to do so much?”

Checking in with a client after a massage therapy session is also a good idea, and that sometimes means following up a few days later. “You may need to change your approach to massage after the first visit,” says Swinski. “This is why I contact my clients after the massage. If the results were not what we expected, I reassure them that there are other approaches that we could take in their next visit.” Again, you need to be aware that clients with FM are going to have different needs. What works for some may not work for others, so listen and be willing to adjust the massage therapy session when appropriate.

Although FM is a complex condition, research is showing there are a variety of ways massage therapy can help clients feel better. From better sleep to reduced stress, massage therapy is showing real promise in helping people better handle the symptoms of FM.

Massage and the Stress Response

stressMassage has long been seen as a way for people to decrease their stress levels. With the growing number of people seeking massage therapy care in recent years, it becomes increasingly important to understand if it is effective in managing the negative health consequences of stress.

“Physiological Adjustments to Stress Following Massage Therapy: A Review of the Literature,” provided a critical evaluation of peer-reviewed research that had investigated the relationship between massage therapy and physiological measures of stress. The authors emphasized that reviews like this one are important to understanding the effectiveness of massage therapy in the management of the health impacts of stress.

Methods

In this literature review, massage therapy was defined as “the manipulation of soft tissues for the purpose of producing physiological effects on the vascular, muscular or nervous systems of the body.” Only studies where massage therapy was applied within the context of this definition were included, so any studies involving light touch modalities were excluded. The research group only included studies where the massage was provided by trained therapists, and those with adults as the participants. This process of deciding what studies will be included and excluded is called setting the inclusion criteria.

With these criteria in mind, the research team conducted a broad and extensive search of several electronic research databases, along with the researchers’ own libraries, for articles that pertained to “stress” in combination with “massage,” “bodywork,” “physiotherapy,” and “manual therapy.” Articles were included when “presenting dependent variables of stress that included the hormones cortisol, epinephrine, norepinephrine, or physical measures of blood pressure (BP) and heart rate.” Of the initial 1032 citations reviewed that met the search parameters, only “25 articles were found to meet all inclusion criteria.”

Results

The research team found that the 25 studies employed a diversity of experimental methods. There was large variability in session duration, “from 5 to 90 minutes, with over half (52%) of the studies having a session duration between 20 and 30 minutes.” Commonly, 6 to 10 treatments were delivered, but data was most often collected following the first session. The researchers chose not to report on specific massage techniques used as the specific techniques used were reported in varying degrees of detail and those studies had varied results.

“Study populations were varied and included sexually abused women, patients with eating disorders, pain conditions, hypertension, HIV positive diagnosis, cancer, post-operative patients, critical care patients, healthy adult populations, and some specific disease states.” Hormones that are markers for stress response were also noted by the researchers in this review.

Cortisol

Salivary cortisol is easy to collect from the mouth and non-invasive, so massage therapy studies frequently use this method for assessing cortisol levels. Of those studies that measured reductions in salivary cortisol it appears that the decrease, although significant, may be short term. There does not appear to be a cumulative reduction in salivary cortisol levels with multiple massage treatments. The subject populations in these studies were highly varied, “which suggests that many groups may experience an immediate benefit from massage therapy for this variable. . . However, most study participants were either healthy adults or experiencing chronic life stress.”

Urinary cortisol has been used to assess changes following multiple massage treatments. The studies that assessed urinary cortisol did so at baseline and after 5 weeks of twice-weekly massage and found evidence of a cumulative reduction in urinary cortisol.

Catecholamines

“Epinephrine (adrenaline) is produced mainly from the adrenal medulla and reflects the subject’s sympathomedullar activity” [activity from this gland]. “Epinephrine output is mainly influenced by mental stress.”

“Norepinephrine (noradrenaline) is considered an indicator of sympathoneuronal [sympathetic nervous system] activity as most of the circulating norepinephrine is released from sympathetic nerve endings. This hormonal defense reaction is aimed at routing energy from organs to muscles for the muscles” and “is more responsive to physical activity” than to mental stress. However, the authors state a decrease in either of these hormones “may indicate a physiological reduction in stress” routing circulation from organs to muscles.

Cardiovascular responses reported in 16 of the studies were blood pressure and heart rate. “Increases in blood pressure, respiration and heart rate are all physiological manifestations of the sympathetic nervous system’s response to stressful events.” There were mixed results in the studies reporting these responses, with the differences including what body parts were massaged, the massage techniques applied, overall health of the study participants, duration of the massage session, and single session versus multiple sessions. No studies reported an increase in blood pressure. Also the effect of massage on heart rate, although not sustainable, seemed to be repeatable as decreases following massage occurred one visit after the next.

Discussion

It was noted by the research team that their review was based on the outlined inclusion criteria. The authors contrasted their review with a meta-analysis completed by Moyer et al. (2004). Results of the two reviews were not consistent. The two reports differed with respect to levels of salivary cortisol and blood pressure; the Moyer et al. (2004) report found no massage sessions that affected salivary cortisol and did find a change for blood pressure. The authors of the current review conclude that the difference in findings reveals more about the current state of massage therapy research than about the clinical effects of massage therapy on stress measures. Overall, “the studies reviewed showed a variety of methodological shortcomings.”

Of significant interest to readers is the authors’ conclusion that, “to date, the research on massage therapy and stress has not progressed to demonstrate efficacy in a trial of sufficient size or methodological rigor to make definitive statements about its efficacy in reducing stress as measured by physiological variables in any particular patient population.” It is unfortunate that the evidence does not support making strong conclusions about the impact of massage therapy on physiological stress indicators. It is also unclear why there is no mention of heart rate and blood pressure in the key words listed as search criteria in the current review, even though these non-hormonal markers of stress were included in the review. This may lead to difficulty in having this review come up in other literature searches.

The authors identify opportunities for future studies to examine the effectiveness of massage therapy. Based on the diversity among the studies in the current review, the authors emphasized the need for research that employs methodological rigor including large sample sizes, detailed and reproducible treatment protocols, and reporting of clinical and statistical significance.

The Massage Therapy Foundation continues to support and promote research as seen in this month’s review. The Foundation is currently accepting scientific submissions for our 2016 International Massage Therapy Research Conference (IMTRC) that will be held in Seattle, Washington, May 12-15.

References

  1. Moraska et al. (2008). Physiological adjustments to stress following massage therapy: A review of the literature. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 7(4), 409–418.
  2. Moyer, C. A., Rounds, J., Hannum, J., W. (2004). A meta-analysis of massage therapy research. Psychological Bulletin 130(1), 3-18.

 

GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR MASSAGE

understanding-aftercare-banner_0

DRINK WATER

Massage increases your blood circulation and hydrates your muscle tissues. You know those “wow” moments you have during your massage? They’re signifying blood flowing to areas that have been nutrient deprived and blocked by constricted muscles or trigger points. These “stress spots” are potent and toxic to your body, and require the assistance of water to be flushed out.

Water is the drano our bodies need to flush out lactic acid and metabolic waste that causes knots and pain. When a muscle is dehydrated it searches for a water source, and if it can’t easily get it will cling to another muscle tissue instead.

The simple fact is that massages are dehydrating. Kneading and working muscles gets fluid pumping out of the soft tissue and into your circulatory system, where it heads towards your kidneys. Therefore it’s incredibly important to drink water because not only does it flush toxins out of your system, but it ensures that all the good work your massage does doesn’t go to waste!

STRETCH

Having just had a massage therapist break up the adhesions on your muscles, it’s now up to you to stretch in order to reap the benefits. Stretching essentially works to realign your muscle fibers and improve muscle recovery. It also helps to train your nervous system, which is the main determinator when it comes to your body’s flexibility.

Did you know that a person under anesthesia has virtually full range of motion, even in the case of a serious condition like frozen shoulder? This is because the nervous system, not the muscles, is the great limiter of motion. Keep this in mind as you go through your post-massage stretch routine.

HYDROTHERAPY

The healing properties of hydrotherapy are based on its mechanical and thermal effects. It makes use of the body’s reaction to hot and cold stimuli, the protracted application of heat, the pressure exerted by the water, and the sensation of the water itself.

Nerves carry sensations felt by the skin deeper into the body, where these responses then work to stimulate the immune system, influence the production of stress hormones, encourage blood flow, and improve circulation and digestion. Essentially, enjoying hydrotherapy following a massage prolongs your sense of relaxation, helps to induce a deeper night’s sleep, and encourages greater muscle recovery.

EAT

Massage therapy has a big effect on the body’s circulation and stimulates digestion. If you’re feeling a little light headed post-massage, this might be the result of not eating.

Following a massage your body needs to refuel. For this reason, consider taking a snack to your next appointment, such as a banana and some raw almonds. Ensure you keep meals light, and opt for things such as stir-fried vegetables and rice.

REST

It’s not always possible, but always try to schedule your massage appointments at times when you can relax afterwards. The idea behind this is to prolong your sense of deep relaxation for as long as possible. Listen to your body. If you feel like having a sleep, sleep. If you feel like curling up under a blanket and reading a book, do it. If you want to stretch out on the sofa and watch reruns of The Bachelor, indulge. This is your time to recover, repair and re-tune yourself.

HAVE A BATH

Having a bath will encourage rest, and is particularly nice when Epsom salts are added. Adding Epsom salts (magnesium sulphate) will help heal any aches and pains, open up your blood vessels, and increase circulation. A warm shower will suffice if you don’t have a bath. Just remember – the key word here is warm – not cold, and not scorching hot! A super hot bath will increase inflammation, which isn’t a good idea after a massage.

WELCOME ANY EMOTIONS

As your body relaxes, it’s normal for it to release any emotional baggage it’s holding onto. While on one occasion you might feel elated, refreshed and energised, there may be other times when you feel the need to cry. This is okay. Embrace it. Allow it to happen. You’ll appreciate the emotional release afterwards!

PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR BODY’S REACTION

While it’s normal to feel a little sore following a massage (think the day after a good gym workout), it’s not normal to feel pain several days after your massage. If your pain is intense and long-lasting, this is a sign your massage therapist may have gone too hard. Make note of any sore areas and inform your therapist during your next visit. This is important so your treatments can be modified to best suit you.

URINATE

And finally… go to the toilet. By urinating you are letting go of your toxins, so what are you waiting for? Get rid of them!

Massage can boost immune system?

masseur-holborn-londonDevotees of massage therapy know it’s relaxing and feels good. But massage may also be an effective tool for maintaining good health. Researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center reported this week that a single massage produced measurable changes in the immune system and endocrine system of healthy adults.

The researchers, led by Dr. Mark Rapaport, studied 29 healthy adults who received a 45-minute Swedish massage and 24 healthy adults who had a 45-minute session of light touch massage, a much milder exercise that served as a comparison to the more vigorous Swedish massage. Blood samples were taken before the massage began and at regular intervals up to one hour after the massage was completed.

The study found several changes in the blood tests of the Swedish massage group that indicated a benefit to the immune system. For example, Swedish massage caused sizeable decreases in arginine vasopressin, a hormone that contributes to aggressive behaviour, and small decreases in the stress hormone cortisol. The Swedish massage participants also had an increase in lymphocytes, cells that help the immune system defend the body from harmful substances.

“This research indicates that massage doesn’t only feel good, it also may be good for you,” Rapaport said in a news release. “People often seek out massage as part of a healthy lifestyle but there hasn’t been much physiological proof of the body’s heightened immune response following massage until now.”

Older posts