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Month: January 2018

Massage can take away depression and anxiety


depression and anxiety need male massage therapist in london

Massage therapists use arm, hand, fingertip, and elbow pressure to treat physical and emotional problems. The word massage comes from the Arabic word mass’h, which means “press gently.”  Therapeutic massage was first described in China about 2,500 years ago. Around 400 bc, the Greek healer Hippo crates used massage to treat sprains. Most of the world’s medical systems, including Chinese medicine and India’s Ayurveda, developed their own versions.

Researchers at the University of Miami followed 37 breast cancer patients who received massage therapy or practices progressive muscle relaxation for five weeks. Women in the massage group reported feeling less depressed and angry, and they had more energy. In a University of South Florida study of high blood pressure patients, those who got 10-minute massages three times a week for three weeks lowered their higher number by 11 points.

A review of more than a dozen massage studies conducted by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine concludes that massage therapy relieves depression and anxiety by affecting the body’s biochemistry. In a series of studies including about 500 men, women, and children with depression or stress problems, researchers measured the stress hormone cortisol in participants before and immediately after massage and found that the therapy lowered levels by up to 53%. (Cortisol can drive up blood pressure and blood sugar levels and suppress the immune system.) Massage also increased serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters that help reduce depression.

Better Night’s Sleep Before Your Next Big Event

Not getting enough shut-eye is even more detrimental to work productivity than drinking alcohol, so getting quality sleep the night before a big event is vital if you’re to perform at your best.

A recent study of more than 21,800 UK individuals, commissioned by VitalityHealth, found that productivity is closely correlated to sleep, suggesting an optimum of seven to eight hours.

So what can you do to ensure you sleep tight when a big day looms? Here are 5 sleep hacks to help you get extra those zzz’s.

Turn to technology

Due to hit the market next year, Kokoon headphones incorporate electroencephalogram (EEG) sensors to detect the electrical activity in your brain as you sleep.

Unlike sleep apps, which simply sense how often your bed moves during the night, the headphones track brain waves to determine which sleeping phase you’re experiencing.

The headphones play relaxing soundscapes to help you fall asleep. When you reach R.E.M. deep sleep, the headphones automatically turn on ambient white noise in conjunction with noise-cancelling technology to mask outside noise disturbances.

In addition, the headphones can also determine the best period in your natural sleep cycle to wake you up around your pre-set alarm time.

The retail price for the Kokoon headphones is $319 but you can pre-order them now for $189 on Kickstarter (they can be shipped to anywhere in the world).

Banish your smartphone

While you might feel obliged to keep your mobile within hands reach in the run up to a big event, if you want good sleep, devices should be kept out of the bedroom.

A 2013 Mayo Clinic study found that the bright light emitted by smartphones and tablets can disrupt sleep by interfering with the production of melatonin, a hormone that plays an important role in sleep-wake cycles. And last year, research from Michigan State University found that people who regularly use their smartphones for work purposes after 9 pm are more tired and less engaged at work the next day.

Get sleep in a bottle

You may have already heard about the benefits of taking melatonin tablets to help with jetlag, but a new spray claims to be even more effective at inducing sleep.

Sprayable Sleep is the world’s first topical melatonin spray, created by the same Harvard dropouts who created Sprayable Energy, a topical caffeine spray.

Simply spray the liquid on your neck around one hour before bedtime and a great night’s sleep should be coming your way, say its makers.

Sprayable Sleep enters the bloodstream directly through your skin and attempts to mimic the natural production of melatonin, releasing it gradually during the night.

An oral pill, on the other hand, must first make its way to the liver where most of it is broken down. Because of this, melatonin pills must come in much larger doses – sometimes providing more than 300 times the body’s natural production, which could have long-term negative effects.

You can pre-order a 3-bottle pack now for £25, which is enough for three months if used every night (international delivery costs £10).

Breathe deeply
According to Dr. Andrew Weil, a pioneer in the field of integrative medicine at the University of Arizona, using the right breathing technique can send you off to sleep in just 60 seconds.

Dr. Weil says his 4-7-8 breathing technique works by bringing more oxygen into the body, which relaxes the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting a state of calmness. The method also helps by distract you from the everyday thoughts that can prevent you from sleeping.

So, how do you do it?

Before you begin, place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth just above your teeth and keep it there throughout the exercise.
Exhale completely through your mouth quite forcefully so you make a “whoosh” sound.
Close your mouth and inhale quietly and softly through your nose for a mental count of four.
Hold your breath and count to seven.
Next, exhale completely through your mouth, making another whoosh sound for eight seconds in one large breath.
Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three times for a total of four breaths.
You can watch a video demonstration of the 4-7-8 technique here.

Have a massage

It is well known that massage can help ease aches and pains and soothe stress, all of which aid a good night’s sleep, but research has shown that receiving a massage also helps boost levels of sleep-inducing serotonin in the body.

Serotonin is a vital component of sleep, triggering the production of melatonin, which helps to regulate circadian rhythms. One such study, carried out in 2000 by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami, involved subjects being given twice-weekly, 30-minute massages for five weeks. Urine samples were taken to measure levels of serotonin, with all subjects recording an increase.The participants were also asked to rate their quality of sleep against a sleep scale and all reported enjoying improved sleep but if you don’t have time to visit a spa for a professional massage, don’t despair – you can do it yourself at home. Research by the University of Alberta concluded self-administered shiatsu hand massage could work as a non-pharmacology sleep aid, particularly for people with chronic pain conditions. Although only a small study, the participants all reported falling asleep faster and sleeping longer.

Massage for Stress Relief


massage for Stress ReliefResearch has indicated that massage may reduce anxiety and depression; ease pain from headaches and backaches; relieve the symptoms of fibromyalgia; decrease stress hormone levels; enhance immune system function; and improve sleep quality and self-image.

A relaxation massage is one of the most joyous and beneficial experiences that life offers. It helps reverse the body’s physical reaction to stress and strain, calms the mind and helps satisfy the basic human need to be touched in a caring, nurturing fashion.

Massage is also one of the finest natural tools against insomnia. A sleep-improvement treatment is more than just a massage, because it combines the use of relaxing, soothing sounds, penetrating moist heat, diaphragmatic breathing, deep relaxation, and focused muscle relaxation in addition to the application of strokes.

Massage techniques are not designed to force the body of the client to change; they are designed to reeducate the client’s body to naturally relax, unwind, rest and assume its proper alignment. During massage, the client and therapist both get into a relaxed state. They perform focused muscle relaxation in which the client and therapist work together to melt areas of hypertonicity. The therapist searches the client’s body for areas of tension, and when one is found the client uses the heat and energy from the therapist’s hand to pinpoint its precise location. The client then breathes through the spot and uses his or her mind to relax it. The therapist does not stay in an area too long; he or she moves on to other areas of the body to prepare it for rest.

Techniques That Work

The following techniques work well to relax the client and help him sleep more soundly.

When performing a relaxation treatment, avoid deep friction or fast, deep compression and tapotement; stick more to effleurage, light compression, rocking, shaking and rolling, breathing and releasing tension, gentle petrissage and light friction. With this type of massage, remember that less is more.

Have the client select the background music that relaxes him and begin the treatment in the prone position with some moist heat to his neck, shoulders and back. The first goals of a stress-reduction treatment are to slow down the client’s rate of respiration and improve his breathing mechanics so that he is breathing more diaphragmatically and efficiently without unnecessary muscular activity. Instruct him to take a series of long, slow, deep, relaxing, complete breaths in through his nose, filling his lungs to capacity, and then to exhale completely through his nose, emptying his lungs totally. Instruct the client to let his thoughts relax as he focuses his entire awareness on his breathing.

After the diaphragmatic breaths, begin the treatment with the aforementioned gentle, rocking, soothing and relaxing strokes to the legs, hips and gluteus maximus. Then move the moist heat to the legs as you move up to the back and shoulders. After 20 to 25 minutes prone, turn the client to the supine position.

In the supine position, focus your treatment on the primary and accessory muscles of respiration, remembering to spend time working on all of the palpable muscles that attach to and have influence on the sternum, clavicle, ribs and scapulae. This should include the diaphragm, intercostals, abdominals, scalene, sternocleidomastoid, subclavius, serratus anterior and pectoralis major and minor. Finish this treatment by relaxing the muscles of the forehead and scalp and then the suboccipital muscles with some gentle friction and focused relaxation.