I am sure I am not the only one, who has missed hugging my nearest and dearest. In holistic beauty, touch has proven to be not only calming but also healing to the mind, body, and spirit. Over the past year, I feel touch has never been more important to our both physical and mental well-being.
Tiffany Field, director of the Touch Research Institute, of University Of Miami School Of Medicine studies show that massage provides huge benefits; including better sleep, reduced irritability, and increased sociability. Research shows that touch stimulates vital pressure receptors in the skin. In doing so, lowers our stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol helps regulate blood pressure, blood glucose, inflammation, sleep, and energy. At the same time, warm touch stimulates the release of oxytocin. Oxytocin is produced by the body. It works through the bloodstream and nerve branches, which are linked to vital control centers of the brain. It is a key hormone that interacts with other hormones to produce both psychological and physiological balance. This enhances a sense of trust and attachment.
The Power Of Massage.
When we are stressed, our body’s shows physical symptoms including :
- Muscle tension
- Recurring illnesses
- Falling hair
When we are stressed, our body goes into flight or fight mode. The problems start, when this stress is ongoing, with no real downtime. Let’s face it, it’s something many of us have to face at one time or another, and in today’s society even more so. The symptoms of stress are our body’s way of letting us know that we need to pay attention and take care of our body. Many people turn to massage to help them deal with this. However, in lockdown, we do not have the ability to go to a salon, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t do it on yourself or do it to a loved one, whether it be a child, parent, or partner. Massage releases the stress-busting hormone cortisol into our nervous system, which helps increase energy levels, promote sleep, and boosts our immune system. When cortisol levels decline, serotonin, one of the body’s anti-pain hormones, releases after a massage. By lowering cortisol and increasing serotonin through touch (in the form of massage) boosts our body’s ability to fight pain, anxiety, and feeling of sadness. Let’s face it, all this relaxation will help us get a good night’s sleep too!
When we can’t get to a salon (always nicer when someone else is doing it!!) Try our top massage techniques to help you take control of your well-being…
- Use oils, like olive, almond, and coconut. I like heating mine a little in the microwave first! If you are not a fan of oils, use your favorite cream!
- It will help reduce pain, muscle fatigue, stress, anxiety, enhances alertness, and improves sleep.
- Try this effective at-home massage for 2-3 minutes each.
1. Massaging the head
Great for: Tension headaches and sleeplessness.
Using your fingertips, gently press on along your jawline starting from the middle of your chin to just below the ears. Move upwards to the temples using a circular motion, move fingers to the temples, then across the hairline, moving your fingers until they meet at the top of your forehead.
2. Massaging the neck
Great for: stiff necks and tension headaches.
Place two or three fingers on the back of either side of the neck, where your neck meets the shoulders. Apply firm pressure and hold until you feel the muscles start to relax. Move your hand up the neck toward the head, where the skull joins the neck. Holding your fingers there roll your shoulders forward and back. Repeat three times.
3. Massaging the shoulders
Great for: Relieving tight shoulders and headaches.
Place your left hand on top of your right shoulder. Squeeze the muscle and shrug your shoulder, release the pressure as you relax your shoulder. Apply firm pressure and move your fingers closer to your neck in a circular motion. Repeat on the left side with your right hand.
4. Massaging the chest
Great for: Postural issues and relieves upper back pain.
Using your hand or a tennis ball place pressure on the pectorals, just below the collar bone. Using a circular motion, apply gentle pressure and move your hand around to massage different angles of the muscle.
For a deeper massage, move your arm, on the same side of the pectoral muscle being massaged, up and down, and forward and back to stretch the muscles.
5. Massaging the forearms
Great for: Relaxing tense forearm muscles.
Place your left hand on your right forearm, just below the elbow. Apply firm pressure, moving your thumb back and forth over the muscles. Move your left hand down your arm closer to the wrist. Carry on the circular movements around the wrist, hand, and fingers gently pull the fingers as you finish. Repeat on the left arm.
6. Massaging the legs
Great for: relieving stiffness.
Sitting on your chair with your legs bent, use the palms of your hands to place even pressure on each side of your thigh. Roll your hands down your leg toward your knee. Extend your leg out straight and roll your hands back toward your hip. Perform this on both sides.
7. Massaging the upper back
Great for: Reducing tension in the upper back and helps to hold posture.
Position a tennis ball between the wall and your spine and shoulder blades, lean against a wall, with the help of the tennis ball, move your body up and down and side to side to find areas of tension. Apply stronger pressure to the tender areas to release tension.
8. Massaging the lower back
Great for: Relieving tension in the lower back from sitting for long periods of time.
Place a tennis ball between your lower back and the wall. Move side to side and up and down, using the tennis ball, to find areas of tension. Avoid the spine area.
9. Massaging the feet
Great for: Relieving tired and aching feet, releasing tight hamstrings, and brings awareness to the back of the body.
Using a tennis ball, place the ball on the floor under your foot. Roll the foot using the ball around repeating the motion on the tender areas. If you need more pressure, stand up or use a firmer tool (golf ball or frozen water bottle).
Let us know how you get on with your holistic body massage Marylebone and enjoy enhancing your well-being and of those you love!