Healing Hands – The Benefits of Massage
BY FIONA FOWLEY, DIRECTOR
You can never underestimate how stress can affect your body and mind. From brain fog, lack of concentration, irritability and anxiety to sleep deprivation, joint pain, hypertension and high blood pressure, over a prolonged period of time it makes us ill.
Over the years I’ve learnt a lot about managing stress – especially the power that a good therapeutic massage can have on the body. Massage is so much more than nice oils in a candlelit room – it’s a non-invasive and complementary approach to wellness, carried out by specially trained therapists, to help the body to heal itself. It is also intense relaxing and one of the most powerful ways to induce a reduction in stress.
Massage provides therapeutic relief to people of all ages, from sportspeople to the overworked professional. As well as relaxing and revitalising, massage can help reduce anxiety, digestive disorders, headaches, insomnia related to stress, join paint and soft tissue strains. Stimulating the lymph system, it also increases circulation and releases those all-important endorphins. Personally I find that a massage can help to clear my mind, and a calmer mind can really help productivity, whether at home or at work.
Ease Those Back Pains
Lower back pain, especially when experienced as a long-term condition, is notoriously hard to treat. And according to new guidelines based on research published in The Lancet in March 2018, filling up on painkillers is unlikely to be successful.
But massage can be a great way to feel better without the drugs. Research published in the journal Pain Medicine found that 50% of people with chronic low back pain who were given 10 sessions of massage therapy experienced clinically significant improvements in their pain.
For those of us who like to hit the gym, or who tend to run or cycle long distances, a good massage is an excellent way to soothe sore muscles and speed up recovery. And studies have shown that massage sessions can improve the quality of our sleep, with longer periods of deep sleep experienced during the night.
The Bespoke Massage Experience
I’m a firm believer that a regular massage is transformational for both body and mind – this is why I created the Zen Custom Massage. Choosing a massage can be confusing, with Aromatherapy, Sports, Deep Tissue, Swedish and many other styles appearing in spa menus. Rather than forcing our clients to choose in advance, we offer a simple massage option which is a truly bespoke experience. Our massage therapists are highly skilled, and trained in a range of techniques. We allocate time at the start of each session for a consultation, and from this we can create a customised massage experience for best results. Our range of Elemis aromatherapy oils helps us to ensure the right sensory experience and achieve the state of body and mind desired.
We also offer some specialised massage options at Zen. Our Hot Stone Massage is a deep and seriously relaxing massage that calms state of mind. the hot from the stones penetrates the muscles deeply and extensively, and results are really wonderful. We also offer a Pregnancy Massage, an adapted experience ideal for pregnant ladies and recent mums.
Get Some Space
After a good massage I think it is important to try to prolong the benefits as much as possible. This includes drinking plenty of water after a treatment to help flush out those toxins. At home I use Neom candles – their therapeutic ingredients and durable aromas are so relaxing. Their new Scent To De-Stress range is beautiful and has been specially formulated with a natural fragrance which has a calming effect on the mind. I recommend their 3 wick Luxury Candle (£45). I find a nice warm bath between massage treatments can really work wonders, both for relaxing tired muscles and de-stressing. Aching Super Soak from Elemis (£38) works to sooth muscles yet has an energising and uplifting aroma.
The Headspace app is another must-have for me for some escapism and relaxation. It is well worth dedicating a little time each evening to follow the exercises and calm your mind. And lastly, breathe deep. Not only is deep breathing very calming, it also offers a whole host of other health and beauty benefits.
If you would like any more advice on the benefits of massage, please just get in touch, we are here to help. If you would like to give the gift of a massage, why not buy a voucher on our website. It just takes a few clicks and can delivered by postal mail or as an eVoucher.
For more information on identifying and dealing with stress, visit the website for Stress Awareness Month.
Call us to book – Bruntsfield: 1314773535 | Hanover St: 1312257009
Fiona Fowley - Founder and Director of Zen Lifestyle
Fiona Fowley is the beauty expert and entrepreneur behind the Zen Lifestyle salons. Originally a beauty therapist, Fiona realised there was a gap in the market to create a unique kind of customer experience in the UK beauty and spa industry. She created Zen Lifestyle to provide discerning clients with an exceptionally high standard of therapies in luxurious, beautifully designed surroundings. she has led the business to 18 national beauty awards, as well as being voted UK Salon of the Year 5 times.