Massage for Better Health

It increases vitality, reduces congestion, and improves circulation. It increases oxygen and nutrients supplied to muscles, joints, organs and the brain. It reduces pain due to spasm, inflammation and tissue damage. It calms the nerves and stimulates elimination of metabolic wastes, often speeding recovery from illness and injuries. What is it? MASSAGE!

Anyone who has instinctively rubbed a stiff neck knows intuitively that massage relieves pain and muscle tension. But the benefits don’t stop there. Scientists are now finding that massage can reduce blood pressure, boost the immune system, dampen harmful stress hormones and raise mood-elevating brain chemicals such as serotonin. And you can’t beat massage for relaxation and stress release.

Massage is as essential as proper diet and exercise to help maintain overall health. Many of the benefits stem directly from physical manipulation. Massage can also stimulate nerves that carry signals from the skin and muscles to the brain, triggering changes throughout the body. Even brain waves are altered by massage.

A study at the University of Miami School of Medicine showed that workers who were rubbed down for 15 minutes twice a week had lower levels of alpha and beta waves-indicating greater alertness-than their colleagues who did relaxation exercises for the same amount of time. The massage recipients completed cognitive tasks quicker and with fewer errors.

The benefits of massage have prompted employers to get involved. A special portable massage chair enables a visiting therapist to give deserving employees a thorough upper body massage right at the work site. Typically, chair massages cost a dollar a minute, and the employer often shares the expense. It’s great for employee morale, and tends to enhance management’s popularity considerably, a valuable benefit in today’s competitive marketplace.

Massage is not a single discipline but a family of related arts, each offering different advantages. If you’re plagued by insomnia or simply need to relax, Swedish massage, with its long soothing stokes, may be all you need. But if you suffer from painful muscle spasms or need to rehabilitate an injured joint, “deep tissue” massage may be more helpful. The technique uses greater pressure to penetrate to deeper muscle groups. Sports massage combines all these techniques to reduce soreness, prevent injuries and treat sprains, strains and tendonitis. Regardless of the type, after a massage you should drink lots of water. This helps the body discharge toxins that you were able to release during the massage.

To make the most of a massage, close your eyes, relax and breathe freely. If you experience any discomfort, inform the therapist immediately, but keep conversation to a minimum and focus on the feeling. Become passive and limp. Let the skilled hands of an expert massage therapist do all the work; don’t help when he or she moves your body or manipulates a limb. When you notice muscle tension, release it.

There are a few medical conditions that are not compatible with massage — serious cardiac conditions and blood clots; skin disease, wounds, or tumors; cancer or tuberculosis; fever; and fractures and dislocations. For most of us, however, a good therapeutic-body massage is just what the doctor ordered. Like exercise, massage does more for you if you engage in it regularly, but even monthly treatments can help maintain general health. That’s all the excuse anyone should need to indulge.

5 Steps to Better Skin

Therapy for better skin is both preventative and restorative. The use of good skin care products and the avoidance of excess sun exposure and smoking could make a vast difference in the condition of your skin.

Skin is not inert – it is a living organ protected by a hydrolipidic film (water & oil), which is constantly rejuvenating itself and producing dead cells, perspiration and sebum. For healthy skin and a fresh complexion, the epidermis must be cleansed. Proper cleansers should remove perspiration, sebum and particles that have accumulated from the air and make-up, without harming the skin’s natural protective barrier.

Clearing the epidermis of dead cells by means of thorough exfoliation: makes the skin more receptive to the active ingredients in skin care products; helps improve skin conditions related to clogging; facilitates the clinical extraction of blackheads. Exfoliation is generally performed once or twice a week depending on the condition of the skin. A properly performed exfoliation rejuvenates the skin, allowing it to breathe better and maximizes the effectiveness of corrective products applied afterwards.

Toning leaves the skin feeling fresh, but it is also an indispensable preparatory step, because water is the skin’s vital vehicle. Toners penetrate the corneous layer, saturating it with aqueous substances that promote delivery of active ingredients in the toner as well as in care products applied afterwards, maximizing their effects.

Once the epidermis has been cleansed, exfoliated, and toned, it is time to ensure that it is sufficiently hydrated. Water is as essential to skin as it is to a plant. The soil must be moist enough before the fertilizer is added; otherwise the roots might burn. It is the same with skin. The epidermis must be sufficiently hydrated- moist -before it is fed any active ingredients used to treat specific skin conditions; otherwise the treatment would produce no tangible results, or the skin could react with a burning sensation or redness.

Lack of hydration equals dehydration. Hydration means allowing the epidermis to increase its water reserves. There are two things to do to properly hydrate the skin: First, use moisturizers that ensure water retention in the cells of the epidermis. Second, use anti-dehydrant products that help the epidermis retain water by forming a film on the surface of the skin that prevents epidermal water from evaporation. Thus, the skin remains moist and supple and skin care products diffuse easily in the epidermis.

There are many products available aimed at treating conditions such as dry-alipidic skin (a lack of sebum), oily skin (acne), sensitive and/or couperose skin, mature or tired skin, or skin lacking in tonus. Proper treatment for specific skin conditions means first preventing any loss of epidermal water. There are many things that can cause loss of water: weather conditions, pollution, health problems, and so forth. In addition, a failure of the skin’s natural protective barrier or lack of proper care can aggravate water loss.

So how do you know what to do? The good news is that science has merged with beauty, so know that there is something you can do for yourself to improve your skin and give you a healthier, fresher look. Start by booking your first facial today! An analysis of your skin, by a trained aesthetician, can help you to understand your specific skin type and/or condition and establish a treatment that is right for you.

Indulge Your Mind, Body and Soul!

Whether at work or at play we are constantly under stress, and it is easy to neglect those things that renew our spirit and outward appearance. Fortunately, there is a simply splendid way in which to undo what the encounters of our everyday lives have done… a visit to the spa!

A spa offers many wonderful treatments that help relieve stress and beautify. Regular Facials monitor changes in skin condition, reduce clogging and with the assistance of a trained aesthetician you can understand your skin type and/or condition and establish a home care regimen that is right for you. A selection of Body Treatments exfoliates, slims and detoxifies your body inside and out. A new professionally applied Spray Tanning treatment by SunFX offers an alternative to the harmful effects of the sun and is great for that special event, prior to a get-a-way, or just to get a sun kissed glow! The result is an all over natural looking tan. Anyone who has instinctively rubbed a stiff neck knows that a Massage relieves pain and muscle tension, but it may not necessarily be known that the benefits don’t stop there. It has been found that massage can reduce blood pressure, boost the immune system, dampen harmful stress hormones and raise ones mood-elevating brain chemicals such as serotonin. Manicures and Pedicures not only make our hands look lovely and your feet ready for sandal season, but they condition and repair the skin and nail beds so that hands and feet aren’t just presentable, they’re healthy.

This is just a sampling of what a spa offers to help you be a more beautiful and healthier you… so indulge yourself today!

Laurel Carey
Indulgence Day Spa