Aromatherapy Benefits

Aromatherapy is an exploration of creativity as well as technical knowledge. Creative expression comes from knowing the characteristics of oils and envisioning new combinations of scents. The scientific aspect of aromatherapy comes from knowing the subtle differences in essential oils that are attributable to thousands of aroma chemicals, and how these chemical constituents affect the human body. The aromatic properties of natural essential oils are a catalyst for change in the human mind and body.

The Mind

Essential oil aromas stimulate the part of the brain that affects emotion. The shape of an essential oil molecule is like a key that opens lock-like structure in the olfactory nerve receptors in our nostrils. The impression of the aroma is sent directly and immediately to the limbic system where memories are stored and pleasure and emotions are perceived. When stimulated, the limbic system releases chemicals that affect the central nervous system. Inhaling essential oils can help us attain a pleasurable emotional balance. A balanced emotional state in turn can have a therapeutic effect on physical problems.

The Body

Essential oils are quickly absorbed through the skin, traveling around individual cells and into hair follicles, where the oils enter the sebaceous glands and mingle with the skin’s natural emollients. The chemical properties of the oils can be cleansing, deodorizing, toning, or balancing. Essential oils add an aesthetic dimension to the healing effects of massage therapy, compresses, facial steams and body and foot baths. Because they’re so concentrated, essential oils must be diluted so they compose 2%-3% of the blend either in a carrier vegetable oil, such as sweet almond and jojoba, bath water or body care product.

The Spirit

A diffused aroma creates a mysterious presence in a room, then wafts away like a wish or prayer. The essential oils can be thought of as the quintessential spirit of plants, captured in a jar. Essential oils have positive effects on every level of being. Their unique properties enhance the mind, body and spirit. Aromatherapy is the creative and scientific application of essential oils to create beneficial changes in our lives on aesthetic, therapeutic and mystical levels.

The difference between different modalities of massage

As a massage therapist, I find that one of the most popular questions I get is what exactly is the difference between different modalities of massage. So, this is a comprehensive list of all the different types of massages and how they benefit the body.

Swedish Massage – Also known as Relaxation or Western massage, is the most common massage technique in the United States and in many places throughout the world. It is a dynamic therapy of long strokes, friction, and compression, designed to invigorate the body by stimulating the flow of blood to the heart. These strokes help to manipulate the muscles and connective tissues of the body. Therapists apply circular movements on superficial layers of injured tissues using massage lotion or oil to diminish friction on the skin. Patients wear a sheet during the session with only the area being treated on exposed. This is the softest of massage methods and is meant to entice a gentle and relaxing experience and is the best option if a client has never had a massage. The benefits of Swedish massage include integral relaxation, removed waste products from tissues, improved circulation, pain and tension relief, nourished muscles, rehabilitation and overall health maintenance and well being.

Deep Tissue Massage – Deep tissue massage is a type of massage therapy that focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue. It is especially helpful for chronic aches and pains and contracted areas such as stiff neck and upper back, low back pain, leg muscle tightness, and sore shoulders.

Some of the same strokes are used as Swedish massage therapy, but the movement is slower and the pressure is deeper and concentrated on areas of tension and pain in order to reach the sub-layer of muscles and the fascia (the connective tissue surrounding muscles). At certain points during the massage, most people find there is usually some discomfort and pain. It is important to tell the massage therapist when things hurt and if any soreness or pain you experience is outside your comfort range. There is usually some stiffness or pain after a deep tissue massage, but it should subside within a day or so. The massage therapist may recommend applying ice to the area after the massage. Massage therapists may use fingertips, knuckles, hands, elbows, and forearms during the deep tissue massage. You may be asked to breathe deeply as the massage therapist works on certain tense areas.

Accupressure – It is a millenary Chinese technique of healing that uses the fingers (and sometimes the toes) to press certain points on the surface of the skin to stimulate the natural self-curative capacity of the human body. When these points (called meridians in Chinese traditional medicine) are pressed, they liberate muscular tension and improve the flow of blood and the body’s life energy (known as “qi”) to help in the healing process. Acupressure shares the same meridian theory with acupuncture. The difference is that an acupuncturist stimulates points by introducing needles, while an acupressurist stimulates the same points using the firm pressure of hands and feet. That is why acupressure is frequently referred as “needleless acupuncture”. The benefits of acupressure include: alleviated headaches, eye strain, sinus problems, neck pain, backaches, arthritis, muscle pains, tension produced by stress, ulcer pain, menstrual cramps, lower backaches, constipation, and indigestion. Acupressure is also useful relieving anxiety and improving sleep thanks to the release of endorphins (corporal chemicals that mitigate pain). In general, it aids to balance the body, improves the resistance to illnesses and promotes good health.

ShiatsuIt is a Japanese system for healing and health maintenance that has been developed for thousands of years. It is based on a combination of acupressure (Shiatsu literally means “finger pressure”) and the traditional massage technique of Japan called “Anma”. Shiatsu uses the acupuncture points or meridians plus the reclined posture of the anma method. Therapists apply pressure with the finger, thumb, palm, elbow, or knee to certain areas on the skin. Benefits of Shiatsu are similar than acupressure. This massage therapy is widely practiced in Japan and its popularity is growing in Western countries. The benefits of this therapy include: relaxation of the body and mind, feeling of weightlessness, pain relief, stress reduction and deep self-reflection.

Hot Stone Massage: Smooth and hot stones are used in this massage to apply pressure and heat to the body. The heat from the stones goes deep in to the muscles of the one receiving the massage and release stress. Stones can also be applied strategically on different parts of the body by the therapist to bring out specific results. Apart from relaxing the body, this massage may also relieves pain is the client is experiencing any. This is very useful for conditions such as back pain, ache, muscle tension, anxiety and stress.

Chair MassageChair massage, as compared to other types of massage therapy, has fast become popular. You can get it while shopping in a mall or traveling by air. Chair massage therapists can also often be found at your local health food store. The massage therapist doesn’t use oil or lotion, and you’re fully clothed during the massage. In addition, the sessions are shorter than traditional massage, usually 20 minutes or less. Chair massage focuses pressure only on the head, neck, shoulders, back, and arms. Chair massage is great when you don’t have time for a traditional massage.
The cost is easy on your wallet, too, usually costing approximately $1 a minute.

Prenatal and Antenatal Massage: Massage during and after the pregnancy was earlier given by midwives. These days it is given by the trained therapists. The massage is modified according to the condition of the pregnant woman. Antenatal massage is very effective for fast restoration of the body of the mother. Massage during pregnancy is useful to relieve pains, cure swelling, remove depression, and to alleviate the mood of the expectant mother.

Lymphatic massage, – Also called lymphatic drainage or manual lymph drainage, is a technique developed in Germany for treatment of lymphedema, an accumulation of fluid that can occur after lymph nodes are removed during surgery, most often a mastectomy for breast cancer. Lymphedema can also be present at birth or develop at puberty or during adulthood. This type, known as primary lymphedema, can affect as many as four limbs and/or other parts of the body. The cause is unknown. Lymphatic massage for conditions other than lymphedema is not medically recommended, although it may be promoted by some therapists.

Chinese Cupping –

 

Chinese cupping therapy is a process of suctioning or vacuuming sections of the body’s meridian system for the purpose of drawing out toxins, pain management, increasing blood flow, and promoting a healthier flow of chi energies. The massage therapist or acupuncturist will apply massage oil or baby oil to your skin prior to placement of the cups. The air inside each cup is heated with a flame prior to placing the cup upside down directly onto the skin. As a result, a suction sensation occurs and attaches to the body. The cups are left on the body for a few minutes. Welt marks, an effect of the air pressure, could remain on the skin for up to fifteen days following your treatment. Traditional cups used in cupping therapy are made of glass or bamboo, and hollowed out animal horns.

I hope you find this information helpful when choosing your next massage with us at MassageWaynesville.com

How learning about Lymphatic Drainage massage can help you take your health into your own hands

First, we will start with a brief introduction to the lymphatic system in the body. The human lymphatic system is, in a sense, the body’s second circulatory system. It is made up of lymphatic vessels, lymph nodes, lymph (the interstitial fluid drained through the vessels), and lymphocytes (specialized immune cells). The tonsils, adenoids, spleen, and thymus are all part of the lymph system.
Our lymph nodes are soft, small internal structures located in the armpits, groin, and neck, as well as in the center of the chest and abdomen. The lymph nodes produce immune cells that fight infection while filtering lymph fluid to remove foreign material. When bacteria or other immune threats are present in lymph, lymph nodes increase production of infection-fighting white blood cells, which can cause the nodes to swell.

The lymphatic system has no “pump” of its own to move lymph through the system, as the circulatory system has the heart. Rather, bodily movement and breathing function to move liquid lymph through the vessels and filters of the lymph nodes. For people who get too little exercise and eat too much processed food, the lymphatic system can easily be overtaxed – resulting in a body that is susceptible to infection and disease.

Lymphatic massage can actually be a very beneficial home remedy when done properly and can have profound effects on the body. Lymphatic massage has the ability to increase the volume of lymph flow by as much as 20 times the normal flow. This greatly increases the body’s ability to remove toxins and infectious materials.

If you are already a generally healthy person, lymphatic massage can help the body fight colds and shake off fatigue. You can safely perform lymphatic drainage massage on the lymph nodes around your neck, ears, and throat, on the abdomen, and on the legs. Using very gentle pressure, first perform lymph drainage for the ears, on the neck area, then lymphatic breathing for the abdomen and finally, self-lymphatic drainage on the legs. Starting in the region of the neck helps clear the system for the lymph that is pumped to the lymph nodes as you work on the abdomen and legs.
Yoga is a great daily life practice that is a good accessory to lymphatic massage. It is especially good if you already are experiencing symptoms of lymphedema.

You can also hire a professional to give you lymphatic drainage massage. If you choose a knowledgeable practitioner, the result will be a relaxing massage that’s precisely targeted for your needs. If you suffer from long-term lymphedema, or localized swelling related to lymph system blockage, ask a professional’s help first.
If you want a type of treatment that is complimentary to your lifestyle, that can help the body release toxins and create more vitality, then lymphatic massage is a great option for you.

LYMPHATIC MASSAGE BOOK HERE

Help yourself, Get a Massage!

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A massage involves the rubbing and manipulating of muscles, tendons, skin and ligaments. A full body massage offers multiple benefits, both physically and psychologically.

A massage can help reduce your stress level. Massage may also help manage or reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression. While no studies have proven that a massage will reduce symptoms of depression, some people feel that their symptoms are decrease after a full body massage.

A full body massage can also relieve any pain and stiffness the body may have. A full body massage may release endorphins, which act as a pain reliever. Massage sometimes helps relieve migraine pain too. Muscles that are tired, overused or otherwise sore are able to relax and soften through the massage.

A full body massage may increase your immune system’s function, and help improve your skin! The massage can also encourage tissue regeneration, which may help reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks.

So help yourself out and get a massage today!

A Swedish Massage

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A Swedish Massage is the most common and best-known type of massage in the West. If it’s your first time or you don’t get massage very often, Swedish massage is going to be the best massage for you. If you desire deeper work and can tolerate more pressure, even momentary discomfort, to get relief from muscle pain, it’s better to book a deep tissue massage. Deep Tissue is just another form of Swedish massage.

Swedish massage is based on the Western concepts of anatomy and physiology as opposed to energy work that is more common in Asian-style massage. Both Swedish massage and physical therapy were pioneered by a Swedish physiologist, Per Henrik Ling (1776-1839)at the University of Stockholm.

Swedish massage techniques include circular pressure applied by the hands and palms, firm kneading, percussion-like tapping, bending and stretching. Before and during your Swedish massage session, communication is encouraged with your professional massage therapist so that your massage is customized to your specific needs.

Before the massage, the therapist should ask you about any injuries or other conditions that he or she should know about. Things you would want tell a therapist include areas of tightness or pain, allergies, and conditions like pregnancy. You can also tell them up front if you have a preference for light or firm pressure. It’s best not to get a massage if you are ill.