Massage therapy can be traced back as far as 5,000 years, when it was heralded for healing injury, alleviating pain and preventing illness. Fast forward to modern times and this ancient practice remains as popular as ever. Elle Foster, Assistant Health Club and Spa Operations Manager at St Pierre Park, shares some insights into the benefits of a good massage for physical and mental wellbeing.
The world may have evolved since ancient times, but daily stresses and challenges still affect us all, and this is where massage therapy can really make a difference. For many clients, booking an appointment is a vital part of their self-care routine; rather than a luxury, they see it as a way of pushing the reset button and boosting their wellbeing. Whether you’re a mum with a young family or a busy executive running a multinational corporation, dialling down the stress and physically taking yourself away from your daily routine can deliver benefits that last long after your treatment ends.
Beyond the mental health benefits, massage can do wonders for the circulatory system. Moving blood and tissue around encourages the body to work, bringing damaged or tense muscles the oxygenated blood they need to repair themselves. The body also has a lymph circulation system that works in tandem with our blood lines. Massage helps to stimulate this system, encouraging a network of lymph nodes to filter out toxins and bacteria that can harm the body. Combining massage with powerful oil blends is an effective way of reducing lactic acid build-up in the body, which is particularly popular with training athletes.
Many people struggle with aches and pains that are greatly reduced by massage treatment. Bad posture is a key culprit for back problems, particularly with clients who spend a long time sat at their desks. It’s easy to slip into a rounded back posture that causes muscle fatigue and tension in the shoulders, neck and lower back. I always advise my clients to consciously stretch during their working day, which can make a huge difference. I also see people that struggle with joint pain, including arthritis. They often find that the moderate pressure applied during massage can help reduce their symptoms. Pain can be extremely debilitating so it’s nice to know you can make a positive difference to someone’s life.
Elle’s Top Tips…
Make a regular date with your massage therapist.
Ideally, this should be every two weeks but if that’s a challenge then make it monthly. This will help you stay supple while maintaining flexibility and preventing injury.
Use a foam roller or spike ball between appointments.
As well as helping to remove tension and releasing muscle knots, it’s a great way of boosting your circulation and lymphatic flow.
Don’t forget to stretch.
Whether at home or in the gym, regular stretching will help to improve flexibility and reduce soreness while boosting the benefits of your next massage.