Massage is all about relaxation. A good massage should make you feel brand-new every single time! That doesn’t mean you can make yourself as tense as you like and get a massage to fix it. You need to take good care of yourself before, during, and after the massage to really feel the benefits. Here are 4 self-care tips before and after your massage.
Schedule Your Massage at the End of the Day
Think of your body as a music box: when you’re stressing over your daily life, that’s your body winding up. When you stop winding a music box, you enjoy the music, you don’t wind it up again right away. A good massage will start unwinding your body, but the unwinding process can last for hours after your massage. You should let it keep going so that you can enjoy the benefits of your massage. Otherwise, you’re winding the music box up again before the music even finishes.
That’s what working after a massage is like. You let the music play for a second, and then you wind it up again. Instead of having a massage during your lunch break, try squeezing one in at the end of the day. That way, you can relax and unwind in peace.
Having enough water in your system is vital for self-care and it makes your massage experience so much better! Water helps the toxins in your body flow out of your body and will prevent soreness after your massage. We recommend avoiding any coffee or alcohol for at least three hours after your massage because these drinks tend to cause dehydration. We also recommend drinking plenty of water beforehand so you’re most prepared.
Maximize your “Me” Time
The best self-care before and after a massage is doing whatever you need to do to relax. This means spending time away from anything or anyone that can cause you stress and giving yourself much-needed time to take care of yourself. We suggest lighting some scented candles, preparing a bubble bath, and turning on some smooth Jazz.
Use Essential Oils to get in the Mood
You want to be in the right mood for your massage. And that might mean taking a moment before your massage to rest a bit too. Stress can cause our minds to clutter and be distracted. We recommend using calming essential oils to get some of that stress out of your system.
With these self-care tips, you’ll be feeling more relaxed and energized than ever. Give yourself the care you deserve by scheduling a massage today!
The cycle of work, life, children, friends, family, can run any person down. Feeling stressed is only part of the issue, however. Stress triggers cortisol which can build up in the body, causing a host of health issues. Diet and exercise can help relieve your body, however, using massage and essential oils are just as effective ways to detox your body and your mind.
Toxins are everywhere; in the food we eat, the people we’re around and even in the air we breathe. These toxins enter our body and our body fights to remove them. Yes, our livers are built to filter toxins out, but eventually, even our own bodies can’t handle the volume. Headaches, weight gain, muscle tension, illness-they are all side effects of these toxins. The worst part?
They feed off each other, making them even harder to get rid of.
Receiving at least one massage a month will keep your body maintained at a high level, keeping cortisol levels low.
As mentioned, toxins manifest in multiple ways and can be relieved in just as many ways as well. Think deeply about what’s in your body, what’s weighing you down, causing you stress, anxiety, fatigue, and all the negativity you face daily. It takes a village to make your body and mind as healthy as it can be. Meditation will help your mind, which will, in turn, help your body. A massage routine will also assist in the process.
A massage routine will gather all those stressful toxins in your body, guiding them out with various types of modalities, allowing you to feel refreshed, energized, and renewed. Receiving at least one massage a month will keep your body maintained at a high level, keeping cortisol levels low.
Massage works hand in hand with your meditation regimen or exercise regimen. Improving your mental health as you improve physically will naturally detox your body and brain! An addition to massage are essential oils-what you smell truly shapes how you feel.
What Essential Oils are Best for Me?
Essential oils like lavender, citrus, lemongrass have been used for centuries. The smell of lavender is perfect for calming the mind and making you feel less stressed or anxious. Or, try lemon for invigorating those white blood cells and strengthening your immune system! Ginger helps by improving digestion which tends to take a beating when you’re stressed! Look for a future blog on various essential oils and how they can improve your mental health.
We want to hear from you, what essential oils do you use? What other routines do you have to detox?
The demands of your work and personal life can really bring on high levels of stress, intensity, and tension. With all the pressure we face on a daily basis, it’s not surprising that the most common kind of headache is a tension headache. In order to get rid of these pesky problems, we must also understand what they are and what causes them.
Tension headaches are caused by stress building up in your muscles, particularly your back, shoulders, and neck. The increased muscle tension then extends up to your head causing discomfort, pain, or extreme pain. Whether you’re staring at a computer screen for many hours a day, driving long distances, or engaging in repetitive movements, all of these can contribute to a tension headache. Other causes include eye strain, emotional stress, excessive caffeine, smoking, and more. General stress can also manifest itself in tension in the neck, shoulders, and back as well.
Now that we know stress and muscle tension leads to tension headaches, we can learn how to get rid of them. Clearly, reducing stress and tension will make these annoying headaches go away! In the moment, you’ll need to address your symptoms right away. If left unaddressed, tension headaches can grow to an even bigger pain and possibly a migraine. When your head starts to ache, immediately practice self-massage. Gently massage the areas that hurt. If you are able, make an appointment at our office as soon as possible for a massage, which is the best stress reduction for muscles and you! Reduce the outside stimuli that are causing stress by turning lights and sounds off. Practice deep breathing. Essential oils like lavender or peppermint can diffuse stress and tension as you breathe in deeply.
After you’ve reduced the symptoms of your current tension headache, you’ll have to assess long-term factors contributing to your stress. Start by addressing areas of your life that are causing stress. Getting an ergonomic assessment at work can greatly reduce the factors contributing to your headaches. Healthy eating habits and even moderate, consistent exercise helps to get your muscles moving on a regular basis. A regular schedule of massage can set up a cycle of relaxation and stress relief that will greatly reduce the chances of tension headaches.
Tension headaches can be caused by a multitude of stressful factors. With our helpful hints and a regular massage routine, you can easily get rid of tension headaches right away, and even before they pop up. Set up a consultation with MMS today for personalized tips and stress reducing massages.
Approximately 75 million Americans have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, which greatly increases the risk for heart disease and stroke. We know that the health benefits of massage are undeniable. Massage can reduce pain and muscle tension, while increasing relaxation and range of movement. A regular schedule of massage can overall increase your quality of life and studies have shown that it can also lower blood pressure. It’s important to know the details of high blood pressure and how massage can be used to lower it.
Blood pressure is the measure of the force of blood pumping against the blood vessel walls. If the pressure of your blood pumping is consistently too high, then you have high blood pressure, or hypertension. This means that your heart and arteries are working too hard and inefficiently, leading to hardening of the arteries, stroke, kidney disease, and heart failure. The #1 leading cause of deaths in the United States is heart disease / failure, while strokes are the #5 leading cause of deaths. Clearly, high blood pressure is a serious issue.
High blood pressure does not have any visible symptoms, and can only be diagnosed by a doctor. Remember to receive your regular annual physical to assess any hidden or underlying symptoms. Hypertension can affect both men and women equally, and studies have shown that it can affect people of any age. Physicians most often recommend high blood pressure medication, but even more importantly, they recommend lifestyle changes. A healthy lifestyle of aerobic exercise, healthy eating habits (or losing weight), abstaining from smoking, reducing the amount of alcohol and sodium in your diet, and reducing stress can be very helpful to lower blood pressure. One of the best ways to reduce stress is through massage therapy.
Massage therapy relaxes the body and improves circulation, leading to a relaxed and healthier state. Studies have shown that those who receive massages weekly have lower depression, anxiety, lower stress hormone levels, and lower diastolic and systolic blood pressure. Swedish massage in particular, which is a gentle, relaxing massage, is particularly effective. A regular schedule of weekly or biweekly massages gives your body regular doses of relaxation and reduces blood pressure consistently over time.
High blood pressure is a serious problem for 30% of the American population. If you or someone you know is affected by hypertension, get started on reducing stress and taking care of your body through massage therapy. Consult with a physician and our trained experts at MMS before starting any massage therapy to determine whether it is the right course of treatment for you.
Daily aches and pains can come on suddenly. The best way to relieve your muscle tension and aches is to get a full massage from your massage therapist at MMS! Sometimes, you just can’t get in for an appointment. Vacations, busy schedules, and work can get in the way. If you can’t make it for a massage right away, try these simple self-massage techniques.
Self-massage includes techniques that you can perform on yourself to reduce pain and muscle tension. You can use your hands, a tennis ball, or a foam roller.
Head – Start at your temples. Make slow circular motions, moving your hands to meet in the middle of your forehead. You can also use this circular motion massage along your hair line going back to the base of your skull.
Neck – Apply firm pressure with your fingers at the base of your neck where it meets your shoulders. Release when tension has eased. Next, roll your shoulders back and forth slowly. Repeat this until your muscles relax.
Shoulders – Use either your right or left hand (depending on your ability to stretch) to bring your fingers to your right shoulder. Squeeze your shoulder muscle, then release, slowly moving from the outside of your shoulder in. Repeat with the left side.
Back – It would cause too much strain to your body to try to massage your own back with your hands. Here’s where a foam roller or a tennis ball comes in handy. Position the tennis ball or foam roller in between you and the wall. Move your body to get the ball in the right place to massage out the tension. Use stronger pressure on particularly tender spots to relieve more tension. If you do not have a tennis ball or a foam roller, lay on the floor on your back. Bring your knees up to your chest and hold them with your arms. Rock your body from side to side, using your weight and the floor to massage out problem areas.
Feet – Use a tennis ball placed on the floor. Place the arch of your foot on the tennis ball. Roll your foot around on the ball. Focus on areas that are tender by applying a bit more pressure. Repeat with the other foot.
The best part about all these techniques is that they are portable, all you need are your hands and a small massage tool. You can bring these techniques with you wherever you might be traveling, or if you’re stuck at work. These techniques work well to relieve immediate stress and strain but remember it’s best to see our professional massage therapists at MMS. We can accurately assess your individual needs and relieve your pain in the healthiest way.
Let’s face it, bugs are annoying! In the summertime, there are many more bugs outside that can get in your way. Bugs cause painful and itchy bites, illness, and even deadly disease. Many people tend to use chemical sprays to kill bugs. Chemical sprays can be harmful to breathe, harmful to our skin, and harmful to the environment. Luckily, nature has some great remedies for repelling those pesky bugs. Check out these essential oils that will keep bugs away!
Fleas – These pesky little insects are generally found in dark places and on animals, and flourish in warm weather. Although extreme heat will deter their numbers, the perfect temperature for fleas is 70-85 degrees. The humidity is often high in northern Virginia, which is also another perfect birthing ground for flea larva. Fleas find their hosts by smell, so essential oils will mask the scent as well as repel them. To keep them away from your furry friends, make a spray with 30 drops of either eucalyptus, peppermint, cedarwood, lemongrass or citronella (or a mixture of all of them) combined with one cup of water. You can also mix these oils into a carrier oil and massage it into their fur.
Ticks – Ticks are often found outside in areas with tall grass. They are flightless parasites, feeding on animals and humans. There are many different types, including some so small that they are barely visible, and they can carry serious diseases, like lyme disease. You can reduce the amount of ticks that you pick up when outside by wearing long pants, but you can also repel them with essential oils. Ticks are like fleas in that they sense their hosts through smell, so essential oils are great for masking scents and giving a scent that will ward off the ticks. The top essential oils to drive away ticks are lavender, pennyroyal, lemongrass, eucalyptus, lemon.
Mosquitos – One of the most annoying summer bugs are mosquitos! These flying blood suckers hunt for their animal and human prey by searching out smells of carbon dioxide and sweat. Their bites create an itchy bump that irritates the skin, and can also carry deadly viruses such as malaria, West Nile virus, and Zika virus. Citronella is the most common essential oil to keep mosquitos away and can be used in candles and bug sprays. Other essential oil options to ward off mosquitos include lemongrass, peppermint, tea tree oil, witch hazel, lavender, eucalyptus.
All of these essential oils are a natural, safe, nonchemical approach to keeping bugs away this summer. Always make sure to test all of your ingredients on your skin before applying it everywhere. While these essential oils are safe and non-toxic, always make sure that you do not have a sensitivity or allergy to any oils by testing a small amount first. Once you find that your skin does not have any reactions, spray liberally or apply using a carrier oil. If you do happen to get a bit or a sting, mix together tea tree oil, peppermint, and a carrier oil to reduce irritation. Stay safe from bugs and bug bites this summer with these great essential oil sprays and repellants!
Massage therapy is very helpful for every day aches and pains, stress, back pain, and more. You may not know that massages are also extremely helpful for addressing injuries. Athletes often get massages before and after games to aid in repairing any damage done. The benefits of massage even extend to helping your body heal and repair after fracturing or breaking an arm or leg!
Whenever you have an injury, consult with your doctor about any treatments, physical therapy, or massages. Based on the type of fracture you have, you can start massage right away. Even if you’re wearing a cast, MMS can massage around the immobilized area.
Massaging the surrounding areas outside of the cast, will reduce stiffness and edema caused by the injury. As a result of reducing stiffness and swilling, you will increase range of motion in the surrounding joints.
Another great benefit of massage is to improve healing and rejuvenation. Relaxing the muscles surrounding the injured area will reduce pain and increase circulation of nutrients and oxygen to the muscles. Giving more oxygen and nutrients to the muscles will speed up healing and increase mobility.
Always remember to consult your doctor about how best to treat your broken arm or leg. If you’ve been given clearance to do physical movement and massage, the benefits are undeniable. A Medical Massage Specialists’ massage will take care of you by reducing pain and swelling, and increasing mobility and healing.
Sports play a huge role in our lives. We go to live sporting events, we watch games on TV, and we introduce young athletes to the love of sport. Young athletes have huge potential to compete and succeed in sports. The best way to set your child up for success is to take care of their bodies through healthy food, rest, and a great massage from Medical Massage Specialists. Here are some of the reasons why massage is so important for your young athlete’s health.
Massage keeps a young athlete’s body in peak condition. Young bodies are constantly growing through puberty. This means that as their bones grow, their muscles will stretch and then grow as well. Even without the physical strain of regular use, young athletes can experience growing pains. Massage will soothe pain and reduce the stress of regular use.
Tight muscles are far more prone to injury. By getting a massage at least once a month, young athletes will reduce their risk of injury. Massage invests in your child’s performance by reducing the amount of injuries, and thus reducing medical bills and permanent damage to the body. It’s ideal for athletes to get a massage before and after sporting events.
Massage boosts a young athlete’s performance. It improves circulation and blood flow to the muscles, allowing young athletes to run faster, jump higher, have a greater range of motion and have better coordination. Attitude can make a world of difference in an athlete’s success. Studies prove over and over again that massage also reduces both physical and mental stress and anxiety. When your child is more relaxed and has less stress, they will be able to face their next game with confidence.
Young athletes strive for perfection in their physical performance. There’s always a game to be won, a tournament to play in, or a championship to conquer. The benefits of massage are huge for athletes! The benefits include conditioning and repairing the body, as well as boosting performance. Help set your child up for success with soothing massages from MMS today!
The summer sun is here! It’s the perfect time to enjoy a day by the water or go on a vacation. This means that your skin is going to get far more sun exposure. It’s very important to put on sunscreen several times throughout the day if you plan on being out in the sun. Vitamin D from the sun is important to prevent Vitamin D deficiency but getting too much sun can lead to sunburns, premature wrinkles, leathery skin, and skin cancer. Sunburns can be painful, itchy and damage your skin. It’s best to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun if possible, but if you do get a sunburn, these essential oils and natural ingredients can help!
Briefly, there are three degrees of burns. First-degree burns are damage the outer layer of the skin, resulting in red, irritated skin. A second-degree burn is damage to both the outer layer and the under layer which presents as blistering, redness, and very painful skin. Third degree burns are very serious burns that cause nerve damage and destroy your skin, leaving skin looking either red, white, yellowish, or even black. Most sunburns are first-degree burns, but you can get both second and third-degree burns from the sun depending on the conditions you are in, so make sure to pay attention to the sun and how long you stay out in it.
When treating a sunburn, you want to relieve pain and to help your skin to heal faster. There are many options to treat sunburn naturally by using essential oils and other natural items. The best essential oils to treat sunburns are peppermint essential oil, eucalyptus essential oil, and lavender essential oil. Peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils are natural analgesics, reducing the pain and inflammation of the burn. Lavender is a great essential oil for healing because it reduces inflammation and reduces redness and scarring.
Create a mixture with these essential oils and aloe vera gel. Aloe vera is a widely used treatment for sunburns that is derived from the aloe vera plant. It contains polysaccharides and other natural ingredients that encourage healing and regeneration of the skin. If you’d like to spray your skin without having to rub the mixture in (which could be painful), add water and put the mixture into a small spray bottle.
Another method of soothing a sunburn is to take a bath in natural ingredients that promote healing and pain relief. The best choices for this are oatmeal, milk, and apple cider vinegar. Put a cup of one of these into a warm bath and soak for as long as you like. Make sure to use warm water instead of hot water, as hot water can make the pain of the sunburn worse.
Make sure to use sun cover ups, including hats and shirts, along with sunscreen this summer. It’s also important to limit the amount of time that you’re in the sun. Even exposure to the sun with sunscreen can lead to sunburns and damage to your skin. If you do happen to stay in the sun just a bit too long, treat your sunburn quickly with essential oils and other natural ingredients to reduce pain and heal faster.
Father’s Day is the perfect time of year to show Dad just how much you appreciate all that he does for his family. This year go above and beyond the typical gifts of a neck tie or a pack of golf balls by treating him to a relaxing massage from Medical Massage Specialties.
Dad is always working, paying bills, fixing things around the house, cooking meals, taking care of the kids, and more! With such a busy schedule and so many things on his to-do list, taking care of himself might seem impossible. Give him the space outside of the home to relax in a calm environment alone with a massage benefits his health and his wellbeing. Massages reduce the stress inducing hormone cortisol and elevate relaxation. Let him know that his health and well being is super important by giving him the gift of time out of his busy schedule along with a rejuvenating massage.
While a new necktie, or another knick knack might be nice, will they really be used? When you get Dad the gift of massage at Medical Massage Specialties, he will get an experience that will reduce stress, decrease pain, and improve his health. We’ll take the guess work out of choosing the right massage for Dad. His massage experience will be tailored to him with many different types of massage to choose from, including Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, sports massage and hot stone massage.
Fathers work hard to provide support for their families in many ways. A massage is such a great way to let Dad know that his hard work is appreciated and that he’s allowed to take a break now and then to take care of himself as well!