Massage feels good so you may think you are simply indulging yourself. However, massage has a variety of health benefits. Two primary benefits for the skin are how massage increases blood flow and decreases stress. The pressure applied during massage infuses the skin tissue with circulating blood. The increased flow of blood nourishes the skin and gets it glowing.
Blood flow also supports the lymphatic system, which drains toxins away from cells making room for nutrients to move in. A dull complexion may become brighter.
People like massage because it is often relaxing and soothing. When a person’s stress level is reduced, particular skin conditions such as rosacea can be relieved and may occur less often. Studies show that massage can help relieve depression and anxiety by reducing a person’s cortisol levels.
What to look for
Not all massages are alike. The amount of pressure, movements and techniques can vary. Oils, aromatic essences and lotions may be used. Some massages rely on stimulating acupressure points to activate the body’s energy flow. Some may rely more heavily on rubbing or manipulating muscles. Reflexology uses hand, finger and thumb techniques to stimulate areas on the feet and hands. Tayonon Gbala, a licensed massage therapist and owner of A Balanced You in Chicago, takes a holistic approach. She offers massage as a platform and pathway to total wellness www.abalancedyoumassage.com>
If you want massage to be a part of your skin care regime consider the following:
– Identify any problem areas with your skin and express those to your masseuse. (For serious skin conditions discuss the pros and cons of massage with your doctor.)
– What style of massage and techniques will the masseuse use?
– If you are concerned about products used on your skin ask about ingredients.
– Will they personalize your massage to benefit your skin care type?
– Is the masseuse state certified? Some hold dual licenses as massage therapist and aesthetician.
– You can also learn self-massage techniques and make it a daily practice.
If you like using oil or lotion with massage Gbala offers three essential oil blends including Lavender and Sandalwood for calming and centering, Eucalyptus and Orange blossom for awaking and brightening, and Ylang Ylang and Grapefruit for emotional balance. She also uses YASOU Body Cream that contains extra virgin olive, coconut, and jojoba oil with other natural ingredients that are good for the skin.
Self massage techniques
Begin your self-massage in a quiet place. Rub body parts with your fingertips, thumbs, or palms. A short kneading motion in circles or back and forth will work. Begin gently and increase pressure to a level that is comfortable for you.
On your face, use gentle upward strokes towards the ears, around the eyes and lips. Use circular motion on the cheeks and forehead.
For your hands, soak them first in warm water. Begin with strong circular strokes as if you are washing your hands. At the base of each finger gently pull outward to the fingertips. With the thumb, rub the palm of the hand in circular motions. With the palm down make long strokes with the thumb between the bones toward your wrists. Another hand massage technique is to position one of your palms upward and use the other hand to press the palm-up fingers back toward your wrist. Hold for several seconds. After massaging your hands apply YASOU’s vegan hand cream to hydrate and soothe them www.yasouskincare.com
Use long up and down strokes on your limbs and circular motions on your joints. If they are dry with rough spots apply YASOU body cream to moisturize.
Boost blood flow to your scalp and reduce dandruff by massaging your scalp. Rub your fingertips in small circular motions around the scalp and ears.
Begin a foot massage with clean hands and feet. Sit in a comfortable position with your foot on your thigh. With both hands rotate the foot at the ankle. For the sole, put one hand on top and the other on your sole. With short strokes rub your hands across the foot back and forth. Gently stretch your toes back.
Whether you go to a professional or perform self-massage, learning how to relax and improve blood circulation through massage is a step toward well being and healthy skin.