In today's crazy, over stressed world, it's more important than ever to find a way to relax. Work stress, family stress, plain-old life stress – it can all add up. And all that stress takes a toll.
Medical experts now believe that the vast majority of common illnesses are stress related.
Meaning if you reduce the stress in your life, you reduce your chances of coming down with the flu, of succumbing to another common cold, of catching that stomach bug that's been going around.
In other words, keeping your body stress-free and relaxed is more than just a form of pampering; it's actually preventative medical care.
Which is why a relaxation massage can work wonders for both your body and your mind.
All massages are designed to help you relax in one way or another.
The gentle (or firm) pressure on sore muscles, the touch of healing hands on your skin, the hushed quiet of the treatment room, the gentle music – they all contribute to an overall sense of relaxation and calm.
The difference with a relaxation massage is that it's all about helping you relax. That is the complete and total purpose of the treatment.
And because of this, it is one of the most amazing experiences you can give your body – a total indulgence that's actually good for you!
Different spas classify relaxation massages in different ways.
Traditionally, however, the treatment is long, it covers the entire body, and it features relaxing music. The lighting is usually low and soft, and the air is fragrant with gentle scented oils.
In other words, everything in the treatment room is specifically designed to promote relaxation.
Many people de-stress instantly upon entering the treatment room, and this is before the actual massaging even begins.
These techniques are very similar to the techniques used in Swedish and other classic massages. In fact, relaxation massage is derived from Swedish massage.
Technicians usually use a combination of long, soothing strokes and light kneading of sore muscles and tight spots.
Some relaxation massages employ rolling of the muscles or skin, while others might include gently rocking the body.
There should be no pain or sharp pressure of any kind; it is all about pampering, about soothing, about helping your body and mind reach a state of calm.
For that reason, a relaxation massage is also a passive treatment. It requires no work from you of any kind except to lie back and enjoy.
Unlike Swedish massage or Shiatsu, here is no precise moment in time when Relaxation massage was invented.
The technique has evolved as everyday life has gotten more stressful, and as spa treatments have become a more common aspect of daily life.
This is one of many forms of massage that has its roots in the classic techniques of western massage.
Like the name suggests, you should expect to relax!
You will arrive and be ushered into your private treatment room by your therapist. The lights will be low, and soft music will be playing.
You will smell the gentle aroma of essential oils in the air. The room will be comfortably warm, so you will feel free to slip out of your clothes and under a crisp cotton sheet on our comfortable massage table.
Your massage therapist will begin by warming some silky oil in his or her hands. He or she will then begin to gently massage your entire body, melting away any tension you feel with gentle stroking, kneading of tight muscles and rubbing away stress.
If you carry a lot of stress in a particular area, like your neck and shoulders or your feet, ask your therapist to give them some special attention.
Relaxation massage techniques are designed to be gentle, so you should feel absolutely no pain or discomfort during your treatment. Of course, if you want more pressure, feel free to ask your therapist to bring it on!
By the time your session ends, you should feel completely pampered and relaxed – the stresses of the everyday completely melted away.
Your therapist will leave, giving you a private moment to get dressed and ready to face the rest of your day feeling great.
"Massage on healthy adults provided significant improvements in mood, immune function and serum cholesterol levels, according to recent research."
Source: Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Department of Psychiatry, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine; Graduate School of Science for Human Services, Ritsumeikan University; Kenkokan Massage and Acupuncture Clinic. Originally published in the Japanese Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2008) 2(1): 59-65.
"I like to have the nodules worked out, and be stretched and then relaxed. I feel totally well afterward and can then continue to give my own clients good massages."
Sheila Clifford, Massage Therapist -- Derry, New Hampshire