Hermione Bigland, in:spa massage therapist, gives her thoughts on the importance of massage and a few tips on how to look after yourself.

The first thing we hope all of our guests will take home with them is that massage is not just a simple indulgence, but a necessity in order to maintain a healthy mind and body throughout your busy lives. Realistically, it is difficult to fit a massage in every week and in truth not necessary, but in order to keep up the good work which you have achieved throughout your stay with us, we would recommend finding a good massage therapist in your area, and having a treatment at least once a month.

A good massage should work on both the emotional and physical tension we naturally carry around with us in our daily lives. By having regular massage treatments you can release these stresses before your body starts to hold on to them, and you potentially develop long term problems within your body. It is important for your therapist to get a good understanding of you and your body; do not be afraid to talk to the therapist before or even during a treatment if you are experiencing any referred pain or feel you would like more time spent on a certain area. Remember this is your time and you deserve to get the best treatment.

Tips for after a treatment

Allow yourself time to recover, you may feel a little “spaced,” do not rush into any physical activity or if you are driving back from a treatment, collect yourself before you get into your car. Do not underestimate the importance of drinking water after your massage. There are several reasons for this: firstly massage is naturally dehydrating and secondly, during your massage, the muscles are manipulated, your blood is circulated more vigorously throughout your body and water, salt and other minerals are released. Through drinking plenty of water your body can release any waste materials which have accumulated in the muscles, therefore helping you and your muscles feel great the next day – and your liver not having a toxin overload!

Stress busting techniques…

Here, in the meantime, are a few stress busting techniques which you can perform on yourself if the reality of a massage seems too far away. These techniques can be used anywhere, be it sitting at your desk, before you go to sleep or even in the bath.

Ear massage: The ear is full of nerve endings that make massage to ear pressure points a wonderful way of relieving stress and can help with headaches and general tension after a long day. Start by drawing circular movements in the lobes of the ears, using quite a lot of pressure and moving up all around the ear. Do this as many times as you want, notice how you feel before and after.

3 positive breaths: When in times of stress we can forget to breathe and we also become un-grounded. Take a few moments out of your day and really focus on your breath. With each breath in visualise a white, positive light filling your entire body form the tips of your toes to the top of your head, the white light fills every part of your body. When you are ready to breathe out, try visualising any stresses and strains your body maybe holding onto being released as a puff of black smoke never to return to your body again. Do this three times and then take a moment before you go back to your day feeling refreshed and re-focused.

Massaging the two pressure points on your hands: spread your hand open, look for the fleshy triangle between your index finger and thumb and the pressure point can be found at the top of the triangle, hold using circular movements for at least 10 seconds. Repeat whenever you are feeling stressed or exhausted but need to get on with your day. This area helps boost your adrenal glands and has been known to help with headaches. (Important: Do not perform if pregnant.)

Let go: Breathing the words “LET GO”, when you breathe in think of the word “LET” and when you breathe out think of the word “GO”. This is especially good when you can’t sleep as it will allow you to focus on your breath rather than other things.