In our busy and hectic lives, we often hear about the importance of relaxing, but it’s very much easier said than done when that list of tasks to do keeps growing. However, it is important that you take some time out for yourself and indulge in a massage – it may initially be frustrating to try and put some time aside but trust us when we say that the long-term gains of living a healthier and more energetic lifestyle are worth it.
Massages come in all shapes and sizes. Your first decision will need to be where you want to focus on. Will it be those aching shoulders or have you been on your feet all day and they need a good rub? Some places will offer full-body services, but note that these will be much more expensive than focusing on a specific part of your body.
In particular, having a professional face massage is the best skin regime as it stimulates the muscles and lymphatic system. In fact, there are over 300 pressure points on your face that relate to every part of the body, meaning that you can respond very well to a facial massage, moreso than any other part of your body. Beyond this, any tiredness or sluggishness you may have will also subside.
Once decided, you will then have to choose on the type of therapy that may be right for you. These could include a Swedish massage, the most common type in the UK, a Deep Tissue one if you are looking for a more rigorous form, a Sports Massage if you have undergone an injury, Prenatal if you are pregnant or a Hot Stone Massage.
Picking the right time
When it comes to massaging, obviously you could do it yourself. Spending five minutes in front of a mirror or in a shower and placing pressure on your cheeks, forehead, shoulders and arms, you will instantly feel a bit relieved. However nothing beats getting an actual licensed professional to do it.
When you schedule a massage, be sure to pick your time wisely, as you may not feel entirely relaxed if you go for one on your lunch break, only to then have to return to work. It could be at the end of the day or at the weekend, but also remember to take it easy after the massage itself – if you want to remain active swap running with light stretching or yoga.
Massages should also be an investment, but budget wisely as putting a strain on your finances will not leave you relaxed, no matter how good your masseuse is. Budget for one monthly and see it as a reward for your hard work.
The short-term gains
In terms of immediate benefits, massages can:
- Alleviate any pain or discomfort
- Ease your dependence on any medication you may be taking
- Stretch weak, tired or tight muscles
- Increase the flexibility of your joints
- Lessen depression or anxiety
The long-term gains
Over time, you will find that massages will be a powerful ally to your overall health. As you become less anxious and stressed, you will find that you have increased energy, better sleep, improved concentration and a general sense of clarity and perspective.
Furthermore, research has suggested that less stiffness reduces chances of arthritis, increased peak air floor helps asthma sufferers, blood pressure is reduced, and burn injury patients have reduced pain or itching.
Best spa spots in London
If you are holidaying in London, you have loads of options at your disposal that will go beyond the normal expectations of service and luxury.
St Pancras Spa offers plush surroundings, stunning pools, Victorian decor and six luxurious treatment rooms. Following a theme of exploration, you can enjoy the likes of a Balinese massage or even an Udvartana Ayurvedic slimming ritual from India. Finish off everything with some Chrysanthemum tea in the relaxation room.
Swankier services belong to the Four Seasons Park Lane, situated on the tenth floor of the iconic hotel. Not only are the views up here worth it, but the huge treatment rooms and indulgent tranquil lounging area enables you to relax between those massages. A particular highlight is the Four Hands massage, where two therapists will work wonders for 80 minutes.
For something a bit more affordable, Spa London in Bethnal Green boasts good-value treatments, saunas and steam rooms. For those looking for a bit of everything, sign up for the signature Gym & Tonic, where you body is cleansed, brushed and exfoliated, before undergoing an aromatherapy massage.
If you need a place to stay during your visit, consider the spacious Montcalm hotels. You may want to make a real weekend of it and incorporate some of the city’s most iconic sights into your itinerary, such as the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, the London Dungeons and the British Museum. Now that really is the making of a relaxing break away!