Massage treatments are not only a relaxing experience they can be hugely beneficial to the body. One of the best massages that impacts both your physical and psychological levels is a heated stone massage.
Heated stone massages use polished basalt lava stones that are warmed, then used to massage your body. The combination of heat with the pressure of massage reaches deep into the muscle tissue for deep relaxation.
The heat from the stones helps your most tense muscles relax, because a massage therapist can manipulate deep tissue more effectively. Overly tense muscles can be difficult to release with typical massage techniques. The heated stones may provide the extra relaxation you need for the massage to be the most beneficial in releasing tension and easing sore muscles.
While all massage types can relieve pain caused by tense muscles, injuries, or stiff joints, heated stone massages can provide greater relief. The hot stones allow the massage therapist to penetrate deeper, so even your most tense, pain-causing muscles can be relaxed. You find the relief to be greater than after a Swedish or deep-tissue massage that does not incorporate heat. It is important, however, to communicate with your massage therapist if the stones are too hot or if the pressure is too harsh on your injury. Pain or discomfort during the massage can cause more harm than good for some people.
As the heated stones rest on trigger points in your body, they penetrate into body tissues. This causes your blood vessels to open up, resulting in improved circulation. Poor circulation can cause fatigue, which tenses muscles and causes a buildup of fluid and lactic acid in the muscles. When you improve your circulation, more oxygen is delivered to the muscles, which eases aches and pains.
Hot stone massages can provide release of mental stress and tension, in addition to your physical muscles. This massage treatment can also combat some symptoms of anxiety disorders and depression.
Stone Therapy Is Not For Everyone
Heated stone massages are beneficial for most people, and by communicating to your therapist, can be adapted to suit your individual needs. However, heated stone therapy is not suitable for people who have:
- High blood pressure
- Skin conditions
- Are pregnant
If youâ€™re interested in trying the benefits of a heated stone massage for yourself, make an appointment today.
Youâ€™ve probably heard of microdermabrasion, but do you know what it does? Maybe youâ€™ve seen it mentioned in magazines, on spa menus, or your skin-obsessed friend swears by it. Thereâ€™s a reason this is a popular spa treatment â€“ it really does improve your skin.
Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive procedure that exfoliates and removes the superficial layer of dry, dead skin cells on your face. It doesnâ€™t rely on harsh chemicals either. At Natural Body, we use Diamond Tome technology. This re-texturizing treatment regenerates epidermal cell structure by increasing elasticity and collagen while prepping the skin to absorb vitamins, antioxidants and plant stem cell technology to treat a wide range of imperfections.
After this treatment, your skin can look younger as it encourages new skin cell growth. Microdermabrasion can also be used to treat acne and acne scars. It even can reduce the redness that is common with rosacea.
This treatment can be beneficial for those with fine lines, uneven pigmentation, or clogged pores. Itâ€™s also great for melasma patients and individuals using retinoids such as Retin-A.
Other treatments can aggravate the skin of those with pigmentation issues. However, microdermabrasion is a gentle procedure that doesnâ€™t cause irritation.
A microdermabrasion treatment can be done at a dermatologistâ€™s office, a spa, or at home. While at-home treatments are convenient, they often donâ€™t provide as thorough of an exfoliation. A professional microdermabrasion has larger motors and more power, so they can penetrate deeper into the skin for more precise exfoliation.
The frequency of your facial treatments depends on your skincare needs. Patients typically get the procedure done every 1-2 months to keep skin healthy.
If youâ€™re nervous about receiving this treatment, donâ€™t worry. Microdermabrasion is not painful. Your skin may be slightly red for a few hours and possible more sensitive. A calming moisturizer and sunscreen applied after treatment should keep you comfortable and protected.
If you have sensitive skin and have dermatographism, you might see hive-like lines or blotches after microdermabrasion. Taking an oral antihistamine should reduce that reaction.
This treatment is excellent to maximize the benefit of a regular topical regimen. It helps keep skin feeling smooth, helps skin coloration look more even, and speeds the clearance of white heads. While it wonâ€™t help deep wrinkles, dark brown spots, redness or growths, it can still be used as a very obvious skin rejuvenation service.
Make an appointment for a microdermabrasion and take years off your skin with this rejuvenating treatment.
This year itâ€™s all about eyebrows! Well-sculpted eyebrows frame your face and help you look your best. But do you know what shape is ideal for you? Like haircuts, eyebrow shapes arenâ€™t a one-size-fits-all situation. Your perfect brows depend on your unique face shape and dimensions. Find your ideal brow shape and you can look younger, accentuate your best features, and minimize makeup use.
To start, determine your face shape to see what brow look is the best for you. You can always look up your favorite celebrities with your same face shape to get an idea of what those brows could look like on you.
- Face is almost as wide as it is long
- Face is widest at the cheeks
See: Emma Stone, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lawrence
For round face shapes, you want to elongate the face with the help of brows. Brows should be in a high arch shape, which follows a straight line to the peak of the brow for more vertical lines. Avoid rounded brow shapes.
- Forehead, cheekbones and jawlines are all about the same width
- Â The squared jawline is the most obvious feature
See: Rihanna, Natalie Portman, Lady Gaga
Experts recommend those with square-shaped faces should have thick, strong-arched brows. Strong brows will help soften your heavy jawline and balance it out. A defined sharp peak at the top of the brow will help them appear sharper, to create a nice balance.
- Forehead, cheekbones and jawlines are all about the same width
- Face gracefully tapers to a narrow oval chin
See: Meryl Streep, Victoria Beckham, Kim Kardashian
For long faces, a straight, medium thick brow with a subtle arch helps draw attention outward instead of up and down. Focus on extending the length from left to right, instead of a high arch.
- Forehead is wider than the chin
- Prominent cheekbones
- Face gracefully tapers to a narrow chin
See: Julianne Moore, Kate Middleton, Tina Fey
Oval faces need angular arches that stretch outward to the temples. But luckily, ovals can handle any eyebrow shape due to their versatile look.
Now youâ€™re ready to rock your best brows. If youâ€™re unsure of the best eyebrow shape for your face, talk to our salon experts. Weâ€™ll help you determine your ideal brow to accentuate your features and make your selfies pop. Come in for an eyebrow maintenance service today.
Summerâ€™s at its peak, and no doubt your skin is feeling it. Your cleansers and scrubs can only do so much to combat the daily sweat and makeup grime that the heat seems so bent on fusing into your pores. What can be done to give your face a clean slate (literally) and get it back to its healthy state?
Thatâ€™s where HydraFacial comes in.
This facial treatment is taking the beauty world by storm and was recently awardedÂ â€śBest Facial to Transform Your Skinâ€ťÂ by New Beauty. Whatâ€™s the big hoopla about this skin remedy? Can it really help your skin look healthier and purer than ever?
The Basics of HydraFacial
You may have heard of HydraFacial in publications likeÂ AllureÂ orÂ Marie Claire. It uses a special â€śvortexâ€ť system which gently exfoliates and pulls dirt and other residue out of your pores, and it also infuses a high dose of antioxidants into your skin. This dual benefit is what the HydraFacial has on other abrasion systems â€” it doesnâ€™t just exfoliate, it actually leaves a positive impact on your skin so youâ€™re cleansedÂ andÂ renewed.
How It Works
People often wonder how the system actually works. â€śIs it a facial? Is it a peel? Iâ€™ve heard it called hydradermabrasionâ€¦is it similar to microdermabrasion?â€ť
Letâ€™s put these questions to rest. Itâ€™s neither a facialÂ norÂ a peel. It is similar to microdermabrasion in that it exfoliates, but thatâ€™s where the commonalities end. Microdermabrasion uses a diamond-tipped wand that buffs away dead skin and dirt. HydraFacial uses a totally innovative tool that infuses serums into the skin. The first serum (the exfoliation step) loosens and removes impurities. The second round of serum applies acids for an even deeper cleanse; this stage is where people commonly mistake HydraFacial for a chemical peel, but the main difference is that there is no actual flaking or peeling with the gentle HydraFacial system. The third step uses suction to lift away any residue, and the fourth step provides an infusion of antioxidants, growth factors, and peptides to protect and rejuvenate the skin cells. Sounds complicated? Itâ€™s not! The whole process takes between 30 and 60 minutes, depending on the added benefits offered.
Aside from overall healthier skin, HydraFacial comes with a lot ofÂ other benefits: a smoother complexion, more balanced oil production and more even skin tone. Itâ€™s so quick and gentle that you can get one on your lunch hour and run back to work without fear of awkward redness or irritation. Whether you want a summer pick-me-up or need deep renewal, rest assured HydraFacial treatments are an incredibly effective way to give your skin some nourishing love.
This is the second in a series of articles on Sleep. Natural Body Massage techniques can aid you in your sleep goals. Find out more below, courtesy of our friends at Best Mattress Reviews.
“Itâ€™s helpful to know that massage can help improve your sleep, but it can be hard to put this into practice. Here are some ideas. At least one should work for you.
Get Some Massages
Get on the phone, call up a local massage center or chiropractorâ€™s office, and find someone who can fit you in. However, note that it doesnâ€™t say â€śGet a Massage.â€ť Thatâ€™s because most of the studies that have been done use more than one massage. While one would likely be beneficial, the truth is that your body has some long patterns of not sleeping well. It may take regular massages for quite a while to get you sleeping well again.
There are several different types of massage to choose from. Swedish is the most popular in the western world. It is gentle and involves using techniques like long strokes, kneading, and circular motion to help your body relax. Sports massage is similar but tailored toward people who work out regularly or practice a certain sport. Deep tissue massage is a bit rougher and utilizes techniques to get down into layers of muscles that might not otherwise benefit. Trigger point massage focuses on releasing muscles on specific sore spots.
The upside to all of this is that you will feel more relaxed and sleep better. However, getting regular massages can be expensive and inconvenient, too.
If you canâ€™t make it out to a massage therapist a few times a week or you donâ€™t want to pay for it, there are some massage techniques you can do at home. These can offer you the same benefits as getting a massage, for a much lower price.
Foot reflexology.Â The bottom of the foot has up to 15,000 nerve endings, andÂ massaging these has been shown to improve health all over the body. While different parts of the foot seem to be connected to particular parts of the body, massaging the bottom of the foot as a whole can also help with relaxation.
- Start your foot massage by squeezing or pushing your foot in a way that feels good to you. You can even roll the bottom of your foot with a lacrosse ball or a golf ball if that feels good. Spend some extra time pushing on your foot right below the ball of your big toe. Push and hold this for 5-10 seconds at a time.
- Spend some extra time rubbing the outside of your big toe, which can stimulate melatonin production. Rubbing the ridge of your toes can help relax your neck and shoulders and pressure on the ball of your foot can relax your breathing. Overall, spend 5-10 minutes massaging each foot before bedtime.
Head massage.Â It can be hard to massage certain parts of your own body, but you should be able to rub your head. Your head has some acupressure points that can be helpful for sleep.
- Start by rubbing the middle of the top of your head. If you drew two lines up your skull from the top of both ears, this point is right where they would meet. Push straight down about 100 ties or rub around in 100 circles here.
- Move to the points where your eyebrows end near your nose. Again, you can apply direct pressure here or move your fingers in tiny circular motions. Try to push at least 30 ties or make 30 circles.
- Finally, rub along your eyebrows and just under your eyes. Use longer, sweeping motions here, rubbing the whole eyebrow in one movement. Try to do both eyes at the same time, at least 20 times.
Face massage. If you carry stress in your muscles, you may carry more of it in your face than you had thought. Rubbing your face can release this tension, helping you rest better.
- You can begin this massage wherever your face feels tight. Start with the large muscles at the back of your jaw. Press gently into them and make small circles with your fingers. Explore these muscles for hidden tension, massaging it out as you can.
- Move to your temples. Donâ€™t put too much pressure here, but explore for places that are tender and make gentle circles on top of them. As the pressure releases, you can press harder.
- End by massaging your forehead. You can go straight up and down from the bridge of your nose, or follow the pattern of your eyebrows in bigger and bigger arcs until you have covered your whole forehead.
Use whatever specific technique of self-massage helps you the most. Learn them all, as some may help some days and others on other days. Before long, you should be getting more sleep.”
Some forms of massage therapy are better at promoting a relaxed mind-body state than others. These types of massage are great for helping to ease mental and physical stress that might be hindering your sleep.
Swedish massage:Â This form of massage is relaxation-focused, using a sequence of long, gliding kneads, strokes, and circular motions to erase shallow tensions in your muscles. Swedish massage helps to reduce superficial muscle tension, while boosting circulation throughout the body.
Hot stone massage:Â A masseuse uses hot, smooth stones typically placed on your back to relax and invigorate your body. The heat helps to release tension built up in your shoulders and back, allowing the therapist to more easily reach areas of muscle ache.
Massage for Pain and Specific Conditions
Other forms of massage are designed to relieve specific types of pain. The cause of the pain isnâ€™t important. As long as you feel certain that the pain is caused by soft tissue damage or inflammation (as opposed to joint or bone problems), these types of massage can help.
Deep-tissue massage:Â The practitioner utilizes techniques designed to get beyond the superficial layers of the muscle. If your pain is longstanding or comes back even after repeated Swedish massages, this can help get at its core. These massages can be more painful than relaxation massages, but they can also bring more relief.
Trigger point massage:Â This type of massage utilizes trigger points to release tension in the muscles. By placing pressure on the point, the muscle is triggered to relax and lengthen, rather than remain short and tight.
Rejuvenating Massage and General Health
Finally, some forms of massage work to relieve specific ailments or help the body find or retain health. These practitioners usually focus on pressure points believed to run along the bodyâ€™s energy meridians. Massaging these points can help relieve pain and enable the body to become healthier.
Shiatsu massage:Â A Shiatsu practitioner uses his or her hands, elbow, feet, etc. to place pressure on traditional Japanese pressure points throughout the body. The practitioner also focuses on stretching and rotating limbs in order to free blocked energy so that the body can function as it was designed to.
Reflexology:Â This form of massage focuses on trigger points in the hands and feet. Each point corresponds to a part of the body or a specific organ. Regular massage of the points associated with a part of the body is said to bring healing and health to that part.
Massage and Serotonin
Serotonin is essential for good sleep, though researchers have not yet pinpointed exactly what it does to facilitate falling asleep and/or staying asleep. However, when serotonin production is halted using medication, subjects cannot sleep at all.
Scientists do know that an area of the brain called the raphe nuclei somehow mediates sleep. The neurons in this area specifically use serotonin to communicate with each other, so they hypothesize that serotonin somehow helps the brain communicate that itâ€™s time to sleep.
Serotonin is also a precursor to the production of melatonin. This chemical helps regulate the bodyâ€™s sleep/wake cycles, or its circadian rhythms. The body produces melatonin when itâ€™s time to fall asleep and reduces it when itâ€™s time to wake up. Thus, having more serotonin could help your body produce the melatonin it needs in order to fall asleep at the right time.
All of this ties into massage becauseÂ massage can lead to higher levels of serotonin. Again, science has not discovered the exact mechanism by which this happens. For the insomniac, though, HOW massage helps them sleep is likely less important than the fact that it DOES help them sleep.
Massage and the Vagus Nerve
In addition to the serotonin-melatonin connection,Â massage also stimulates the vagus nerve. This is the major parasympathetic nerve in the body. When it is stimulated, it tells the entire body to relax. This can lead to lower heart rate, lower blood pressure, relaxed facial muscles, and increased gut function.
Stimulation of the vagus nerve also leads to lower cortisol levels. Cortisol is the major stress hormone. When its levels are too high in the body, the body is stressed out. Over time, this leads to fatigue. However, if the cortisol levels arenâ€™t lowered, the body canâ€™t rest well. Stimulating the vagus nerve reduces the cortisol, allowing the body to rest as it should.
Massage and Hyperarousal
There is some evidence thatÂ insomnia is tied to hyperarousal. This is basically the state of being â€śalways on.â€ť If you feel like you can never relax, if you lie down and think about all the things that went wrong today and all that could go on tomorrow, you may suffer from this condition. It can lead to long-term health problems, of which insomnia is one.
Hyperarousal is a bad cycle for the body. It often starts with a stressful event, one that truly requires the system to be aroused. However, it continues when we worry, when we canâ€™t relax after something bad happens, or when our bodies continue to struggle with low levels of pain because of an accident or an illness. Pain can also come when we canâ€™t relax. We continue the cycle of arousal, which makes us more stressed out, etc.
Massage can help break this cycle. It can actually force the body to relax, pulling muscles smooth and long again and causing an increase in blood circulation. These send signals to the brain that tell it to relax. Over time, massage can intervene in this cycle and end hyperarousal, allowing us to sleep well again.
Experts agree that one of the most significant components of a healthy lifestyle is restful sleep. It’s the place where the brain and body restore themselves, and can be the most neglected wellness habits. Natural Body wants to share information on sleep, how to pay attention to its need and usefulness.
“While there is some evidence that massage can help almost anyone sleep better, it has been shown to help people in specific populations.
For instance,Â massage helps postpartum women sleep better.Â The postpartum period can be extremely stressful for a new mom. Not only is she learning to care for her baby, but her own hormones can be all over the place. This causes her to be emotional, to have high stress levels, and to feel generally unlike herself. All of this can combine to cause her to struggle with sleep. However, when women in this situation received massages for 20 minutes a day on five consecutive days, they slept better.
Massage also helps fibromyalgia patientsÂ improve their sleep. Many people with this debilitating disease struggle to sleep because they are in so much pain. Massage helped them to that point that they had fewer tender spots on their bodies and lower levels of a neurotransmitter associated with pain. These people also slept more. They also moved less in the night, which indicates a higher quality of sleep.
Massage alsoÂ helps hospitalized cancer patients to rest well. Itâ€™s always hard to get good sleep in the hospitalÂ because people check on you throughout the night. When you add theÂ stress of cancerÂ and any pain or anxiety that can come with being in the hospital, sleep can be extremely elusive. However, patients who received massages at night reported better sleep, despite all of these other factors.
Acupressure is a type of self-massage, and studies have shown that it canÂ help menopausal women sleep better. Women in this stage of life notoriously struggle with sleep, so this technique could bring a lot of relief to many women, and they donâ€™t even have to leave the house! Women who massaged 4 pressure points over 10 minutes before they went to bed slept better than women given sham acupressure techniques and women given no massage techniques at all.
Massage also helps with insomniaÂ in general, whether it is tied to pain or anxiety or not. While the majority of these studies have taken place in the hospital setting, the fact that massage can help there should bring hope that it can help anywhere. People tend to feel more pain and anxiety when theyâ€™re in the hospital than they do when theyâ€™re out. If it can help there, it should be able to help withÂ insomniaÂ at home, too.”
Have you heard about CBD? This compound and all the products itâ€™s found in has taken the natural healing world by storm over the last year, but many people still arenâ€™t sure what it is how it can benefit them. Hereâ€™s everything you need to know about this new treatment.
What is CBD?
CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, or chemical compound, found in cannabis plants. This includes not only cannabis sativa (weed), but also industrial hemp. It provides marijuanaâ€™s therapeutic effects without the mind-altering symptoms. This is because it does not contain THC, which is the cannabinoid that creates a â€śhighâ€ť feeling. CBD is legal in 43 different states, despite the varied legal status of marijuana.
What are the benefits of CBD?
Due to the federal restrictions on marijuana, only a few studies have been done on the benefits of CBD. Still, dozens of studies have found that CBD can offer a variety of benefits, including:
- Alleviate joint pain
- Treat childhood epilepsy
- Cure nausea or vomiting
- Therapy for schizophrenia
- Reduce chronic inflammation
- Relieve pain
- Reduce anxiety and depression.
- Improve heart health
Other studies have even reported that CBD can help inhibit the growth of cancerous cells. Itâ€™s a great supplement because it has such a range of benefits, so thereâ€™s something for everyone. It also is not addictive, nor does it cause a dependence.
CBD is like a super adaptogen that can be taken daily to reduce stress and anxiety. The calming properties can be helpful for people with various ailments or stressors.
How is CBD Made?
CBD can be found in cannabis sativa (weed) and industrial hemp, a plant grown for paper, textiles, andÂ non-dairy milk. The hemp-derived CBD is what allows products to be sold across state lines, not just those with legal marijuana.
How can I take CBD?
CBD can be added to a variety or products, including chocolates, pills, vaporizers, and oils that are ingested. You can also find CBD in a variety of skin and bodycare products, like lotions, bath bombs and massage oil that provides pain relief right to injured areas.
If youâ€™re curious about CBD oil, try it for yourself! There are few if any side effects, and you might find itâ€™s a great way to relieve pain and stress. Make an appointment for a CBD massage to treat your chronic pain or just to feel relaxed and calm.
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