Stress, fatigue and discomfort – oh to wave a magic wand and banish them forever. If in doubt though, there’s always massage to help improve mental wellbeing.
But we’re not just talking about the kind you pay for at the spa. According to therapist Katie Light, a DIY massage should be incorporated into our daily routines, preferably in the morning to start the day off on the right foot; “Doing this will increase blood and lymph flow making everything start to move, increasing your energy levels and removing toxins.” Read on to swot up on Katie’s expert techniques.
BEFORE YOU START
Soak: If you have time, take a warm bath to relax the body and help maximize the effects of your massage.
Scrub: “Exfoliate using Legology Exfo-Lite Stimulating Salts for Legs (£42) to help your skin absorb the massage oil and get the essential oils into your bloodstream,” says Katie.
Time it well: “If you are looking to detox and boost energy levels then a morning massage is best but if you want to get a good night’s sleep and unwind from the day, then do it in the evening,” Katie advises.
“Stress can affect us all in different ways, physically and mentally. Performing a bit of reflexology every evening will promote sleep, allow the nervous system to repair itself and improve your energy levels.
1. Soak your feet in a bowl of warm water.
2. Massage in a hydrating oil like Legology Cellu-Lite Salon Secret for Legs (£55) starting in the middle then under the balls of your feet doing pressure points as you go, relaxing the solar plexus where we hold a lot of emotion.
3. Next, massage the top of your feet from the toes then circling the ankles anti-clockwise to calm the body down and prepare for a good night’s sleep.
4. Apply De Mamiel Anchor (£40, cultbeauty.co.uk) in anti-clockwise circular motions to the pulse points on your wrist and your temples.”
“Tiredness can make us very sensitive to touch, as the nervous system is under such strain and our nerves are on high alert. Sleep can be effected and energy levels are low, so you need a light touch.
1. Invest in essential oils containing rosemary, grapefruit, juniper berry, black pepper and ginger to help give energy and remove toxins. [Try Neal’s Yard Remedies Ginger and Juniper Warming Oil, £14]
2. With your oil, use light massage and a gentle pumping motion starting from your ankles all the way up to your hips and groin area.
3. Sometimes digestion can be sluggish too so apply some oil onto your tummy, working in a circular motion in an anti-clockwise direction to relax the stomach, flush out toxins and increase energy to all the internal organs.”
“Pain can be all-consuming and depending on where it is and how inflamed it is, it generally needs movement and blood flow to the area to help it heal.
1. If it is muscular pain I suggest applying heat onto the affected area using a heated pad or hot water bottle as well as massaging in a muscle balm like Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Muscle Gel (£28 aromatherapyassociates.com).
2. If it is inflammation, then use an ice pack, twenty minutes on and twenty minutes off and then the same product.”