Stress is now a part of our day-to-day life and it can rarely be avoided. A little amount of stress is good as it can help us push ourselves to achieve what we want, within our limitations and at times helps us work a miracle. But do you know what stress actually does to your body? Stress makes the body release a hormone called cortisol in your bloodstream when you are faced by an emergency situation and this causes your heart beat to rise, digestion to slow down, muscles to tense, speeds up breathing, thus preparing you for a fight-or-flight situation ahead. Imagine this condition of the heart for constant and long periods of time….you would soon be ill with blood pressure issues and insomnia, stress-induces diabetes and many more health issues. Spa treatments can help you relax and de-stress.
Deep tissue massages, Balinese massages, Thai massages, Ayurvedic massages et all…work on the principle that the human touch releases oxytocin in the body that combats effects of cortisol. Every spa has a variety of massages to offer on their menus, they work with exotic ingredients that have been proven to calm your nerves, relax the mind, smoothen out the heartbeat and get you some sleep and tranquillity. Massages use slow, firm and controlled strokes and pressure movements over the muscles and tendons sometimes using the force of the fingers to target problem areas to help then relax and repair. People with muscular pain caused by stress will benefit from these therapies as it releases bursts of oxygen to tired tissues, thus refreshing them.
Incorporate thermal or heat inducing therapies in your spa visit to get those muscles relaxed and relieved. Stressed muscles respond well to heat and warmth. How? That’s because the body feels like it has a fever when it experiences a rise in temperature. That way it orders the release of white blood cells that boost the immune system keeping stress at bay. Steam and sauna rooms at the spa should be booked for before and after massage treatments so that the overall effect is increased. Steam is good for your mental health as well as it helps release endorphins – happy hormones – that can help you de-stress. Rhassoul treatments combine thermal mud with scented steam therapy for a calming effect.
Traditional holistic therapy like Ayurveda, Shiatsu, Acupuncture, Reflexology are old timers. These aim to treat the whole YOU, not just the muscles or mind or body. These have long term relaxing effects. For example Abhyanga is an Ayurvedic treatment that focuses on massaging the entire body with loads of warm oil (heat, touch, aroma etc. in one) to get the stress evaporating away.
The fragrances of rosemary, lavender, coconut and green apple are said to alleviate headaches, reduce heart rate to normal and blunt the “fight-or-flight” sensation that stress creates. Team these with your steam and massage and watch the stress say bye.
Just keep your therapist informed of your medical history before your start. Over to you, what is your experience with SPA? How you feel after a spa therapy?