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Body & Massage Treatments
Why and when should I have a massage?
You don’t particularly need a reason to get a massage. You could just need to have some ‘me time’ and decide that a massage is a good way to get away from everything and relax. Massage can also be a preventive therapy, something you do regularly to avoid potential aches and pain or to relieve emotional stress. Other times you have tensed muscles or back pain and feel that a massage will help.
What should I expect during my first massage therapy visit?
The first time you go to get a massage your therapist is most likely going to subject you to a long list of questions. In some cases you will start by filling out a form about your health history. This will be followed by a personal discussion, where you will be asked what you are looking for in a massage, what part of your body you are looking to improve, etc. You should be very honest in your answers as these will determine if a particular massage is appropriate for you and if there are any underlying medical or physical conditions that need to be taken into account.
Is massage appropriate for everyone?
Your medical history is very important and you must inform the therapist of any health problems, medical conditions or medications you may be taking. There are some medical conditions that exclude massage as a therapy. If you have a medical condition being that you are being treated for, make sure you get your doctor’s approval before undertaking any massage therapy.
When is massage not recommended?
Massage is not recommended when you have a medical condition that is contagious or that can be made worse, such as when you have:
A fever or a severe cold
Any type of infectious disease
Vein inflammation (phlebitis) or a blood clot (thrombosis)
Cardiovascular problems and high blood pressure
Certain types of cancer (you should ask your doctor)
Open wounds, recent fractures and sprains
After surgical procedures
Pregnancy related problems
Note that even if you have a normal pregnancy there are only certain types of massages that you can get, and it is always better to check with your doctor first.
Where does a massage therapy session take place?
To induce complete relaxation, most massages are carried out in a warm, comfortable and calm room, sometimes with soft music playing in the background. Some massages are conducted on a specially designed table and others on futons or floor mats.
What do I wear when going for a massage?
Don’t worry about what you wear going to your session, because you will usually be given something to put on there. Depending on the type of massage, you may either need to be undressed and covered with a towel or blanket, or you will be giving special loose clothing to wear.
What if I am embarrassed about being completely undressed for a massage?
If you are embarrassed about being without any clothes, you can keep whatever you want on. After all, the most important thing is for you to be comfortable. Know, however, that you will not get the full benefits of the treatment.
If you are worried about showing your body because you are overweight or have cellulites, just imagine all the other bodies that your therapist has seen. Most of them have some flaw. Do you worry about what your dentist sees when you open your mouth?
What am I supposed to do when getting a massage?
Relax as much as possible, and let the effects of the massage do the rest. Try not to think about anything and turn off your mobile if possible. Although some people like to talk, it is better if you don’t, and allow the massage lull you into a trance. Your therapist will let you know if and when you need to change positions. If at any time you feel pain, do not hesitate to say so. A massage should be relaxing, never painful.
Can I talk during a massage?
A good therapist will not try to converse with you during a massage so that you can completely relax. However, if it actually relaxes you to talk and let things out, do so. Your therapist will accommodate your needs and wishes. You may start by talking and then stop as you feel yourself float into a sea of bliss. The thing to remember is that this time is for you to do whatever you feel like doing.
How will a massage feel?
This really depends on the type of massage and techniques used. Some massage use flowing strokes to calm your nerves and relax your muscles, while some use pressure. Some use oil or lotion to avoid friction. Your therapist usually explains this before a session. If not, feel free to ask.
What if I feel discomfort or pain during a massage session?
Sometimes you go for a massage treatment expecting something and the reality is very different. Do not hesitate to tell your therapists that you expected something else or that you are uncomfortable with the process.
A massage is not supposed to hurt you more than at a tolerable level of pain. It also depends on the type of massage and how tense you are. Some deep massages may induce some pain when unknotting certain muscles, but it should always be at a ‘good’ level of hurting that you can tolerate, and feel it actually helping you. Acute pain might indicate an inflammation or an injury, at which point you should ask your therapist to stop the massage, or at least stop treating the area that is causing pain.
How long is a massage session?
Most massages last for around an hour or an hour and a half. There are some partial massages that treat a particular area of the body, such as neck and shoulder, back or even legs and feet that take half the time.
How will I feel after a massage therapy session?
You should feel much more relaxed, and in most cases, your pains and aches should be diminished, depending on how bad they were to begin with. The thing to remember is that you should never rush to anything after a massage. Take time to relax further and drink plenty of water until you feel a burst of energy come on.
Your therapist may suggest a salt bath after a massage to accelerate the flushing of toxins from your body.
How often can I get a massage?
It depends on why you are having the massage in the first place. If it is for your own pleasure, there is no need to be regular and you can have it whenever you have time for it, at least once a month. If you are receiving massage treatment after an injury or to relieve a chronic condition, a regular therapy is needed, maybe once a week.
What are trigger points?
Trigger points are areas in the muscle that are painful when touched, or that send pain shooting through other parts of the body. Trigger points occur after a trauma, or are due to chronic muscle contractions, cold or infection, and they hamper motion in the affected muscles. Trigger points can be treated sometimes by massage or other healing techniques.
How do I find out my skin type and the kind of facial I should have?
When you decide that you need a facial, make an appointment with a professional and get a full analysis of your face, its skin type and problems. They will determine what type of care you need and what facials are available to suit this need.
What should I look forward to in a facial treatment session?
A facial is a very relaxing experience. First you will most probably be asked to remove your upper body clothing. Your chest and shoulders will then be covered with a towel, and your hair pulled back or covered with something like a shower cap. The treatment begins with a facial scrub or gentle cleanser, a massage and finally a mask. The best thing for you to do during all that is to close your eyes and let your mind wonder into beautiful territory.
What are the different skin types?
There are five main skin types:
Normal Skin, which is when your skin is elastic, smooth and supple, even in tone with visible pores that are not too large. Basically, your skin is neither oily nor dry, it is just right and your complexion is vibrant and healthy. All you need is a normal gentle treatment to maintain your skin in its healthy condition.
Oily Skin, which feels greasy to the touch and your pores are large and visible with a coarse or thick texture. Your skin has an over abundance of sebum secretion and it is more prone to breaking out (acne, blackheads etc.). You need to cleanse your skin often with the right products.
Dry Skin, when it is not oily, but not smooth to the touch either. You feel it tight and dry after cleansing, sometimes with a tendency to flake. Dry skin tends to have lines and wrinkles as it does not produce enough oils and does not retain moisture. You need to moisturize it well at all times.
Combination skin, which is probably the most common skin type. It is characterized by an oily forehead, nose and chin (T area), and dryness of the cheeks and areas around the eyes and mouth. You will have to either treat each part separately by using products that are specifically made for combination skin.
Sensitive skin, when any little thing such as dirt, dust, the sun and most regular skincare products give it an allergic reaction, such as redness and irritation. You will be advised to use very mild products, usually without perfume and chemical ingredients, that are specifically for sensitive skin.
How do I know what skincare products to use?
Most skincare products are formulated to suit a particular skin type. So start by finding out what skin type you are and go from there. Additionally, your skin type can change along with the seasons. If you are unsure about what yours is, seek professional advice.
Mild cleansers and moisturizers are the perfect companions for most skin types, but even those are formulated by type. Creams are more normal and dry skin friendly, while lotions are considered a better deal for oily and combination type skins. When you’re out buying your skincare routine, read the labels and choose what’s best for you.
How does aging affect the skin?
As you get older, your skin will lose its collagen and elastin, making it thinner and causing it to sag and wrinkle. Collagen and elastin are what give your skin its strength and elasticity. The loss of these important elements to your skin is not merely caused by aging. Other factors include sickness, bad nutrition, sun exposure, pollution and being overweight.
Can skincare help reduce wrinkles that I already have?
If you don’t already follow a skincare regiment at home, start one and make it a routine or a habit, something you do automatically in the morning and at night. You can get help from a beautician about the types of products to use and when to use them. Know however that nothing will completely erase your wrinkles, but they can be reduced. The rapid formation of new ones can also be prevented. To support your home routine, try to get regular more intensive treatments at a spa or beauty center.
What can I do if my skin is very sensitive?
A skin specialist can help you determine the level of your skin sensitivity and advise you about specific skincare products that you can use. For example, natural seaweed and algae are high in minerals and perform well on sensitive skin.
Do I need to exfoliate if I have sensitive skin?
Exfoliation is important in removing dead skin, thus unclogging pores so that skincare products can better penetrate the layers and reveal your radiance. So yes it is important, and there are gentle scrubs especially formulated for sensitive skin. If even those are too harsh for you, get advice from a professional or a dermatologist.
Why does my surgeon ask for information about my personal and family health history for a mere cosmetic procedure?
Any procedure that is invasive carries the risk of blood clotting and cardiovascular problems. As such, knowing your family health issues is very important in minimising that risk.
On a personal level, a surgeon needs to evaluate your health: if you are overweight, have had a recent trauma, have a heart condition, an infection, cancer, are pregnant, take oral contraceptives or other hormones, etc., before deciding whether you are a good candidate for surgery or not.
What is the difference between cosmetic and reconstructive surgery?
While reconstructive surgery improves the function of congenital deformities or those caused by accidents and injuries, and corrects their appearance, cosmetic surgery is usually performed to remodel a normal part of the body with the aim of improving your overall appearance. To be even more specific, in most cases reconstructive surgery is a must and therefore covered by medical insurance, while cosmetic surgery is a choice and it is not covered by insurance.
Should I feel any pain after a cosmetic or reconstructive surgery?
Pain is subjective; each person experiences it differently. Some feel a mild ache while others suffer a much higher level of discomfort. In all cases, a patient is prescribed pain medication to help with a normal level of pain.
You can expect mild pain after most facial cosmetic surgeries, more pain and discomfort after a liposuction, and a higher level of pain after operations that involve the tightening of muscles, such as abdominoplasty or breast augmentation.
How long is the recovery period after a cosmetic or reconstructive surgery?
Recovery periods depend on the type of cosmetic surgery you have undergone. Your doctor will be sure to give you the specifics after a procedure. In most cases, such as with a facelift, eyelid, abdominoplasty or breast surgery, while your independence will return by the second day, you won’t be able to resume your normal routine before at least a week. With all surgical procedures, there are particular post-operative instructions that you will have to follow to the letter for optimal results and minimal side-effects.
When can I resume my exercise routine after a surgery?
While you are encouraged and allowed to start walking soon after any surgery, you are usually asked to refrain from more strenuous exercise, such as aerobics for a period of at least two weeks to reduce the risk of swelling, infection and bleeding. A whole month is needed before you can lift weights or participate in contact sports.
Can I have liposuction?
Liposuction is a corrective surgical procedure that helps remove fat from certain parts of your body, but it is not ultimately a way to lose weight. It is therefore recommended for people who are close to their ideal weight but have problem areas rather than for overweight people who have a lot of weight to lose.
How can I improve my breasts?
It all depends on what you are looking for. If you have large breasts that are causing you discomfort and pain, in your neck, shoulders and back, you might think of having breast reduction surgery. If your breasts are too small, you want a breast augmentation surgery or mammoplasty, which usually involves the addition of saline implants. Finally, if you have sagging breasts, a breast lift is your answer.
Will I have scars after a facelift?
Facelifts do leave scars, but they are usually very close to the hairline where they are hard to see or can easily be covered up with make up.
I have varicose veins. What can I do about them?
Varicose veins, most often in the legs, are those veins that you can see swollen and twisted right below your skin’s surface. Sometimes, you will want to do something about them for aesthetics reasons, but there may be times when they need to be removed because they are painful or, in rare cases, because they can cause blood clots and skin ulcers.
Varicose veins can be removed by laser therapy or by sclerotherapy, which is the injection of a special fluid that causes them to shrivel up and disappear.
Is exercise important in weight control?
There is significant and common acceptance that exercise is actually more important than diet in controlling weight and reducing body fat. When you exercise, your body uses excess calories that would otherwise be stored as fat. Basically, any additional physical activity will burn extra calories. However, exercise on its own is not enough; it should be accompanied by a healthy and balanced nutrition.
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