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Spas vs. Independent Massage Therapists

There are lots of places out there where you could go for a massage or other treatment, so how do you know which to choose? There are a number of factors to consider, but one of the big ones is whether to go to a big spa, an independent massage therapist, or a small, local massage business.

Read on for some of the pros and cons of spas and independent massage therapists to help you decide where to book your next treatment.

The benefits of going to a large, chain spa

A big chain spa business is likely to have large premises and lots of fully trained staff with different specialties. This means they are likely to have more availability than smaller businesses, making it easier to get appointments when you want without having to wait. They may also have a greater selection of treatments to choose from other than massage, all with professional staff and comfortable, relaxing treatment rooms.

The benefits of going to a local spa

Smaller, local spas usually have a smaller selection of treatments available, or they might offer just as much as the bigger spas. It really varies from one business to the next. However, it is likely that they will have smaller premises and, therefore, fewer treatment rooms and fewer employees. Employees at small or local spas should still be highly trained professionals, ensuring that you get a quality massage treatment.

One big benefit of local spas compared to chain spas is that they are likely to offer a more personalized experience and level of customer service. With fewer employees and, usually, fewer customers, they can get to know their customers better and understand what they need from their treatment. Also, you can feel happy with the fact that you’re supporting a small, local business.

The benefits of going to an independent massage therapist

Like local spas, independent massage therapists can get to know their clientele better and offer a personalized service. Plus, you still get that nice feeling of supporting a local entrepreneur and improving the success of their business. This kind of massage therapist may be less regulated than those in spa businesses. So, while most are well-trained professionals, there may be more variation in skill and experience levels when choosing an independent massage therapist.

Independent massage therapists often don’t have their own premises, meaning they offer massage therapy in the homes of their clients. This can be good or bad, depending on your individual opinion. On one hand, it is extremely convenient, making it easier for you to fit massage into a busy schedule. You may also feel more comfortable being massaged in your own home than in an unfamiliar place. Other people, however, may feel less comfortable doing this in their own home. They may also find it less relaxing, particularly if you have kids or pets running around the house while you’re getting massaged.

If you’d like to book a massage treatment at your local spa in Winston Salem, NC, then get in touch with Moonstone Massage or book via our online portal.

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Tips for Better Skin

Whether it’s acne, dry skin, wrinkles, or medical conditions like eczema, we all face skin problems at some point in our life. These problems can be difficult to manage because, as well as the discomfort that comes with some of them, they can also impact our self-confidence and body image.

If you’re looking for ways to improve the way your skin looks and feels, then read on for tips from diet to massage therapy.

Eat and drink healthily

It’s still not certain whether eating chocolate and greasy foods causes acne, but what you eat can have an impact on your skin. Eating food that’s rich in vitamins and other nutrients can help to keep your skin looking healthy, while processed foods can have a negative impact. Staying hydrated also benefits your skin as it keeps your skin cells hydrated, too. So, drink plenty of water and avoid excess alcohol consumption.

Sleep well

You know that a bad night’s sleep can result in dark, puffy circles under your eyes, but it can also lead to premature signs of aging, such as wrinkles, as well as increasing your likelihood of acne breakouts. Regularly getting a good 7-8 hours of sleep per night could shine through on your face.

Skincare regime

Not everyone needs the same skincare regime, and it doesn’t always have to be filled with expensive products, but doing certain things to look after your skin can help it look great. Sun protection should be one of your main priorities, so make sure you always wear sunscreen outdoors, even on days when the sun isn’t particularly bright.

You should also make sure that you don’t leave makeup on overnight. Cleanse and moisturize your face before going to bed at night to help you wake up looking refreshed. Occasionally adding a facial into your regime can also help to rejuvenate your skin and keep it looking smooth and youthful.

Massage for better skin

Yes, massage can also help you achieve better skin. This is mostly down to the increased circulation and blood flow to the massaged area, helping to deliver more essential nutrients to the skin cells as well as flushing out toxins more effectively. The results of regular massage on the skin include:

  • Reduced appearance of lines and wrinkles
  • Reduced appearance of acne
  • Brighter skin
  • More supple skin
  • Less dry skin

If you want to see how facials and massages can contribute to your skincare regime, then contact Moonstone Massage to find out more or go online to book an appointment with us in Winston Salem, NC.

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The Pros and Cons of Massage Guns

 

The health and wellness industry is one that’s filled with crazes and fads, some that can be incredibly helpful while others are more questionable. And it can often be difficult to tell the difference. At-home massage can be an effective way to experience some of the benefits of professional massage at a lower cost and from the comfort of your own home. And plenty of massage products claim to provide these benefits, from foam rollers to massage chairs. One of the most recent crazes is the massage gun.

In this article, we’ll look at how massage guns work, whether they work, and some of the pros and cons of using them compared to professional massage.

What are massage guns?

A massage gun is a handheld tool that you can use on your own muscles to mimic the techniques used by massage therapists in order to massage the muscle tissue. Massage guns feature an oscillating head that works your muscles, often with various head attachments of different shapes and sizes to target different areas of the body. They also have different speed and strength settings to adjust the impact of the ‘massage’.

Like traditional massage, these products are said to reduce muscle soreness and stiffness, speed up recovery after a workout, increase blood flow to the area, among other benefits. Massage guns can be expensive, but there are lower-cost options available, too. Typically, prices vary from anywhere between $150 and $700.

How do they work?

Massage guns work your muscles using a technique known as percussive therapy, also known as vibration therapy. However, the tool doesn’t vibrate, it oscillates extremely fast, essentially hitting the targeted body part repeatedly, multiple times every second. So, percussive therapy is the more accurate description of how massage guns work.

The effect of this is that your nervous system becomes stimulated by the sensation, prompting the body to respond in ways that increase blood flow, releasing tension, improve range of motion, and promote pain relief.

Massage guns vs. traditional massage

Massage guns can be effective at speeding up recovery times and relieving muscle tension, which can be particularly useful after a run or workout. They can benefit us the best when used in conjunction with professional massage therapy. Professional massage can be much more effective because you can just lay there and relax your entire body while being treated. This is important to getting the most out of a massage.

However, most people aren’t able to get a massage every day or even a few times a week. So, a massage gun can help to supplement regular professional massage treatment. If you go for a run or to the gym three times per week, then you can use the massage gun after each workout and then enjoy a professional massage every two weeks, for example.

Are you looking for muscle relief or recovery around Winston Salem, NC? Then contact Moonstone Massage or go online to book an appointment with us.

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Oxytocin and Massage Therapy

 

There are a number of reasons why getting a massage feels so great, both during and after the treatment. One of these reasons is completely chemical, and it all comes down to something commonly known as ‘the love hormone’ – oxytocin. Read on to find out more about this hormone, how it affects us, and how it’s linked to massage.

What is oxytocin?

Oxytocin is a hormone that’s produced in the brain and secreted by the pituitary gland. Its primary roles are related to reproduction, childbirth, and breastfeeding. A number of things can trigger the release of oxytocin. For example, when uterine contractions begin during childbirth, oxytocin is released to increase or maintain contractions to assist with labor.

How does it affect us?

Other than the above examples, oxytocin is thought to affect us when it comes to love, bonding, and social interaction. Whether with friends, romantic partners, or your children, the release of oxytocin when we hug or cuddle has been found to increase bonding and trust. It also helps you feel more relaxed, can reduce stress and anxiety, and can increase tolerance to pain, essentially acting as a form of pain relief.

Oxytocin is particularly important in establishing the strong emotional bond between a mother and her newborn child. It also plays an important role in strengthening the bond between romantic partners and is released during sexual activity.

Massage and oxytocin

One of the reasons why oxytocin is released when we cuddle is due to the skin-on-skin contact. But can other forms of touch have the same effect? Yes, the touch of massage has also been found to increase the production and release of oxytocin in the brain, of the person giving the massage as well as the one receiving it.

This increase in oxytocin can explain some of the good feelings associated with massage, including:

  • Relaxation
  • Stress and anxiety relief
  • Decreased pain sensation
  • Elevated mood

If you’re feeling low, then a massage could be exactly what you need to improve your mood. It can even help to manage symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders. From our understanding of oxytocin, we can see that these beneficial effects of massage are at least partly due to chemical changes in our bodies. It’s one of the reasons why getting a couple’s massage is so great for strengthening your relationship.

If you want to book a massage appointment for yourself or a loved one around Winston Salem, Pfafftown, Lewisville, and Clemmons, then contact Moonstone Massage or use our online booking portal to schedule your appointment.

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Can Massage Provide Relief for Arthritis?

 

Arthritis is a joint condition that can seriously impede mobility and range of movement, while also being extremely painful. There are lots of different types of arthritis, and they don’t just affect the elderly like is commonly thought. There is currently no way to cure arthritis, but it can be treated to help manage the pain and stiffness, and to help slow down the progression of the condition.

In addition to any treatment or medication prescribed by your doctor, massage can be effective in helping to manage the pain and stiffness associated with many types of arthritis. Regular massage therapy can even allow patients to rely less on medication, offering a natural form of pain relief.

Why is massage good for arthritis?

Many of the benefits of massage are thanks to the increase in circulation caused by massage treatment. This increase in blood flow can aid healing in the affected areas. It also helps to reduce inflammation, which is often a contributing factor to the pain and stiffness around arthritic joints.

Massage is also good for flexibility. Massaging the muscles, tendons, and ligaments around a joint helps to relieve tension and generally loosen things up. This can result in greater mobility and also less pain as the stiffness and lack of flexibility are addressed.

The best types of massage for arthritis

Before receiving a massage, make sure to inform your massage therapist of your condition and which joints are affected. As well as adjusting their pressure or technique to accommodate any pain or discomfort, they may also be able to recommend the best type of massage to suit your needs. As with any massage, let your massage therapist know if the pressure is too much so they can adjust for you.

These are some of the best types of massage that can help arthritis sufferers:

  • Swedish massage – The long, kneading strokes help to reduce tension in the muscles and joints.
  • Deep tissue massage – A deeper, firmer massage that’s ideal for targeting specific joints that are affected by your condition.
  • Shiatsu massage – Targeting pressure points around the affected joints can help to improve flexibility and range of motion.
  • Lymphatic massage – Helps to drain excess lymphatic fluid that can cause inflammation

If you suffer from arthritis, then talk to your doctor for advice on whether massage can be a beneficial complementary therapy for your condition. Contact Moonstone Massage for more information about our different massage services or book a treatment via our online portal.

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How to Treat Plantar Fasciitis

If you’ve ever had plantar fasciitis, then you’ll know how painful it can be. There are a number of ways to try to manage the pain and speed up the healing process, and massage can be one of them. Read on to find out more about plantar fasciitis and how to treat it.

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a condition that affects the plantar fascia, which is the ligaments that connect your heel bone to your toes. It is caused by inflammation of this tissue, leading to pain in the heel and arch of your foot. This can affect one or both feet and can feel like a sharp pain or a dull ache.

Pain from plantar fasciitis typically fades while the patient is active, but flares up again after high levels of activity. It is also worse when you first stand up after sitting down for a while or when getting out of bed in the morning.

What causes it?

The main cause of plantar fasciitis is excessive pressure on the ligaments in your feet. So, anyone who is extremely active is more likely to suffer from this condition. This means that runners and athletes commonly develop plantar fasciitis, as well as anyone in a profession where they are on their feet all day.

Excess weight also increases the pressure on your feet, making plantar fasciitis more likely. As a result, pregnant women and anyone who is overweight or obese are more likely to experience this pain.

Some people may be more prone to plantar fasciitis due to structural differences in their feet, such as tight Achilles tendons or flat feet. Additionally, wearing shoes that are ill-fitting or have poor arch support over long periods of time makes this condition more likely to develop.

Treating plantar fasciitis with massage

Plantar fasciitis can be treated and managed primarily through rest and anti-inflammatory medication. You can also help to speed up the recovery process by icing your foot and performing foot stretches and exercises to loosen and strengthen the ligaments.

Massage can also help to stretch the ligaments and improve their flexibility while also increasing blood flow to the area, which promotes healing. But it’s not just the sole of the feet you need to focus on, the muscles running down the back of your lower leg and ankle also connect to the heel. If these areas are tight, then this will place more strain on the plantar fasciitis.

There are some self-massage techniques you can try yourself, but for a more effective treatment, book a professional massage to help loosen all the muscles and ligaments that could be causing your pain. Contact Moonstone Massage for professional massage treatment in Winston Salem, NC.

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The Benefits of Meditation

Massage is a great way to relax and relieve any stress or tension that you’re experiencing. You want to keep that post-massage feeling going forever, but chances are you can’t get a professional massage every day. So, how can you stay relaxed in between your appointments?

Different people have their own ways of relaxing, but one effective method you should try is meditation. Read on for more about the benefits of meditation and how to get started.

Reduce stress

Many studies have found regular meditation practice to be effective at tackling stress. Meditation can train your mind to be more restful and gives you a good way to manage your emotions when you’re feeling particularly stressed or anxious. This can also have a positive effect on symptoms of anxiety such as OCD behaviors.

Improve mood

Meditation can literally make you happier, teaching you how to show more compassion to yourself and others, more gratitude, and generally giving you a more positive outlook on life. As a result, meditation can be effective at reducing or managing feelings and symptoms of depression in patients.

Increase focus

Meditation is all about staying mindful and training your mind to focus on something without getting distracted by other thoughts and emotions. So, it makes sense that you would carry this ability into your everyday life, including work. Meditation could help to improve your productivity at work or school.

Improve sleep patterns

The relaxing effects of meditation along with its ability to reduce stress and anxiety can also help people with difficulty falling or staying asleep at night. Many factors can lead to insomnia and other sleep disorders. If you find yourself unable to fall asleep because your mind is racing with multiple trains of thought, then meditation practice can help you move your focus away from these thoughts, making it easier to drift off to sleep.

Pain management

Your brain is a powerful tool, and training it through meditation can even help to reduce or manage feelings of pain. Our brains control how we perceive pain, and people who regularly meditate have been found to have a lower sensitivity to pain and a greater ability to control the pain response. This can even help people who suffer from chronic pain.

Meditation and massage complement each other brilliantly, so book your next massage appointment with Moonstone Massage and get into the habit of meditating extend that zen, relaxed feeling.

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Your Guide to Scalp Massage

 

You don’t always need a full body massage the achieve the relaxation and health benefits you’re looking for. Sometimes, more localized massage treatments can be just as effective. Foot massage, hand reflexology, and head massage are great examples of massage therapies that focus on a specific body part for a number of benefits.

In this article, we’ll look at head and scalp massages to show you what benefits they offer.

What is scalp massage?

During a scalp massage, your massage therapist will work their fingertips through your hair at the roots to gently massage the scalp. This can be performed either with or without oils. A more general head massage may cover other areas of the head and face, including the forehead, temples, and cheekbones.

Head and scalp massage offer numerous benefits, both mentally and physically. Here are some of the key benefits you’ll experience from receiving a head massage…

Relaxation

Like any type of massage, a scalp massage provides instant relaxation, and it simply feels really good. Its relaxing effects can help you both physically and mentally, which in turn leads to a reduction in stress and anxiety. These benefits also help you naturally fall asleep at night and enjoy a better quality of sleep.

Headache treatment

If you frequently suffer from headaches or migraines, then scalp massage can help to relieve your symptoms and even help to prevent headaches. This may be due to its ability to relax the muscles of the head, face, and neck, helping to reduce the frequency of tension headaches. This can also help to relieve eye strain for those who spend their working day staring at a screen.

Scalp health

Scalp massage helps to condition the scalp and increase blood flow to the areas. One result of this is healthier skin, helping to treat dandruff and prevent dry, flaky, or itchy skin across the scalp.

Hair growth

Improving the condition of your scalp and boosting blood flow to the area can also help to nourish your hair and strengthen the hair follicles. This can help to promote hair growth and improve the quality and thickness of the hair, making it a potential remedy for hair loss and thinning.

Whether you want to treat migraines, improve your hair growth, or just enjoy a nice, relaxing massage, head and scalp massages are a great choice. Contact Moonstone Massage to find out more about the styles of massage we offer or to book an appointment.

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Preventing and Treating Repetitive Strain Injury

You may have suffered from repetitive strain injury (RSI) before, perhaps if you have a job which has you performing the same movements over long periods of time, day in and day out. It can also affect people who frequently play certain sports, such as golf or tennis. Repetitive strain injury affects a variety of people and can be extremely painful.

What is repetitive strain injury?

Repetitive strain injury is an injury that results from performing repetitive movements or from overusing muscles and joints, particularly in the wrist. It can present itself in a number of ways including an aching pain, tenderness, numbness, cramp, and stiffness. Depending on the part of the body affected, the symptoms of RSI can be felt in the muscles, nerves, and tendons.

How can massage help?

Deep tissue massage is one of the best treatments to help relieve you of the pain caused by RSI and to help you heal faster. Tight muscles, ligaments, and tendons all contribute to the pain and stiffness that you feel during RSI. This can also reduce your mobility. Massage helps to relieve this tension and improve mobility, addressing the source of pain at the same time.

Increasing blood flow to the area through massage also helps the healing process by delivering increased nutrients and helping to flush out toxins more effectively. This can particularly help to relieve any inflammation caused by the injury. Massage also helps to break down any scar tissue which could be causing pain and mobility issues.

More prevention tips for RSI

Other than massage, there are certain things you can do in your daily life to help prevent RSI.

  • Maintain correct posture – Whether you’re sitting at your desk all day or lifting heavy objects, proper posture is extremely important. Make sure your desk, chair, and computer are all at the right positions to aid this if you have an office job.
  • Stretch regularly – Breaking up your regular, repetitive movements by stopping to stretch gives your muscles, tendons, and ligaments a break. Stretching can help to prevent RSI and also speed up the recovery process if you suffer from it.
  • Get enough rest – Pushing yourself too hard in a workout or not taking enough breaks during the workday make RSI all the more likely. Make sure you take regular breaks and get plenty of rest each day.

If you suffer from repetitive strain injury, then talk to Moonstone Massage to find out how our massage therapy services can help you. Providing a variety of massage services around Winston Salem, Pfafftown, and Lewisville.

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Full-body Massage Vs. Localized Treatments

There are so many different types of massage treatments to choose from, each with their own properties and advantages for your physical and mental health. One difference between some types of massage is which muscles, tissues, and body parts they focus on. In this article, we’ll look at the differences between full-body massage and types of treatment that are more focused and body part-specific.

Full-body massage

During a full-body massage, you will spend a portion of your treatment laying on your front, and a portion of it on your back. You are usually asked to undress, but you will be draped with a towel at all times. If you feel uncomfortable with this, then you can request to keep your underwear on.

Swedish massage and deep tissue massage are the most common forms of full-body massage. The main areas focused on are the neck, back, shoulders, legs, feet, arms, and hands. The buttocks, abdomen, and pectoral muscles may also be treated. The idea is to provide full-body relaxation, helping to relieve muscular tension and improve circulation throughout the body.

During a full-body massage, you can ask your massage therapist to focus more on a certain area if you’d like. For example, if you have a lot of tension in your neck and shoulders, they can spend more time working this area. Your massage therapist will still treat the entire body, but they will have to spend less time on other areas as a result.

Half-body massage

Many spas and massage therapists also offer a half-body Swedish massage. This is a shorter appointment and typically focuses on the neck, back, and shoulders first, as these are the main areas where people carry tension. You may be able to ask your massage therapist to prioritize other areas first.

Localized massage

Some massage types treat specific areas, such as a scalp massage or foot massage. People may seek out treatment for an injury or pain in a specific area, such as the feet, in which case localized massage can be extremely useful. Scalp massage and foot massage also have great relaxation benefits, so they can be a good choice for someone who wants to relax but does not feel comfortable with undressing or having a full-body massage.

Sports massage also involves localized treatment because it is often used as a way to address injury or pain. This is especially useful for athletes who need to recover after a game or a tough workout, or from a specific injury. However, sports massage is beneficial for lots of people, not just elite athletes.

Knowing what you want to achieve from a massage can help you choose the right kind. If you have any questions about the different types of massage we offer and which is right for you, then contact us at Moonstone Massage in Winston Salem.