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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.

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What is Swedish Massage?

Massage takes so many different forms that it can be difficult to choose the right type of massage therapy for you. When people tend to think about a standard massage for relaxation, it’s likely to be the Swedish massage. In some countries, including Sweden, this practice is simply known as “classic massage”.

What does Swedish massage involve?

A Swedish massage is typically a full body massage, although you can ask your massage therapist to focus more on certain body parts than others. This is useful if you have tension in your neck or shoulders, for example. It involves 5 standard types of massage technique, these are:

  • Stroking and gliding
  • Kneading
  • Rubbing
  • Tapping
  • Vibrations

These techniques are similar to those used in deep tissue massage, except this kind of massage typically uses greater pressure and focuses more on specific, localized areas of the body. Swedish massage typically uses slightly softer strokes, making it a great type of massage for relaxation as well as its other benefits.

The massage therapist will usually adjust their pressure depending on the part of the body they are working, allowing greater pressure on areas of dense muscle compared to more delicate areas. Although Swedish massage focuses more on the top layers of muscle rather than deeper tissue. As with most types of massage, you may also ask your massage therapist to adjust the pressure if it is too light or too hard for you.

What are the benefits of Swedish massage?

Swedish massage has a number of benefits for you both physically and mentally. It is one of the most popular types of massage for relaxation purposes as it typically involves long, light strokes. This relaxation creates many benefits of its own, helping to relieve stress and anxiety, promoting a good mood, and helping you get a better night’s sleep.

And the relaxing benefits of Swedish massage are physical as well. It helps to relax your muscles, which can improve your flexibility and range of motion. Swedish massage has also been found effective at managing pain arising from chronic conditions like arthritis.

Like all massage, Swedish massage helps to promote blood flow in the body. This ensures that plenty of oxygen and nutrients are reaching your muscles, which can help them to recover after an injury or a tough workout. It also aids your body in eliminating toxins from the body.

If you want to get a Swedish massage in Winston Salem, NC, then contact Moonstone Massage to find out more about our massage services and how you can book with us.

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What is an Aromatherapy Massage?

There are lots of different types of massage that bring relaxation as well as a variety of benefits to your physical and mental health. In this article, we’re going to look at aromatherapy massage, including what to expect from it and the benefits it can offer. Read on to find out more about aromatherapy massage…

What is aromatherapy massage?

Aromatherapy massage uses typical massage techniques but adds the use of essential oils in order to enhance the benefits of the massage. Usually, essential oils are combined with Swedish massage for an aromatherapy massage. However, essential oils can be used with many types of massage.

During an aromatherapy massage, essential oils are combined with the massage oil that your massage therapist uses. This allows the oils to absorb into the skin. Oils may also be diffused into the air of the treatment room to add to the pleasant scent and relaxing environment.

Various essential oils are used in aromatherapy massage and are often combined together. Massage therapists may have premixed blends to use during your massage or they may allow you to choose the oils for your massage by allowing you to smell them and explaining the properties of each. Some popular essential oils used in aromatherapy include:

  • Lavender
  • Bergamot
  • Peppermint
  • Eucalyptus
  • Rosemary
  • Cedarwood

What are the benefits of aromatherapy massage?

Just like regular massage, aromatherapy massage has a wide range of benefits for your overall wellbeing. The essential oils are thought to complement and boost the already established benefits of massage. This means that it has all the relaxing and tension relieving effects of regular Swedish massage.

A number of essential oils have been found to aid relaxation, which can help people manage stress, anxiety, and sleep problems. Aromatherapy massage has also been found effective at relieving pain, from headaches and menstrual cramps to pain from injury or chronic conditions. A proper aromatherapy massage can be extremely useful when recovering from an injury or a tough workout.

If you let your massage therapist know specifically what you want to achieve from your massage, whether it’s for overall relaxation or to help a physical ailment, for example, then they will be able to recommend the best essential oils for your treatment.

If you’re interested in aromatherapy massage or other types of massage around Pfafftown, Lewisville, and Clemmons, then contact Moonstone Massage to find out more about our services.

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Stretching and Massage

Flexibility is an important part of athletic performance, but it can also aid you with everyday activities and retaining your mobility as you age. Performing regular stretches is one way to improve your flexibility over time. Massage can also help to boost your flexibility as the techniques used help to make your muscles more supple and reduce tension in them.

Since they both aid your flexibility, stretching and massage go hand in hand. Stretching can help you get the most out of your massage treatment and, together, they can greatly improve your mobility and flexibility.

Stretching before a massage

Like massage, stretching helps to boost circulation. This means that more blood is delivered to your muscles, along with all the beneficial nutrients it carries. This is especially useful if you are having a massage intended to speed up recovery after an injury or a tough workout. Stretching will also start to relax your muscles, ensuring they are ready for massage.

Your back, legs, and hips are a few areas you should focus on during your pre-massage stretches. Simple lengthening stretches like touching your toes will help to stretch out your muscles, relax them, and get the blood pumping to them.

Stretching after a massage

Just like stretching after a run or a workout, stretching after a massage has a number of benefits. It’s common to feel a little sore after a massage, either that evening or the next day. Stretching can help to reduce or prevent this soreness, as can other remedies like taking a hot bath after a massage. If you had a massage to treat soreness or injury, then stretching afterward will further help to speed up your recovery time.

Stretching your muscles also helps to boost the effects of the massage and maintain them for longer, particularly in terms of relaxation and flexibility of your muscles. Hamstring stretches like touching your toes while standing or sitting are beneficial, as are stretches for the lower leg like the standing calf stretch.

Stretches for the spine and back muscles are also advised. Try the cat-cow yoga pose or a knee hold where you lie flat on your back and hug your knees close to your chest. In the same way, activities like yoga and Pilates are greatly complementary to regular massage therapy.

If you’d like more advice on boosting the benefits of your massage treatments, then contact Moonstone Massage for more information or to find out about our massage services.

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How to Draw the Perfect Relaxing Bath

You can’t always find the time to book and get out of the house for a massage appointment, but there are ways you can promote relaxation from the comfort of your own home. Having a bath is one effective way of relaxing, and it can even have additional health benefits like lowering your blood pressure.

But not all baths are created equal. We’ve got some tips to help you draw the perfect bath to soothe and relax you.

Pick your timing

Ideally, you want to be able to block out some time where you can enjoy your bath distraction-free, which will be a challenge for some people. Firstly, leave your phone out of the room or at least turn it on silent. If you have kids, then schedule your bath for while they are sleeping or while your partner or someone else is looking after them. If you have pets, you might also want to wait until they’re sleeping or until your partner or a family member is out walking your dog, for example.

Set the scene

The environment you take your bath in can also impact your relaxation. You might want to play some soothing music or light some candles around your bath, just make sure you are careful. If there’s a noisy street outside your window, then keep it shut during your bath. Prepare a drink to enjoy while you bathe, and perhaps something to keep you entertained like a good book, magazine, or Netflix on your laptop (far away from the bathwater!)

Choose your ingredients

There are lots of different things you could add to your bath, like bath salts, bubbles, and essential oils. Think about both the scents they add and the effects they have on you. For example, Epsom salts can be used to soothe aching muscles or you could add lavender oil to aid stress relief. Other ingredients might just add a pleasant smell to enjoy during your bath time.

Have a towel at the ready

Before you step into your bath, make sure you haven’t forgotten the towel. Realizing this halfway through could disrupt your relaxation. Grab a clean, comfortable towel and hang it up in the bathroom so it’s ready to wrap you up once you get out.

Like a massage, a good bath can do wonders for your level of relaxation and can also help to soothe your muscles and aid recovery. You could even take a bath after your massage appointment to achieve optimal relaxation. If you’re interested in the different types of massage offered here at Moonstone Massage, then contact us to find out more.

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How to Improve Your Quality of Sleep

 

A lot of things can disrupt our sleeping patterns. Stress, anxiety, unusual work schedules, poor sleep environment, and much more. But not getting enough sleep or getting a poor quality of sleep does more than just exhaust us. It also has consequences for both our mental and physical health. You’re more likely to get sick when you’re not sleeping well, you’ll be more stressed, less able to focus at work, and more irritable.

If you’ve ever had sleep problems, then you’ll know how unpleasant it can be. We want to make sure everyone gets a good night’s rest every night, so we’ve got some tips to help you improve your quality of sleep.

Set the scene

Your sleep environment is really important, too. If your bedroom is too hot, too cold, too bright, or too noisy, then you’ll probably find it more difficult to fall asleep. Assess your sleep environment to see if any external factors could be affecting your sleep. It might be an old, lumpy mattress, a gap in your drapes, or noise from traffic outside your window. Try to improve your environment for a better night’s sleep.

Get into a routine

If you work Monday to Friday, then you probably enjoy staying up a bit later at the weekends and staying in bed longer in the mornings. But this is disrupting your sleep schedule more than you realize. If you always wake up and go to sleep at a similar time, then your body and its circadian rhythms will get used to it, making it easier for you to fall asleep and wake up at those times.

Try not to take naps during the day as this can make it more difficult to get to sleep at night. And there are certain things you should avoid doing late at night so that they don’t disrupt your sleep:

  • Drinking caffeine
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Eating sugary or heavy food
  • Staring at screens that emit blue light
  • Exercising

Relax

If you’re feeling stressed or anxious about anything, then this can also prevent you from falling asleep easily at night. If this is something you struggle with, then try to create a relaxing night time schedule. You could take a relaxing shower or bath in the evening, read a book before bed, or meditate before you go to bed. Receiving massages on a regular basis can also help you destress and improve your sleep.

If you’re having sleep problems, then why not find out if a relaxing massage could help you? At Moonstone Massage, we offer lots of different massage types in Winston Salem, NC. Get in touch to find out more.

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Beat DOMS with Massage Therapy

It’s a great feeling to finish a tough workout. You’ve got the feeling of accomplishment making you feel good along with the endorphins produced in your body as a result of intense exercise. But the next day might be a different story. If you wake up with sore muscles the day after working out, let’s look at how massage can help you.

What does DOMS mean?

DOMS stands for delayed onset muscle soreness, and it is a commonly used term among gym-goers and fitness enthusiasts. It is referred to as ‘delayed onset’ because you don’t feel it immediately after your workout. Typically, this pain and stiffness comes the next day or later on in the same day. This feeling can last for several days after a workout.

It typically occurs when you push your body harder than it’s used to or when you perform exercises that your body isn’t used to. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve pushed your body too hard. This pain is thought to occur due to tiny tears in your muscle fibers occurring as a result of your workout. When these tears heal, your muscles will be stronger than they previously were. So, DOMS can be a sign that you are improving and becoming stronger.

How can massage help?

Certain things are thought to reduce the effects of DOMS, such as stretching before and after a workout, taking ice baths, and increasing your protein intake. But how can massage help?

Massage improves the circulation of blood around your body, delivering oxygen and nutrients to your muscles more efficiently. This can help them to recover more quickly, reducing the pain and duration of delayed onset muscle soreness. The improved circulation also helps to remove toxins, such as lactic acid, from your body more efficiently. Massage can also help to reduce any inflammation that could make your pain worse.

So, getting a sports massage, a deep tissue massage, or any kind of massage after a workout could alleviate the pain you feel the next day and help you recover from it more quickly. You can also get a massage when you’re feeling sore from DOMS in order to speed up your recovery, but it could be a more painful experience. If you are feeling sore during a massage, you can tell your massage therapist so that they can adjust their pressure accordingly.

If you want to book a sports massage with our massage therapists, then get in touch or use our online booking system to arrange your massage appointment.

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What is Mindfulness?

More and more people are starting to realize that our mental wellness is just as important, if not sometimes more so, than our physical wellness. So, it’s necessary to have tools in our kit that are effective at managing our mental health and wellness. Of course, we’d recommend massage therapy as a beneficial treatment for both mental and physical wellness, but that’s not the only thing that can help you.

Mindfulness is one of the latest buzzwords that’s all the rage in the world of mental health, but what exactly does it mean? Let’s learn more about mindfulness and how it can help you.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is all about being present and living in the moment. So often, we’re busy doing two things at once while thinking or worrying about a dozen other things. By doing so, we’re not fully involved with what we’re doing.

You’re working but you’re not as productive as you could be because you’re not fully focused. Or you’re spending time with a loved one but they feel ignored because you’re distracted by your phone and worrying about all the work you have to do tomorrow.

The practice of mindfulness is essentially the opposite of these behaviors. It’s about being fully present in the moment and being aware of where you are, what you’re doing, or what you’re thinking about. So, if you’re eating breakfast, you’re not scrolling on Instagram, planning your day, and thinking about what you’ll eat for dinner. You’re present in the room and being fully aware of the tastes and textures of what you’re eating.

The benefits of mindfulness

It sounds so simple, yet mindfulness can be a very difficult practice, especially in the modern world where there are distractions all around us. But practicing mindfulness on a daily basis, even just for 30 seconds at a time, has a plethora of benefits. It can…

  • Reduce anxiety
  • Reduce stress levels
  • Manage depression symptoms
  • Improve self-esteem and body image
  • Improves concentration and attention span

You can read even more of the amazing benefits of mindfulness in this article.

How can you be more mindful?

There are a number of ways to practice mindfulness. The best way to start is with guided mindfulness meditation sessions. You can find these on YouTube or through an app like Headspace. These sessions will guide you through what to do, but they’re essentially about simply being with your breath, your thoughts, and your feelings without challenging them or trying to push negative feelings away or focus on positive ones.

Once you’ve got the hang of it, you can practice mindfulness anywhere and anytime. You might have a 5-minute mindfulness session before you go to sleep or you might just take a 30-second break from work to practice mindfulness. You can practice mindfulness while you’re eating, walking, or taking a shower. Or even while you’re having a massage!

Contact us if you want massage therapy to be a part of your self-care and mindfulness routine. We offer massage services around Winston Salem, Pfafftown, and Lewisville.

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Fitting Wellness into A Busy Schedule

You know how important it is to look after your own health and wellbeing – we’re talking about mental and emotional health as well as keeping fit physically. But many of us are simply too busy with work, family, and everything else to fit self-care into our daily routines.

We’re here to remind you that wellness and self-care are too important to sacrifice. So, to help you out, we’ve got some easy-to-follow tips to help you fit wellness into your ultra-busy schedule.

Schedule small self-care periods every day

You don’t have to find two hours in your schedule to look after yourself. It could be just 5 minutes of meditation after you first wake up in the morning or 15 minutes of yoga after the kids go to sleep.

Wake up earlier

If your mornings are usually hectic, set your alarm a little earlier to wake up before everyone else and enjoy a few moments of peace and quiet. You can dedicate this time to whatever you don’t usually have time for. Even if you’re not a morning person, you’ll get used to the earlier alarm if you make yourself stick to it.

Prioritize sleep

A good night’s sleep can do wonders for you. If you often stay up late watching TV, messaging with a friend, or out partying, then you’ll feel the sleep debt the next day. Try to set a bedtime routine and stick to it every night, helping you get to sleep earlier and improve your quality of sleep.

Depend on others

No man is an island, so don’t be ashamed to ask others for help or a break. If you need an hour to yourself for a full body massage or spa appointment, then ask a friend or family member if they can babysit for you. There’s bound to be someone who can help you, and you’ll feel so much better and more relaxed from it.

Give yourself a break

Days off are so important for our mental health and wellbeing. If you tend to work yourself ragged, then remind yourself to take breaks more often and give yourself a day off at least once a week. Working too much is detrimental to your productivity as well as your health. It’s important to listen to your body – there will often be signs that you need a break and a proper rest.

If you want to fit a weekly or monthly massage into your schedule, then contact Moonstone Massage to find out about our range of massage services in Winston Salem, Pfafftown, Lewisville, and Clemmons. Or go online and book an appointment with us today.

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How Can Massage Help Your Mental Health?

 

We’ve written lots of blogs about the benefits of massage on your physical health, but did you know that massage can also help you manage your mental health better, too? Here are some of the great ways your mental health could benefit from regular massage therapy.

Reduces stress

Massage therapy is a great source of relaxation. It helps to reduce the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in our bodies, which can be a major source of mental health issues in the modern world. When we’re stressed out about work, family life, money, or our health, we can experience changes in appetite, difficulty concentrating, difficulty sleeping, and a lower sense of self-worth, among other things. Massage is a natural way to help you fight this.

Reduces symptoms of depression

Depression is a complicated disorder that can have a number of contributing factors. Partly, it is related to a depletion of or fluctuations in neurotransmitter levels. Physical contact, like hugging someone you love or receiving a massage from a professional, triggers the release of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, which play an important role in elevating and regulating your mood.

It also releases the hormone oxytocin, which is known as “the love hormone.” This also helps to boost your mood and promote feelings of bonding. Overall, regular massage helps to improve your mood, which can help you manage the symptoms of depression better.

Relieves anxiety

Massage helps to relieve the symptoms of anxiety, like a fast heart rate and irritability, which in themselves can make your anxiety worse in a vicious circle. As well as the relaxing effects of massage on your mind and body, massage also activates the body’s sympathetic nervous system, which has a number of anxiety-reducing effects.

Improves sleep quality

People with stress and anxiety often find it difficult to get to sleep at night and may find themselves waking up in the middle of the night, not being able to rest properly. Depression also has negative effects on your sleep, commonly leading to problems like insomnia or sleeping too much. The relaxing effects of massage help to promote better sleep quality, making it easier to fall asleep, stay asleep, and reach the deep sleep stages. So, massage is a natural way to tackle sleep problems that come with various mental health disorders.

If you are suffering from mental health difficulties, then it is still important to seek help from a medical professional. But, for many people, massage can act as an effective complementary therapy that supports the effects of therapy, improves mental health, and reduces the need for medication.

Get in touch to find out more about the massage services we offer or book an appointment with us online.