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The Digestive Benefits of Massage

 

Massage is well known for its benefits of relaxation, stress reduction, pain relief, and injury recovery. But it also has a wide range of lesser-known benefits, including its effect on your digestive system. If you have problems with digestion or simply want to know how massage could improve your digestion, read on for more info on this topic.

Aiding peristalsis

As the food we eat passes through our digestive system, it is helped along by contracting muscles in the walls of our esophagus, stomach, and intestines. This action is known as peristalsis, and it’s essential for healthy digestion and regular bowel movements. Taking a walk after eating can help you digest your food more efficiently because it stimulates the process of peristalsis.

And another way to stimulate peristalsis is through abdominal massage. While this isn’t a common aspect of a full body massage, gently massaging the stomach can have a number of benefits. Stimulating peristalsis through massage can help to prevent problems like constipation and can even be beneficial for people with digestive conditions like irritable bowel syndrome. Massage can help to relieve knots, pain, and tightness in your abdominal muscles, and the relaxing effects of massage also help to aid peristalsis and keep everything moving as it should be.

Improving circulation

A lot of the benefits of massage are a result of increasing circulation around the body – from relieving pain to reducing inflammation. Everything your body does requires oxygen, and it’s your blood’s job to deliver oxygen as well as other nutrients to your organs, tissues, and cells to make sure they can function properly. And digestive problems are an example of a potential side effect of reduced blood flow.

Massage in general gets the blood flowing around your body, helping to contribute to healthy digestion. Increased blood flow also aids the removal of toxins from your system, which can impact digestion.

Releasing enzymes

The act of stimulating your digestive organs through massage also aids the release of enzymes. Enzymes are used in your body to break down molecules, so they are vital for digestion. They break large molecules like starch and protein down into smaller molecules that your body can absorb or digest effectively.

Whether it’s for digestive benefits are the many other benefits that massage could offer you, contact Moonstone Massage to find out about the range of treatments we offer, and you can book an appointment with us online.

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Choosing Between Acupuncture and Acupressure

 

Acupuncture and acupressure are often associated with each other because they have such similar-sounding names, and they are in fact based on similar principles as well. So, it can hard to know which is right for you and how each one can benefit you. If you’ve been wondering, then read on to find out more about the difference between acupuncture and acupressure, and which one to choose.

What are acupuncture and acupressure?

Acupuncture and acupressure are both based on Traditional Chinese Medicine and both follow the same map of pressure points on the body to treat a variety of ailments and to boost overall wellness. These points are located along the meridians of the body and are linked with the flow of energy around the body. With hundreds of these points identified in Traditional Chinese Medicine, different ones correspond to different parts of the body or different aspects of your health.

What’s the difference?

The main difference between acupressure and acupuncture is described in the names. With acupressure, a massage therapist applies pressure to the trigger points using mostly their fingers and hands. Acupuncture uses small, very thin needles that are inserted into the skin to target these same trigger points. Acupressure is also similar to reflexology, although the system of pressure points that acupressure is based on is much larger.

What are the benefits?

Acupressure and acupuncture have similar benefits and are particularly used for managing pain from a variety of conditions or when recovering from an injury or surgery. They can also be used to manage nausea, so could be beneficial for those undergoing chemotherapy and other cancer treatments, both for pain and nausea reduction.

Both treatments can also be used as complementary therapies when treating or managing mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. They generally produce effects of relaxation, which can help lower stress, improve your mood and energy levels, and help to improve quality of sleep.

Choosing between the two

Acupuncture is more commonly used for chronic conditions or specific medical diagnoses, such as migraines and various types of chronic pains. Acupressure can be used for a wide range of ailments, including minor ones, and is even something you can try yourself at home, particularly on the pressure points in the hand.

Some people are put off from acupuncture due to a fear of needles or simply not liking the idea of the treatment. It’s important to get treatment from a trusted, fully-trained professional when it comes to acupuncture, as it can be unsafe otherwise.

At Moonstone Massage, we offer a wide range of massage and skin care treatments, so get in touch to find out more about our services, or go online to book an appointment with us in Winston Salem, NC.

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Practicing Mindfulness During Your Massage

 

Mindfulness and mindfulness meditation are all about living in the moment and really paying attention to all the sights, sounds, and other sensations you’re feeling in that moment. It offers lots of benefits for your mental state and wellbeing, particularly when practiced regularly.

Receiving a professional massage can be a very meditative experience, so it could be the perfect opportunity to practice some mindfulness during your session.

How to practice mindfulness

You can practice mindfulness during whatever you are doing. All you have to do is gently place your focus on the different sensations that you notice during that activity, and gently bringing your attention back to these things whenever your mind wanders to specific thoughts or feelings.

Let’s say you’re out for a walk. Pay attention to how your feet feel on the ground with each step. Notice the weight of your arms as they naturally swing, your breath as you move, the feeling of the breeze on your skin. Or next time you’re eating, really take a moment to notice how the food feels, tastes, and smells as you hold it, bite into it, and chew it.

You can also practice mindfulness meditation more specifically. Click here for some comprehensive instructions on how to get started with mindfulness meditation. As you sit and meditate, you can try different things like focusing your attention on your breath or scanning your body to notice how you feel in that moment. It’s okay if your mind wanders; just gently bring your attention back to the breath when you notice this happening.

Massage and mindfulness meditation

Have you ever become distracted during a massage thinking about one thing or another? And before you know it, the session is over and you realize you weren’t really appreciating how good it felt or how relaxed you were. Practicing mindfulness meditation during your massage can help you enjoy and appreciate it as much as possible, and help you get as much benefit out of it as you can.

During your massage, focus your attention on the massage therapist’s touch as they work their way around your body. Focus on how it feels, how your muscles feel, the aromas and sounds in the room, your relaxed breathing. This helps to keep your mind from racing, ensuring that you can fully relax during your treatment. It also keeps you in tune with your body, which helps you identify any problem areas that you’d like your massage therapist to focus on.

If you want to try a mindful massage, then book an appointment with Moonstone Massage in Winston Salem. We offer a wide range of professional treatments that could really complement your meditation practice.

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All About Gemstone Facials

 

The beauty industry is one that sees a lot of fads come and go. The latest trends emerge, usually promoted by an Instagram influencer or a celebrity, and then everyone has to go out and try it for themselves, usually for a hefty price. One of these trends in recent years has been the use of crystals for a wide range of applications, and the healing abilities they are thought to have.

One treatment that has come out of this is the gemstone facial, but is it just a fad or does it have real benefits to it? Read on to find out more.

What is a gemstone facial?

A gemstone facial is part facial and part massage, and some treatments also incorporate acupuncture and even facial cupping. Typically, you lie on your back and certain gemstones are placed on the chakras or along the meridians on your face. These are points or lines of energy along the body, and meditative practices often focusing on opening the chakras to keep you in balance.

Various lotions or serums may be applied to the skin as part of the actual facial part of a gemstone facial. Another common technique that may be used is rolling, where a gemstone roller is used to massage the face. And, as mentioned, acupuncture and/or cupping may also be incorporated.

Gemstones that are commonly used include:

  • Jade
  • Quartz
  • Rose quartz
  • Amethyst
  • Aquamarine
  • Apatite

And this isn’t all a new age treatment; the use of gemstones goes back at least centuries, particularly in China. And a traditional Chinese medicine technique called gua sha may also be incorporated in gemstone facials, which uses a gemstone to lightly scrape the skin, although evidence supporting the benefits of this is limited.

The benefits of gemstone facials

You don’t have to believe in the “magical” properties of crystals and gemstones to benefit from a gemstone crystal. The massage techniques used are nice and relaxing and help to increase circulation to the face, which is beneficial for the skin as more oxygen-rich blood is delivered to it. These techniques can help with sculpting and lifting the face, and are combined with facial treatments and skincare products to produce glowing, younger-looking skin. Certain techniques used may also help to remove toxins from the skin.

In terms of the gemstones themselves, they have a very cooling and often soothing effect when placed on the skin. Some are thought to have purifying effects that help to clear toxins from your body. In fact, zeolite filters have been used to reduce nuclear waste at certain sites.

If you’re interested in trying a gemstone facial for yourself, 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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Types of Massage You Might Not Have Heard Of

 

You usually hear about sports massage, Swedish massage, and deep tissue massage when it comes to advice or advertisements about massage treatments. And more recently, treatments like cupping and hot stone massage have risen in popularity. But there are lots and lots of different types of massage with fascinating roots, including some types you may not have even heard of before.

They may be harder to come across when you’re looking to book a treatment, but let’s learn about some of the less common types of massage.

Tui na massage

This ancient Chinese form of massage (pronounced twee nah) translates to “pinch and pull”, which tells you a little bit about the techniques used. With tui na, the massage therapist targets certain points on the body, similar to acupressure or acupuncture, to address blockages and imbalances to your qi (or chi). A variety of massage techniques can be used, both light and deep, and oils and lotions can be incorporated.

Belavi massage

Also known as the facelift massage, this facial massage targets pressure points and stimulates the tissues around the face, helping to increase blood flow and drain lymph fluid. Heat is often used to open the pores as well, before applying moisturizers and other lotions to the face. This technique is said to improve the skin and combat signs of aging.

Pfrimmer deep muscle therapy

This type of deep muscle massage therapy was developed in the 20th century to help those experiencing muscle paralysis, but it is also useful for pain and injury. It uses cross-fiber massage techniques to remove waste, toxins, and lymph from the tissues, as well as increasing blood flow and improving joint mobility. It can be useful for managing chronic pain and aiding recovery, and can be useful for those with conditions like fibromyalgia, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis.

Balinese massage

Balinese massage uses a combination of different massage techniques, drawing on acupressure, Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, aromatherapy, and others. It is a relaxing form of massage that aims to increase blood flow around your body as well as the flow of energy, or qi. Essential oils are commonly used, and the massage therapist will use gentle strokes as well as deeper ones to target knots and deep tissue.

Esalen massage

This kind of massage is different in that it aims to heal the mind more than the body. It uses gentle strokes across the entire body to strengthen the connection between mind and body, helping to improve bodily awareness. As well as the typical massage benefits such as increased blood flow and relaxation, Esalen massage helps you become more in-tune with your body.

Contact Moonstone Massage or check out our treatment options online to find out about the different kinds of massage and other treatments we offer in our clinic in Winston Salem, NC.

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How to Relieve and Prevent Razor Irritation

 

Men who shave their face regularly are likely to have experienced razor irritation or razor burn at some point. This is a kind of rash caused by shaving, generally characterized by small red bumps or blotches around the affected area, which may itch, sting, or burn slightly. This can also occur when shaving other parts of the body.

Some men shave as often as every day or every other day, and this is just one reason why it’s important for men to take care of their skin. So, let’s look at some of the ways you can prevent and treat razor burn.

Preventing razor burn

Men who have sensitive skin may be more likely to experience razor burn, but it is often due to improper shaving practices. Maybe you were in a rush before work and just decided to quickly shave with a splash of water. We all feel like cutting corners from time to time, but this can lead to uncomfortable irritation.

When shaving, you should first wash your face and then use warm water and a shaving cream or gel. The warm water helps to open up the pores and soften the hairs. Make sure you clean your razor head and replace it as needed because razors that are worn, blunt, rusted, or dirty are more likely to cause irritation. You should shave with the grain, in the same direction that the hair grows, in order to reduce your risk of razor burn. You should also moisturize your skin after shaving to keep the skin soft and healthy.

Relieving razor burn

If you’re experiencing razor burn, then you should look for skincare products that will soothe the skin. You don’t want to end up like the Home Alone kid applying stinging aftershave to your irritated skin. Ingredients like aloe vera and chamomile could provide this soothing effect. Moisturizing the skin can help it heal faster, and anti-inflammatory skincare products can help to reduce the redness and any swelling.

As well as home remedies for razor burn, a professional facial treatment will help to relieve and soothe your symptoms while also improving the health and appearance of your skin, both in the short term and the long term. Facials will cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize your skin to leave it feeling great, and the treatment itself feels nice and relaxing, too.

If you want to book a facial or any other treatment with Moonstone Massage, then you can get in touch or book an appointment with us online.

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What is Indian Head Massage?

 

There are a wide range of options to choose from when it comes to booking a massage. Each massage has its own slightly different qualities and benefits, and we want to help you choose the right massage to suit you. In this article, we’re going to look at Indian head massage and how it can help you.

What is it?

Indian head massage, or Champissage, originated in India more than 2,000 years ago and eventually made its way over to Western society. Despite its name, it is used to treat the neck and shoulders as well as the head and scalp. It follows the same theories as acupressure to target certain points in these areas that are thought to have a positive effect on your overall wellbeing by balancing your body’s energy.

Indian head massage is generally a gentle massage that mostly uses circular strokes, but can incorporate a variety of techniques and levels of pressure. It is typically done without using oils (although they can be incorporated if you wish) and can be done through a light layer of clothing when it comes to the shoulders.

What are the benefits of Indian head massage?

There are a number of physical benefits or getting an Indian head massage. It can help to relieve pain around the areas covered, which is great for tension in the neck and shoulders. Since this kind of pain is common among office workers and is an increasingly common problem due to smartphone usage, Indian head massage can be used to help a lot of people.

It can also help to relieve pain from headaches and migraines, and could even reduce the prevalence of them. Indian head massage is also great for your scalp and hair. It is thought to stimulate the hair follicles and increase circulation to the scalp, which can both increase hair growth and lead to thicker, healthier-looking hair. By improving circulation in the area, these techniques can also help to relieve blocked sinuses and other symptoms of sinusitis.

Like other types of massage, Indian head massage is incredibly relaxing, which can have a number of knock-on effects such as relieving stress and anxiety, improving sleep quality, and helping to improve focus. And add to all this that it feels great!

We offer a range of different massages customized to your needs at Moonstone Massage. Get in touch with us to find out more about our services and packages, or go online to book a massage with us in Winston Salem, NC.

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How to Look After Your Skin in the Sun

Among many other benefits, regular massage is great for keeping your skin looking and feeling great. But we still have to look after our skin in other ways, particularly when it comes to sun exposure. As well as the serious risk of skin cancer from exposure to UV rays, not protecting your skin from the sun can lead to premature aging.

Here are some tips for how to look after your skin in the sun.

Wear sunscreen

You’ve probably been told it a lot throughout your life, but it’s still easy to forget to wear sunscreen or underestimate its importance. Whenever you’ll be out in the sun, you should apply sunscreen to any areas that will be exposed. Even on overcast and cloudy days, you can still be exposed to UV rays. Try to use at least SPF 15 and reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours.

Seek the shade

If you’re spending a day at the beach or an afternoon in the park, you don’t have to be out in the direct sunlight all the time. Sit under a tree or an umbrella to shade yourself from the sun and give your skin a break. You should especially look for shade around midday when the sun’s rays are at their strongest.

Cover up

You don’t exactly want to wrap up warm when it’s sunny, but covering up helps to limit the amount of skin exposed to the sun. Wear light clothing that covers you, a hat to shade your face, sunglasses to protect your eyes. You can also look for clothing that absorbs UV light and sunglasses that specifically protect against it.

Hydrate

You should drink plenty of fluids when out in the sun and the heat to make sure you don’t become dehydrated. But staying hydrated in the sun is also important for keeping your skin in good condition. Dehydration and sun damage are a sure combination for dry skin, wrinkles, and other skin issues.

Moisturize

After spending a day in the sun, you should use a moisturizer to rehydrate your skin and help it renew and repair. You can find products that are specifically designed for use after sun exposure.

Book a massage treatment or a facial for better skin with Moonstone Massage. And you can get in touch to find out more about the different types of treatments we offer in Winston Salem, NC.

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A Guide to Massage Oils

 

Massage oils aren’t necessary for a good massage, but they can help to reduce the friction for a more comfortable massage as well as enhancing various benefits of a massage. If you’re wondering whether to include massage oils in your professional or at-home massages, then read on for some of the benefits and the different types of massage oils to choose from.

The benefits of massage oil

Massage oil can add a variety of benefits to your professional massage. Different types of oil can nourish the skin during your massage, helping with a variety of skin problems such as eczema, dry skin, and wrinkles. Some oils also have warming effects, helping your muscles to relax and loosen even more during your massage.

The lubricating effect of massage oils means that the massage therapist’s hands glide more easily and smoothly over your skin. The pleasant smells of massage oils can also have a relaxation boosting effect, as with aromatherapy.

Popular types of massage oil

For your next massage, here are some of the most popular types of massage oil that you might want to add:

  • Almond oil – Sweet almond oil can offer both hydrating and anti-inflammatory benefits for your skin, which can be helpful for dry skin and even conditions like eczema
  • Jojoba oil – Jojoba is an easily absorbed oil that penetrates deeply into the skin and helps to moisturize it
  • Avocado oil – Avocado oil is particularly good for dry skin and problems like psoriasis and eczema, containing vitamins and antioxidants that are good for the skin
  • Coconut oil – Coconut oil is a thick oil that’s good for dry, cracked skin, as well as having anti-inflammatory and soothing properties
  • Olive oil – This isn’t just for cooking. Olive oil can also be used in your massages. It can help to moisturize your skin and relieve aching or stiff muscles. It also contains antioxidants that can have various benefits to your wellbeing.
  • Essential oils – The above oils are carrier oils, which can be combined with essential oils for greater benefits and for aromatherapy properties. Here’s a guide to some of the different essential oils you can use and the benefits they offer

If you want certain massage oils used during your appointment or would prefer not to use massage oils, then talk to your massage therapist when booking your appointment or at the beginning of your appointment and we can adapt to your preferences. Contact Moonstone Massage to talk to a massage therapist, or you can book an appointment online.

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The Benefits of Massage for Babies

 

While you’re pregnant, a prenatal massage can offer lots of benefits to both you and your baby. It helps to relieve tension and pain as well as relaxing you mentally. And the boost in circulation caused by massage helps to get more nutrients to your baby to help them grow. And the benefits of massage don’t have to stop once your baby is born. Baby and infant massage has a lot of benefits for both parent and child.

The benefits of baby massage

Massaging your baby has both physical and emotional benefits for both of you. Gentle massage can help to aid your baby’s digestion, just like when you rub and pat their back after a bottle of milk. This can help to prevent problems like gas and constipation, and is particularly beneficial if your baby suffers from colic.

The boost in circulation also supports digestion and other bodily functions, and can help your baby’s growth by improving nutrient delivery in their body. And as they grow, which they’re doing every day, massage can help to ease any discomfort and growing pains as well as being generally relaxing like it is for adults, which can help your baby sleep better.

Massaging your baby is great for developing that maternal or paternal bond between the two of you. The touch of your skin stimulates the release of oxytocin in both of you, helping to strengthen your bond and love on a chemical level.

How to massage your baby

Touch is important for your baby from birth, but it is better to wait a few weeks before you start performing massage techniques. Six weeks is a good place to start. You can massage your baby every day, perhaps once they first wake up in the morning or when you’re trying to get them to sleep at night or naptime.

All it requires are gentle touches with your fingers or thumbs in different motions, like circular or stroking motions. This can be beneficial on your child’s back, stomach, legs, arms, hands, and feet. Always be conscious of your baby’s reactions and stop the massage or use less pressure if they seem uncomfortable.

Choose a warm, comfortable location for the massage. You may want to lie them down in bed or on the changing table, for example. Talking to your baby while you massage them can also be beneficial as a way to relax them and increase your bond. You can use oils in your massage if you choose to, just make sure that they are suitable for your baby’s skin.

If you’d like any more tips on baby massage or need a relaxing massage for yourself, contact Moonstone Massage or book an appointment with us online for a range of treatments in Winston Salem, NC.