Askanesthetician's Blog

An esthetician explores skincare issues and concerns

A Moment of Zen: Finding Your Favorite Massage May 5, 2011

Filed under: Spa Services — askanesthetician @ 6:08 am
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I’ve written about facial massage before in this blog but never about a full body massage.  In my mind I divide spa goers into “facial clients” and “massage clients”, and I find that clients really do have preference when it comes to spa services and that they stick to their preference.  Rarely do I find that skincare clients get massages and visa versa.  Truthfully when it comes to spa services I am a “massage client”.  I would be more than happy to get massages daily if I could afford it (and had the time for it).

 Recently I came across a fun article in Travel and Leisure magazine called Great Massages in Unusual Places in which the author recounts some of the highs and lows of receiving massages all over the world.  I also liked how the article included a history of massages:

History of Massages

Circa 2300 B.C.: Weary Egyptians embrace reflexology enough to depict it on their tombs—perhaps ensuring a foot-rub-filled eternity.

Circa 400 B.C.: Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, writes about the physiological effects of “rubbing.” Without specifying parts of the anatomy, he concludes that “hard rubbing constricts, soft relaxes, much rubbing thins, and moderate thickens.”

50 B.C.: Julius Caesar gets massages for his neuralgia—he was said to have been “pinched” every day (a practice continued by Italian men on public transportation).

1813: Per Henrik Ling, a Stockholm fencing master and gymnast, is credited with developing modern Swedish massage.

1868: Ling’s place in history is challenged by Johan Georg Mezger, a Dutch practitioner who classifies massage techniques, using terms such as effleurage (stroking) and petrissage (kneading) that nobody on a massage table cares about, so long as it feels good.

1895: J. H. Kellogg promotes “The Art of Massage” from his Battle Creek Sanitarium, in Michigan. Not to mention Corn Flakes.

1922: Reiki, an ancient Tibetan practice, is discovered by Japanese businessman Mikao Usui. He and his disciples, known as Reiki masters, claim healing powers even without touching—their hands hovering over the body like low-flying aircraft.

1928: A French chemist, René-Maurice Gattefossé, uses lavender oil to heal his burned hand. Aromatherapy is born, and forever after “aromatherapy massage” costs more.

Today: Ashram-style austerity is back, with the rise of detox and weight-loss spas and even “bikini boot camp” programs. What does it mean for sybarites? You now have to earn your end-of-day massage.

There are so many different types of massages that one can receive.  If you want to dip your toe in the water (pun intended) and have never had a massage before try reflexology since the only part of your body the massage therapist will be touching is your feet.  Finding the right massage therapist for you might take a bit of trial and error (and a few bad massages), but once you find that right therapist you’ll be delighted (and more relaxed).  My personal favorite kind of massage is a Thai massage which involves the therapist using their body to manipulate your body; you remain fully clothed and the work is done on mats on the floor of the massage room.  This is a very different type of massage if you have only had European type of massages in the past, but I highly recommend it if you’ve never tried one before. 

 

 

Treat Your Mouth – Stay Youthful? September 27, 2010

 

I just read an article in the September 2010 issue of W about estheticians who massage their client’s muscles inside their upper lip, cheek, and jaw in order to promote blood circulation, relaxation, oxygenation to the skin cells, and encourage movement in the neck, head, and jaw.  All this results, according to the claims, in a tighter, smoother complexion and better absorption of skincare products.  The technique is known as Buccaling and is borrowed from Rolfing the body alignment method.

Though this sounds intriguing I have to admit that before I came across this article I had never heard of this technique anywhere – not in the professional literature that I read or from other estheticians or clients.  Does this work as it says it will?  I can’t answer that question at the moment.

But this idea dovetails into another issue I read about.  This time I read an article in Harper’s Bazaar about the real way to look younger – get a dental face-lift.  As we age our teeth wear down and our jaw recedes resulting in a more hollow look to your face.  So in order to fill in those collapsing areas individually sculpted veneers are applied to upper and lower teeth which lifts the cheeks, plumps the lips, and helps bring volume back to the face.  It turns out this is a subtle change that can have a big effect on your appearance in the end, and since veneers can last 15 years or more the results are relatively long lasting. 

Once again I can’t comment on this procedure, but it is interesting and frankly makes a lot of sense to me.  I guess now there is more than one good reason to see a good dentist (and develop a good relationship with them).  Who knows?  Maybe the fountain of youth really does exist and it lies in our mouths.

 

 
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