Swedish Relaxation Massage is a therapeutic massage that has a direct effect on the nervous system via stimulation through the skin and induces the "Relaxation Response". In the last decade there has been more of a move to sports, deep tissue and remedial style treatments due to the change in our lifestyles, we believe however that relaxation massage still plays an important place in health maintenance and some of its many mental, emotion and physical benefits are often overlooked.
Our nervous system and endocrine systems work hand in hand to create balance in our body. Our endocrine system is responsible for the creation of thousands of hormones and chemicals that regulate all of our systems including our fight or flight response.
In our modern world our flight or flight response can be constantly triggered and can be a contributing factor to anxiety, panic attacks, stress, irritability, moodiness, fatigue and depression. All of these situations affect our relationships, work, home life and general happiness.
The Relaxation Response is a state of deep rest for the body and is characterised by slower heart rate & breathing, absence of busy thinking, theta or alpha brainwave activity. It was first proposed by Author & Harvard Medical School Professor, Dr Herbert Benson in the 1960's through his work in studying Transcendental Meditation.
In this state the body is able to produce positive hormones such as dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin and decrease the production of cortisol and adrenaline. When our fight or flight is triggered cortisol and adrenaline cascade through the body getting it ready for some kind of energetic action, most of the time that does not occur and this energy expenditure is the mechanism that signals to the body that the problem has been dealt with, we ran away from the tiger or throttled it.
In our modern world someone cuts you off in traffic, a co-worker is dismissive, you are working extra hours to cover someone away and no one notices, you have a sick family member and these constant triggers keep you in a state of elevated stress with your fight or flight mode stuck in ON. By creating deep relaxation we interrupt this process, massage is one way of achieving this, so is meditation and also exercise.
A traditional Swedish Relaxation Massage is 1.5 hours long and covers the whole body including head, feet, face, abdomen. You can of course choose what you want massaged and you can have an hour treatment also. We focus on some deep breathing, have instrumental or non lyrical music so the mind is not distracted and keep talking to an absolute minimum. The point is to relax, many people will fall asleep and this is perfectly ok. Strokes are long and flowing and pressure is light to medium. We are not trying to work deeply into muscle but we do want to move muscle and tissue to enhance blood flow. At the end of a treatment you should feel relaxed and you will definitely sleep well! To enhance the benefits its a good idea not to do vigorous exercise for 24 hours but gentle stretching or even better a relaxing epsom salt bath and some nice down time is great.
If you have been feeling stressed or anxious why not take a break from your worries and book a treatment with us today. We look forward to helping you cope with the stresses and strains of daily life.