Creating an At Home Spa - the benefits of massage
Having a massage is a state of bliss you can't truly describe - when done correctly!
Although you can't pop to your local Spa or Beauty Therapist for a massage and some pampering treatments at the moment , you can still set aside some quality time and create yourselves an at home spa! I'm going to talk you through some really simple ideas and a quick "how to guide" for giving someone in your household a relaxing massage - have some down time and take your mind back to the Spa! You don't have to do all of these steps, pick and choose which ones will work best for you.
I recommend recreating your At Home Spa in the evening for a couple of reasons.
1. You can properly wind down and relax in the evening without as many worries about what the day holds for you
2. Your massage oils can nourish the skin whilst you're asleep and let your skin wake up feeling thoroughly hydrated!
3. The dark will allow you to have some low level lighting which will instantly calm the brain down
4. If you have children, once they are in bed is the best opportunity for some 'me' time
Get Everything Ready
Make sure you get everything set up before you start your Spa Evening, you don't want to have to stop to go and get things part way through. Decide which steps you want to do and make sure they are all set up with everything you will need. Dim the lights in your bathroom, choose your favourite candle and put on some relaxing music. Take 5 minutes to close your eyes, take some deep breathes and let your brain slowly switch off. Let's begin!
Let's start with a mini facial, you will need;
- whatever your choice of product remover is - flannel, muslin cloth or mitt etc
- oil based cleanser
- skin type specific cleanser
- face mask
- night cream
This is the preferred mini facial list but use whatever you have at home that you like using. Start with your oil based cleanser, this will clean the skin. Once removed use your skin type specific cleanser (eg for dry or oily skin, whatever skin type you have). Massage it into your face for 60 seconds, close your eyes and relax as you give your face a really nice massage. Once removed use your toner and then your exfoliator, make sure not to over exfoliate the skin. When your skin is nice and exfoliated and clean apply your mask of choice and...relax. Remove and apply your night cream. Et Voila.
I don't know about you, but a relaxing bath can change my entire mood. If you are giving yourself a mini facial you can let your bath run whilst you do this. Once your face mask is on, relax in the bubbles and let your mind drift away. Use this opportunity to get those really nice bath bombs and salts out the cupboard that you have been saving for that 'special' bath (we all have them, usually presents that we love so much we don't actually want to use!) Whilst in the bath, exfoliate your skin with your preferred exfoliation. Personally, my favourite is salt body scrubs, but if you read my blogs you will already know that! Make sure there is no little traces of exfoliant left before you get out of the bath. Remove your face mask and wrap yourself up in that fluffy bath robe!
Not only does having a massage make you feel heavenly, it is good for your body for lots of different reasons. Manipulating the tissue is fantastic for your circulation of blood and lymph, this is good because it helps to oxygenate your tissues all over the body, distribute much needed nutrients to each cell and helps to get rid of waste. The increase in circulation in the directly massaged area helps warm the muscle and relieve tension which helps strengthen the immune system (something we are all looking for at the moment I'm sure!)
So what is your lymphatic system? It runs all over your body and it is key to your immune system, helping to fight infection and remove waste from your body. It works slightly like your veins and arteries but instead of blood it carries infection battling white blood cells. Unfortunately it doesn't have a heart to pump it like your blood does so massage helps stimulate it's circulation which speeds up the removal of waste from your body and strengthens your immune system! Giving someone a massage isn't about pressure and getting right into the muscle, save that for your professional when you can get back to them. Focus on the backs of the legs, the back, shoulders, and the head at home.
You will need to rope someone else into giving you this massage! Make sure your bedroom is all set up ready, move your candle and your relaxation music in here with you and have the lights dimmed. Use some body oil or moisturiser so that their hands glide over your skin instead of sticking and pulling the skin as this will pinch and hurt. Make sure you choose a scent that you like and find relaxing as you will be falling asleep with it on your skin. I suggest placing this oil or moisturiser in hot water whilst you have your bath, this way it will be nice and warm when applied to your skin.
Back of the Legs
Lay on your front and close your eyes, make sure you are really comfortable. Choose which leg you would like to work on first. Start at the ankle with both hands and glide them up to the top of the thigh with long, slow movements. Use the slow relaxation music for your speed, and make sure you're gentle over the backs of the knees.
The MOST important thing to remember is you don't want to massage bone! Massaging bone will hurt and can cause damage, so please make sure you avoid it. Gently run your hands either side of the spine, either starting at the neck or at the base of the spine. Next, stand side on and run your hands from one side of the waist to the other. Remember, it is all about relaxation and not about focusing on a particular area. Leave that to the professionals.
You can massage the shoulders seated or laying down. Put your hands over the shoulders and relax your thumbs. Where your thumb lays, use it to rub the muscle. Ask if it is in the right place and if the pressure is ok.
Again, you can massage the head seated or laying down. If you would like to lay down, you will need to turn over so you are face up. Make sure you are not putting body oil or moisturiser on your face, especially near your eyes. If you are using a natural oil like Coconut Oil you can use this in your hair, it is extremely nourishing. Place your fingers on each side of the head on the temple and very gently rub, this is really good for relieving stress and tension headaches. Use your whole hands on the back of the head, gently massaging the scalp, make sure you are not pulling the hair.
Now you have pampered your skin, had a lovely unwinding bath and a relaxing massage, slip into your pyjamas and drift off to sleep. Let the oils or moisturiser sink into your skin and you will wake up feeling refreshed (Well, as refreshed as any of us can be at the moment!)
Take some time out each week for you.
Share your At Home Spa and advice for everyone to enjoy!
Remember - It's Ok Not To Feel Ok