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How Do You Instantly Reduce Stress?

Getting into motion or getting into a different environment are the two ways to instantly reduce stress. Specifically, you can do this by exercising, having a massage (whether it’s just a quick massage on the head, neck and shoulder or a full body massage) or going into a park or place where it’s less busy and chaotic.

Why meditation and positive thinking don’t work

In most self-help books and articles you’ll read about meditation, yoga, optimism and overcoming fear and anxiety. However, for many of us those things don’t work at all (or they just worked once). Meditation and yoga require us to stay still and make our minds go almost blank. It’s also similar with optimism and positive mental attitude where we try to replace our negative thoughts with positive ones. The approach in both cases is that it’s all in our heads, not out there, which is actually causing the stress.

But for us action-oriented people who got used to solving problems instead of just wishing it away, the stress and problems are real (they’re not just in our heads). Also, the stress often manifests itself through headaches and discomfort in our necks, backs and shoulders. Positive thinking alone won’t get rid of those real pain and discomfort.

What should you do then? Action and a bit of change (in the environment and atmosphere you’re in) are more likely to produce real results. For example, during and after exercise our biochemical makeup actually changes (happy hormones get released) and our heartbeat gets into a healthy rhythm. This also happens when we get into a different environment (a change of scenery) so that we can step back from chaos, stress and busyness.

Another way that works is a good massage. Before and during the massage, you step back from your stressful home or workplace because you’ll be in a different environment. And during and after the massage, your biochemical makeup, heartbeat and blood circulation all change. Then, optimism and positive thinking will follow because of the massage. Because you stepped back and you gave yourself a treat, you gain mental clarity that would help you feel calm and relaxed.

The key here is to step back and do or experience something else. Whether it’s at the end of a stressful workday or a long exhausting week, a bit of change and action (not just positive thinking) can make you feel better instead of enduring the stress and discomfort.


Why Do You Sleep Better After a Massage?

Whether it’s at home or a spa, a quick massage can help you sleep better and often feel good and refreshed the next day. Also, more and more Australians realise the importance of enough sleep in their health and how it affects their learning and productivity.

Economic cost of sleep disorders

Lack of sleep is expensive both on the individual and national level. It’s estimated that sleep disorders cost Australia more than $5 billion each year (source: Sleep Health Foundation). That high cost is because of expenses related to healthcare, lost productivity and opportunities as well as other indirect costs. That $5 billion could be a lot lower estimate because we’re not totally accounting for the long-term effects of lack of sleep. Perhaps someone got into a motor accident, incurred a workplace injury or missed a huge opportunity because she didn’t sleep well last night. It’s also possible that some people got into expensive legal troubles just because of their temper (which could be partly caused by sleep disorders).

Because of the high cost and potential huge effect to our health, Australians take measures to sleep better each night. Some invest in high-quality mattresses (we spend almost 33% of our lives in bed) and some get into meditation and massage. After all, our modern fast-paced lifestyle is a lot to blame for our stress. But with old-fashioned meditation and massage, we can breathe and slow down a bit.

Massage is relaxing and makes us slow down. The relaxing press and touch on our soft muscles make us feel that all is well and we should savour the moment. Also, a good massage also shields us away from the fast-paced living outside. Often the spa has an environment that is in heavy contrast with the noisy and busy settings of our workplaces, shopping centres and congested roads.

Indeed, a massage can be a great answer to sleeping better and longer. It’s also a small investment that yields a high return because both the massage and sleep can help you get healthier, more focused and more productive.

How Does Foot Reflexology Work?

Foot reflexology is about applying different amounts of pressure on the feet. Many people have reported that they felt relaxed (during and after the session). This also helped them slow down and treat themselves after a long exhausting day or week.

How does foot reflexology work?

It’s been believed that stress and illness come from disrupting the flow of vital energy in our bodies. The resulting blockage and imbalance can then be removed by applying pressure on certain points. Both the pressure and human touch will help bring back the energy flow to normal. Aside from stress relief, this also helps allow the energy to flow into the different parts of the body (especially to those parts with illness).

Here we see that the human body is a single integrated system. When there’s something wrong with the heart, kidney, bones or even a single joint, it affects our entire bodies. In foot reflexology, it’s believed that the nerves in the feet are connected to our nervous system (which is integral to our normal daily functions). If our feet undergo reflexology, we help restore the balance and the flow in the different parts of our bodies.

Is reflexology safe?

Often it’s just a mild pressure which is why many people report that it’s relaxing and comforting. In addition, it’s a non-invasive procedure so there’s not much to worry about it. However, it’s different if you have a serious health condition (inflammation or blood clots in your feet and legs, gout, circulatory problems, open wounds). It’s best to consult a doctor if you have any concerns before trying reflexology.

Good news is that for most people, reflexology is safe because it’s non-invasive and comfortable. Aside from restoring that energy flow and balance, the calming atmosphere in the massage spa helps people step away from busyness and chaos (even if it’s just for a while). Also, this calming environment reminds them that they deserve a treat especially after an exhausting week full of responsibilities. Once in a while it helps to step away from all that and come out refreshed and ready to take on the next set of challenges.

How Do I Get the Best Out of a Massage?

Whether it’s a 30-minute massage or 2 hours of full relaxation and nice ambiance, it’s important to get the best out of massage so that you can truly reap and experience the benefits. Also, you don’t have that much time to get a massage regularly. Perhaps it’s just once every quarter or when there’s a holiday. In those occasional massages, you have to get the most out of it.

How do I get the best out of a massage

If you’re about to get a massage later or this weekend, it’s important to arrive on time. Ideally, your mind should already be in a relaxed state 30 minutes or 1 hour before the massage. This way the rushed feeling will go away and your mind and body becomes more receptive to the experience and benefits of massage. If your mind is still in a state of rush and urgency, you won’t be able to fully appreciate or experience the session whether it’s a Swedish or deep tissue massage.

After all, the goal is to let your mind and body relax even for just a day. If you treat massage as a duty (something you have to do), you won’t get the most out of it. But if it’s something you have to enjoy and experience, you would truly feel the relaxation and relief. Also, our minds and bodies aren’t just built for fast-paced living. We have to warm up first or cool down before we get ourselves truly ready.

Aside from warming up yourself, it’s also important to plan and schedule the session properly. This way you will have plenty of time to do other tasks (perhaps you have to go shopping or run some errands before going to the massage centre). You can also plan ahead about when exactly you’re going to relax and anticipate what’s going to happen (and avoid overwhelm especially if it’s your first time getting a deep tissue massage).

Let your mind and body relax. You can do this by planning ahead and letting yourself warm up to the experience. To get the best out of a massage, the before session is crucial. Then, during the massage and after the session you will truly reap the benefits. In this way it’s even possible that you’ll notice and feel the difference until the next day or the entire workweek.

How to Prepare for a Deep Tissue Massage

Will it hurt? What would I feel and experience during the massage? What should I expect and how can I prepare myself?

Perhaps those are the questions in your mind right now. Having a deep tissue massage is a bit intimidating and thinking about the pain is enough to repel many other people. But if you still want to go on and experience the pain and the resulting relief from deep tissue massage, let’s answer the questions in your mind right now:

Will it hurt?

At times it might feel painful and uncomfortable. After all, it’s about reaching the muscles’ deeper layers and to do that the massage therapists need to apply strong pressure. It will be light strokes at first to warm up the muscles and prepare your mind and body for the possible pain later. Well, the pain and discomfort will be tolerable even when the therapist uses his/her knuckles and elbows to reach the deeper layers of your muscles and realign the tissue fibres.

During the massage, the pain and discomfort might be too much for you which is why you need to alert the therapist about what you feel. He/she can stop or apply lighter pressure so that the discomfort will be more tolerable. Even after the massage, you might still feel uncomfortable because of soreness or stiffness. Normally, it will pass within a day and you’ll feel refreshed afterwards.

What should you expect and how to prepare

The massage therapist might ask you about specific problem areas. Do you experience chronic pain in the neck and your back? Do you feel some stiffness in your shoulders? Depending on your problem area, the massage therapist might focus on that or apply specific techniques to help remove the pain.

During the massage, it starts with warm-up and light strokes to prepare your mind and body. It’s a gradual process so that your body can somehow anticipate what happens next. The pressure gets heavier afterwards as the therapist tries to reach the deep layers. The therapist may focus on the tense areas and apply firm pressure.

Overall, having a deep tissue massage is a worthwhile experience. It could be quite intimidating but the initial discomfort will surely pass. After all, many other people are getting this type of massage and often they try this after becoming “immune and numb” already to lighter massage such as the Swedish massage.

Here’s a Quick Survey of Massage Effects

There are myths and facts about the benefits and effects of massage. After all, many studies and researches rely on anecdotal accounts which can be inconsistent and unreliable. It’s difficult to design a quantitative experiment that shows the benefits of having a massage. The methodological challenges make it difficult to prove if massage indeed affects our overall wellbeing and health.

About relaxation and stress relief

Whether there’s scientific evidence or not, most of us agree that massage helps us relax and takes away some of our stress and worries. Aside from the massage itself, perhaps it’s a combination of the ambiance in the massage room, the friendliness and overall sociability of the masseuse and the staff and the isolation from the busy world. After a long day or week of work, more and more people get a massage to leave the day behind and perhaps start fresh for the next day or week.

Whether it’s a traditional Thai massage, foot reflexology, aromatherapy or a facial massage, stepping away from the busy atmosphere and treating yourself with a good massage can do wonders for your physical and mental states. Many times we just need a break so that we can consolidate everything that is happening and remind ourselves that everything shall pass and there’s always another day coming.

About treatment and performance enhancement

Aside from relaxation and stress relief, we also often associate massage with treatment (i.e. massage therapy) and performance enhancement (e.g. sports massage). Several studies have already been conducted to try to establish whether massage can indeed help in healing and improvement.

For example, some people have found some complementary methods to standard cancer treatment safe and helpful. These people have tried massage therapy, aromatherapy, acupuncture, meditation and other methods (source: American Cancer Society). However, everyone should be careful with these alternative and complementary therapies when it comes to fraud and exaggerated claims.

Performance enhancement is also associated with massage therapy. For instance, sports massage is often used to help athletes prepare for activities, prevent injuries and aid in healing from injuries. This kind of massage should be done by qualified professionals because of the need of specialised knowledge about anatomy, sports and biomechanics.

In summary and in conclusion, massage can help us relax and take a break from this busy and fast-paced life. We can benefit from it physically and mentally because of that temporary slowdown and the relaxing massage. But for medical treatment and sports performance enhancement, it could be a separate field and you need competent medical advice before proceeding.

Why Is It Important to Drink Water After a Massage?

Many people believe that a massage releases toxins and to flush the toxins out it helps to hydrate after the session. For instance, lactic acid might build up in the sore muscles during and after a massage. To flush the lactic acid, drinking water after the massage can help.

However, it’s not yet proven if drinking water and the massage itself indeed helps in flushing out lactic acid, metabolites (byproducts of normal metabolic activity) and toxins that might harm our bodies. There are concerns about urine colour and kidney function related to massage (release of toxins, damage and destruction of cells) but there’s no solid evidence yet.

Is it important to drink water after a massage?

It won’t hurt to drink a glass of water after a massage. Whether the statements above agree with you or not, drinking water and staying hydrated is important whether it’s a massage day or not. Hydration is important for facilitating biochemical and physical functions because water is a carrier of nutrients, toxins and other substances. It’s also a medium where important biochemical events take place.

In other words, toxins get flushed out whether you just had a massage or not. Also, it can be difficult to prove if a massage helps release toxins from the muscles. The amounts of byproducts from normal metabolic activities might increase but these are a constant presence in our bloodstream and far from harmful at all.

The question here then is if it’s absolutely essential to drink water after a massage. There’s no harm either way but you could still get thirsty after an hour of massage (plus having a facial treatment and undergoing reflexology). The preparation, potential waiting time and the massage session could take a few hours. This would naturally make you thirsty especially if you just came from work or a long day of shopping and leisure.

Proper hydration is vital in facilitating our biochemical and physical functions. This complements the health benefits of massage (e.g. reducing levels of stress hormones and inflammation, improving joint function). It’s not absolutely essential to drink a glass of water after a massage but it could still help you in lots of ways when it comes to maintaining or improving your health.

Let’s Talk About the Origins and History of Thai Massage

It goes way back over 2,500 years ago although the exact origin place and date is uncertain. That’s because Thai massage as we know it today could actually be a result of the influences from Chinese, Indian and other cultures. In addition, the evolution of this massage practice would have been gradual and dynamic through the centuries.

History of Thai massage

In ancient documents it’s said that Shivago Komarpaj is the founder of Thai massage and medicine and even was Buddha’s physician 2,500 years ago. Perhaps this thousand-years origin and the mention of the Buddha has cemented the credibility and long stay of this massage practice.

Perhaps the founder was inspired by the pre-existing healing traditions and practices back then. As we can witness from the massage, it’s a combination of yoga postures, Indian Ayurvedic principles and acupressure. That combination is perhaps what’s making Thai massage unique in its own right. As a result, it has a unique appeal and continues to attract people who want to try something ancient.

There are numerous Thai massage centres now because of that market need. In this busy and fast-paced life, most people need to take a break and slow down. Even when we go home, we can still feel the weight of responsibilities. Our minds just don’t stop working even if we’re far away from the workplace.

As a result, people search for an escape and they can easily find it by experiencing a Thai massage. It could be a 30-minute or 2-hour session but it’s all worth it because you get a chance to step back. In addition, the session encourages meditation because of the dance-like movements of the massage. After all, yoga and oriental practices are at work here so it’s inevitable to experience a meditative state and feeling.

Thai massage has been studied through the years and there’s a reason why it persists until today. Many people have reported positive benefits from the massage and that ancient appeal just never goes out of style. Perhaps in this age where everything’s new and changing, something old and ancient is what we need.

Does Reflexology Really Work?

Reflexology provides stress relief as reported by many people (especially if it’s foot reflexology). It’s similar to getting a body massage where people find relief from stress and discomfort.

But what does science and research say about the real benefits of reflexology? After all, it’s a subjective experience and different people might be getting different results from reflexology and massage. In addition, it might be difficult (or impossible) to quantify the benefits and results of reflexology.

Why reflexology works

Despite the lack of quantifiable and solid proof, there are theories that reasonably explain why other forms of treatment work especially if we’re talking about improving people’s wellbeing. For instance, the calming touch (reflexology is about applying different amounts of pressure to the feet) can help reduce pain and stress and improve someone’s mood as well. This alone can improve someone’s wellbeing and perhaps feel healthy.

As will all other “treatments” and means to improve health, we should not depend on one method alone and instead cover all the basics such as having proper diet and doing regular exercise. Instead of seeing reflexology and massage as “treatments,” it might be more helpful to see them as “treats” that you deserve after an exhausting week. They can still help you reduce stress and improve mood but for best results, it’s good to still rely on doctor-recommended treatments.

Feeling good and better health

Reflexology can help us feel good which then translates to better health. After all, our emotions affect our biochemistry (which then in turn facilitates proper physical and cognitive function). It’s similar to how exercise and diet changes our biochemistry for the better. With a good biochemical makeup, our brains and bodies can function really well.

Reflexology and massage affect our emotions because of how they help improve our mood. As a result, our biochemical makeup changes which could then lead to improved physical health. It’s not a straightforward and quantifiable path but based on our earlier reasoning, there’s some ground for believing that the “treats” actually lead to tangible benefits.

If you want to experience the benefits first hand, you can contact us here at Thai Village Massage & Spa. After an exhausting day or week, a massage or reflexology session is one of the great ways to experience relief from pressures and responsibilities.

How Often Should I Get a Massage?

Once or twice a month is already enough. This way you can still fully enjoy the massage and get the full benefits from each session. Too often (e.g. every week) can dilute the effects of the massage or allow you to get insensitive in time. After all, you’re having the massage to relax and unwind (and get your mind away for a while from work and other responsibilities). If the relaxation and massage are too often, the positive effects eventually wear out.

How often should I get a massage?

Two Saturdays each month is already good. You can also opt for just once a month or even just once a quarter (4 times a year). And yes, you don’t have to just stick with body massage because you can also choose having a facial treatment once in a while. After all, the signs of stress and exhaustion first show up on the face. Having a facial treatment can help get rid of some of those signs and reveal some of the youthful radiance. It’s probably good to have this on a Sunday or the beginning of a month or week so that the effect will be seen for the next few or several days.

Foot reflexology is also great if you want to try something new (the effects of recent body massages are wearing out). If you’ve realised that you’ve been walking a lot recently (either because of shopping or you now prefer walking long distances over cycling or commuting), foot reflexology can be a good treat especially because it’s all about gentle pressures applied on the tired feet.

Aside from relaxation, many people also look for a massage service in search of pain relief. This needs medical guidance because massage is mainly for comfort and relaxation (medical approaches are still best for treatment). Whether you’re an athlete, an everyday person, pregnant or elderly, it’s best to consult your doctor before undergoing a massage (especially if you consider getting a deep tissue massage).

Getting a massage is one of the best treats you can give yourself because of the immediate benefit (and might also help you get rejuvenated or reenergised for a new challenging week ahead). If you can’t remember when’s the last time you got a massage, perhaps it’s the best time now to get one. Contact us here at Thai Village Massage & Spa.