Seven secrets massage therapists know about you

Massage therapists, the superheroes when it comes to working wonders on our often neglected body. Despite how much we value massage how therapists can ooze our body and minds to a euphoric state of serenity, we don’t often give them credit for how much they understand us physically. So here are seven secrets massage therapists know about YOU!

1.If you’re feeling stressed

Massage therapists can tell straight away if you’re feeling stressed as soon as you enter the room. Being too chatty, feeling sweaty or on edge are giveaway signs you are finding it difficult to relax. Also, massage therapists can detect stressed out bodies as soon as the massage begins. Stressed out problematic areas such as the neck, back and shoulders often are troublesome to muscle knots which are built up from the stress hormone, cortisol. When this happens the therapist pays particular attention to massaging out the stress and realigning the tissue for rewarding relief.

2.What type of work you do

Massage therapists can immediately detect what field of work you’re in just by feeling your body. Office workers often have hunched shoulders and bad posture from sitting down at a desk all day, while dentists often endure tension along the side they usually work on. A manual worker can also be easily spotted as they often suffer from flexibility and postural problems from bending down and lifting heavy materials for eight hours a day.

3.If you have cancer

On a more serious note, massage therapists can dictate early signs of skin cancer. Skin cancer can commonly develop on your ‘blind spots’ including your back and behind the top of the tops of your upper legs. If you have regular massage sessions your therapist will be able to notice changes to your skin and recommend if certain moles, spots or skin lesions should be checked out by a doctor.

4.If you suffer from sleeping problems

Massage therapists can tell if you’re not a great sleeper by the type of tension built in your shoulders and neck. But luckily, soothing styles including the Swedish massage are super therapeutic. The Swedish style releases the ‘feel good hormone’ serotonin which is essential for relieving sleeping problems, including insomnia.

5.If you have any old injuries

No matter how long ago it may have been, massage therapists are likely to be able to tell if you had broken a bone or suffered a serious injury when you were younger. Massage therapists are experts at understanding the structure of the bones and can immediately detect if your muscle and joints are different and have undergone a healing process.

6.If your bag is too heavy

We’re all guilty of carrying bags which are too heavy which cause stress on our shoulder blades! Massage therapists are immediately able to recognise this as too much weight results in muscle tightness and adhesions. To combat this, therapists suggests carrying separate bags or transitioning your bag from shoulder to shoulder every so often. (Of course, a massage can also help!)

7.If you’re a smoker

Massage therapists can tell if you’re a heavy smoker by the nature of your breathing. If you often struggle to catch your breath or fall asleep and gasp throughout the massage are giveaway signs you are partial to a few cigarettes! But if you want to quit smoking you’ve come to the right place, massage therapy has been proven to help recover from addiction. Win, win!

So there you have it, seven secrets massage therapists know about your body! So before you go to inform the therapist of all your problems they might have already worked them out for themselves. Clever, eh? Well we did tell you they have super powers!

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The science behind massage therapy and why it’s essential for a happy, healthy life

The majority of us get a massage as a way of relaxing because it feels so great and helps you unwind after a long day at work. Or we might go because we have some muscle strain or physical discomfort that needs fixing. Maybe we have lower back ache from sitting upright in front of a computer all day. Perhaps we have hamstring ache from working a little too hard at the gym. Either way, when we have bodily aches and strains, massage can be a delicious treat that can soothe these pains.

Massage can also be helpful and surprisingly effective in treating a variety of psychological issues such as depression, insomnia, post-traumatic stress and attention deficit hyperactivity. And that’s only a few of them. After a massage, we usually feel relieved, lifted and have a more positive outlook on life.

It doesn’t come as a surprise that massage has a positive effect on mental health. If we think about it, the body and mind are quite closely connected. There are many parts of our body which we do not have direct, conscious access to. Many parts of us, for example emotions and intentions, can be revealed by posture. Muscle contracts and flexibility can represent the defensive armour we use to protect ourselves from the struggles of the outside word. For example, someone with depression or insecurities might tense up and retract their bodies inwards in order to ‘protect’ themselves.

The massage therapist is someone who can witness our building stresses and anxieties, and help unblock the channels that are clogged up and preventing us from properly breathing in life. The massage techniques help to soothe our feelings of angst and wash away any negative emotions that are stopping us from truly connecting with our bodies and feeling joy.

But why does a massage feel so good and is it really necessary for a happy life?

Massage is well-known for its relaxing, therapeutic benefits. This has been attributed the way massage manually manipulates the body and touch being such a comforting and pleasurable sensation. This leads to instinctive release of endorphins and mood-boosting hormones such as serotonin and dopamine. Massage is also thought to stimulate the activity of pain blockers and reduce the feelings that are associated with chronic pain. Researchers at the University of Maryland found that massage can actually relieve depression in people who are suffering from chronic illnesses such as cancer and fibromyalgia.

A massage is about awareness. A therapist only needs to examine a client’s muscles in order to gain an understanding of their physiology and psychology. Everyone’s bodies are different. Some people might have muscles that are more hardened and less penetrable. According to Stephen Salter, a therapist and contributor for Good Therapy, a hardened crop of back muscles can act like a force field – it’s more difficult for the therapist to reach the deeper levels of muscle and connective tissue.

Surprisingly, this ‘force field’ can be as psychological as it can be physical. Physical is more straight forward – it’s the body’s way of protecting against injuries particularly if there’s a strain in the area the masseuse is about to work on. Psychologically, boundaries may represent a general sense of distrust or apprehensiveness when it comes to letting other people in.

A masseuse can work to slowly lower the boundaries even if the client isn’t aware that they have them up. The massage therapist can gently bring these thoughts up to the surface, encouraging ‘breathing into it’, so the client can choose to slowly release them. When one learns to release their unnecessary armour, they can begin to develop deeper trust and bonds with other people. Salter wrote in a post on Good Therapy: “Every point of contact on the body is an opportunity for self-awareness. Psychological healing occurs when we sink into the reality of our bodies.”

The modern era is very technologically-focused and reliant. We can be in touch with anyone we want to with just a few taps on a touch screen. But it’s somewhat of a paradox – although we can communicate with a greater amount of people at the same time, we can feel more isolated and alone than ever. Because the majority of this communication happens online, our minds and bodies receive less physical and emotional stimulation. This leads to feelings of loneliness, coldness and dissociation. You need a healing, nurturing touch that reaches into your physical and emotional psyche. And a massage provides exactly that.

A 2010 examination conducted by the College of Nursing at the University of Arkansas found that massage promoted relaxation in older people. Based on theories that massage was once used to relieve pain, anxiety and insomnia, 21 studies about massage were examined. Participants received a three minute slow stroke back massage or a 10 minute hand massage. It was found relaxation levels were significantly boosted.

The Arkansas study isn’t alone. A Japanese study investigated aromatherapy massage and its effects on anxiety levels and the immune system. White blood cell counts were monitored and anxiety was assessed using questionnaires (State–Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) questionnaire and the Self-rating Depression Scale (SDS)). Levels of white blood cells and anxiety were significantly increased and decreased, respectively. This is just some of the scientific evidence that backs why massage therapy contributes towards a happy, healthy life.

In his exploration of massage therapy and the psychology behind it, Salter discussed depression. He said that depression is when one becomes estranged from a caring world. Massage is a way of reversing this by helping people to realise that they are cared about.

Salter wrote: “Your body may begin to realize that you don’t have to tense up so much when work gets stressful. If depression is the expectation that you will not receive the connection and nurture that you need, a massage can rattle the rigid sense of isolation. Rigidity then dissolves. It liquefies into the stream of life.”

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Nine penis facts you probably didn’t know

Penises – our pride and joy and usually the most enjoyable part of our body. Despite how much we value our manhood, there’s a lot we don’t know about willies around the world. So here are some penis facts from the weird, the wonderful to the downright whacky!

Thought you had a big penis?

Of course, the first thing you’ll want to know is the world record for the world’s largest penis, and trust us, we have the facts! A man from New York measured in at a staggering 13.5 inches long. To give you some perspective that is longer than a 30cm ruler and is one 15th the size of a giraffe! Long eh?

And for the smallest?

Mike Carson, from Miami holds the title for world’s littlest fully functioning willy at a jaw-dropping 1/16th of an inch. Carson told Empire news: “For a long time, I was very embarrassed by my penis, but now, I pretty much just go with it,” He added: “I’m 29 now, and I’ve had girls come up to me and say they ‘just have to try it out,’ so I can’t even tell you how many women I’ve been with because of it.” Go on, son!

Is your penis normal?

The world’s average size for an erect penis comes in 5.16 inches, while most women hoping to find a partner who are 6.3 inches. Men of The Republic of Congo hold the title for having the biggest penises at just over seven inches. No need to be jealous guys!

Multiple erections can happen during your sleep!

Many men can have up to three to five erections during one night’s sleep and can be stimulated by their mood, dreams and room temperature. That’s most men spending up to four hours a night with an erect willy. Blimey guys!

Erections aren’t just for adults!

Studies have proven foetuses in the womb can get erections and have since been detected by ultrasounds. They start early, eh?!

And corpses can get erections too!

An erection after death is a thing and is often referred to as angel lust. Though it’s not understood why angel lust happens, there is a correlation with corpses and erections when blood vessels are majorly damaged.

Some men have more than one willy

Though very rare, some men are born with two penises! The condition is called diphallia and happens to one in 5.5 million Americans, with scientists unable to pin point the exact cause. The functionality of the penises entirely depends on the individual. Some are fully working and normal sized, while others are malformed and struggle to ejaculate and urinate.

Men can have penis transplants!

As of 2017, three men around the world have undergone penis transplantation. The first procedure in China in 2006 resulted in the patient having his surgery reversed because he struggled to cope with the physiological trauma. But since, the other two men have been happy with their fully functioning new penises.

And finally, some men can give themselves blowjobs!

Maybe surprisingly, one in 1000 men are flexibly able to pleasure themselves orally. Speechless? I think we’ll stop there!

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3 Strange massages you need to try

If you like to pamper yourself with a massage every now and again, then chances are you’ve found your perfect massage style. Whether it’s the penetrative sports massage or the all-time favourite Swedish massage, the therapy might be hitting all the right buttons for you. But even if it’s ticking all of the boxes, there’s always room for improvement. There’s a whole world of lesser-known massages that are unusually beneficial for the body. By sticking to what you know, you’re missing out on all of these worldly benefits. To help you venture outside of the box, we’ve done the hard work for you and sniffed out the best of the unusual bunch. Why play safe when you could be feeling amazing? Your body will thank you for it in the long run…

Bamboo massage

Great for: kneading out tight muscles and people who love deep tissue or sports massage

Yep, you guessed it! A bamboo massage involves gently warming a bamboo stick and rolling it across the body. Deep, long, sweeping strokes are used to help disperse pockets of tension and break down areas of tight muscle knots. Aromatherapy and essential oils are used to maximise the relaxing nature of the massage. Originally from Asia, the bamboo massage is become increasingly popular in the UK. The variety of deep pressures make the bamboo massage similar to a deep tissue or sports massage, so if you can handle their penetrative nature, you’re sure to enjoy the bamboo alternative. It’s especially great for athletes such as runners, cyclists and rowers who can frequently suffer from muscle tightness all over their body.

Lymphatic drainage massage

Great for: reducing sluggishness, boosting circulation and gentle healing the body

Despite its strange name, the lymphatic drainage massage is a gentle massage style that focuses on light, relaxing pressures. The lymphatic system works to transport waste products away from the tissues. It plays an important role in maintaining a healthy immune system. The lymphatic system is a network of vessels that drains and transports fluid from the tissues and empties it back into the bloodstream to be taken out of the body. This medical massage uses techniques that are circular and pumping motions that coax the lymph fluid to flow more freely around the body’s vessels. When the levels in the body are imbalanced, you may experience side effects such as swollen joints, cellulite and bloating. The lymphatic drainage massage is designed to boost the flow of these fluids so metabolic waste, toxins and bacteria can be efficiently filtered out of the body. This medical massage has been proven to help with the regeneration of cells and soothing the nervous system.

Thai herbal compress massage

Great for: gently relaxing sore muscles and fans of hot stone or lava shell massage

If you love hot stone or lava shell massage, you’ll love this style. Thai herbal massage has been practised for nearly 5,000 years. Designed to relieve pain and inflammation, therapeutic herbs such as ginger, turmeric and lemongrass are wrapped in compresses, gently steamed and then softly applied to the body using circular and rolling motions. Also called “luk pra kob” which translates to “herbal pressing sphere”, the massage has a rejuvenating and invigorating effect on the body. The heated herbal compresses help to soothe sore muscles. The soft heat also helps to induce a deep sense of tranquillity. This style of Thai massage has been popular across Asia for centuries and has become increasingly sought-after in recent years across the West. Its restorative properties include reducing stress, fatigue and tension as well as improving blood circulation and soothing aching muscles, joints and ligaments.

How to make the most out of your massage

If you want to get the best advantages out of your massage session, follow these tips:

    • Sit down for a consultation with your therapist before the session. This is important if you want to have a good experience. Let the therapist know of any injuries or issues you have that you want the massage to help rectify. Inform them of the type of pressure you prefer.
    • If you’re pregnant, steer away from certain massage styles such as the deep pressure ones and particular aromatherapy oils.
    • For most massage styles, you’re required to be partially naked and remove clothing from the waist up.

You can also try a hotel massage London. What is it exactly? Check here – http://www.happy-massage.co.uk/hotel-service/