So, I’ve been doing a lot of heavy lifting lately. In the course of one month, my hubby & I moved into a new house, I moved our Cincy Chic office (we have a TV studio now! WOOHOO improved video quality!!) and we had Bras with Flair last Thursday, which involved erecting a 40-ft display onto Fountain Square covered in bedazzled bras.
Needless to say, it took a toll on my body. I had aches and pains in parts of my body I didn’t even know I had. So, after each big heavy lifting event, I scheduled a different kind of massage with my friends at Mitchell’s Salon & Day Spa to nurse my poor body back to health.
Before getting these different kinds of massages, I would have said a massage is a massage is a massage. But I now know that’s not true. Each massage was so different, and helped me in different ways, so I thought I’d write a review on them so you know which one is best for what you need.
The first massage I got was a hot stone massage. I’m glad I started with this one because this was right after the first big move. So, I had just used muscles I hadn’t used in a very long time. They were stretched, pulled and all knotted up. The heat from the stones helped my muscles relax, which allowed my massage therapist to manipulate my deep tissues more effectively. My therapist said overly tense muscles can hinder the massage procedure. So, the heated stones provide the extra relaxation you need for the massage to be beneficial in releasing tension and easing sore muscles. Also, my therapist said the stones are placed on key points of your body to help increase circulation to quicken the healing process. Translation: get this if you have a pull or strain you need to recover quickly from.
The second massage I got was a bamboo massage. This was the one I was afraid of. I had heard of them before, but hadn’t ever ventured out of my comfort zone to get one. But I booked it with my FAVORITE massage therapist EVER (Elana J at the Kenwood Mitchell’s Salon & Spa location). She had helped me last year when I had a bad case of lock jaw. I was apparently grinding my teeth in my sleep, and she helped to loosen my jaw muscles so I could function again (if you know how talkative I am, you know that me having lock jaw was a nightmare!).
So, like I said, I felt comfortable with Elana J, and knew she would take care of me. I had some serious knots after the office move and hadn’t been drinking much water. So, my muscles were what she called “crunchy.” I know that sounds gross, but that’s apparently what happens when we don’t eat/drink properly AND we put stress on our muscles.
Having the bamboo rods gave Elana J leverage to work through the crunchy knots (again, gross, I know). The bamboo helped to flush out the muscles, too. Elana J said the bamboo is used to put pressure on trigger points that cleanse and flush out your lymphatic system. That promotes fresh blood flow, which is full of nutrients and oxygen, to help repair and rejuvenate your muscles. This one, I have to say was my favorite. I felt like the bamboo worked through those big knots, and felt the effects of the “flushing” immediately.
My third and final massage was an aromatherapy massage. This one was more mental for me because it not only calmed my flaring muscles, but it also calmed my mind after the stressful month. The therapist let me choose my aroma. It was between spearmint, peppermint, lavender, and another one that was more of a light earthy scent. I picked lavender because I have a soft spot for it (I grow it in my garden each year and have a pouch of it under my pillow to help me sleep).
She mixed lavender oil in the unscented massage oil she used for my massage. It was heavenly. This therapist didn’t do as much deep tissue work as the other two had. She did a lot of calming, gentle motions. Oh, and she also massaged my scalp for an eternity… I think I drooled a little bit it felt so good. : )
I have to tell you, I’ve never felt more mentally relaxed than I did after this massage. Even though I had just experienced one of the most insane months of my entire life, I just had this sense of calm and peace as I sat “coming to” in the relaxation room after my massage. Granted, the craziness of life eventually set back in later that day, but to have that moment of clarity and peacefulness was SO nice.
I did get a chance to talk with the therapist about how exactly aromatherapy works. She said that the nostrils are attached to a part of the brain called the limbic system, which controls emotions and influences the nervous system and hormones. Apparently, when you inhale essential oil molecules, messages are transmitted to the limbic system and affect heart rate, stress level, blood pressure, breathing, memory, digestion, and the immune system.
So, there you go. Three very different massages. All beneficial for very different reasons. And speaking of benefits of massages, I just noticed that the “Find out Friday” on Mitchell’s Salon & Day Spa Facebook page today is about the benefits of massage. So, below is the video from that! Enjoy!