When was the last time you had a massage?

By Jessica Michielsen

In our busy culture, stress affects us all. Emotionally, we are stressed and our bodies are taxed by the processed foods we eat. The toxins and pollutants in our environment also wreak havoc on our bodies, causing many illnesses ranging from the common cold to cancer. We all need to be aware of how we treat our minds and bodies.
There is healing power in touch, but in this day and age, many of us are deprived of the human physical contact we need.
Massage is one great way to take care of our minds and our bodies. It relieves tension, increases circulation and facilitates healing. A regular relaxation massage clears the mind, relieves tension in the body and lifts the spirits.
An even more healing type of massage is manual lymphatic drainage massage. Lymph is a clear fluid that moves through the body and drains intestinal fluid, transports dietary fats and fat-soluble vitamins, and stimulates immunity. Stagnation of the lymph occurs because of lack of regular exercise, exposure to environmental toxins, stress and improper functioning of the spleen or thymus. Manual lymphatic drainage massage detoxifies the body by improving circulation of lymph and supports health through improving immune system function. This treatment can relieve swelling; particularly post mastectomy, and increase energy levels. It will also treat emotional stress and depression, frequent colds or flus, allergies, chronic fatigue syndrome, digestive disorders, insomnia, cellulite and circulatory problems. The recommended program for lymphatic drainage is to begin with 3 to 5 treatments in the first 10 days for the initial flushing and then maintenance treatments anywhere from bi-weekly to monthly.
Hot stone massage therapy similarly uses some lymphatic drainage techniques and incorporates the use of heated stones laid across the chakras. The therapist also uses the stones as a massage tool. Hot stone massage is the most luxurious and deep penetrating type of massage used in holistic centers today. The use of the stones, combined with aromatherapy oils, facilitates muscle release and deep relaxation.

Jessica Michielsen, Erica Michielsen and Shannon Ryan offer massage services at Accentual Hair & Spa in Parkhill.