Getting In Touch: Massage Treatments Right now

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It’s been a harsh couple of years. Americans have spent quite a bit of time avoiding other people. Whether it’s from people we know or total strangers, many of us are keeping our distance. Since 2020, terms such as “touch hunger” and “touch starvation” have been heard in the media and regular conversation.

Across the U.S., mandatory shutdowns throughout the pandemic presented big challenges to most small business owners, especially spas and salons. Many of these businesses are finding new ways to offer treatments while keeping patient safety a priority.

After being isolated from most other human beings, Americans are ready for some nurturing touch. Massage is back, perhaps with a little extra protocol, and new treatments are paving the way for us to destress and unwind through these continuous up-and-down times.

Gua Sha
If you follow beauty social media accounts, you may have noticed a massage trend called Gua Sha, a traditional Chinese healing method in which the therapist uses a stone-like tool to scrape the skin and press down in long, downward strokes. The treatment intentionally creates temporary markings called sha, which are meant to break down and release tissue, stagnant blood and energy. Gua Sha is believed to help blood flow and create a lifting effect on the skin, lessening toxins in the body while promoting healing.

Thai Massage
If you like doing down dogs and forward folds, then Thai massage may be your next favorite treatment. Focusing on rhythmic flowing and an assisted yoga-similar stretching routine, a Thai massage aids in stress release and deep relaxation. And for those who prefer not to bare it all, most Thai massage is done fully clothed.

CBD Relaxation
Over the last several years, CBD, or cannabidiol, has morphed into a popular natural remedy to treat many ailments. According to some studies, CBD massage treatments help relieve arthritis and muscle pain, especially in the legs, neck and back. CBD oil is also considered very hydrating, while helping relieve inflammation in the body as well as fighting stress, anxiety and headaches. CBD massage oil treatments can be added to most regular body and head techniques.

Work-at-Home Stress?
Throughout the course of the pandemic, massage therapists have reported seeing an increase in injuries and discomfort from work-at-home jobs. Inappropriate desk setups, poor posture and neck stress can lead to pain. Working from home may require a little extra attention to the body. Some local spas and salons offer general massage, neck treatments and more just for those sitting at a desk most hours of the day. A deep tissue massage can reach the body’s deep muscle fibers while increasing blood circulation and range of movement.

Cryotherapy Massage?
While the popularity is hot, the treatments are cold! Cryotherapy massage is a chill way to soothe skin and regulate blood circulation. Therapists lightly glide icy tools that have been prepped with a serum, oil or sheet mask over the body. This method helps constrict blood vessels, calming inflammation and puffiness. Combining cryotherapy with massage helps muscles have better flexibility, which allows them to tolerate stretching and deep tissue massage even more, maximizing results.

Float Therapy
Enjoy a feeling of absolute suspension in float therapy. Epsom salts dissolved in gallons of body-temperature water allow the mind to relax as the music is piped in quietly. Done inside a completely soundproof unit, floating produces many mental and physical benefits including pain relief, stress relief, body buoyancy, relaxation and improved sleep.

Traditional float therapy may call for total darkness, but many spas allow customers to decide how much light they prefer. An hour in a float room is considered the equivalent of several hours of deep REM sleep. Some clients prefer floating and massage therapy together. The combination regulates blood circulation and evenly distributes endorphins throughout the body, boosting mood, focus and the immune system.

We know how professional athletes take advantage of cupping treatments, but how do they work for the rest of us? Combined with massage, cupping is an all-encompassing acupressure treatment using heated cups with magnets intended to restore normal cellular vibration. The powerful suction allows for increased blood flow, energy and healing.
Even through this non-touchy-feely time, we can still get all the feels. With new ideas and the right precautions, massage can be a wonderful way to ease the physical and mental distress presented by our ever-changing world.

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Tools to Protect You
• Non-contact thermometers: Fever is a sign of many diseases and is easy to detect through the use of a non-contact thermometer before starting a treatment.
• Table covers: Keeping patients free from transmission of other diseases is important for massage practitioners and their clients.
• Safe disinfectants: Along with the use of equipment covers, eco-friendly, non-toxic disinfectants help maintain clean and disease-free surfaces during sessions.