Massages are no longer available solely in luxury spas and are now used in clinics, sports institutions, beauty salons, workplaces, shopping malls and in holistic therapy clinics!

They can range from the regular £10 back massage in a salon or the full works in a kitted out spa store.

We’re all aware of the general benefits of a massage, which include stress relief; reduced anxiety;managing low-back pain; sleep better; relieve tension headaches; eliminate toxins; ease symptoms of depression; promote relaxation; lower blood pressure; reduce muscle tension; enhance exercise performance and many more.

But what specifically can massages do for COPD sufferers?

  • Indications: A gentle and reflexive treatment is indicated for emphysema patients, especially those with extreme fatigue. Because of the over worked accessory muscles to breathing, specific work on muscles of the chest, shoulders, and neck can be indications for treatment as long as treatment is within the tolerance of the patient.
  • Contraindications: A major risk with massaging and individual with emphysema is that they my have cardiovascular issues. With this comes the inability to lay flat and also a secondary respiratory infection. Ensure to use caution with hydrotherapy choices and positioning.
  • Effectiveness: Massage of the muscles of expiration and inspiration are important because it can reduce amount of energy it takes to breathe providing the client with an energized and less fatigued feeling.

For asthma sufferers?

  • Indications: For those suffering from asthma, and live with anxiety of not being able to breathe deeply, massage is a great indication and can ease breathing
  • Contraindications: Have an environment free of allergens such as heavy scents, essential oils, and non- hypoallergenic lubricants that may irritate or aggravate symptoms. Also be aware of client’s who are on medications that would need modifications for massage
  • Effectiveness: May be soothing for client who may have high anxiety when it comes to taking a deep breathe and can also make big changes in easing their breathing

Whilst the price points can vary greatly, it is recommended that people should have a massage at least once a month. I don’t always reach this goal as I know costs can rack up, but I make an effort to do it every couple of months at the least.

In the pursuit of a self-care, investing time and money into these things often provides great reward and benefit. As for types, there’s a whole range of them! But my personal favourites (and ones I’ve recently tried) include:

  • Hot stone massage: as it’s gentle and allows you to lie on your tummy (not back, where you may struggle to breath or get wheezy). The heat from the stones and gentle movements is a great way to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety. It’s very comforting!
  • Thai hot herbal compress massage: Similar to the hot stone, it uses heat, but also bags of special herbs, natural essential and detoxifying agents that really work deep into the muscles. Unlike the traditional Thai body massage, where your body parts and muscles are maneuvered and stretched to the max , this one is more gentle and relaxing.
  • Reflexology: Touched upon in my acupressure post, reflexology is related to energy points and massage of the foot which has key areas which are connected to your organs all over your body. One of my favourites, especially with massage on hand or feet, it is surprisingly relaxing but you’ll also feel the decreased tension in your feet from all the knots you didn’t know you had! Overall, it can ensure your ‘organs work more efficiently’
  • Deep tissue massage: Overall, when I have a good day (e.g. not as breathless or wheezy), I like deep tissue massages to get all those knots, toxins and tensions out! It can boost immunity and increase energy levels. I also work from home, so sitting too long at my work desk can result in some horrible lower and upper back pain. Deep-tissue massage can help to take this away (along with regular exercise and yoga). Some sufferers are opposed to this type of massage because it’s not gentle enough, but it is a personal preference.

 

Most people don’t give themselves very much time in a typical day to be mindful and to simply exist in the moment. And I think a massage (instead of a materialistic purchases) is much more worth it! If you budget properly, I do think fitting in a massage is key to overall good health.It gives your mind and body an opportunity to rest and rejuvenate itself, and the health of the mind is critical for the health of the body. Go on,  treat yourself…

My aim this year, is to do a lot more massages!