I’d take a spa day over flowers and chocolate any day and luckily that’s something you can treat yourself to no matter what your relationship status is! To get some inspiration for a massage that’s a little bit more inspired than your run-of-the-mill Swedish, I spoke with Oasis Day Spa Massage Manager Laura Piteo and the spa’s Director of Skincare Christie Lavigne, who also gave DIY massage tips, including an awesome at-home scrub recipe. Let the pampering commence…
We all know that traditional massages feel great, but this Valentine’s Day why might people want to consider hot and cold therapy?
Alternating between hot and cold therapies is referred to as “contrast bathing,” and it gets the blood pumping without leaving you with any residual inflammation from deeper work or the heat application. This massage will increase the circulation bringing oxygen, nutrition, and warmth to restricted tissue. An increase in circulation will also increase the filtration of the blood and therefore bolster immune function. The combination of heat and massage facilitates the reduction of stress and physical tension in the body, as well as assists in the reductions of muscle and joint stiffness. Following that up with cool marble stones helps to speed up the healing process, decreasing inflammation, swelling/edema, and numbing any soreness. The cool therapy will also bolster muscle tone and help restore balance to the body after an intense heat application.
What are some tips for those going the DIY route and giving their Valentine a massage? And products or oils that you recommend?
When massaging a loved one, avoid anything too technical. There’s a reason massage therapists need a license to practice and why we go to school for it. Just stick to a nice, gentle, and relaxing massage. I’ve had quite a few clients tell me that while their spouse meant well, they felt worse after he/she “tried to work that knot out.” As far as oils to use, we sell some really great massage oils here at Oasis. In a pinch, olive oil or grape seed oil will be fine to use on the skin. Just be careful because it can stain your sheets or clothing, so I would put a towel down.
What are some tips on making your own body scrub? Products you recommend? Tips for application?
Start with a heavy base for your exfoliant (such as sugar in the raw or coarse/kosher salt). Add any oil you would like (jojoba, grape seed, almond, etc.), and cover the salt or sugar with the oil. Then, choose something extra to make the scrub have additional benefits. Examples would be:
— Lavender essential oil to relax (and as an antibacterial)
— Lemon essential oil for brightening and anti-oxidant benefits
— Coffee grounds for stimulation (and constriction of skin cells)
— Powdered milk for a lactic peeling effect
— Rose essential oil for calming
— Cocoa for anti-oxidant benefits
— Honey for brightening
For applications, while in the shower/bath, I like to use scrubbing mitts to add an extra exfoliating and scoop generous amounts of the scrub and rub in a circular motion. Keep in mind that you have oil in your tub, so it can get slippery in there! Rinse off and moisturize to maximize the effect, and always drink lots of water to keep up your hydration from the inside out!