Stroke direction does matter in massage. Massage should be performed in movements going towards the heart, because it helps your circulatory system return blood to your heart and lungs to be re-oxygenated.

The function of your heart is to pump blood that has been oxygenated by the lungs to all parts of the body through the arteries. On the return trip, the veins move the blood from the organs back to the heart by muscle contraction and valves. These valves prevent the blood from moving in the wrong direction. If you were to massage away from the heart you would be working against the natural flow and could damage valves. The heart returns the deoxygenated blood to the lungs in order to introduce a fresh supply of oxygen to the body.

The Benefits of Stimulating the Circulatory System

Massage movements in support of the circulatory system and venous return provide the following benefits:

  • reduction in tension
  • increase in relaxation leading to vasodilation (expanding the diameter of the blood vessels), which in turn reduces blood pressure and the heart rate (reducing the risk of chronic heart disease)
  • improvements in the delivery of oxygen to the heart and rest of body
  • speeding up of metabolic waste removal from the body
  • improvements in lymph flow and drainage, reducing the impact of any tissue damage or swelling
  • more efficient delivery of nutrients to the cells and organs of the body, thereby aiding repair of any damaged muscles or tissues
  • increasing muscle temperature to improve tissue elasticity and flexibility (thus reducing spasms and tightness of muscles)
  • less pain associated with muscle fatigue

The position, speed and direction of the movements will vary depending on aim of technique and the part of the body being massaged. For example, long, stroking movements may be used on the legs and arms, while a more circular motion may be preferred for the back and neck.

What Studies Have Shown

A study conducted by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and published in The New York Times found that study participants who received a 50-minute Swedish massage experienced significant decreases in levels of the stress hormone cortisol, as well as arginine vasopressin – a hormone that can lead to increases in cortisol. Participants also showed an increase in the number of lymphocytes (white blood cells that are part of the immune system) and a boost in the immune cells that help fight colds and the flu.
 
According to the journal “Massage TODAY” massage can literally create more space for the heart within the thorax (chest cavity). Their article explains “space is created by increasing the suppleness and length of the soft tissues within the chest and around the heart, and releases muscular tightness and restrictions in the chest, rib and thoracic areas, which allows the heart to function with great ease, therefore improving overall cardiovascular health.”

 

Rachel McHugh

I recently had a back, neck and shoulder massage from Angela. The whole experience was very relaxing and welcoming. From start to finish I had faith in knowing I would get the best experience tailored to my needs. Some areas needed work more than others and Angela focused on getting the difficult knots out of my shoulders. Would highly recommend MindBody Oasis for both the atmosphere and staff☺️

Beverley Parry

Wow! What else can I say? Had a neck, shoulder and back massage with Esther last night. I have had many massages but this was by far the best! Then I had a Reflexology treatment which was amazing. Thank you very much Esther. Next treatment already booked. Looking forward to it very much.

Louise Davies

Great massage with Angela - put me at ease right from the start as was my first time here as a birthday gift. Lovely touch with the hot towels on feet and targeted areas where I have most tension. really great personalised massage. I will be back!

Daniel Maynard

Myself and Sophie went for a full Swedish body massage from Angela and it was a great experience. Full consultation prior to the massage making us both feel really comfortable in a relaxing environment. We both felt very relaxed afterwards and would highly recommend Angela or Esther for anyone looking to take an hour out of their day to relax and enjoy a massage. Thank you - great service

Louise Ormerod

Had a wonderful experience with Mind Body Oasis. It turned out to be just what I needed after a stressful couple of months.

Firstly, both and Angela and Esther are absolutely lovely ladies who make you feel very at ease.
Secondly, I loved the treatments I had. I had the Swedish full body massage and a couple of weeks later, I had the age loc mud facial (both with Esther). The massage was fantastic. It was very relaxing and helped to relieve tension I had in my body, especially in my shoulders and in my calves.

The facial was also great and helped to deeply cleanse my problematic skin. Both treatments were great for resetting my mind and preparing me for the next working day.
I can't wait to come back and try more treatments! Thank you, ladies xx

Debra Allen

Esther is a talented and knowledgeable therapist, who takes the time to explain your treatment and makes sure you're comfortable throughout. I can particularly recommend the hot stones massage, and face and foot reflexology.

Nicola Parry

I would recommend the Indian Head massage and reflexology. I have had both treatments and they were truly amazing.

Esther is very professional and her treatments are something else. This is why I am going to continue having regular treatments.

Lynda Ormerod

I had the Swedish full body massage with Esther, at the end of a busy weeks work. What a wonderful experience, aching and tense muscles relieved and relaxed and reset for the weekend. Took advantage of the brilliant 2 for 1 offer had an aromatherapy full body massage with Angela, her specialist post cancer care and lovely oil mix totally rebalanced and recharged. Thank you ladies!

Annie Browne

I spoke to Esther about a back, neck and shoulder massage for the purposes of relief of tension. The treatment was effective and I was able to fully relax and switch off; something I deeply value in the busyness that is life! I have recommended Esthers treatments to friends and I am happy to offer a 5* review.

Eirona Gauci

Esther is the most giving, caring massage and age defence therapist you could ever wish for. She is 5* all the way. Thank you Esther for extending my birthday celebrations with your "beyond the call of duty" pampering.

 

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