I’ve long been a fan of massage… zoning out for a sleepy hour of indulgence while my aches and pains are sorted out is one of my favourite ways to relax and I try to make it a regular occurrence – at least once every 3 months, but would be quite happy to up that schedule to once a month!!
An oasis of calm in the bustling V&A Waterfront, this spa is a destination in iteself. Set alongside the hotel’s ocean-view pool-deck, Camelot Spa at The Table Bay is a relaxing retreat offering an amazing array of facilities including steam rooms, Jacuzzi, a Hydro Bath, Laser therapy, gym and a double treatment room.
Treatments offered include massage therapy, skin treatments, body therapy, wellness assessments, beauty treatments and spa packages.
I was booked in to enjoy the Camelot Universal Signature Massage – a 60 minute combination of various types of massage such as Hot Stone, Kahuna, Balinese and Indian Head massage! And the fact that I arrived on Global Wellness Day seemed suitably fitting… massage is certainly one of the best ways to achieve full body and mind wellness – don’t you think!?
After being shown to the changing room and donning my huge white robe and fluffy slippers I made my way to the waiting area where I was able to enjoy a few healthy snacks before my treatment. I loved this little touch. It certainly makes a treatment that much more enjoyable when you’re not ravenously hungry!!
Then I was shown to my treatment room where I was to enjoy the treats of the Universal Signature Massage – the enveloping warmth of the heated blanket, beautiful fragrance of the massage candle and soft sounds of the relaxing music meant I was immediately transported to another life, one devoid of all worry and stress!
What I love about massage is not only it’s indulgence in taking time out for myself, but also the many other health benefits beyond simple relaxation. It can be a powerful tool to help you take charge of your health and well-being, whether you have a specific health condition or are just looking for stress relief.
The Health Benefits of Massage
Experts estimate that upwards of ninety percent of disease is stress related and nothing ages us faster, internally and externally, than high stress. While eliminating anxiety and pressure altogether in this fast-paced world may be idealistic, massage can, without a doubt, help manage stress which translates into:
Decreased anxiety and depression
A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, found that patients who were depressed and anxious were much more relaxed and happy, and had reduced stress levels, after a massage.
Here are a few more ways your body may benefit from massage….
Enhanced sleep quality and less insomnia – A number of studies identified that massage aids sleep due to it’s affect on delta waves, the kind of brain waves connected to deep sleep.
Reduced muscle tension and pain – Endorphins are released during massage and these amino acids work as the body’s natural painkiller. More than one study has shown the effectiveness of massage therapy for back pain. In fact, one study showed it worked better than acupuncture or spinal modification for persistent low back pain – reducing the need for painkillers by 36%.
Less headaches & migraines – The pain of headaches is reduced as shown by more than one study. Massage therapy can reduce the number of migraines a person has. A regular rubdown can reduce a person’s number of migraines, as well as limit how painful each migraine feels. A 2009 study found that a 30-minute massage decreased pain for people with tension headaches, and even curbed some of the stress and anger associated with migraines.
Lower blood pressure – High blood pressure patients demonstrate lower diastolic blood pressure, anxiety, and stress hormones.
Better posture – Most individuals, especially those working behind a desk, are dealing with some kind of postural stress which tends to manifest in the shoulders and neck. Massage can counteract the imbalance caused from sitting, which means you can keep your desk job — as long as you schedule a regular massage.
Enhanced immunity – Multiple studies, although often small, have linked massage to better functioning of the immune system due to the stimulation of the lymphatic system, the body’s natural defense system. In one 2010 study, researchers found massage increased a person’s disease-fighting white blood cells.
Increased joint flexibility – Arthritis sufferers note fewer aches and less stiffness and pain after having a massage. In the first clinical trial looking at the effectiveness of Swedish massage for knee osteoarthritis, participants who received a one-hour massage either one or two times a week had improvements in pain, stiffness, and function. The control group had no such change.
Improved circulation – Oxygen and nutrients are pumped into tissues and vital organs improving circulation.
Fewer premenstrual symptoms – Decreased water retention and cramping have been recorded due to regular massage.
Raised alertness – Adults who were given a 15-minute chair massage in a small 1996 Touch Research Institute (TRI) study were more alert and completed a series of maths questions faster and more accurately.
Beauty benefits – Massage increases blood flow to the skin, encourages lymphatic drainage and adds vitality to a dull complexion and lackluster hair.
Beyond the benefits for specific conditions or diseases, some people enjoy massage because it often involves caring touch, comfort and a sense of empowerment. Other mental benefits, such as a clearer sense of perspective, have also been reported after receiving a massage.
One piece of information I found while doing my research really resonated with me: “Just because a massage feels like a pampering treat doesn’t mean it is any less therapeutic. Consider massage appointments a necessary piece of your health and wellness plan.” Sign me up for those monthly appointments please!
Despite its benefits, massage isn’t meant as a replacement for regular medical care. Let your doctor know you’re trying massage and be sure to follow any standard treatment plans you have. Discuss the pros and cons of massage with your doctor, especially if you are pregnant or have cancer or unexplained pain. Most people can benefit from massage, however, massage may not be appropriate if you have certain health conditions so please remember to always ask your doctor before using massage for any health condition!
Mon – Sun: 08:00 – 21:00