It is a deep seated tenet of the human psyche to believe that what’s good for us shouldn’t be pleasurable. Spirulina? Tastes like pond weed. HIIT workouts? We nearly vommed. Massage, on the other hand, can not only be pleasurable and enjoyable but also improve our health to such a degree as to put it on par with the aforementioned pond weed. And given that it’s the middle of January and you’re likely on some sort of gruelling health crusade - this should be music to your ears.
How does massage work?
Massage is a form of manual therapy that involves applying pressure to the body’s muscles, fascia, ligaments and tendons. Depending on the type of massage there are a number of factors at play. We’ll get into talking about the lymphatic system in a minute, but essentially massage helps to promote whole body detoxification by stimulating this lymphatic system, it also calms and relaxes the nervous system via reduction of stress hormones, and can also influence certain organ systems in the body if you opt for a more medicinal approach to massage such as is practiced in Traditional Chinese Medicine or Aryuveda.
"Really excellent flavours. Much less sweet than a lot of juices. The Green ones were light, the red wasn't too beety (beetroot - ghastly) and the shots are lovely. I wish they had a slightly longer life because inevitably days get hijacked and you have to start later than planned, but love the freshness. And big fan of the glass bottles."
- Catherine D, Intermediate Cleanse
Why is massage good for you?
Alright, let’s get into the lymphatic system. The three main functions of the lymphatic system are defence against infection, absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins from the digestive system, and the return of interstitial fluid to the blood. The most well-known of these functions is its role in fighting infection, and it does this by producing white blood cells known as lymphocytes. In contrast to the circulatory system in which the heart pumps blood around the body, the lymphatic system relies on the movement of smooth muscle to circulate lymph around the body. Massage, and in particular, lymphatic massage, helps to support and encourage circulation through the lymphatic system and by extension, improves water retention and supports the efficient removal of toxins from the body. You can also stimulate the lymphatic system through dry brushing techniques.
Another incredibly powerful effect of massage, provided the massage is not too painful, is relaxation and, by extension, stress relief. In today’s world we are bombarded by stressors day in, day out. Whilst you might sometimes enjoy the thrill of being jacked up by caffeine and smashing through your to-do list, it’s crucial that we are able to activate a restful state as well, so that our bodies can repair and recover. However, all too often, we don’t actually get into this rest and digest zone enough (the parasympathetic nervous system state governs this, and the sympathetic state fuels our fight or flight, stress-inducing state). With multiple notifications going off 24/7, long days in the office and bad food choices, amongst other things, we are pretty much living in a perpetually stressed state which has hugely negative consequences for our long term health such as increasing your risk for Type 2 Diabetes, negatively impacting your gut microbiome and pushing up chronic inflammation.
At Urban they like to take their relaxation to the next level, so they developed their signature CBD massage to do just that. Despite being a pretty current wellness trend, CBD oil has bonafide health benefits when it comes to stress and relaxation. CBD oil comes from the cannabis plant but it’s made up of a different part that’s non-psychoactive, so you don’t get the high associated with smoking weed but you do get the calming and relaxing properties.
How to boost the effectiveness of your massage further
Urban also have osteopathy, physiotherapy, and sports massage available so whether it’s some zen that you’re after or a body once over with one of our physios combined with a deep tissue massage, then we’ve got you covered.
Massages are great for helping the body to gently rid itself of toxins, so hydrating after your appointment is crucial to assist organs like the kidneys and the lymphatic system to do their job effectively. A great way to boost your hydration is by combining your treatment with some nutrient dense green juices, which has the added bonus of delivering key vitamins and minerals along with a hefty dose of hydration.
Presscription Juice has a wide range of 100% cold-pressed juices in glass bottles that have been expertly designed with leading nutritionist Amanda Hamilton to boost health with key functional ingredients (probiotics, turmeric, cherry extract etc), whilst increasing energy, supporting the body’s natural systems and increasing your feeling of wellbeing.