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Health and Well Being - Dec 18 - Jan 19

05 Dec 2018

Massage variations and benefits

Many different types of massage are available to the consumer with most having the common objective to improve your general health and wellbeing.

The following is a quick description of some common methods and their benefits to help you better understand the differences and make the best choice when planning your next session.

Swedish massage – A firm massage using oils and lotions that help generate heat and relief to the muscles. Based on western anatomy and physiology, it’s a perfect massage utilising long and deep strokes for general health and wellbeing.

Aromatherapy – Swedish techniques using essential oils that have therapeutic properties. The therapist mixes in oils or combines oils to help impact energy levels, relaxation, digestion, headaches, skin conditions and other positive outcomes secondary to the benefits of the Swedish massage.

Deep tissue massage – A strong, more intense massage that focuses in on problem areas, tight spots and knots. It can be moderately painful during the massage, followed by a sense of relief and relaxed muscles at the completion of the session. An effective massage for sufferers of chronic conditions that require a specific focus.

Shiatsu massage – A form of Japanese bodywork that provides general wellbeing to the recipient. Based similarly on Chinese methods of acupressure and pressure point therapy, Shiatsu helps to energise the body by increasing and stimulating the flow of energy and restoring balance within the body. No oils or lotions are used in Shiatsu.

Thai massage – A very energetic form of massage which involves being physically moved, stretched, lengthened, twisted, compressed and re-energised by an enthusiastic practitioner. A great therapy for back and neck pain, not so relaxing during the session but leaves you feeling great afterwards.

Sports massage – Used for sports or competition preparation and physical recovery afterwards. All competitive sports teams will use or have sports masseurs on their support team. Very effective as a warm up, helping to loosen tight muscles, increase circulation and reduce the chance of injury. The strokes and technique would are deep using oils or lotions and may include joint mobility and stretching actions. Helps promote and increase flexibility.

Hot rock massage – Warm stones/rocks are placed strategically on the body to help reduce pain and increase circulation. The heat from the rocks combined with traditional massage techniques helps to reduce muscle soreness, tension and provide relief.

If you have any specific medical conditions, you should check with your GP before having a massage. You should also do your research on the practitioner, including their qualifications, experience, insurance and professional reputation. Massage is an extremely personalised and personal experience. A great massage and therapist can have incredible benefits for your health and wellbeing. A chair massage can be a great way to test a therapist to see if they are right for you.

Alcohol consumption and weight control

With Christmas and festive celebrations now filling your calendar, now is the time to review and understand the impact of alcohol on your physical health and wellness. Here are a few facts in advance of your parties that may impact what and how much you drink to ensure you make the best decisions.

Alcohol and alcoholic drinks are loaded with calories you don’t need.

Consider volumes of alcohol that you consume, and the associated excess calories and energy.

Think about the mixers you add to your drinks – look for lower calorie options.

Alcohol can’t be stored so the body will metabolise your alcohol and store whatever food you consume when drinking

You rely on your liver to metabolise fat – if you are drinking excessively, you can’t expect your liver to function optimally.

Alcohol impacts your decision-making and will affect your food choices and selections when drinking.

The best idea is to drink in moderation, stay hydrated and make good conscious food choices.

Sugar consumption

Here are quick tips about sugars and consumption that might help you make better dietary choices over the holiday period.

Types of sugars:

  • Glucose – found in vegies, fruit and grains;
  • Sucrose – table sugar;
  • Fructose – found in fruit and honey; and
  • Lactose – sugar in milk and dairy products.

What type of sugar should I avoid?

You should start by avoiding any sugar that is processed or added. Sucrose is a highly processed sugar that you will find in jams, confectionary, pastry, soft drink, cereal and ice cream. You should minimise your consumption of these products.

Increase your awareness about fructose. Un-refined fructose is good for you, contains fibre and is found in sweet fruits and vegetables. Refined fructose is found in canned and bottled products, is low in fibre and excess consumption can lead to excess fat on the liver.

The Glycemic Index (GI)

The GI is a useful tool used to represent how rapidly a carbohydrate impacts the blood glucose levels and how rapidly the body absorbs them. Low GI foods are slow release energy sources and preferred over high GI foods. Awareness on low, intermediate and high GI foods is recommended. While the preference is to increase consumption of low and intermediate GI foods, high GI foods are sometimes needed by the body and should not be avoided altogether.

I would like to wish all Docklanders and readers of this publication a Merry Christmas, and best wishes for 2019. Thanks to Shane and the Docklands News team for their support too.

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