How to get better skin using Massage Therapy

Today, the massage industry is mammoth, encompassing a huge variety of healing techniques that have combined the ancient healing practices, religious belief and science-backed research. While there is no exact number, but it is estimated that there might be as many as over 200 massage therapy techniques all over the world- varying in pressure, backed by different principles of healing, different techniques being used, different oils used, different postures used. Unlike the time during the ancient civilizations and the time of the Kings and Dukes, where massage was a luxurious affair, only available to the most privileged bunch in the society, a massage therapy today is widely available at various price points and various locations. Just like the cosmetic industry, the massage industry has been expanding hand-in-hand across the lengths and breadths of cities. Today, there is no single reason for getting a massage. Be it the work blues, be it detoxification, be it dealing with injuries, spasms, cramps, skin problems, any medical conditions or even pregnancy- there is always some massage therapy tailored for the needs and specific demands of the clients.

While these are the most common reasons why people head to massage therapy centres, one common factor is largely ignored. The benefits of a massage on the skin. Although sensitization about massage therapy and its benefits have shot up, thanks to the advent of the Internet and gadgets, there is a long way to go for people to fully realise the benefits of a massage. However, skin benefits are a factor that is often forgotten by people in the process. 

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Skin related issues are way more common that we perceive. According to a study undertaken by the Journal of European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, skin related diseases are ranked as the fourth most common cause of human illness. Out of the affected, a significant portion does not consult any dermatologist. The study believes that skin diseases might be even more prevalent than previously thought and it has significant effects on the individual, family, social life, as well as their heavy economic burden caused by inadequate self or non-physician treatment. 

Most common skin problems:

Although this list is not exhaustive, these are a few common ailments-

Acne(Acne Vulgaris): Probably the most common of all skin-related issues is acne. We all have problems tackling them, be it growing children, adults or even the elderly. This is generally a grouped term used to describe a condition caused by blocked hair follicles and oil from the sebaceous gland, which are often triggered by hormonal changes. These can often take the shape of pimples, blackheads, cysts, and nodules. When left untreated, these can often lead to scars and permanent dark spots. 

Atopic dermatitis: These generally appear on the face, hands, feet or in the creases and folds in the skin. While the exact cause is difficult to point out, research suggests that it has got to do with genetics. 

Shingles(Herpes Zoster): These are red, blistered rashes that appear around the torso or other regions in the body. Shingles are found to be caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. 

Hives(Urticaria): These are the welts that can occur on the skin. The causes are often medication, drugs, bug bites or stings. 

Sunburns: Too much exposure to the Ultraviolet rays may turn the skin red, painful and too hot to touch. Extreme conditions like peeling off of the skin is also a common condition. 

Contact Dermatitis: Caused by the touching of something, triggering rashes and other forms of skin reaction 

Diaper rash: Generally caused by wet or soiled diapers left for too long, which triggers red bumps and rashes around the skin folds. 

Rosacea: This is a chronic swelling of the face, with redness, resulting in blood vessels being prominently visible. 

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Athlete's foot: Leads to extreme itching, redness, cracked skin in various areas. 

Some common daily skincare tips:

Knowing your skin: The most vital part of designing your daily skincare routine is to know your skin. Oily, dry, rough, smooth, patchy- the list goes on. And the routine for each one of them differs. Educating oneself about this is the most vital step. 

Moisturizing: As a rule of thumb, moisturizing while your skin is damp is the best way to go. Koreans are known for their 3-second rule which beliefs in moisturizing your face within 3 seconds. 

Opt for warm showers rather than hot ones, simply because hot showers often wash away all the natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation.

Exfoliation is a crucial element in a skincare routine. It can allow all the nutrients to seep in and flushes out all the toxins. 

Using a good quality sunscreen helps in tackling rashes, sunburns, sun spots and helps the skin retain its moisture. 

Shooting up the Vitamin C intake is often advised by Dermatologists. This helps tackle rashes and spots by promoting collagen and helps in improving the firmness of the skin.

The neck is often overlooked while taking care of the skin. Moisturize, cleanse the neck region too. 

Clean your smartphone daily is crucial. While you are busy with your chatting, all the bacteria and germs come in direct contact with your face. 

Washing off your makeup before going to sleep is mandatory. No matter how tired you are after a hectic day, this is extremely important. The clogged pores in the skin can affect the texture of the skin and make in full and rough. 

Getting enough sleep sounds extremely simple but is often overlooked. Sleep can have significant impacts over the texture, moisture of the skin. 

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Include more Omega 3s in your diet. These healthy fats often act as hydration boosters, prevents scars and stave off wrinkles. Seafood, peanuts, avocados are some good sources of fat. 

While cleansing the skin, it is often advised to be as gentle as possible. 

Try out various activities, socialise, communicate and keep your stress at bay. Stress can often result in skin issues like dryness, roughness. 

Cutting down on the daily sugar levels is often advised by the dermatologists. The processed foods and the fast foods are often loaded with abysmally high levels of sugar. Sugars often break down collagen and elastin, resulting in saggy skin and wrinkles. 

Cutting down on coffee is often advisable too. Coffee is diuretic and too much consumption of coffee can leave your skin looking parched and dry, and it may also result in insomnia which isn't the best for your skin. 

Applying products in the right order dictates the flow of nutrients to your skin. Cleansing, apply toner, serum, moisturizer and then sunscreen is the generic order. 

Exercise promotes better blood circulation and oxygen to the skin, lowers stress. Shoot up your cardio levels every day for glowing skin.

Hydration is crucial for young-looking skin since the retention of water helps in tackling various issues like dullness, dryness. 

Natural collagen often helps in providing nutrients to the skin, making it look young and wrinkle-free. 

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Always go for moisturizers that contain ceramides. Ceramides are known as complexion boosters, which helps in improving the skin plump. 

Smoking is often a leading cause of unhealthy skin. They are known to reduce blood flow, leaving dry, discoloured skin. Tobacco is also known to deplete nutrients like Vitamin C. 

Protect your lips by applying a balm with SPF protection. 

Retonols are powerful exfoliants that can tackle sun damage, acne or fine lines. Invest in good quality retinol.

As a rule of thumb, keep hair products away from your cave. Cover your face while applying hairspray or texturizer and use sweatband while working out. 

Add berries to your breakfast. Berries are natural antioxidants which protect the skin from radical damage and helps in collagen production. 

Sipping on green tea provides a multitude of benefits like tackling inflammatory skin, dandruff and psoriasis. 

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Skin Benefits of a body massage:

While these are some go-to tips you can always tweak in your daily lives, a professional body massage offers several benefits for the skin, which often go unnoticed. Whether it is the traditional Swedish massage or the more modern aromatherapy massage, body massages have been known to tackle serious skin issues, and dermatologists often recommend getting a body massage once a month at least. Here are some benefits of a body massage for the skin:

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A body massage improves blood flow throughout the body and increased blood flow loosens the muscles and other soft tissues beneath the skin, allowing the blood to make it's the way through the skin more easily. As a result, you get healthier skin, that allows easier transmission of nutrients. 

Many massage therapies use friction as a massage technique, which helps in eliminating the dead cells, often associated with boosting the appearance of dullness. As a result, fresh skin begins to glow as it soaks up the essential vitamins and minerals.

A body massage often improves gland production. This aids in the removal of impurities present in the skin. Somebody massage techniques are extremely intense and they work up a heavy sweating session that is often associated with detoxification of the skin. 

An increased blood circulation often results in reduced tension in the skin, as well as adjoining tissues. 

Another great benefit of a body massage is moisturizing and softening of the skin. The exfoliation of the dead cells help in improving skin health and helps new skin cells get the proper amount of nutrients. 

Surgeons often suggest body massage for realigning scar tissues after surgery. While the patient undergoes surgery, the scar manifests by rising above the rest of the skin. A body massage helps in the scar lying down neatly at the skin level. 

Increased blood circulation often melanin dilation of capillaries. This results in better skin tone and skin colour. 

As we have discussed earlier, stress is a major factor in dictating your skin health. It significantly affects your sleep, takes a toll on the colour, moisture level, nutrient level of the skin. A body massage relieves stress which often helps in tackling a wide variety of skin disorders. 

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While there is no particular massage therapy that is beneficial for the skin, Swedish Massage, Deep Tissue Massage, Aromatherapy Massage, Balinese Massage are some massage therapies that are proven to be beneficial for skin health. 

Some benefits of a Facial Massage:

Your typical "DIY" facial massage also has significant benefits to the skin:

It helps in anti-ageing and tackles wrinkles by manipulation of the tissues, thus increasing the blood flow and flow of nutrients to the skin. 

Blood circulation promotion also tackles acne, breakouts. These can be kept at bay with a regular facial massage routine. 

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There has been a lot of research which indicates that a facial massage can help in tightening the skin and making it glow. 

While there is no particular sequence that you need to follow, some of the common techniques are circular movements along with your temples, using palms and fingertips to massage the sides of the face, starting with the chin and moving upwards, applying acupressure to facial pressure points or sinus pressure points, using circular motions to massage the area under the earlobes.