If there is only one thing that you manage to take from this, let it be that moisturizing your skin is also about nourishing and supporting your immune system. The skin is an easy thing to track when you or someone around you isn’t feeling well. The skin contains thousands of cutaneous nerves that are connected to every part of the body. The skin is also a major contributor to the production of endocrine hormones. Therefore, the skin and the nourishment of the skin is our pathway to two major systems of the body, the nervous and endocrine systems.
After almost 20 years in the massage, bodywork, & spa industry, I have learned that it is easy to get caught up in the indulgence of not only massage, but skincare and body treatments. I have gotten caught up in the marketing of it all and at times have lost touch with the origins of body treatments and self care as well. I am not sure why our culture has decided to treat massage and body treatments as a “treat” for ourselves. It is so deeply rooted in many cultures around the world and when utilized correctly and with knowledge and intention supports our bodies at their happiest self. Massage, bodywork and self-care is not always about the application of treatments and ‘products’ in order to correct a problem. However, we are here to help facilitate healing in ourselves and our clients. It should surpass healing and invite our bodies, mind and souls to live at our own levels of happy.
Hydrating your skin using herbal oils and plant based products has many health benefits that go beyond skincare. First and foremost it stimulates and soothes the lymphatic system, therefore improving the immune system and our bodies abilities to fight infections and allergies. It’s important to note that whether you are applying homemade herbal oils yourself or receiving a treatment with your favorite practitioner, that the act of the application itself simulates massage. The act of massage moves lymphatic fluid throughout the body, improving blood circulation, relaxing muscles and improving joint stiffness.
Hydrating body treatments can also deeply relax the nervous system through the mechanism of touch and the application of herbal, organic products. There are several types of places that offer body treatments, there is a general rule of thumb when it comes to them however. While not all are created the same, most include an exfoliation and application of body mask. Then, you are wrapped up while the products do their job.
My best advice when searching for a body treatment is to ask about the products being used. Ask questions that will get you to the root, or purpose, of your treatment. Is it detoxifying, hydrating, etc? What are their main goals and intentions for the treatment? Products may feel good and smell amazing, but fragrance oils only amount to the smell and knowing what the ingredients are intended for in body treatments is paramount.