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By Gabriela, 30 january 2023

Massages for both babies and adults

Different massage types
One of the nicest things in life, according to people, is getting a massage. But giving a massage also has benefits, such as massaging your baby and how that strengthens the feeling of connection and love. Curious about how you can also give massages like a pro? We will teach you some fine techniques.
Massaging is the general term for pressing, rubbing and squeezing your skin, muscles and tendons. It can range from light stroking to deep pressure. An example is the Swedish massage. This is a gentle form of massage that uses long strokes, kneading and deep circular movements. It helps you feel both relaxed and energized. The sports massage is similar to the Swedish massage but is more focused on helping to prevent or treat injuries. Another example is the trigger point massage. This massage, sometimes experienced as a painful massage, targets areas of muscle knots that can form after repetitive trauma (overused muscles).

The benefits of massages
Besides the pleasant feeling of touch, being massaged has a number of important benefits for both the mind and the body. For example, it can reduce a feeling of stress and thereby increase the feeling of relaxation. A massage also improves blood circulation, which has a lowering effect on heart rate and blood pressure. Depending on the massage given and the massage oil used, it can give a relaxing effect (hands up for those who have fallen asleep during a massage), but also a stimulating effect that makes fatigue and muscle pain disappear like snow in the sun.

For your face
Massaging yourself? That sounds complicated, but it's really easy. An example of this is a facial massage using a gua sha stone and oil. This is not new: it has been around for centuries as a part of traditional Chinese medicine. Gua sha, also called "nature's botox," refers to the process of using a jade stone to promote circulation, reduce inflammation and stimulate lymph flow. Gua means 'to scrape' and sha refers to how the skin looks after stimulating with the stone and oil. Before you start with the gua sha massage, clean your face, for example with the Dull Faace Cleanser from Faace. To make the stone glide smoothly, apply a facial oil such as the StartCycle Facial Oil from Suki or the Comforting Face & Body Oil from Made by Coopers. The gua sha stone for the face can have different shapes, we recommend the Lahi Gua Sha - Black Obsidian from Nãmaka Rituals and the Aloha Gua Sha - Rose Quartz from Nãmaka Rituals. Both stones are very suitable for massaging the face, for both beginners and advanced. When the oil is applied, start scraping the stone over your face. You don't have to press hard; a light pressure is enough. For example, start at your jawline and sweep up to your cheekbones three times. After a few strokes and glides you will see that your skin turns pink and that is a good sign: the blood circulation is stimulated and brings nutrients and oxygen to the massaged area. Do you want to tackle under-eye bags? Stroke very gently a few times - be careful not to pull on your skin - with the gua sha from your nose over the skin under your eyes towards your hairline.

For your baby
A massage can evoke feelings of relaxation, caring, comfort and connection. This also makes it ideally suited to use with your baby or child. Massaging your baby is a wonderful way to relax and enjoy time with him or her. Massaging your baby is not difficult, but there are some general guidelines that will make it a pleasant experience for you and your baby. For example, it is important to choose an allergen-free massage oil that is suitable for massaging the fragile baby skin. An example of this is the Massage Oil from SKINHAPTICS. Make sure the room is warm and draft-free. Avoid massaging your baby directly after feeding and wait at least 45 minutes or until your baby is calm and alert. This can be before bedtime or after changing a diaper. Many people find that just after a bath is the best time, as the baby is already undressed and can help the baby feel relaxed before bedtime. Also, remove all jewellery and make sure your hands are clean and warm. Put some of the massage oil in your palms – not directly on your baby – and warm the oil up by rubbing your hands together. Massaging your baby can take between 10 to 30 minutes, depending of course on how your baby reacts. Massaging your baby when he or she is upset is not a good idea. It should be something that you both enjoy. Don't forget to relax yourself and don't worry too much about your technique. Speak softly, sing or hum to your baby and smile to teach him or her that this is a fun, loving activity.

This is how to massage your baby
❤ Start by massaging the soles of your baby's feet. Use firm, gentle, slow movements from the heel to the toes. Always keep one hand on your baby while massaging.
❤ Continue with long, flowing movements along your baby's legs. Massage from the ankle to the thigh and over the hip. Avoid massaging the genital area. Support your baby's leg under the knee and gently move it up towards the belly. This can also help release gas.
❤ Begin massaging the upper body by placing your hands on your baby's shoulders. Make gentle movements towards the chest.
❤ Massage your baby's arms by stroking from the shoulders to the wrists. Be careful not to get oil on your baby's hands. If it happens, wipe the fingers clean before they suck on them.
❤ If your baby's tummy feels soft (not hard or full), massage it in a clockwise circular motion This might help with belly problems such as colic and constipation. If your baby’s belly is full, just skip this area and move on to massaging the face.
❤ Use your fingertips to massage your baby's face. Stroke from the middle of your baby’s forehead, along the outside of the face and towards the cheeks, avoiding the eyes.
❤ If your baby is still relaxed after you finish massaging the front, you can turn your baby on the belly and massage the back, arms and legs with long, soft movements.

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