Each year on Mother’s Day, children young and grown take the opportunity to thank their moms for the sacrifice and support they provide. Massage is a gift that goes above and beyond the usual brunch and bouquet of flowers.
Here are three reasons why you should choose massage for your mother on Mother’s Day.
1. Massage for Mother’s Day is Nurturing
Remember how Mom’s hug could make everything feel better? Therapeutic massage returns the favor. During a Swedish massage session, which is the most common type of massage, the therapist will check in to make sure the amount of pressure is OK, and Mom will be covered with a sheet or blanket to protect her modesty.
The therapist will apply oil or lotion, and use gentle, sweeping strokes and kneading to find and release Mom’s tight spots or simply help her deeply relax.
If botanical ingredients or oils are used, the session’s health benefits are multiplied, according to Jenn Dazey, N.D., a naturopathic physician who teaches at Bastyr University, in Seattle, Washington.
“One of the oils that I love to use is fennel oil, which works great as an abdominal rub for someone who suffers from nervous tension or digestive upset in the gut,” Jenn Dazey, N.D., said.
Fennel oil rubbed clockwise into the belly can really help with that type of tension.
Citrus oils are invigorating, rosemary oil opens the senses, and sandalwood and patchouli oils are sedating and relaxing, Dazey said. Coconut oil has antiviral benefits and also helps smooth out skin that is tense, she added. “It also works on fat deposits to make skin more smooth.”
With or without special oils, a Mother’s Day massage session provides relaxation, pain relief and deep nurturance: Studies show massage therapy boosts the release of the feel-good hormones oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine, all of which increase feelings of contentment.
2. Massage for Mother’s Day is Pampering
A massage session could include the fragrance of essential oils such as lavender or orange, a heated blanket, flickering candles and soft instrumental music, which combine to create a pampering environment.
Spa-type add-ons like a foot scrub, hot stones or facial massage, which are offered by many massage therapists in private practice, will leave Mom feeling like the queen she is.
You can choose a therapist who specializes in a massage technique like reflexology to add specific benefits to a massage session.
“We have a lot of information from reflexology about how the feet affect the whole body, and the feet also absorb a lot from their environment,” Dazey said. “A foot massage from a specialist who can use the reflexology points and also use a medicinal oil would be a very deep kind of therapy.”
When you call a massage therapist, ask if he is trained in a specific technique, or offers add-ons like aromatherapy, reflexology, hot stones, warm packs, facial massage or foot-and-hand treatments. Or you might want to choose a Swedish massage.
Have fun choosing a session you think your mom will enjoy and benefit from.
3. Massage for Mother’s Day is Quick and Easy
A professional massage therapist will have a website or Facebook page, and will offer gift certificates for sale. Even if your gift is last-minute, you can go online to download a certificate for Mother’s Day, or pick up the phone and order a certificate from a local massage therapist.
Your mom can use her gift certificate any day of the year—not just on Mother’s Day.
If your mother lives in another city or state, you can find a massage therapist registered with a national company like Spafinder or Massagebook and simply download and email the certificate to your mom.
Appreciate Mom on Mother’s Day
Your mom gave you life. This year, skip the flowers and instead give her the gift of massage therapy, for a nurturing, therapeutic and enjoyable experience that lets her know how much you appreciate her.
Karen Menehan is MASSAGE Magazine’s editor in chief. She has edited and written for additional publications and organizations, including Imagine Magazine, the Sacramento Bee newspaper and the LIVESTRONG Foundation.