I was a willing vacay guinea pig. Here’s what I discovered…
I’m a male, sex-positive pleasure provider.
Who knew that there are so many benefits of a scalp massage? They help to relieve tension, de-stress the entire body, reduce shedding, increase energy levels, and even stimulate the follicle making your hair grow faster.
To do this yourself at home, all you need are a few basic techniques and some essential oils.
1. Take 1 tablespoon of coconut or essential oil and smooth it between your hands. This will make it much easier to manoeuvre around your hair, and is super relaxing.
2. Start by running your fingers from the top of your scalp to the very back, since it helps to wake up the hair follicles. Avoid using your nails (possibly trim or file them beforehand), since they can damage your scalp.
The aim is to distribute the oil all over your hair, so don’t forget to work from back to front as well.
3. Use a zig zag motion (locking in your fingers into each other), and work from the middle section of your scalp, all the way to the back of your neck. Not only does it feel very relaxing, but it helps to detoxifying your entire scalp.
4. Concentrate on massaging the back of your head, and you might want to flip your hair over. Rotate your fingers and use an outwards motion to penetrate the hair follicle. If you feel like it’s actually giving you a headache, then ease-up and relax your hands – they’re probably too rough!
5. Apply some pressure with your fingers to the main points of your scalp by pushing down gently. Stimulate blood flow by rotating your fingers in a circular motion.
Image via Zunair Sulman
Did you know that certain reflexes found in the foot can help to stabilise the entire body?
Used for centuries all over the world, foot reflexology is a popular way to de-stress and improve circulation. Whether you are suffering from a nasty headache, experiencing monthly back pain, or simply in need of a de-stressing exercise, here are a few ways foot reflexology can help you out.
How does it work?
Most therapists focus on stimulating the solar plexus which stores all of our excess stress. Once this sacred area is relaxed, then the entire body enters a serene state which seeks to eliminate all forms for stress.
When pressure is applied onto certain areas of the foot such as the heels are lower arch, this has a significant effect on the solar plexus. You will start to notice that stress levels have decreased, and your heart rate is beating a slower, more consistent level.
As with all massage techniques, applying a certain amount of pressure onto one area of the body can help to improve bad circulation. This will help to clear the path inside the blood stream, and will better support the proper function of healthy tissues and organs. Massaging the feet holds great health benefits since there are so many nerves linked into this central location.
Did you know that applying more pressure to the feet can decrease the amount of pain the rest of your body can feel? A rush of endorphins are released which help to minimise pain signals to the brain, and as a result, brings about a relaxing sensation. Next time you are experiencing a bad cramp or stomach ache, try massaging the area just below the arch of your feet to relax the entire body.
If you want to try a few of these stress relieving techniques at home, start with these simple exercises which will surely make you feel better:
A popular technique which helps to a tense feeling in the entire body. Use both hands to relax the foot, and then simply rub your thumb down the inside of both feet. This should take place from the tip of the big toe, down the length of your foot until you hit the heel.
To improve your overall circulation, stroke the bottom of your foot with each thumb. This should be a short, fluid action which firmly applies pressure on the base of your foot. Once you reach the toes, apply less pressure since the tendons around this area are more sensitive.
Before embarking on your own foot reflexology, make sure to review some of our beginners tips which will help make the process so much more effective.
- Drink as much water as you can before and after each massage. This will help to remove any nasties from your system, and can improve circulation.
- Use a light oil to make the massage feel better. Never massage dry feet since the exercises won’t feel as effective, and it will only make your feet feel dry! Coconut oil is a great choice since it’s inexpensive, and melts quickly between your fingers.
- Start off slow by massaging the top and base of your feet. Don’t apply too much pressure to areas which you’re unsure about. Even just massaging your toes, heels, and arch are enough to relax your entire body.
Image via Acupressure
Massage is great for you for a multitude of reasons. From relaxation to improving blood flow, easing muscle tension and even the feeling of a little ‘selfish’ indulgence, the benefits are many. So rid yourself of the guilt because massage shouldn’t just be relegated to being a rare special treat, it’s an integral part of your long-term wellbeing – and here’s why:
Massage can help with headaches. The power of touch seems to help limit headache pain. Start by applying gentle pressure with your fingertips to your temples, then move them in a circular motion along the hairline until they meet in the middle of your forehead.
It can help you sleep. The calming treatment can also help you spend more time asleep, according to research from Miami University’s Touch Research Institute: “Massage helps people spend more time in deep sleep, the restorative stage in which your body barely moves.”
Massage can reduce pain. A 2011 study found that massage helped people with low back pain to feel and function better, compared to people who didn’t get a rubdown.
Massage may ward off colds. There’s a small body of research that suggests massages boost immune function. A 2010 study, believed to be the largest study on massage’s effects on the immune system, found that 45 minutes of Swedish massage resulted in significant changes in white blood cells and lymphocytes, which help protect the body from bugs and germs.
It could make you more alert. At least one study has linked massage to better brainpower.
The stress reduction is scientific. Between the dim lights, soothing music and healing touch, it certainly feels like stress melts away during a massage, but research suggests a very literal reduction of cortisol, a major stress hormone.
It may alleviate depression symptoms. A 2010 review of the existing studies examining massage in people with depression found that all 17 pieces of research noted positive effects.
Massage may ease cancer treatment. Among patients receiving care for cancer, studies have noted multiple benefits of massage, including improved relaxation, sleep and immune system function as well as decreased fatigue, pain, anxiety and nausea.
What men and women do for fun
In the first-ever nationwide online Australian Pleasure Survey, 2,443 respondents answered what they enjoyed doing for summer, if their employer appreciated them, and how they wanted to be rewarded for a job well done.
It turns out that 73.0% of all respondents felt their employer generally or very much appreciated their efforts. But not if they got flowers! When asked what gift would be best for a job well done from their employer, flowers were perceived as the best reward by only 0.4% of women (and 0.2% of men), and nearly as unpopular were CD/DVD vouchers (1.2% and 1.7% respectively), movie vouchers (1.5% and 1.8% respectively) and food hampers (1.7% and 1.8% respectively).
The reward that 56.6% of you really want are fun things to do, such as a massage or a jet boat ride, with a dinner for two in second place (17.7%) and department store vouchers by 10.1% of all respondents.
And no surprises here: men and women enjoy their leisure time very differently which means you need to plan certain types of activities with your partner – and quite different ones for girlie get-together (of which 40.1% of all women compared to only 23.6% of men planned to do this summer).
The only favourite activities men and women seem to have in common are gourmet/ wine outings (of almost equal appeal to females and males (16.5% and 14.3% respectively), and outdoor/nature activities ( (22.5% and 27.1%). Fewer males (18.6%) than females (26.1%) want to go on romantic getaways, but at least they want to go!
The highest proportion of women (24.2%) chose pampering packages with other high-ranking choices being romantic getaways, dolphin/whale watching, adventure hot air ballooning, and not having to cook at all with the help of a personal chef all fantastic choices for a girlie get-together or hen’s event!
On the other hand, 12.2% of males voted for jet fighter flights as their favourite experience, with golf adventure, motor racing and, romantic getaways close behind.
We recently asked you ?what?s your best home pampering tip?? We had thousands of suggestions from SheSaid readers all over the country, with everything from candlelit rose petal bathes, to gorging yourself on chocolate ? and everything in between. One thing is clear ? whether it be chilling out in your favourite PJ or doing at-home pedicures with your girlfriend, SheSaid chicks sure know how to pamper themselves?
Here?s a selection of our favourite pampering hints and tips from SheSaid readers…
Snuggling in front of a fire with a book, escaping into a world of fiction, pampers the soul.Hazel.
Run a warm bath, add a generous quantity of good quality bath salts, surround with scented candles to create atmosphere, turn down the lights, relax. Sue.
My best home pampering tip for is always put yourself before the family dog. Lesley.
Feet up, tissues, nail polish – and someone else to paint them for you! Angela.
Do a full facial then relax in a hot lavender bath in the stillness of the night. Christine.
I cover myself in honey, run a hot bath filled with lavender and rose petals and soak, soak, soak. Jamie.
Inviting my best friends over for a night of foot spas, mud masks, videos and chocolate! Very invigorating! Nicole.
Pour a cup or two of milk into your bath along with a few drops of your favourite essential oils and voila! Rebecca.
Always have soft music, playing and a glass of chilled wine and just pamper from head to toe. Lisa.
Invite the boyfriend over, take off your clothes and hand him the massage oil. How could he possibly resist? Eliza.
A face mask, a hair treatment, a cup of hot chocolate with a Tim Tam and George Clooney on DVD! Cheryl.
Bake some yummy friands, make a cup of hot chocolate and snuggle with your favourite book. Mandy.
To some of you this might seem like a trivial admission but to me it?s been a long time coming. Let me explain. I am one of those beachy-types, never played with dolls, doesn?t wear much make up (OK, if at all), prefers sand shoes to stilettos and is NOT a beauty therapist devotee.But for my 35th birthday a couple of girlfriends decided it was high time I was indoctrinated into the secret world of beauty treatments. I was dragged along to the salon and proudly announced in the very quiet palatial reception area ? ?No I have never had a facial treatment before.? After the gasps and the attempted cover up of ?Oh you poor girl?, I was led by a young thing (with flawless skin) called Jasmine to a room and told to take everything off but my underpants! Thank goodness I wasn?t wearing my scungy old cottontails that day!
My first thought was ?if I?m just having a facial why do I have to undress??
Jasmine then proceeded to explain to me very carefully what secret women?s rituals she was about to perform on me and why. It all sounded pretty straightforward to me. Little did I know the pleasure was that about to begin. For the next hour and a half Jasmine slowly became my new best friend. She rubbed, scrubbed and massaged my face, neck, shoulders and scalp till I was so relaxed she could have made me agree to anything. Just when I was sinking into that really deep relaxed state, she leaned over and whispered to me ?Brigette will join us know to do your feet?. By now I thought, ?OK, do whatever you want to me!? But nothing prepared me for this orgasmic added treat. As Jasmine massaged down the whole length of my back with exotic smelling oils, Brigette massaged the soles of my poor, hardly ever touched feet! I felt like I was in a threesome! (OK, what I imagine it would be like to be in a threesome!) My brain didn?t know which pleasure receptors to listen to ? my feet or my head. Oh joy! Oh bliss! Can I stay in this warm, yummy smelling, relaxing, safe environment forever? Do you think that must be what babies feel in the womb?
By this time, my brain really kicked in with the shocking realisation that I had been missing out all this time on the joys of beauty treatments. Once I got past remonstrating with myself for being so foolish to deny myself for the last decade, I really began to enjoy myself as my fellow sisters have been for years and years.
So now I am addicted, I have left my tomboy past behind and joined in the devoted beauty therapist following and I am a true believer! Yes of course I immediately booked in again for another session in three weeks time and look forward to handing over my $100 for the best hour and half of each month!
One thing I didn?t understand though – why didn?t one of you chicks tell me how great facials are?
By Ruby Harris
Stand in front of a mirror and try to appreciate what you like about your body, instead of focusing on what you don’t. Don’t be ashamed to hang out around your house naked for a few minutes every day until you feel more comfortable in your skin. Then, when you have sex you’ll feel more confident and carefree.
Take sex out of your bedroom
Sometimes all you need is a change of scenery to heat things up. Try having sex in the kitchen, bathroom, or take it to the beach or even try it in your own backyard.
If you have never had an orgasm then maybe you need to read about them and understand how your body works so you can feel more comfortable.
Use your love muscles
Flex your vaginal muscles during sex so that you can get a tighter grip on your partner and create more friction.
Use the power of touch
Skin is one of the largest sex organs so learn to appreciate how your partner’s touch feels. Just learn to touch or massage before you have sex.