The image above of a woman relaxing in the bath whilst eating chocolate is taken from a highly successful 1990s advertising campaign. You may well recognise it but what is the relevance with massage and wellness? Well, chocolate ... and our favourite relaxation remedy, a full body massage, have a bit more in common than you might initially think. Explore some of the similarities with us below.
Commentators have suggested that 1991 Cadbury's Flake advert above was a roaring success because it simply touched a part of our mental psychology that yearns for a moment of pure and simple indulgent relaxation. The campaign's genius was to associate chocolate with self-indulgence and total relaxation.
The ad's success suggested many of us are searching for easy ways to feel pampered and take more care of ourselves. "Me Time" as it is often called!
Therapeutic massage is one of the most widely practised and effective forms of relaxation. And with mobile massage apps like TheMassageRooms.com offering a massage at your home within 60 minutes, booking a therapy based relaxation treat is also now about as easy as buying a chocolate and filling the bath tub!
To make your massage a little more of a treat than usual, add a few drops of an extra-special essential oil to a good almond massage oil. For a step up from the rest, try Neroli essential oil. Neroli oil has a sweet, honey like scent and is extracted from blossoms of the bitter orange tree. It is widely believed to possess beneficial natural properties such as reducing feelings of sadness or anxiety. This essential oil may just be the one thing you need to add to your regular massage treatment to treat yourself to during a period of extreme stress. The oil is quite expensive but promises a host of other natural benefits too.
There are many special essential oils that you can add to standard almond oil to create a bespoke massage oil and what you choose depends both on your natural preferences for scent as well as what benefits you are seeking. Like precious stones, the rarer and more difficult the core ingredient is to obtain, the more expensive it becomes. If you are feeling really quite extravagant then you might like to consider what is regarded as one of the most exclusive essential oils, Champaca, which at around £200 for just 25ml is one of the most expensive essential oils in the world! It boasts a beautiful natural aroma used by many of the leading perfumeries as well as inherent benefits in quickly and effectively reducing deep stress and tension. Champaca is also considered to be an excellent natural promoter of relaxation, happiness ... and even a powerful aphrodisiac!
Burn an exclusive candle to provide not only soft lighting but a gorgeous background scent for your massage treatment. Try a luxuriously rich scented candle for a weekly treat or Tom Dixon’s Materialism Oil candle for an even more indulgent treat. However for those of you who are looking for the extremities of lavishness then consider Fornasetti’s Nuvola Mistero which is not only presented in a beautiful carrier but also offers amazing deep scents of sandalwood and cedar, both perfect accompaniments for deep tissue relaxation massage. At first glance the £245 price tag seems somewhat ludicrous for a candle but just give it a moments thought. It is expected to last 180 hours, which means it could provide gorgeous luxury aromas and lighting for 120 massages of 90 minutes each. At around £2.00 per massage, that's starting to look like a bargain for luxury!
What good is all the above if the massage therapist who performs your massage just does not feel right? This is why we offer you the best chance to choose a therapist who matches what you are after. We show full profiles of massage therapists that you can book, detailing their treatment style, personality and a photo so you know who will be visiting you at your home or hotel.
Choosing the best massage therapist can be a process of trial and error. Take your time, relax your mind and be open to new ideas and personalities. Try a few different therapists. You will know when you have found the one for you. Simply enter your postcode (London only) to check which of our masseuses can visit you at your home or hotel room right now.
For a special post indulgent massage treat, why not keep a few small pieces of your favourite high quality chocolate by the side of your glass of cool water. Cadbury's is fine if you like it but we recommend you choose a chocolate which has 70% or more cocoa content. Massage helps promote the release of endorphins into your body. A further boost with a few bites of high quality chocolate will help those happy hormones along the way!
When endorphins are released into your bloodstream you feel stress and pain melt away and generally much happier. The first thing many of us immediately think of when seeking to boost our endorphins levels is chocolate. Cocoa contains both Phenethylamine and Theobromine which according to some studies work to boost endorphin levels in your body and suppress pain in favour of pleasure.
Good quality massage is another excellent way to encourage the release of endorphins into your body. And of course, whilst a little chocolate is a lovely occasional treat, a constant stream of endorphin releasing chocolate is unlikely to be good for your longer term health. A regular massage however is likely to increasingly increase your overall health and endorphins levels.
All this talk of chocolate and massage and we have not yet mentioned the chocolate massage treatment which some spas offer. What we have discussed above is our recommended alternative but if you simply feel like a beauty based experience, check out your local spa to see if they offer a chocolate massage.
Finally, if you find you've enjoyed a little too much chocolate over the years, perhaps have a look at how massage can help reduce cellulite.