This summer is warming up to be a hot one with temperatures regularly going over 30°C and forecast to reach as high as 38°C in London before the end of July.
While this kind of weather is perfect for a refreshing dip in the local lido or a leisurely picnic in the shade at a nearby park, it is probably getting a little too hot for a massage outdoors.
And whilst taking a hot bath might not be on the agenda this week, it is worth noting that the water temperature for bathing is usually between 37°C to 39°C. So the air outside during a sweltering summer is about the same temperature as the water in a hot tub. Now that’s hot.
At an external temperature of around 39°C, your heart rate can increase by as much as 15 per cent just due to the heat. This can be risky for those who suffer from cardiovascular diseases or other poor heart health.
So whilst the scorching summer sun might make us feel like we are on holiday and offer many joys, this kind of extreme heat can also be uncomfortable and pose a risk to health.
Keeping cool and ensuring adequate amounts of rest and relaxation are key to enjoying a hot summer.
But getting a massage in extreme heat can feel awkward if you do not prepare appropriately. Here’s how to keep cool and enjoy a massage during a heatwave.
This may sound obvious but undressing for your massage is a helpful first step in cooling down during a heatwave.
Once you are naked, cover yourself with a large lightweight cotton sheet rather than a thick heavy towel. Naturally light fibres feel fresher and will also help regulate your body temperature throughout your treatment.
Just remember, if you are having an oil-based massage the sheet will probably stain. So it is best to use one that you can wash on a higher temperature setting afterwards to remove any surplus oil.
Once you’ve stripped off, take the opportunity to cleanse and cool yourself down.
It might feel a little counterproductive to relaxation but taking a short cool shower just before your therapist arrives might also help you enjoy your massage more during a heatwave.
The cold water will bring your temperature down as well as clean your body of any sweat, leaving you feeling fresher.
Then, when your therapist’s hands touch you, the feeling will be a pleasantly warming one rather than even more unwanted heat.
Whatever the heat, empathy from a real massage is always a welcoming warmth.
Electric fans are wonderful accessories to use during massages in the heat.
If you can, set up two oscillating fans at opposite corners of your bed or massage table.
Get them rotating such that when one blows cool air over you, the other is pushing it around the rest your room. And then as the fans swing around, they will cross paths allowing you to enjoy cool air from all directions.
The swaying, slightly breezy, motion that is created by a pair of fans oscillating in harmony not only cools the room more effectively but also does wonders for increasing the sense of calm around you during relaxation therapy.
If you do not have access to electric fans then try fully opening as many windows as you can. To stop bright light disturbing your massage, draw your curtains if they are thin or just pin up a linen sheet.
Being massaged by oil generally yields a warming feeling. So during a hot summer, ditch your usual massage oil in favour of a cooling cream.
Just let your therapist know you have your own preferred cream and they will be happy to use that for your massage instead of oil.
Whether you are getting a massage during a hot summers day or not, drinking plenty of water is essential to maintaining good health.
High temperatures – and massage therapy – can speed up the rate at which our bodies lose water. Staying well hydrated is crucial.
Drinking water before and after your massage not only helps you rehydrate but also refreshes your mind.
Add several ice cubes to your glass of water and keep it by the side of your bed, so that you have it easy to hand at the end of your treatment.
Ps. Whilst you are relaxing to your cooling massage, please remember that your therapist will be working quite hard in the heat. Don’t forget to offer them a cold glass of water too!
So if the heat starts getting to you and you find it is too hot to work, follow the tips above and book yourself a cooling massage to recover!