The Benefits of Massage for Arthritis, Stress and Headaches Infographic

benefits of massage for arthritis, stress and headaches infographicGreat infographic from Massage Chairs via MindBodyGreen  showing the benefits of massage, particularly for patients with arthritis.

How a massage can help with Arthritis

A massage relieves stress and tension and helps to promote flexibility in stiff joints.  The worst thing anyone suffering from arthritis can do is to stop moving the offending body part… and yet, in most cases, that is what happens – because it hurts.

Use it or lose it… but worse still, don’t use it and have it stiffen up and become painful, as well as useless. Because if you stop moving, the joint stops self-lubricating, exacerbating your difficulties.

If you’re suffering with arthritis in your fingers, hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, toes, ankles knees, pelvis, spine, your masseur can provide a helpful and restorative treatment. Get those lubricating juices going again.

If you regularly find yourself in a darkened room due to a stress headache, your massage therapist can help to banish these outbreaks.

Give Mike a call on 01702 710531 to find out more about massage therapy for arthritis, stress and headaches

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Massage and Work Stress

massage and work stressVery interesting infographic from Workplace Claim via Good Relaxation.

The most stressful jobs in the UK

It would seem that the people who suffer most with work related stress in the UK are women aged between 35 and 54, particularly those who work in environments where there are more than 250 other employees. Health, nursing and social workers, teachers, bankers and lawyers, recruitment and sales staff, even head chefs – they all get a mention as being particularly stress filled jobs.

And the newspapers over recent years have been filled with media coverage of court cases that ensue as a result of some of these professions getting it wrong. It’s not surprising that the incumbents of those posts feel the pressure – even in areas where the job is as much a vocation as a job. So how do massage and work stress relate?

How massage can help with your work stresses

Often the end result of work stresses is poor posture. If you spend all day tensed up over a computer or are walking around worrying as you battle with outcomes and deadlines, what better way to loosen off those stiff sore shoulders than a relaxing massage when you get off the train?

Let Mike help you to leave those tensions behind at the office so you can enjoy the rest of your evening free of the intensity of that pressure.

Calming massage and work stress……dissipates

Calming, soothing, liberating – the toxins and the anxiety just melt away under the swirling movements of his hands. Muscles loosen and soften, your eyes automatically close and your mind and body begin to drift away from the maelstrom that once surrounded you. With massage and work stress there’s only one winner – you!

A recent study at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles addressed massage and work stress. The study involved participants receiving either a 45 minute deep tissue massage or a light massage. The results showed that just one session of the deep tissue Swedish massage decreased the levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, whilst the light massage increased the levels of oxytocin, a hormone associated with contentment.

Find The Ark for Massage in Leigh on Sea

Find The Ark – it is a short walk up the cliffs from Leigh-on-Sea railway station. So, if you’re coming back to Southend from the commute to London on C2C, why not stop off and visit us for a relaxing de-stress, or for pain relief from poor office posture.

If you’re suffering with work related stress, book a massage treatment at the Ark with Mike on 01702 710531

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QR code promotion

qrcode promotion for £5 off your first treatmentHello….

As a thank you for scanning our QR code we would like to offer all new clients £5 off their first treatment. Please quote ‘QR code’ when making your booking to qualify for your discount.

Thank you for taking part in our QR code promotion.

We look forward to seeing you soon……

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Essex Massage

Essex Massage seems to be a term which covers a multitude of sins but at The Ark we offer a whole range of different types of massage.

From Sports Massage for those knotty, tension-filled stiff shoulders and necks to Holistic Massage, Therapy Massage and Aromatherapy Massage which will help to relax even the most fraught and stressed individuals. For many customers, their symptoms require a combination of all these skills to achieve that state where you leave the treatment room feeling as if you are walking on air… and a couple of inches taller.

There is also Indian Head Massage, Hand or Foot or Hand and Foot Massage, Reflexology and Reiki. All treatments which can address the ailments of the client from a slightly different perspective.

Sports Massage is a unique type of massage that uses trigger point therapy to break down knots in the muscles and increase range of motion. There can be some discomfort involved in that process but the improvements can be felt as soon as you get off the treatment table.

An Aromatherapy Back, Head and Neck treatment can be the perfect Destress Massage, using carefully chosen oils to melt away the fatigue of the life’s challenges.

Indian Head Massage is another relaxing therapy that also gives great benefits to the condition of your hair.

Regular hand and foot massage boosts the circulation to those extremities, nourishing and replenishing the blood supply. Reflexology works in a similar way with the added bonus that specific points on your feet are believed in some cultures to relate directly to the health of other body organs. Sadly, the ASA rules will not allow us to talk more about this as there is no Western medical proof of this link.

Reiki is also covered by the ASA ruling but it too has many fans across the world.

So, Essex Massage at The Ark is not just a cursory once-over with some sweaty palms but a luxurious and personalised reintroduction to a state of relaxation and well being.

Find The Ark for Essex massage

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Back Massages and Baby Bath Sets

The Ark regularly gives back massages to new parents who are suffering with acute back pain.

After a lovely relaxing treatment to relieve the discomfort, they walk out of the shop feeling as if they’re walking on air.

However, the following day, it’s bath time as usual and they’re bending themselves in half to support and wash a tiny tot who weighs considerably more than that description implies. This can lead to long-term back problems that could go beyond the restorative qualities of back massages.

There is so much baby equipment today that is designed to take the strain out of parenthood and help to save our backs – as Ashley J Downs reveals here.

Back care professionals everywhere shake their heads at the awkward postures we assume for long periods so as to keep bath time safe for our tiny babies. Even someone with the strongest core muscles is going to put strain on their back bent over at an awkward angle with both hands supporting the weight of a baby whilst, simultaneously washing it – any woman that’s not long given birth will tell you it’s agony and no, you can’t have gas and air!

But, finally, an inspired designer has come up with the solution to all these problems. It’s called a Tummy Tub and it’s an upright bath that is shaped like a womb, holding baby in the familiar foetal position, warm and cocooned right up to the shoulders. Despite this, a standard sized baby bath uses considerably more water, so it is heavier to lift and far less ecologically friendly.

There’s even a stand that lifts it to the perfect back-saving height then turns into a step as baby turns into independent tiddler then a box for them to store their treasures in after that. No wonder it’s won awards, it’s one of those things that makes you wonder why someone didn’t think of it years ago. Maybe because we were all busy clinging to slippery babies then holding our aching backs, huh?

Ashley J Downs has been at the sharp end of parenting for over a decade and is well versed in the joy and pain of childcare. For baby shops online and to find out more about using
baby bath sets
to make bathtime fun for all the family



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Mentholated Crystal

"mentholated crystal, shishas and incense sticks in southend"I can remember my Dad ‘inhaling’ Mentholated Crystal and other airway-clearing products with his towel-covered head over a bowl of hot water on the kitchen table.

I did try it once… and hated it. I just got hot and sweaty and uncomfortable. So, when I arrived for my massage and complained about my bunged up nose, I was not very receptive to Mike’s suggestion of inhaling.

However, on the basis that my nose started running within 30 seconds of going face down on the couch, I changed my mind.

Instead of a bowl of hot water, he set light to some charcoal in a bowl and set then added the waxy white Mentholated crystals before placing them on the floor underneath the hole in the bed.

It didn’t take more than a lungful of the pungent smoke to see me rearing up off the bed to try to get away as Mike instructed me to ‘breathe’.

Two more inhalations and I started to notice the benefits as the mucus in my sinuses began to clear.

According to Wikipedia, Menthol has local anesthetic and counterirritant qualities, and it is widely used to relieve minor throat irritations.

I shall certainly be using it again in the future.

The Ark carries a wide range of aromatherapy oils and incense sticks, as well as Shishas, charcoal and Shisha products, including frankincense.

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Destress Massage – Back, Neck, Head and Face

When I first went to visit Mike, I was after an Indian Head Massage but his diagnosis was that I would benefit from a back and neck massage.

He was right. My shoulder problems improved immediately and I began visiting him for regular treatments. Sometimes for sports massages and at others for a more relaxing holistic massage with aromatherapy oils.

On this day, it must have been apparent how tired I was as he prescribed a back, neck, head and face treatment and it turned out to be the perfect destress massage.

Mixing up some suitably relaxing and de-stressing aromatherapy oils, he started unknotting my back before turning me over – taking care with the towels to preserve my modesty.

And that’s when it really got good. My head and face received lots of careful attention, smoothing and soothing all the tension. Normally I manage to talk my way all through a massage because I am so wound up but this one really shut me up 🙂

The part I remember most as I drifted in and out of a gentle doze, was when he lifted my head and took the whole weight in his hands as I lay on the bed, carefully turning it fully to the left and then to the right as he eased out the tight muscles. Also the full strokes up my back, reaching down between my body and the bed and gently pulling my neck bones to extend properly rather than slumping together.

When I finally left the salon after about an hour of treatment, it felt as if I was walking on air and I could have slept for a week.

Destress Massage.


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Discount Massage For Leigh Lights Night

In celebration of the switching on of Leigh Lights on Friday 26 November, The Ark is offering a discount massage promotion.

If you book a massage with Mike at The Ark on Friday the treatment will be subject to a 50% discount when you pay.

Pop in or call us on 01702 710531.

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What Is Indian Head Massage?

A salon test by Kate Eshmade originally printed in Echo Woman

Kate Eshmade discovers bliss in an Indian Head Massage

I’ll let you into a little secret. While the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, the route to mine is via my head.

My scalp to be precise.

I can think of nothing nicer than having my hair stroked and played with to totally chill me out. In fact I’d turn down unlimited use of a chocolate fountain for a whole month, or a night being fed grapes and champagne by a male Adonis, to have my hair played with.

As you can see, I’m a bit of a fan. However, for all my enthusiasm, I’d never had a head massage done properly.

So, after a long day at work, I headed over to The Ark in Leigh to take advantage of its late night opening and to enjoy my first Indian Head Massage.

On a cold blustery night on which I’d rather have stayed in curled up on the sofa, I was hoping for big things.

I wasn’t disappointed.

The Ark is a shop and salon combined. The shop sells crystals, candles, oils and incense, while the salon offers a host of Holistic Treatments such as Reiki, Reflexology and Aromatherapy, as well as a Hairdressers.

My therapist asked me to complete a detailed health questionnaire and then took me into the treatment room. After double checking that I didn’t suffer from migraines, she asked why I’d chosen this particular treatment and then told me to take my jumper off and wrap a towel around my upper body and sit waiting on the chair.

I’d like to tell you all about the decor of the room, but I had my eyes shut in a state of relaxed bliss for most of it.

What I do remember is wooden floors, candlelight and soothing music – what you’d expect really.

My therapist started by rubbing aromatherapy oil into my upper back and kneading out all the knots a day spent in front of a computer creates.

As soon as she started, my head drooped and I switched off completely. Thankfully my therapist allowed me to do this and didn’t interrupt my inner calm with chit-chat.

After my back and neck had been attended to, she moved onto my head. Starting by stroking my hair down and then ruffling it up like when you towel-dry your hair.

Then she combed through my hair with her fingers, pulled different strands and tapped my head with varying levels of force – thankfully none of them too hard.

By this point though, if she had wrapped my hair around her fist and dragged me round the room, I probably wouldn’t have minded.

Sadly, after 30 minutes, the massage was over, and I had to rejoin reality. My therapist poured me a glass of water and told me that she would meet me outside when I was ready.

I could have quite easily curled up on the bed and had a good snooze but I’m not sure her generosity would have stretched quite that far.

My only criticism would be that the chair moved about a little during the massage, but apart from that I was delighted with my first professional Indian Head Massage.

I do have some advice though – don’t arrange to meet your friends or boyfriend straight afterwards.

As I left, despite feeling calm and relaxed, my hair was most definitely distressed. The oil they use makes your hair resemble that of Waynetta Slob and needs a good wash before you can safely be seen in public again.

Visit the Ark for your Indian Head Massage

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Therapeutic Massages

"Therapeutic-massages"Does pain and restricted movement interfere with the way you live your life?

Do you suffer from muscular tension and postural deficiencies due to your lifestyle or occupation?

Whether it’s a sports injury, household accident, work-related repetitive strain problem or just the stress of every day life, tension can build up in the body, and cause to muscular pain and discomfort.

Therapeutic Massages are gentle treatments which can help to relieve and, sometimes, even cure a wide range of conditions. By improving the circulation, these massages promote the body’s own natural healing processes, nourishing tired muscles or damaged tissues.

The therapist will take extra time with a first time client to understand current and past health complaints. The whole body will be assessed to formulate a massage plan that will rid the body of harmful toxins, allowing it to function more efficiently. This first session may retain a large relaxation element to it but advanced techniques, such as deep tissue massage and trigger point therapy, may be used for pain and chronic health issues

Call The Ark: Massage in Southend on 01702 710531 to book a course of therapeutic massages for the relief of persistent pain. First-time customers will receive £5 off their first treatment. Purchase a four-session pass to get a further 10% off, whilst a six-appointment pass will be discounted by 15%

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