“There are so many benefits to self-massage – the list goes on and on,” says Goldster’s Massage Therapist and expert Dan Hope. He’s obviously very well versed in devising bespoke massages for his personal clients but has adapted the techniques to be more general for his Goldster Self-Massage classes. “Reducing stress levels, increasing relaxation, reducing cortisol levels (the stress hormone),” lists Dan of some of the profound effects, “reducing pain, improving circulation in the body, encouraging lymphatic flow (which can be stagnant otherwise) which in turn reduces swelling around knees ankles and wrists.” Not to mention the fact that the lymphatic system is very important for the immune system. A better night’s sleep is another benefit, as is less muscle soreness and cramping.
Dan’s classes, whilst broad and general, also focus on specific conditions such as arthritis and cramp in the legs. “I want to make people aware there are things you can do yourself without medication and massage is a tool for wellness,” he continues explaining he will often link in with other Goldster classes such as fitness and breathwork. “I will do a massage around the stomach for digestion and link in with Claudia Goldster’s nutritionist.”
Dan has an extensive list of techniques he uses including Swedish massage. “It’s very relaxed, very gentle, with circular strokes. It works on the parasympathetic nervous system.” The Massage for Sleep class involves very light, very superficial touch whereas his Friday and Saturday sessions are more of a deep tissue massage and sports massage with some stretching. “I use trigger points not just hands and fingers, such as rolling up a towel trying to massage the neck and shoulders,” he adds.
Some simple starter techniques you can do to begin with? “Being aware of your body. Often we’re not in touch with our bodies,” says Dan, “You can also do what’s called ‘Palpation’ – feeling the muscles. You can do a touch test, closing your eyes and going through the body and checking in. Or something like long strokes along legs and arms.” Better wellness starts here.