The skin is our largest organ. When you come into contact with the nerve endings on its surface, it sends a message to the brain, which releases three feel-good hormones: endorphin, oxytocin and dopamine. The key is less stress and an immediate feeling of relaxation. But getting a massage is also the key to stimulating blood and lymphatic circulation, reducing pain (sometimes with more effects than drug treatment or sports*) and above all reconnecting with yourself. Among the most recent discoveries: the effectiveness of massage in stimulating immunity**. In short, nothing but beneficial. “At home, when we have a problem, we go to see a shrink. In the East, we go to have a massage, because we know that it allows, better than anything else, to recirculate the energies and to see things more clearly”, summarizes Dominique Rist, international director of treatment protocols. at Clarins. What if our habits changed here?
Reconnect to yourself
Many practitioners have observed it: requests for massages have multiplied since the confinements. “Many people have been left alone in their homes for months. But to be touched is to exist”, deciphers Martine de Richeville, creator of the eponymous signature treatment. Concretely, the massage rebalances the parasympathetic (which slows the heart rate) and sympathetic (which triggers the production of adrenaline) systems, and you feel better instantly. “When we touch the body, we actually touch the inner being. We all need it to be more balanced, ”supports Dominique Rist.
Especially since there is actually a technique for everyone. Lymphatic drainage, currently very popular, “stimulates the evacuation and elimination of lymph and reboosts blood circulation. By evacuating toxins, it also helps to reduce cellulite,” analyzes practitioner Maria Machado. In this field, if the famous palpate-roll remains the star, the ancestral technique of maderotherapy is gaining more and more followers. Practiced for millennia in Egypt and Lebanon, it comes to us mainly from Latin America, where it has been a hit since the beginning of the 20th century. It is a massage that is carried out with about fifteen natural wooden accessories, all sculpted to fit the curves of the body. Its effects are twofold: it removes fat and it drains, but it is also a rehabilitation technique that allows better muscle recovery.
Massage is also and above all a health gesture. “Touch allows you to connect to the energy circuits and to access all the traumas and blockages that can generate pathologies. By working on letting go, we can anticipate certain pains or illnesses,” explains Martine de Richeville. In recent months, we have been practicing more and more Chi Nei Tsang, a holistic Taoist massage that focuses on the stomach and viscera to revive energies and rebalance the organs. A practice that is all the more effective as the intestine is a “second brain”. As for the organs, since each one is the seat of an emotion (anger for the liver, fear for the kidneys…), stimulating them allows a kind of examination of conscience, even an express therapy. “Massaging causes a diencephalic disconnection, that is to say a relaxation of the nervous system. And beyond the physical benefits, this has consequences on sleep, fatigue and stress, ”says Laetitia Larue, masseuse, practitioner of Chi Nei Tsang and naturopath. So many reasons to get started.
* “Annals of Internal Medicine”, 2011.
** “International Journal of Neuroscience”, 2010.
The power of scents
A study published in 2021 in the journal “Current Biology” showed that a scent deemed pleasant could activate reward circuits in the brain, due to a privileged connection between the olfactory bulb and tubercle. The result is a production of dopamine comparable to that caused by certain foods or drugs! In another register, a study carried out at Clarins demonstrated by “eye tracking” that a few splashes of the new Extraordinary Water on the body reinforced self-confidence. Even if it means massaging (or splashing), you might as well do it with formulas with added aromatic value!
Close to home
From half an hour of “Flash Healthy Glow” to 90 minutes (voluptuous!) of body and face massage “The Art of Touch”, the Clarins institutes offer a wide range of expert treatments, whatever the weather and the budget we have. From €40 to €170. clarins.fr
In a vast wooded area, this residence offers, in addition to Clarins treatments at the spa, to bet on a gourmet detox thanks to the healthy seasonal menu prepared by the
Dr Olivier Courtin, in duo with chef Dominique Pépin. From July 1, from €100 to €165 for lunch + treatment (30 or 60 minutes). Hautsdeloire.com
At the resort spa
5 star Nikki Beach, in Jumeira Bay, the exoticism of Dubai is added to the change of scenery provided by Clarins treatments. The language and customs change, the expertise remains the same. From 250 AED (around €62) for a 25-minute treatment. nikkibeach.com
Our enveloping selection
by Lauriane Seigner