Jaap (39) and Prakay (30) own Het Massagehuys – an Amsterdam relaxing centre for a pause in your hectic life. The duo (one-half Dutch, one-half Thai) is specialised in oils, their home-made Happy oil is energising and makes you feel your vibrant self again. Like no other, they know about stress relieve, relaxing methods and bringing your mind and body back into balance. With stiff necks, painful shoulders and RSI complaints all around us (hello you!), we asked Jaap about the how and why of massage treatments.
How important is a good massage every now and then?
Jaap: “Massages have a physical, but also a mental effect. Working a lot behind a computer can cause knots in your muscles, which leads to stiffness. These knots can be relatively easily remedied with a massage. I see a massage as a reset to clear your head, relax and make a new start.”
In what way can a massage contribute to stress relieve?
Jaap: “Through the interaction between mind and body, tension builds up in your muscles. A massage, the oils used, but also the atmosphere, the smell and me-time are important factors to relax. Moreover, a good message lets your body produce hormones that repair the body from within.”
How come massage treatments are often seen as luxury good?
Jaap: “A massage in a spa is relatively expensive. What I seek is a quality massage to be accessible to a large group of people. It’s super important for all of us to be able to take time for ourselves.”
How do you know when to take a massage treatment?
Jaap: “Knots and stiffness are a sign of tension! Your body is giving you alarming signals to slow down, take them seriously. If you feel numbness in your arm(s) like with RSI, you’re probably already too late, so listen to your body and undertake action when you’re in pain. If you feel stressed out, a good massage can help you relax. Take a message every week for a month to make sure your symptoms will not worsen.”
What kind of massage do you recommend in the case of stiff and sore muscles because of excessive computing?
Jaap: “All muscles in our body are connected; your neck with you spine and your back with your legs. I suggest going for a full treatment of the body. Our Strong Muscle massage, which tackles the knots in your muscles, or a Stress Relief massage that relaxes you from within.”
Name three exercises to do at home for a relaxed and happy body
1. “If you draw a line from your thumb to your wrist and doing the same for you index finger, these lines will cross. This is a place where stress is stored. If you massage your hand at this spot, you’ll let go of a lot of built-up tensions.”
2. “Hard to do but really helpful: stay away from your laptop and phone screen a few hours before going to bed. The bluish light makes you sleep much lighter than you should.”
3. “A cup of herbal tea before bedtime can make for a good night’s sleep, and that’s half the battle.”