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Category: Beauty

The Best Essential Oils For You + How To Use ‘Em Safely

A powerful healing modality, aromatherapy has recently blossomed into a thriving subset of herbal medicine. Aromatic plant medicine involves working with some of nature’s strongest powers and is about much more than pairing one oil with a certain therapeutic benefit (i.e., lavender is for sleep). Here’s your detailed, expert-backed guide to the intricacies of finding the right essential oils and using them safely.

How to choose the right essential oils:

1. Identify the problem.

This is where everyone should start. Why do you want to start using essential oils? Do you have a physical problem? Is it chronic or acute? Perhaps there is no pain-point, and you’re looking to evoke a state of being, like relaxation. Once you get to the crux of the issue you want to address, it’s much easier to whittle down the thousands of essential oils one can use.

It’s easy to fall into the aforementioned “there’s an oil for that” mentality because many people use similar oils for common ailments. But with aromatherapy, it’s equally important to consider your personal smell preference. For example, Spikenard’s sedative effect makes it a go-to for insomniacs. But I know some people who just cannot stomach the smell and would prefer to use lavender or vetiver for sleep. Aromatherapy is an intimately personal science; It’s not one size fits all when it comes to blending.

2. Consider energetics.

For those who turn to essential oils for a specific therapeutic goal, considering energetics may seem baffling. While you need not work on an energetic, soul level to reap the benefits of aromatherapy, it’s useful to understand the chemistry. Evidence from Ancient Egypt tells us that aromatic oils were likely being used before 4500 B.C. The ancient Egyptians are renowned for their knowledge of cosmetics and fragrant ointments—with their most famous herbal preparation being “Kyphi,” which was a multipurpose spiritual blend of 16 ingredients.

As the Egyptians knew so well, oils have different properties that we don’t always consider. Some are heating, others cooling, and some resonate with us in different parts of our bodies.

For example, 1,8 cineole, also known as eucalyptol, is a chemical found largely in eucalyptus and rosemary that has a well-known cooling effect. Additionally, the chemical menthol triggers the cold-sensitive TRPM8 receptors in the skin and is responsible for the cooling sensation. Peppermint is an intensely freshening essential oil in part due to its high menthol content, so much so that many professionals suggest working with the hydrosol to avoid safety issues (particularly in children).

As oils cool, some can also bring on the heat. Oils high in phenols, containing chemicals like carvacrol, eugenol, and thymol, are known to be hot. These oils should be used with caution and include oregano, thyme, cinnamon leaf, and clove. More warming oils include yarrow, sweet marjoram, ginger, basil, and black pepper.

Potentially knowing if an oil identifies with feminine yin or masculine yang energy, or helps ground or open certain chakras, can provide even more support.

3. Combine oils.

Synergy is everything. While individual oils are potent, combining the aromatic molecules of different essential oils allows them to work together and results in greater benefit than the sum of individual effects. From a holistic perspective, I often blend synergies with three to five essential oils. At the very least, this blending technique allows me to have a core of the blend, enhancer, and harmonizer.

Blending oils with similar chemical components gives heightened effects. For example, blending ho-wood, rosewood, and Spanish marjoram, which all contain a high percentage of linalool, a monoterpene alcohol, would make a good synergy for sleep and deep relaxation.

4. Know the facts.

While it’s not realistic to expect everyone to know everything about each oil chemotype and potential contraindications, you can really get by with only two pieces of basic information: source and price. Let packaging be your first clue!

There is no regulatory body that scientifically evaluates and certifies the purity of essential oils.

On essential oil bottles, though, small, high-quality suppliers will always tell you the Latin binomial (indicating the plant genus and species), where and how the oil was distilled, and whether it’s organic or wild-harvested. The Latin name is important because there are many species of certain plant families, like lavender. In fact, there are over 250 species of eucalyptus—only eight of which are commonly used in aromatherapy. Knowing where an oil is from is key to understanding environmental factors that alter chemical constituents and aroma. For instance, lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) from France is considered superior to lavender grown in other countries, like Bulgaria.

5. Be wary of cheap oils and gimmicky claims.

Unfortunately, the scene has been set for unethical business practices as large corporate players drive raw material prices to low levels, often forbidding profit to be made. With rampant adulteration of oils (e.g., cheaper essential oils substituted and falsely labeled—like lavendin for lavender, or a completely synthetic laboratory-made oil labeled as wild-harvested), it’s crucial to be in the know about realistic essential oil prices—particularly for unadulterated, pure, and rare oils. For example, rose, jasmine, and sandalwood being sold in ½-ounce and 1-ounce sizes should raise some eyebrows. A single ounce of rose otto retails for $400 or more!

Given current industry practices, you should also be wary of popular, gimmicky claims. Perhaps the most egregious is using the label “Therapeutic Grade.” There is no such thing as “therapeutic grade” or “certified pure” essential oils. There is no regulatory body that scientifically evaluates and certifies the purity of essential oils. Some large, multilevel marketing brands have even trademarked or copyrighted these promotional sayings, but they are just misleading catchphrases. When purchasing essential oils, ask sellers if they provide data information sheets on their oils. Most quality distillers and retailers provide GC/MS (gas chromatography and mass spectrometry) testing results that show the chemical breakdown of their oils. This objective data can help you assess the quality of an oil when read (and tested!) properly.

6. Think beyond the oils.

Making your own all-natural product? There’s more to it than just essential oils. Many DIY aromatherapy recipes also call for carrier oils and butters, which are just as important to consider. Products have shelf lives—with many citrus essential oils only lasting a year when kept refrigerated (in fact, most essential oils are happiest when cool!) and many common carrier oils are best used before six months to a year after purchase. Being wary of product expiration can help you avoid safety issues, like skin sensitization and save you from wasting precious ingredients from a spoiled batch. Additionally, when purchasing and using oils, be mindful of their method of application. Gels are the fastest to dermally absorb, but direct inhalation and diffusion can be just as effective depending on your goal.

7. Diffuse, diffuse, diffuse.

An easy way to integrate aromatherapy into your everyday life is through diffusing. I turn to my diffuser for a multitude of reasons—when I want to set an ambience, reduce stress, support sleep, and increase alertness or motivation. Diffusion refers to a method of transmitting essential oils into the air within a specified area. Diffusing supports a multitude of goals, but it mainly serves two purposes: reducing air microbes and altering mood and emotion. Clinical research shows that diffused lemon essential oil is an affordable intervention that has a positive effect on test anxiety. Additionally, diffusing cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary is an uplifting blend that also serves as a safe way to keep your home’s air germ-free.

There are many diffusers on the market, but I recommend checking out Aromis Aromatherapy or Organic Aromas. I suggest purchasing a jet style nebulizer made out of glass. If you can, avoid diffusers made from plastic that use water as a carrier. Not only are they harder to clean, but repeated use also leads to degradation as some essential oils eat away at plastic. Beyond that, most inexpensive diffusers heat by a candle or lamp, and I would consider investing in one that uses cool air to create an aromatic vapor. Heating often changes the chemical structure of essential oils, potentially affecting their aroma and therapeutic benefit.

How to use essential oils in your everyday life:

Based on the process outlined above, here are some of my go-to essential oil combinations and the thought process behind their crafting:

1. Cold-busting inhaler.

Whenever I come down with a nasty cold, I make an aromatic inhaler with a synergy of three gentle, cooling oils with an affinity for the respiratory system that are high in monoterpenes and oxides. Therefore, I use rosalina, eucalyptus radiata, and german chamomile. My goal is strictly therapeutic—to open up my stuffed nasal passages and help clear my foggy mind as quickly as possible, so I don’t worry too much about loving the aroma. Rosalina is gentle and effective, and eucalyptus radiata is less aggressive than other eucalyptus oils, and its immune-enhancing properties make it a go-to upper-respiratory tonic that helps alleviate any sinus troubles.

How-To: Add 6 drops rosalina, 5 drops german chamomile, and 4 drops eucalyptus radiata onto a cotton wick and seal in an aromatic inhaler.

Substitutions: Feel free to also try other oxide-high nasal-clearing oils like rosemary, tea tree, inula, blue gum eucalyptus, green myrtle, and frankincense in your inhaler.

2. Sleep blends for relaxation.

Every night, I anoint my pulse points with a rollerball blend that supports restful sleep and deep relaxation. Therefore, I look for oils high in esters, monoterpene alcohols, and sesquiterpene alcohols that calm and soothe the nervous and endocrine systems and release muscular and nervous tension. This is a daily blend that allows me to drift off into sleep, so loving the aroma is a must!

I turn to a well-balanced, herbaceous blend of lavender, roman chamomile, and clary sage. All three of these oils are high in esters—promising an instant calming effect on the central nervous system. Lavender and clary sage are also both high in monoterpene alcohols that help nurture balance.

How-To: Add 15 drops lavender, 5 drops roman chamomile, and 10 drops clary sage into a glass roller-bottle and top if off with 10 mL of vanilla-infused jojoba oil.

Substitutions: Spikenard, vetiver, ylang-ylang, and sweet marjoram are other sleep-supporting oils with which you could blend. I love the aroma of vanilla-infused jojoba, but most other carrier oils (sweet almond, sesame, or grapeseed) would also work.

3. Moisturizing face serum.

I have thin skin that’s prone to dryness. My skin care goals are to keep moisturized and prevent environmental damage and premature aging. I take a holistic approach to my face-care routine, always using essential oils high in esters that soothe dermal inflammation, monoterpenes that enhance dermal penetration, and monoterpene alcohols that are mild and generally well-tolerated by most skin types. While I always promote and see the value in essential oil synergies, for my daily face serum, I only use two oils: Helichrysum italicum and rose. Sometimes, I’ll add sandalwood to round out the aroma and reduce hyperpigmentation.

Helichrysum is one of my favorite scents, so I like using it every day. It also doubles as a wonderful skin and wound healer—a must-use oil for those with acne and eczema. Rose is the queen of luxurious essential oils and a true aromatic treat. Rose helps reduce inflammation and redness, while nicely prepping the skin for other products.

How-To: Add 15 drops helichrysum and 7 drops rose into combined ½-ounce rosehip-seed oil and ½ ounce argan oil. Use on face after cleansing.

Substitutions: In a face serum, balm, or cream, try other essential oils heavy in monoterpene alcohols, like lavender and rose geranium; or sesquiterpene alcohols, like German chamomile, sandalwood, and patchouli; and ketones, like rosemary ct. verbenone and manuka. Additionally, based on your skin type, other carrier oils may be suitable. For acne or oily skin, try grapeseed or hemp oil, and for normal or combination skin, try using apricot kernel or jojoba.

FACIAL MASSAGE: A Natural (At-Home) Facelift

Facial massage is the most natural way to lift, tone, and sculpt the muscle tissues of your face and neck. There are so many benefits of facial massage, including more contour, muscle tone, and youthful-looking skin. The idea is that you are firming and lifting muscles on your face to keep everything fighting against gravity—I refer to it as “The Natural Facelift.” Performing a facial massage will give you vibrant, healthier skin and a natural glow.

The technique will increase your circulation and blood flow, which brings more oxygen to the area massaged to repair skin tissue. This helps with the production of collagen and elasticity in your skin, while also allowing your skin to detox and repair itself. The increase in collagen and elasticity is a natural form of anti-aging. Performing a facial massage will promote improved hydration and better skin texture, and allow your products to work their best. Treating yourself to a facial massage is a great way to pamper yourself with a little extra self-love every day.

or best results and flow of energy, I always start by setting an intention (relaxing, clear your skin, youthful flow, healing) for the area of the body that I work on for myself or others. It is important to ensure you drink plenty of water with any type of massage, especially a lymphatic drainage massage. Relax and enjoy this incredible routine.

he Routine:

You will be using upward and outward strokes for the entire massage to lift and sculpt, with the exception of draining the lymph down the sides of the neck.

Step 1: Cleanse

Set an intention and relax. Start with cleaning your skin. Wash your hands, then your face and neck. When washing your face, start your massage with a circular motion to wake up your face and neck muscles. Cleanse your face using a gentle cleanser or oil, rinse it with lukewarm water, and then pat your face gently dry with a towel.

Step 2: Moisturize

Now is a great time to apply your favorite serum and moisturizer. I prefer to apply a light layer of face oil (plant-based), which allows for a smoother glide, rather than dragging or pulling your skin. The oil is optional but recommended and will leave your face bright and glowing when you are finished with your facial massage. Your skin will reap the benefits of any serum you apply pre-massage and any moisturizer you apply during the massage. You will want to apply your products over your face and down your neck.

Step 3: Neck and Lymph

Begin by massaging and stimulating your lymph area (see picture). Many toxins drain from the face to the lymph nodes. Massaging this area will help release the toxins and prevent them from building up in your face. Use your fingertips to stimulate the lymph nodes on your neck with small pumps and circles right under each of your ears. Then use large downward circles, gliding your fingers and hands from the ear down the side of your neck. Then you will press gently, pumping upwards just above the collarbone, moving your hands towards the chin, to encourage the lymph drainage. Next, use your thumbs underneath your chin and glide them upwards toward your ears.

ou will be doing an upward direction from the throat to the chin and then chin to ears on both sides. Then you will move into a downward direction on the sides of the neck from the ears to the shoulders. You will repeat this upward and downward motion several times. This is the direction of lymph flow and drainage for this area, which stimulates your lymphatic system.

Step 4: Chin and Face

Start the circulation going in an upward direction. Start from the middle of the chin on each side. Using your fingertips, glide upwards toward each ear into the hairline. This will help drain fluid and sculpt the area around your chin. Using wide circular strokes, massage along the sides of your jaw, past the corners of your mouth, next to your nostrils, and over your cheekbones, creating upward lifting. Next, massage large circles upwards into the cheek area to lift and get the circulation going. Continue each area upward and in a circular motion from the center of the face into the hairline and from bottom to top of the cheekbone. Relax and breathe deeply and slowly as you massage your skin.

Step 5: Mouth

Take your index fingers and thumbs and grab your lips. Stretch and knead, nice and slow. Make sure to go a little outside the mouth muscle (orbicularis oris) toward the frown lines (buccinator). Go back and forth 10 times. Massaging this muscle around the mouth prevents fine lines around the lips, known as laugh lines, and will also help plump the lips. It is optional to continue with small circles around the mouth.

Step 6: Nose

Now I use my fingers and push and drain firmly all the way up the midline to the top of the brow and hold. It’s almost like a little lift, and it also drains underneath the eyes to reduce puffiness. I continue in this area for a minute and really like to use my fingers to sculpt and drain around the nose area. For me, extra fluid builds up here, and it also helps with congestion. Gently pinch the area at the top of your nose. Slide your fingers down to your nostrils. Repeat this motion for one minute, which is great for contouring the nose.

Step 7: Eyes

Here I recommend adding your favorite eye cream. Position your fingers at the arch of your brows. Sweep them around the outside corners of your eyes, gently move them under your eyes, and end with your fingers at the inside corners of your eyes. Continue along up the sides of your nose and along your brow lines. Use your fingertips to slide along the bottom arch of the brows. Hold for a few seconds in each area to help lift and sculpt the brow and the top of the muscle around your eye (orbicularis oculi). This eye massage feels so good and also helps you look more awake and opens your eyes!

Step 8: Forehead

Start this area by using your fingertips in a zigzag and up-and-down motion in every direction of the forehead. Then go in a circular motion to massage both sides of your forehead at the same time. Start near your temples and move gradually in toward the middle of your forehead, then back out to the sides. Continue for one minute. I like to end this area with my temples. Take your time here, because this is an area that always needs extra love. The muscles in your face run into the hairline, so going into the scalp always feels so good when massaging the face.

Finish by going back over each area once more. Gently massage each part of your face again to end your massage. Make sure you go over the lymph area one last time. Ensure you drink plenty of water after your facial massage to aid in detox and hydration. Your skin should look bright and fresh when your massage is complete.

GO AHEAD, BOOK A MASSAGE: THIS IS HOW OFTEN YOU SHOULD GET A RUBDOWN TO REAP THE BENEFITS

Getting a massage is what I think of as a “vacation activity.” One of those things you only allow yourself to indulge in if you’re hundreds of miles away from home and there’s a salty breeze blowing your hair—you know, like eating gelato for every meal or splurging on a pair of impractical sandals because they’ll “remind you of that time in Santorini.” But with purported benefits that include soothing sore muscles and fighting insomnia, maybe I’ve been too quick to judge the self-care habit.

To get the lowdown on how often you really should make time for massage (and, TBH, to give myself permission to schedule a rubdown more than once a century) I reached out to  Zeel, a mobile on-demand massage company.

“Before booking, it’s helpful to understand how the different types of massage can help with [issues like] muscle tension, flexibility, range of motion, and even insomnia,” explains Alison Harmelin, the company’s co-founder. “In the same way the right fitness routine can positively affect your overall health and wellness, so can the right massage.”

Of course, there won’t always be room in your monthly budget for weekly or biweekly massages. But if finances are tight, your muscles don’t necessarily have to be. Just ask your S.O. or bestie to roll out the tension in your feet, scalp, and back. Or, invest in a massage ball to ease away all manners of aches and pains.

So whether you have an aching case of text neck from sitting at a desk 24/7, need some serious TLC now that you’re hitting your stride (to the tune of 15-mile runs) with your marathon training, or live with chronic pain, here’s exactly how often a massage therapist recommends adding some time on the table—or for a massage circle with your pals—to your Google Cal.

Keep reading for exactly how often you need to schedule a massage based on your specific wellness needs.

If you’re an expecting mom: biweekly

When you’re pregnant, you likely gain weight, Eva Carey, Zeel’s Director of Massage Thearpy, says. “So a lot of that stress is on your large joints—on your hips and your knees—and lower back.” A massage can help relieve that pressure, helping mamas-to-be sleep better and move more easily. Just make sure you wait until after your first trimester to start booking sessions. 

Once you’ve given birth, Carey adds that you’ll still want to make frequent visits to your neighborhood masseuse because propping your newborn up on your hip can throw your back out of whack.

If you suffer from insomnia: weekly

According to Carey, massage can give Ambien a run for its money (okay, maybe not quite…) because of its ability to activate the parasympathetic nervous system (the body’s way of achieving rest and digest mode). So for any of you involuntary night owls out there, this weekly ritual might help you fall and stay asleep.

If you sit at a desk for 40+ hours per week: biweekly or monthly

For 9-to-5ers, committing to a massage schedule gives you a reason to lengthen the appendages you spend all day scrunching up (AKA your neck, legs, and T-Rex arms). “There are issues that you develop over time that you’re not even aware of until you get on a table and a therapist starts to work on you,” says Carey. 

If you’re working with an injury: weekly or biweekly

Sidelined with a yogaspin, or running-related injury? Carey recommends starting out by seeing your therapist on a weekly basis. Then, as you heal, you can start to leave more time in between sessions.

If you suffer from chronic pain: weekly or biweekly

If you’re dealing with ongoing discomfort caused by depressionIBS, or another condition, Carey says that it’s especially important to keep an ongoing dialogue with your masseuse. Therapists don’t have their own agenda, she says, but are there “to facilitate healing and make the client feel great.” So don’t be afraid to be vocal about what hurts and what hurts so good

If you’re a workout warrior: weekly

Carey says that those who get sweaty on the reg can reap major recovery rewards from sports massage, deep stretching, and deep tissue options that will loosen tight muscle bundles that have formed after hours on the treadmill. And with weekly sessions, you can target specific muscle groups. “If someone is doing a lot of leg work, we can [focus on that area] to assist in recovery after a rigorous workout,” she explains. 

If you’re under major stress: weekly

Stress is the nemesis of a good night’s sleepyour gut health, and much more—it’s even been linked to autoimmune diseases. And thus, it makes total sense that setting aside an hour per week is a solid investment in your future well-being.

If you’re on the road (and away from your therapist) this summer, these 3 yoga moves *basically* feel like body work and this trick will heal your globe-trotting feet

REVA LUXURY HOME MASSAGES SERVICES NOW IN ABU DHABI

Feeling exhausted and dreaming of setting up a spa in the comfort of your own home?

Thanks to Reva, an on-demand, mobile spa service that is dispatching therapists all across Abu Dhabi, you can now do just that.

If there is ONE service we have been struggling to find in Abu Dhabi since we have been living here, it is the home spa services. That’s why when Dubai Confidential mentioned REVA UAE was making its debut in Abu Dhabi, we were eager to try out their services.

After our first experience which was was simply amazing, we can see how this homegrown brand has built a solid reputation in Dubai, in such a short amount of time. And, of course, we just had to share the details with all our loyal readers.

Our feedback after experiencing this luxurious home massage service!

Firstly, we have to mention the professional manner in which the booking was made, especially for a company making its debut in a new city – they started mid-October 2018 in Abu Dhabi.

Soon after sharing our phone number and agreeing on a slot for a home massage review, we received a detailed WhatsApp message proposing us to choose between the different 60-minute massages available: Deep Tissue, Relaxation, Aromatherapy, Sports, Slimming, Traditional Thai, Reflexology, or Pre & Post Natal.

Coming along with the message, was a PDF presentation that would beforehand answer any questions we may have regarding how the service works before, during and after the massage, including practical questions about the space to provide the therapist.

Confirmed for Thursday morning, Reva offered us their Deep Tissue Massage for 60 minutes to try at home and we knew we were off to a great start when the therapist arrived 15 minutes before the scheduled time of booking.

After a quick introduction, Ruth, our therapist, set up our room and it was quite the transformation in a matter of minutes. The attention to detail was impressive-the massage bed was laid out with white linen, candles, music (at just the right volume), lavender oil, and even a bowl with flowers under the headrest.

The Deep Tissue massage we picked is perfect if your body feels sore – too many workouts with a lack of stretching – and you need to decontract a stiff neck, leg tightness, sore shoulders and ease low back pain. This hard pressure style massage involves deep, long rolling strokes.

In just an hour, Ruth worked on our whole body, from head to toe and managed to really ease our muscles aches and tension. Focusing on realigning deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue, our therapist worked hard on our thighs, which also increased the blood circulation. We also enjoyed how deeply she focused on our upper back, detangling some sturdy knots using tiger balm. After a quick dry facial massage, she massaged our head and asked if we were also interested in finishing with a stretch. Don’t say no, as your body will feel so relaxed and stretched once done.

This deep tissue massage was pure magic on our tired muscles and truly an excellent treatment to experience. We felt refreshed and energized.

Reva offers a blissful, 5-star spa massage that will help you recuperate in the comfort of your home. Once the treatment is done there is no stress of driving and losing the benefits of your massage because thankfully, you’re already home!

Reva offers a range of different massages including 60, 90 and 120-minute single and couple treatments. Check below the price details for single and couple massages depending on their time.

So, whether you are stressed out after a hectic week at work, want to treat yourself last minute, gift your hubby or a friend with a single or couple massage, REVA will offer you that entire in-home, premium massage experience. Last advice to pass on, if you refer a friend, both your friend and you will receive 100AED off*

REVA therapists are available seven days a week, from 10 am to 10 pm.

*This offer is valid for a one-time service discount for both referral guest and referring guest. The offer is available on any massage service of 300AED or higher.

REVA | Luxury Home Massage Service in Abu Dhabi
Website: https://www.reva-qatar.com/
Tel: +971 56 800 66 50

These spas bring their services to you

Woman enjoying Luxury Home Massage Service in the comfort of her home with a professional massage bed, linens, candles, music, and oil.

Spas are meant to be relaxing but getting there and back can really kill the vibe. Eliminate that stress by letting the professionals come to you.

Abu Dhabi is easily a contender for the most convenient city to live in. From produce and petrol to the latest fashion, anything you want can be delivered straight to your door – and spa services are no exception. Forget hustling to your next appointment and instead enjoy a more soothing experience at home because these service providers bring the pampering to you. 

Beauty Call UAE

Beauty Call UAE promises relaxation from the moment a beauty expert walks through your door. It offers a full range of services including nail treatments, massages, facials, hair removal and styling. The professionals at Beauty Call UAE also guarantee the use of all natural products. As an exclusive provider of mobile beauty services, your next treatment is just a phone call away. Sat-Thu 11am-10pm, Fri noon-10pm. Contact: 056 111 4167, beautycalluae.com

Tips & Toes

Heavily inspired by Bali’s holistic approach to beauty, Tips & Toes offers express beauty services in a warm, cosy environment. The award-winning, Emirati brand has mastered the art of creating a relaxing atmosphere in each of its locations, but is equally equipped to take the show on the road. For double the price of what you’d spend by going to the salon, you can enjoy nail care, massages, eyelash extensions and hair removal services in the comfort of your own home. The minimum spend is AED 200 and you’ll have to fork over the cost of transportation as well. Various locations including Yas Mall and Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street. Visit: tipsandtoes.com

REVA

Take relaxation to new heights with an in-home massage. REVA goes the extra mile to make sure the entire experience is luxurious and tailored to your needs. You can customise a variety of massages including deep tissue, aromatherapy, prenatal, sports, slimming and traditional Thai. All REVA massage therapists are fully licenced and ready to serve you, and even your partner, as couple massages are also available. If you need to destress at work, REVA can accommodate you there too, with the REVA at Work programme. Bookings can be made online or by phone. Sun-Wed 11am-11pm, Thu-Sat 10am-11pm. Contact: 056 800 6650, reva-qatar.com

The Home Spa

The Home Spa is ready to accommodate all of your beauty needs in the comfort of your own home, providing everything from hands and feet treatments to facials, massages, hammam and hair styling. Licenced beauty and spa specialists are available to help you create a tranquil space for pampering. Little ladies can get in on this too with special nail and hair treatments from the Princess menu. Advance booking is required and a flat rate transportation fee is assessed based on your location. Sat-Thu 10am-10pm, Fri 2pm-midnight. Contact: 02 673 8866, instagram.com/thehomespa

I’M A MASSAGE THERAPIST, AND THIS IS THE ONE SPOT YOU SHOULD TARGET TO RELEASE YEARS OF TENSION

You know you feel like a million bucks after getting a massage? Well, you can learn how to release tension on your own by targeting a surprising part of your body. It’s the key to relaxation from head to toe.

If massage therapist and astrologer Tiffany Potempa could only choose one spot to target to unlock years of tension, the answer is simple: it’s always the buttocks. “The prime movers for this region that I love to focus on are the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, and the piriformis, which sits under the glutes,” she says. “The glute region is responsible for keeping us upright and so much of the movement in our hips and legs. When balanced, they help us run fast and jump high. When imbalanced, this area can also be responsible for anything from shoulder pain to low back pain, sciatica, hip, leg, and even ankle issues.”

Clearly keeping everything balanced is very important. “When the glutes go awry, it can cause imbalances up the body as well as down,” says Potempa. The bad news is with the lifestyle most people lead today, it can be really hard to do that.

“Its so common to have issues originating from here. Technology has increased dramatically and we find ourselves on devices all the time. We sit while we work at our computers and devices, tending to social media, watching tv, gaming, and texting,” she says. “Constant sitting weakens the glutes. It weakens the control over our pelvis, causing issues up and down the body. As a result, we’re left hunched over, contracted on the front of our body, and elongated and weak on our back side. This cuts off some vital energy in our body physically and energetically.”

When you target the oft-neglected glutes through massage, you can release all the pent-up tension that’s preventing you from feeling your best. Because of that, it’s something Potempa says should be part of everyone’s self-care routine—you know, right along your beloved face masks and morning matcha lattes. While you can always book a session with a massage therapist, it’s also easy to target the area right at home.

How to release tension in your whole body by targeting your buttocks

1. FOAM ROLL

If you’re not already targeting your buttocks when you foam roll, it’s time to start. “Foam rolling the glute region is an amazing self-care massage method,” she says. “Sit on the foam roller, then cross one leg over the other and roll back and forth on the glute of the crossed leg.”

2. GLUTE BRIDGE

While massage is important in releasing tension in the area, exercising and strengthening the area is important too. “It brings back functionality,” she says. “Pairing these self-care methods will give you a pep in your step, reducing imbalances in both the upper and lower body, and help you stand up-right again in this technological age.” With that being said, glute bridges are a great place to start.

  1. Lay down with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Lift and squeeze your butt until your hips are up in the air.
  3. Hold at the top, then repeat.

3. PIGEON POSE

It can be tricky to stretch out your glutes, but that’s what pigeon pose is for. “It’s an amazing way to release stored-up tension,” Potempa says. Here’s how to do pigeon pose correctly: