Good news for chocoholics. This month marks the UK’s biggest chocolate celebration from 13 – 19 October, culminating in the chocolate show from 17 – 19 October at Olympia, London. During Chocolate Week there will be chocolate tasting and chocolate making demonstrations being held around the country.
What a great excuse, should you need one, to indulge yourself and hold your own celebration trying out all your favourite chocolate bars – and what’s more you can partake without guilt, in the knowledge that chocolate, especially when it has a high cocoa content, can actually be very good for you.
Chocolate contains iron, potassium and vitamins that can keep us feeling healthy and well. Indeed, there is scientific evidence that eating chocolate, in reasonable amounts, can protect against heart disease as cocoa contains antioxidants called polyphenols that prevent the oxidation of harmful cholesterol. Antioxidants are also known to protect against cancer and eating chocolate can be good for stress. This is thought to be because chocolate contains valeric acid, which is both a relaxant and a tranquilliser. Additionally the sugar in chocolate may reduce stress – sugar can have a calming and pain-relieving effect because sweet tastes activate opiate-like substances in our brain. Further studies have shown that the smell of chocolate slows down brain waves, meaning we experience a pleasant feeling of calm.
Another great stress reliever is massage, for some of the same reasons as chocolate. The effect of massage can lower your heart rate and blood pressure, relax your muscles and increase the production of endorphins, the body’s natural ‘feel-good’ chemical. Serotonin and dopamine can also be released through massage and the result is a feeling of calm relaxation that can make acute and chronic stress easier to overcome.
The best of both worlds could be a chocolate massage. The natural oils found in cocoa butter combined with other oils such as olive oil can be worked into the skin through massage and give it deep moisture. A chocolate massage can be especially beneficial for dry skin or on rough patches, such as elbows, knees and soles of the feet. There are also suggestions that the antioxidants found in chocolate massage creams can help the skin retain moisture long after the massage is over. In addition the smell of chocolate released as the massage takes place can further enhance the feelings of deep relaxation.
The stress-relief benefits achieved through massage are one of the reasons many employers provide massage services for their employees at their place of work. With an On Site Massage, highly skilled professional mobile therapists will deliver services directly to your office. Services including chair massage, Indian Head massage, sports and remedial massage, holistic massage and reflexology.
So, this month to celebrate national chocolate week, why not partake in a soothing and relaxing massage and finish it off with an indulgent mug of hot chocolate or a bar of your favourite chocolate treat.
If you are responsible for health and wellbeing in your organisation and want to know more about on site massage visit onsitemassageco.com