Massage is the practice of applying pressure on the body and working on the soft tissue for psychological and physical benefits. Massages often leave the clients feeling better, relaxed and calm. There are different types of massages available depending upon the massage oil used and the techniques. Many spas offer one or more types of massage where one can relax and lose anxiety, restlessness or tiredness.
Swedish massage is one of the more popular styles of massage. It includes gentle strokes and tapping of the body and application of pressure, which could be light to moderate depending upon the preference of the individual. Aromatherapy massage is another offspring of the Swedish massage. This massage involves the use of scented plant oils for aroma called essential oils. These essential oils e.g. lavender are usually made as highly concentrated extracts obtained from the flowers, bark, resins or seeds. Each of these essential oils has their own purpose e.g. bergamot and sweet almond are used for relaxation, eucalyptus and peppermint are used for relieving sore muscles etc.
There are many types of massages that distinguish Thai Spas from others. They use oils that induce calm, restore energy etc. and are directed to specific parts of the body. The Thai facial massage consists of gentle circular strokes that target the forehead, nose etc. This massage helps prevents wrinkles, lines on the face and double chin. It also encourages better blood circulation causing the facial skin to glow. The focused rubbing improves the texture and opens up clogged pores too. Another popular feature of the Thai spas is the Thai foot massage. After applying skin lotion or oil, force is applied at nerve endings through fingers or sticks. The thighs, forearms and legs all receive the massage, as these parts are linked to other important organs like lungs. This form of massage where one part of the body is treated because of its connection to another organ is called reflexology and promotes good health to vital organs like liver, pancreas, kidney etc. Another famous place, the famous Wat Po or the temple of reclining Buddha offers the most traditional forms of Thai massage picked from the ancient inscriptions.
For painful muscles affected by chronic problems or postural issues, the Deep Tissue Massage is the perfect solution. This massage aims at the deeper layers of tissue by slow strokes and friction applied to the grain of the muscle. This type of massage breaks down adhesions formed in ligaments, tendon etc. that could obstruct blood flow. Problems such as muscle tension, fibromyalgia etc. are addressed to by this massage which itself causes some pain and discomfort.
Shiastu is a very relaxing Japanese form of massage. It treats, arthritis, insomnia etc. This massage is given by using the thumbs, finger pads, palms etc to apply pressure. It involves using finger pressure on specific acupuncture lines in a rhythmic way. It involves creating balance in the body by proper flow of energy called qi in Chinese tradition.
For those who prefer a slightly lighter massage, some spas offer Hot Stone Massage. In this form of massage, stones which usually picked up from the river bed because of their smoothness are heated in water and placed on specific areas of the body. These stones are usually made of basalt and hence rich in iron. As a result they retain heat. When slight pressure is applied with these stones on the body, it is warm and comforting. Depression, stress and anxiety are all treated by this massage by placing the flat stones at specific areas of the body.
Some spas have pregnancy experts who can give a proper massage to pregnant ladies. These experts are aware of the proper postures and ways to support the woman’s body. Pregnancy Massage helps reduce swelling, reduces aches and pain and relieves the pregnant lady of depression and anxiety during that period.
Sports Massage is offered by specialists to athletes specifically targeting certain parts of the body to increase their strength or reduce pain in case of injuries by stretching etc.
There are other traditional spas that use Ayurvedic methods for massage. Ayurvedic Massage or Abhyanga involves using herbal oils that are heated and blended with each other following the Ayurvedic rules. Balinese massage is another variety that uses aromatic oils, strokes and friction to help in relaxation and good oxygen and blood circulation. Hilot, a traditional massage done in spas in Phillipines is used to manipulate the stressed muscles and treat dislocated joints, musculoskeletal ailments etc.
There are some scientific massages too. Trigger point massage involves locating trigger points in the body that are measured electrically. By deactivating these trigger points, by vibration, manual pressure and injection, one can be relieved of local pain e.g. headaches.
Some traditional spas offer full body massage which can take almost an hour. This massage concentrates on the back, arms, legs etc, to provide complete relaxation.
Thus we can see that there are a wide variety of massages that spas offer. There are a whole range of benefits that a massage offers. It eases tension; releases stress from the mind, induce sleep, enhance memory and reduce aches and body pains. More importantly, adhesions are broken and pores in the skin are unclogged. Massages lead to better oxygen and blood circulation. They also lead to better energy balance in the body and sustain good health of vital organs. Most spas use massage to help the individual to lose anxiety and stress, and bring glow back to the face and avoid wrinkles.
The use of various essential oils also relaxes the body. Some of these are a blend of herbal oils that have multiple benefits like curing ailments related to joints and muscle tensions. Massages are hence a good mix of traditional practices like the Chinese Tui Na or the Lomi Lomi from Maldives and also scientific methods like the Chair massage or the Hot Stone Massage that relaxes the entire spine. These massages affect all the 107 body points thus energizing the body and relaxing it completely.