A trip to the spa is not always about reducing your body pains. There are a number of techniques and procedures available that can not only help you reduce and eliminate your body pain, but also allow you to de-stress and relax. The next article in our spa series, following our spa guide for facials and our guide to spa etiquette, this spa guide concentrates on one of the most popular spa services – the massage. There are a variety of spa massages to choose from and the sheer choice can leave a spa virgin bewildered and confused. Hot stone massages and lava shell massages are known to alleviate your stress while massages like a scalp massage can help you target a specific part of your body. Aromatherapy is another concept altogether. And this is just the beginning. Most spas offer their clients with a number of massages to choose from and each new entry on the massage menu looks better than the previous one. This Spa Guide helps you to understand which massage to choose and also helps you to understand the various do’s and dont’s related to massages.
Benefits of a massage
Apart from relaxing your body and reducing your stress, a massage can also offer a number of health benefits.
- Massages can help to calm the nervous system in order to promote a sense of well being
- Massages can help to reduce anxiety and tension
- A massage can improve the blood circulation of your body
- Massages stimulate the lymphatic system
- Massages can help in reducing pain for conditions such as muscle spasms and arthritis
- A massage therapy can prevent muscle cramps and spasms.
Dressing for the Massage Treatment
- Whether seeking a massage for a particular ailment or for relaxation, you should always ensure that you dress properly. After all, you would want to feel relaxed for the rest of the day after that heavenly massage.
- Make sure that you remove all jewelry and earrings before going to the spa.
- Wear loose fitting clothes as your relaxation levels will be at their peak after your massage. You don’t want to ruin this sensation by wearing tight fitting clothes or high heels.
- Wear clothes that are easy to take off without needing assistance or messing your hair. Remember, you are most probably going to have to undress for your massage.
- Wear worn out clothes as they could become oily after your massage. It doesn’t make sense to ruin your designer outfit over a massage.
- Pull your hair back while dressing for the massage.
Massages and nudity
Spa nudity is something that can cause anxiety and confusion for most spa first timers. One of the biggest questions that haunts people is whether the therapist will see them naked. The simple answer to this question is “no”. Most spas are extremely strict about draping and therefore, the only part of the body that is exposed is the part which is being worked on. Another problem that most spa virgins face is the fear of being judged. However, you need to understand that the therapists are professionals and the human body is something that they work with every single day. Therefore, they are unlikely to have thoughts about your body as their main area of concern is to deliver a proper and relaxing massage. Think of the therapist as a doctor and yourself as a patient. Coming to nudity, most massages require you to shed off your clothes before the massage. However, you are draped at all material times and nudity shouldn’t be an issue. Spas allow you to wear underwear if you’re really uncomfortable about nudity, but this could end up affecting your massage as the therapist can’t work on your hip attachments. If you’re really uncomfortable about spa nudity, make sure that you avoid treatments such as Vichy showers and salt glow as you are most likely to be exposed at some point of time.
Choosing the right type of Massage
Massages can be the best way to unwind and relax, but it can become difficult to select the best one because of the number of choices available. Swedish massages and deep tissue massages are known to be the most popular type of massages, but there are a number of other massages to choose from as well. The best way to choose the right type of massage is to have some knowledge about the various massages that the spa offers and the benefits that each massage offers. Here are a few tips that should help you to choose the perfect massage for your body:
- Let the therapists know what you’re looking for and ask them for suggestions on the type of massage that suits you the best.
- Understand how different types of massages can affect your body. Swedish massages use light strokes and are ideal for people who are sensitive to touch. Deep tissue massages are known to be extremely intense and are ideal for athletes. Stone massages involve the use of heated stones.
- Consider the costs of the massage. Generally, most massages have different pricing policies that depend on the ingredients being used, the skill level of the therapist and the type of massage. Deep tissue massages and stone massages are much more expensive than Swedish massages. Make sure that you figure out the costs of the massage before you commit.
- Figure out the benefits that each type of massage has to offer. Some massages provide relaxation, while others can help you reduce toxins, stress and muscle soreness.
Some of the popular massages that you can choose from
- Swedish Massage – A Swedish massage is a great place to start for if it is your first time. Therapists use massage oils to facilitate gliding strokes over your body.
- Deep Tissue Massage – The techniques and movements used for a deep tissue massage are the same as those used in a Swedish massage. However, deep tissue massages are much more intense and focused. Therapists focus on helping the body to release chronic muscle pain and the session can be quite intense.
- Relaxation Massage – Apart from offering a number of health benefits, a relaxation massage is known to be much slower to ensure that things are comfortable. It is an ideal option for first timers and for those who are sensitive to pain.
- Full Body Massage – A full body massage refers to a massage where the therapist massages your arms, neck, back and legs. You should ideally choose a full hour massage when you go for a full body massage as it takes time to work on the various areas of your body.
- Aromatherapy Massage – Aromatherapy is considered to be another world in itself. It is quite similar to a Swedish massage, but it uses massage oils that have been blanketed with essential oils such as geranium, lavender or peppermint to affect your mood.
- Hot Stone Massage – Hot stone massages have become immensely popular of late. These massages use smooth stones that are heated in water and then used to warm up your muscles and relax your body. However, a hot stone massage requires a lot of skill. Make sure that your therapist is skilled enough if you wish to receive a quality massage.
- Pregnancy Massage – A pregnancy massage, also known as a prenatal massage, is known to help in soothing the nerves, relaxing the body and relieving the strained back muscles of expecting mothers. This massage is particularly useful in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters.
- Couples Massage – Couples massage is quite popular among newlyweds and couples. It is a form of massage where two people are massaged in the same room by different therapists at the same time.