Thai Massage – one of the world’s great massage traditions; A blending of the technique of manipulating the energy, which travels throughout your body (meridians in Chinese Medicine, sen lines in Thai Massage), and the yoga traditions of India. Methods are practiced in different forms, reflecting different schools and traditions. Wonderful for the legs and overall balancing of energy, it’s done with the person clothed, without the use of oil. Your energy lines are pressed first by the therapist’s thumbs, and then the palms, in a gentle and complete pattern. After your body is loosened up, gentle stretches are done. Different body areas are massaged more than one time, so two hours is not excessively long for a complete treatment. The stretching involved isn’t good for people with certain back problems, such as herniated disks and fused spinal bones. If you aren’t flexible, then you may be a little sore the next day.Thai Massage is good for tight muscles, low energy levels, and stress.
Pra Krop – a kind of Thai massage in which herbs are wrapped tightly in cloth, steamed, and the herbal bundles are then touched or pressed to your body. The addition of heat to the technique makes for a more powerfully therapeutic massage. Pra Krop is especially good for deep muscle aches and joint pain.
Foot Massage – Since the foot is a place rather than a technique, there’s a lot of variety. Foot treatments often include washing and soaking your feet, followed by an abrasive scrub to take away any calluses and/or dead skin. The best known foot massage is called reflexology and in Thailand, it’s usually done in the Chinese style. Small tools are often used to rub the sides and tops of your toes, and the massage is very firm. Some people find it too hard and even painful, whilst others love it. This massage was introduced as an official style at the Wat Po massage-teaching temple in Bangkok not so many years ago. Reflexology in Europe and America is different than the Chinese style, where only hands are used to rub your feet. Besides firm pressing, the therapist will pinch the sides of your feet and use their fingertips to work certain areas of your toes, and top and bottom of your feet very thoroughly. This method can also be intense but without the stick, less people find it painful. Foot Massage can help ankle pain, plantar fasciitis, arthritis and everyday work and play.
Head, Shoulder and Back Massage - Back pain is one of the most common complaints in this day and age. Back pain can be caused due to a number of reasons and the method of treatment also depends on the cause. In a lot of cases, back pain is associated with tense muscles. In addition to stress and tension, lack of exercise and improper postures are also some of the leading causes of back pain.
If your back pain is very severe, you may be suffering from spondylitis or a problem of the spine. Sciatica may also cause pain in the lower back region, hips, and the upper portion of the thighs. Such conditions may have to be diagnosed by a doctor. However, if you are suffering from a milder form of pain in your back caused by rigorous exercise or stress, it can be easily cured by a skillful and relaxing back massage.
There are many different forms of relaxing massage therapies for the back. Shiatsu back massage is one such technique where the pressure points of your back are activated to release tension from the muscles and re-initiate the flow of energy through the body. Such a massage will also take care of a sprain.
Most people who have pain in the back also have pain in their neck and shoulder region. A gentle neck massage which ends with a massage of the lower back is the best way to keep this pain at bay. With this form of massage, pain relief is usually immediate. In fact, if you continue to receive regular massages, you will see a lot of improvement, both in your physical and emotional health. This is because over a period of time, regular massages can cause permanent cessation of pain, making your muscles more flexible and relaxed.
Not only is massage therapy very effective in treating back pain, the results are almost instantaneous. In fact, with the first massage, you will start to feel rejuvenated. It is important though, to be sure that you discuss your condition with the massage therapist before you begin a session of massage therapy for back pain. The cause of your back pain is critical in deciding the kind of massage that you will need.
If your back pain has been caused due to stress and tensed muscles, you should ideally get a deep tissue massage which helps to rejuvenate your body and release tension from the muscles. However, if the pain has been caused due to a sprain or an injury, the massage should be light so that the pain is not aggravated.
Swedish Massage – called classic massage in Sweden; this massage is the basic oil massage in Europe and North America. Using kneading, gliding, and percussion as the three massage techniques, the classic form has been stretched and altered in innumerable ways. Always using oil, it can be hard or soft, general or specific. Whilst the percussion technique of karate chops on your shoulders (known as ‘hacking’) is always shown in movies and jokes about Swedish massage, the real signature move, is a long gliding stroke down your back with the palms of both hands. Swedish Massage can be a luxurious and pampering experience while promoting healthy sleep and stress reduction.
Hot Stone Massage – this practice uses warm and smooth volcanic stones as well as the therapist’s hands. Stones are placed on and under your body to let their warmth penetrate deeply. Different stones are held in the therapist’s hands and used to massage the entire body. It’s very relaxing, and people often go into a dreamlike state during the treatment. It’s also believed that the stones absorb negative energy and revitalize the chakras. Hot Stone Massage, as we know it, came from America about 20 years ago, but some uses of heated stones for massage go back to ancient times. Choose a Hot Stone Massage to improve circulation, calm the nervous system and relax the muscles.
Aroma Oil/Aromatherapy Massage – most spas offer an oil massage with essential oils that are usually selected by the customer based either their smell, or their promised effects. Aromatherapy as an esoteric healing practice, needs to have a highly-trained practitioner to be really effective, but using it in a more general way it’s quite pleasant. The massage part is usually a gentle Swedish massage or some version of a lymphatic-oriented massage. Use Aroma Oil/Aromatherapy to help calm when anxious, decrease pain in joints and promote tissue recovery.
Cranial Sacral Therapy – is a subtle treatment using very light pressure. It emphasizes the bones of your head and face, but has techniques to release old trauma in other parts of your body too. Developed within the osteopathic tradition, it’s now taught to, and practiced by a few massage therapists as well as other health professionals. Cranial Sacral Therapy is particularly effective for head and facial injuries, dental trauma, balance problems, and for releasing pent-up emotional energy.
Sauna – The heat from a sauna soothes your nerve endings and warms and relaxes muscles, in turn relieving the tension from your body and minimizing joint pain. This is especially beneficial for those who suffer from illnesses such as arthritis, painful migraines, and headaches. Saunas can be used as a means of calming the body and relieving it of stress. If you suffer from insomnia (one out three people have a mild case), it can also help induce sleep. The heat from the sauna helps the body release endorphins, a feel-good chemical that reduces the effects of stress on the body which can relax you enough to sleep better. The sauna heats up your body, so when you leave and begin to cool down, your body releases increased levels of melatonin, helping you feel more relaxed and therefore allowing you to have a deeper sleep.
Traditional Thai Herbal Sauna – Herbal Sauna is the process of boiling special traditional herbs with high temperatures allowing the fragrance to travel to the steam bather, exposing the whole body and organs to the benefit of herbal medicine. Traditional Thai Herbal Sauna helps to relax the muscles after massage, as well as to release through the pores toxins that have been broken up by the bodywork. It also relieves aches and pains, improves blood circulation, relaxation, colds, nasal decongestion, allergy, secrete lochia, womb improvements, discharges waste from lymph gland and can improve skin complexion. Sweating is one of the body's natural purification methods, and the Thai's have traditionally used herbs in the sauna to assist in this process. Ingredients are usually: Cassumunar, bergamot peel, curcuma, lemon grass, tamarind leaves, menthol, borneol and others.
The jellylike substance within the spiky exterior is renowned for its healing properties. It soothes skin irritations caused by insect bites and sunburn, and helps remove skin blemishes.
Used in Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asia as a replacement for the non-available lemon. Lime is used in food, medicine and many beauty treatments. Its high vitamin C content and astringency, work as a natural blood purifier.
The humble coconut has several uses in the health industry, adding to the countless other ways it provides for the community. Many sun lotions are coconut based, and while the thick white milk is used as a hair shampoo, the oil from mature fruits can be massaged into the hair and body giving it a healthy shine.
Grown everywhere in the world, mint is best known for its taste. From tea to chewing gum, varieties of the plant have innumerable uses, and its antiseptic and antibacterial qualities make it a useful aid in purifying the blood too. Mint oils are used for stimulation, cooling and mood-elevating.
One of the beauty industry's favourite fruits, the cucumber is used predominantly for its cooling and revitalising properties. Great for treating oily skin, as it tightens the pores whilst moisturizing. Cucumber is another popular spa ingredient used for relieving sunburn.
A common plant, found in many Thai gardens, the pandanus is an ingredient used in many oils and skin-care products. This is due more to its sweet and earthy aroma than to its medicinal qualities.
As a food additive, ginger provides more than just a distinctive flavour. It also helps relieve stomach aches and is prescribed extensively as a remedy for menstrual pains. Externally, it's used for soothing aching muscles and for helping increase blood circulation.
One of the fastest growing plants in the world (a seed will grow into a tree and produce fruit itself in just a couple of years), the papaya is packed with vitamins - notably A and C - which help ease stomach complaints. Its natural skin-exfoliating enzymes make it an ideal choice for using to remove age-lines.
Again, a firm favourite cooking ingredient with Asian chefs, this common plant has medicinal abilities too. When consumed, it helps speed up a slow digestive system. And when used as an aromatic oil, lemongrass exudes a strong, fresh, lemony fragrance.
Its powerful astringent and cleansing properties made turmeric a popular root in ancient times. And Turmeric is still widely used today in many herbal tonics and body-scrubs.
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