Five trending massage practices that can offer completely new experience
A rejuvenating weekend spent at a spa, having our tired muscles massaged by a masseuse is the notion of an ideal vacation for many a tired city dweller. From painful deep-tissue massages intended to speed up the healing process of injuries to the soothing aromatherapy massages that fill our senses with the fragrance of flowers, trees and fruits, there is an almost infinite array of massages to choose from at any one time.
In a market that is saturated with an endless variety of massage therapies based on culture, technique and purpose, it is rather difficult to innovate and invent new ones that may appeal to a niche market. Apart from the usual Thai, aromatherapy and Balinese massages that dominate the spa world, there are several new and interesting therapies that can offer a completely new experience for the spa enthusiast. Here are five alternative massage therapies that are slowly gaining ground here:
Lymphatic detox massage
Aimed at draining and stimulating the lymph nodes, the lymphatic detox massage consists of gentle and circular pumping movements enhanced with aromatic oils. Our lymph nodes carry waste products away from the tissues back toward the heart, making them an integral part of our circulatory system. The goal of this massage is to detoxify the body while releasing tension in the muscles to soothe tired limbs.
Aromatic hot herbal compress massage
Fabric pouches filled with a variety of herbs and spices such as turmeric, lemongrass and plai are steamed to a comfortably warm temperature and are then used to massage all over the body to regulate blood circulation and boost energy levels. Rooted deeply in Thai tradition, the hot herbal compress massage promotes relaxation for stiff joints with gentle motions. The heat dilates blood vessels to encourage blood and oxygen circulation in the body.
The sports massage is extremely popular with athletes, dancers, and gym trainers thanks to its firm, warming strokes and hand, thumb and elbow techniques that massage the trigger and acupressure points on the body. Massage therapists can also be directed to concentrate on localised areas of concern, personalising the experience. The sports massage increases and restores muscle elasticity and suppleness.
Rooted in traditional Kerala Ayurveda, the Udvartana (powder) massage is a specialised herbal treatment for weight reduction. A herbal paste or powder is applied all over the body and deeply massaged by two therapists. Ayurveda is widely considered to be one of the oldest healing sciences; its philosophy is to maintain balance of the mind, body and consciousness through the use of oil treatments, herbal steam baths and herbal ayurvedic medications.
The lipomassage claims to be a non-surgical fat reduction massage that eliminates stubborn fat cells that do not respond to exercise and dieting. This specialised therapy targets problem areas by intensively conditioning the skin tissue to rid itself of fatty deposits while revitalising blood and lymphatic circulation. In addition, the massage helps firm the skin and sculpts the figure.
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on April 16, 2015.