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Glossary of Spa Terms and Treatments

Reiki? Ayurveda? Hamam? If you don't know what they are, you might be missing out on a treatment for relaxation. This glossary should give you an idea of what kind of treatments are available to you. When you visit a health resort, the therapists and beauticians will probably offer a consultation and explain what each treatment is. However, it will help you choose the best package if you already know what will be included.

To find a term or treatment quickly, simply click on the letter below.

             

A

B

C

D

E

F

H

I

K

L

M

N

O

P

R

S

T

U

W

Y

Z

A

Acupressure

Massage technique where pressure is applied to acupuncture points releasing muscular tension.

Acupuncture

Traditional Chinese treatment where needles are applied to points to balance the flow of energy.

Alexander Technique

Technique that helps align the head, neck and spine to reduce strain and tension on the body.

Api Therapy

Treatments using products made from the honeybee (apis). Effective with reflexotherapy.

Aquabalancing

While floating in 35°C warm water, a therapist helps you to carry out passive and active movements.

Aromatherapy

By either inhaling, massaging or bathing in essential oils, emotional disorders are treated.

Ayurveda

Indian Medicine combining physical treatment with meditation and spiritual methods for internal healing.

B

Body Wrapping/Envelopment

The body is wrapped in rich, nutrient substances or crèmes. Heat and humidity makes the skin absorptive.

Breathing Therapy

Enough oxygen around the whole body makes every organism active and helps the body feel relaxed.

C

Cellulite

Pebbly or uneven surface of the skin, caused by breaking down of collagen in the skin.

Clay

Used in face and body packs. Natural compounds rich in aluminium stimulate blood circulation.

Colour/Light Therapy

Colours are used to harmonise, balance and soothe the body and mind. Effective for depression.

Cranio-Sacral Therapy

Manual therapy involving gentle palpation of the head, spinal column and sacrum, reducing tensions.

D

Deep Muscle Relaxation

Works by tensing muscles and then relaxing in order to experience a relaxation phase. (Six stages).

Deep Warmth

Heat helps to loosen tense muscles, stimulate metabolism and encourage breakdown of fat cells.

Dermatology

A branch of science focussing on skin care, including its structure, functions, and diseases.

E

Electrotherapy

Using variable electric current/frequency, muscle groups can be toned or relaxed.

Electrolysis

Small electrial currents are passed through a needle epilator to kill hair root, removing unwanted body hair.

Essences

Concentrated liquids, usually diluted when used internally and externally.

F

Feng-Shui

Ancient Science of balancing elements within the environment to achieve an undisturbed flow of energy.

Fitarium

Relaxation, guided by a voice, and achieved by colours, music, aromatic vapours, and warm showers.

Floating Bath/Floatation Therapy

High concentration of salt supports the body whilst floating in water. Give the feeling of weightlessness.

H

Hamam

Single sex Turkish Bath with pools, steam baths and special massage techniques.

Holistic Treatments

Various non-medical therapies for healing, including homeopathy, acupuncture and nutritional therapy.

Hot Stone Therapy

Stones that hold heat are placed on points along the body meridians (paths) to help the flow of energy.

Hydro-Jet Massage

Waves and jets of water in a large tub massage the body.

I

Indonesian Massage

Massage technique where long hand-strokes are used along with special aromatic oils for relaxation.

K

Kneipp Therapy

Holistic system combining different hydropathy applications such as showers, herbal baths and wading.

L

Lomi Lomi Massage

Rhythmical Hawaiian Massage technique using thumbs and elbows to loosen tissue and reduce tension.

Loofah

Sponge made of strong fibres from a pumpkin-like fruit used for exfoliating.

Lulur

Traditional Indonesian body treatment including aroma massage, yoghurt and herb packs and petal baths.

M

Magnet Therapy

Electromagnetic fields can treat a variety of conditions e.g. circulatory problems, arthritus and stress.

Mandara Massage

Two therapists work simultaniously whilst massaging the body to create a highly pleasurable treatment.

Meditation

Emphasis on the 'higher consciousness', whilst discovering the inner self. Helpful in stress management.

Mudpack/Bath

Fine-grained, natural sediments usually from the sea provide warmth and nutrients to the body and skin.

Music Therapy

By listening to a special style of soothing music, the mind and body becomes relaxed and stress-free.

N

Natural Oils

Oils that naturally come from plants and seeds are used to improve the skin and lubricate massages.

O

Oxygen Shower

Short inhalation of pure oxygen can stimulate the body for a short term period.

P

Pilates

Exercise system based on 8 principles. Improves flexibility and strength, and leads to relaxation.

Pressure-Point Massage

Acupuncture points are manipulated with finger tips (not needles), releasing energy blockages.

R

Rasul Bath

Various types of mud are applied to the body for detoxifying effects, then rinsed off after a steambath.

Reflexology

Ancient Chinese technique usually on the feet, helps many health conditions by pressing pressure points.

Reiki

Japanese treatment where therapist places their hands on client's body to stimulate energy channelling.

S

Shiatsu

Japanese form of acupressure, where pressure points are stimulated with finger tips to release energy.

Steambath

Hot steam is released through vents to produce moisture, and results in humidity of 60°C.

Swedish Massage

Combining long stroking movements with circular ones to loosen the deep muscle structure tensions.

T

Tai-Chi

Ancient Chinese method of slow, flowing movements regualting energy flow in the body.

Thai Massage

No oils are used, so the client can remain dressed. Stretching movements are performed beforehand.

Thalasso Therapy

Therapy using the healing powers of the sea, such as algae, sediments, sand and saltwater.

U

Underwater Massage

Water jets are directed at damaged or tense muscle groups to massage them and help relaxation.

W

Water walking

The buoyancy of the water supports the body while low impact exercises are conducted under the water.

Waxing

Warm wax is applied to the body for removal of unwanted hair. Fabric strips pull the wax and hair away.

Y

Yoga

Increases flexibility by combining body and mind with prescribed movements. Breath control is important.

Z

Zilgrei

Self-massage technique to cure tension in muscles. Brings out mental relaxation.

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