The following glossary is a combination of traditional spa terminology and newer expressions that reflect trends within the spa industry.
Abhyanga Massage (abee-yan-ga) (Single or Tandem)
Abhyanga is soothing massage performed by one or two therapists who drizzle warm herbalized oil on the body, then massage it in with brisk, often long and flowing movements. Traditionally, Abhyanga is an Ayurvedic treatment that helps detoxify the body and restore its balance. The warmth of the oil and the brisk movements are designed to drive the herbs into the body, which has a detoxifying effect. The precise herbal blend will depend on your Dosha, and what you are being treated for.
*Not recommended during pregnancy or if you have certain nut allergies. Please inform your therapist of either of these circumstances.
Traditional Chinese pressure-point massage (massage where fingers are applied to key points on the body) used to stimulate energy flow in the body, ease muscle tension, relieve pain, and promote relaxation. Often referred to as "acupuncture without needles"
Traditional Chinese healing technique meant to maintain or restore the body's balance of energy. Administered by inserting fine needles into energy centers (meridians) to stimulate energy flow. Used to treat underlying causes of conditions including addiction, asthma, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, headaches, lower back pain, menstrual irregularities, arthritis, allergies, high blood pressure and sciatica.
Use of fragrant essential oil extracts from plants in treatments to induce relaxation or relieve stress or pain.
Ayurveda is the traditional healing system of India. Ayurveda is based on the idea of restoring balance to the whole person.
SHAW-kra\ Sanskrit for wheel. Ayurvedic term for an energy center. It is believed that there are seven chakras located along the spine, each with specific qualities.
Treatment that aims to improve function of the central nervous system by balancing the fluid and membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. Performed through gentle palpitations of specific points. Used to treat a range of conditions, including stress, insomnia, headache, anxiety, fibromyalgia, and head, neck, and back pain.
Massage method focusing on aligning the deep layers of muscles and connective tissue (called fascia) through kneading and applying slow, intense pressure. Benefits include improved range of motion and posture, and stress and pain relief.
Procedure to remove the top layer of dead skin cells from the face or body. Dry brush, loofah scrub, and a salt/sugar glows are among the techniques used in conjunction, with ingredients including grape seed, sugar, clay and salt.
Hot Stone Massage
Treatment in which smooth heated stones are placed on or used to stoke areas of the body, such as the back, palms, and between the toes. Intended to relax tight muscles.
Therapeutic massage technique intended to increase circulation and drain trapped water and toxins from the body through the lymphatic system using delicate, wavelike movements on the face and neck or entire body. Used to reduce swelling, detoxify, regenerate tissue, and relieve pain and stress.
Mud treatment from a moor or peat marsh that is rich in proteins, organic matter, vitamins, and minerals. Used as a body or facial treatment to hydrate and exfoliate the skin and in a bath to ease aches and pains.
Facial exfoliation procedure in which the top layer of skin is abraded away with ultrafine crystals of aluminum oxide or other ingredients. Improves and smoothes skin surface and can minimize imperfections, like blemishes, fine lines, and signs of sun damage.
Therapy based on ancient techniques that use pressure-point massage (similar to acupressure), usually on the feet but also on the hands and ears, to restore the flow of energy throughout the body. Introduced as zone therapy to the West in 1913 by Dr. William Fitzgerald, practitioners believe that areas on feet and hands correspond to other areas throughout the body. Used to relieve symptoms of such conditions as back pain, migraines, arthritis, sleep disorders, injuries, and stress.
Aroma Flower Elixir Massage
Pick a flower from a series of flower photographs-you will be attracted to the flower that benefits you most today. Enjoy a custom organic massage infused with flower elixirs. Different from essential oils, flower elixirs have no scent. Each flower elixir enhances your state of mind in a different way, bringing more clarity, energy, peace, happiness or insight. These hand-collected flower elixirs work along the same energetic pathways that acupuncturists use to balance the body and mind. Take a deep breath as you're misted with aromatic energy mists and massaged with luscious organic plant oils infused with flower elixirs that enhance your state of mind within minutes.
Classical European massage technique manipulating muscles with the use of massage oils and five different movements: long strokes, kneading, tapping, friction, and vibration. Used to increase circulation and flexibility, soothe tense muscles, and de-stress.
Full-body treatment that involves passive, yoga-like stretching and pressure-point massage along the body's major energy channels to release blocked energy, relieve tension, align the skeletal structure, and increase flexibility. Traditionally done on the floor with client wearing loose clothing.
VEE-shee \ Shower treatment, often enjoyed after a body wrap or scrub, in which five to seven water jets spray water on the back of a client lying prone on a cushioned table. Inspired by treatments in the French thermal spa city of Vichy, it is meant to reduce stress, hydrate and improve circulation.
An individual's state of being that signifies a presence of positive health and quality of life as well as exemplifies the awareness and movement toward a more successful existence.