Health Spas and Massage - Health Tourism
Massage has been used for centuries to relieve stress and treat a variety of health conditions. Ancient civilizations from Rome and Japan to India incorporated massage techniques into their medical treatment regimens. Today, most people are familiar with massage as a luxury spa treatment, and many new techniques have been developed to appeal to an ever widening taste for exotic and effective wellness experiences.
The term ‘massage’ is generally used to describe treatments that use pressure to manipulate the body’s soft tissues. Target areas can include skin, muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints, and other connective tissue. In addition, some massage therapies target lymph vessels and various organs of the body. The goal is to promote healing, support wellness, relieve stress, and clear the mind of clutter.
The massage practitioner may use hands, feet, fingers, elbows, forearms, or massage aids during a treatment. Scented or unscented oil is often used while heated stones are now used in one of today’s popular massages. Depending on the type of massage, clients are clothed or unclothed. If unclothed, towels or sheets are draped for privacy and only the area being worked on is uncovered. Clients may be seated on a massage chair or lie on a massage table or a mat on the floor.
The types of massage most familiar in western cultures include Swedish, deep tissue and sports massage. Asian massage techniques include Ayurvedic, Thai, Shiatsu and reflexology. Beyond these traditional methods, there are many types of massage that combine techniques, incorporate stretches, or target specific trigger points.
Medical massage is used increasingly for conditions such as breast cancer, sinus relief, and temporarily reducing blood pressure. Other types of medical massage are used to relieve pain.
Massage therapists and practitioners are usually regulated by a governing agency of the country where they practice. Because there is no single entity regulating massage, it is best to ask your practitioner about their qualifications and training, or ask to see a license or certificate verifying their compliance with local regulations.
Countries with Health Spas: Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Thailand, Vietnam, USA