Do you know the difference between acupuncture and acupressure? How about Shiatsu and Watsu? The spa world is filled with a dizzying collection of terms and procedures. Following is a sample glossary, thanks to Spa Finder, to help spa-goers speak and understand the lingo with ease.
Used to stimulate the flow of energy in the body, acupressure is a traditional Chinese pressure-point massage.
Administered using needles, a low-voltage electric current, or acupressure, acupuncture is a traditional Chinese healing technique based on Taoist philosophy.
Herbal body wraps cover the client in a cocoon-like form with strips of cloth soaked in herbal teas. Sea mud body wraps use mineral essential-rich mud to cleanse and hydrate the body.
Unlike alternative medicine which replaces traditional therapies, complementary medicine uses treatments and therapies in conjunction with traditional medicine.
Property that focuses on improving one’s lifestyle, enhancing health, and creating self-renewal in the company of other like-minded people.
A treatment that includes deep cleansing, steam, exfoliation, and a professional face massage, followed by a mask that hydrates the skin.
The buzzword that describes a concern with, or promotion of, environmentalism through recycling, creation of biogradable products, or reducing pollution.
Hot Stone Therapy
A treatment in which dark, smooth stones are heated in hot water and then placed or stroked lightly on key areas of the body.
The International Spa Association, which represents all aspects of the spa industry.
A type of massage meant to stimulate circulation in the lymph system to drain away excess fluids and trapped toxins.
These are destination or day spas that offer traditional and complementary medical services including cosmetic procedures, diagnostic testing, and preventative care.
Food grown without the use of chemicals of any kind, including growth hormones, pesticides, and fertilizers.
Developed by Joseph Pilates, this is a body conditioning program that develops flexibility and strength through controlled movements and specially-designed exercise equipment.
Qi Gong (or Chi Gung or Chi Kung)
A group of Chinese self-healing exercises, the term Qi Gong comes from qi (energy) and gong (achievement that comes from practice). The exercises include simple movements, breathing, and mental imagery to relax and strengthen the body and mind.
Used to exfoliate and stimulate circulation, skin is rubbed with coarse salt combined with fragrant oils.
This massage technique developed in Japan uses applied pressure to specific body points to stimulate and unblock meridians, or pathways through which energy is said to flow.
With a client dressed in full clothing, this treatment involves yoga-like stretching and pressure-point massage to release blocked energy, relieve tension, and increase awareness.
Meant to hydrate the body and improve circulation, the Vichy shower was inspired by treatments in the French thermal spa city. It involves a client lying beneath a spray of warm water created by a five- to seven-head shower system.
This treatment achieves deep relaxation in the client through rhythmic movements and a pressure-point massage administered by a therapist in a warm pool.
Aimed at self-development and self-realization, the physical practice of yoga uses positions, deep breathing, and meditation to stretch and tone the body.
A school of Mahayana Buddhism that asserts enlightenment can be achieved through meditation, self-contemplation, and intuition by focusing on one’s essential nature.
Source: Susan Gans