Renowned as the oldest and simplest source of health, massage has been done as part of a daily ritual by Eastern peoples for centuries. The word “massage” has its roots in Greek (massein: to squeeze between your fingers), Hebrew (mashesh: kneading) and Arabic (mass: to rub gently). The six kinds of massages described below are the key to finding inner balance, relieving tension and taking a restful moment out of a fast-paced life.
Nuad Plakob: Royal Siam Hot Herbal Stamp
After a massage to suit your needs and your mood, indulgence continues with the application of cotton balls soaked in a mixture of herbs and spices. Spa philosophy requires that these products be 100% organic. Stimulating fragrances such as ginger, turmeric, lemongrass, and eucalyptus are filled in bags and their healing properties are infused into the body using steam. By slight pressure roll and hand slides along the ‘sen’ (energy lines in the Thai tradition), the energies are balanced, the skin revitalized and circulation stimulated. This sends the body in a state of euphoria.
In Balinese tradition, the rituals of beauty and wellness are based on a close connection between nature and spirituality. These aim to stimulate the mind while calling for calm. Coconut oil is supplemented with flowers of Ylang-Ylang and Jasmine to arouse sensuality; or with hot and spicy ginger, cloves and nutmeg to stimulate the senses. Jamu massage (literally meaning: elixir) combines different techniques such as bending, percussion, compression points, sliding pressure with fists and touch-roll side. The meditative rhythm of this massage relaxes the joints, improves circulation and cleanses the body of all impurities.
Massage for balancing the chakras
After mapping the chakras (energy centers of the body), the therapist lets you breathe different scents and asks you to choose the one you like best. Your chosen aromatic essence is then mixed with body massage oil and a massage follows. To conclude this treatment, hot basalt stones are placed on energy centers. Stimulated by heat, tensions disappear and the spirit is soothed.
Derived from Ayurvedic medicine – the traditional health system of India dating back over 5000 years, which focuses on holistic health – Shirodhara is a treatment for rejuvenation. Prelude to the massage, a steady stream of warm medicinal oil is poured onto the forehead from one temple to another, following a specific route in slow steady motion. Divinely soothing, this treatment is beneficial against insomnia, headaches, anxiety, impaired memory, mental fatigue and lack of concentration.
Nuad Thao is a form of reflexology where the foot is considered the miniature representation of the entire body and is believed to contain points corresponding to all organs, muscles, and tendons. Using a small stick and by pressing the soft areas of the thumbs and hands, the 72000 billion miniature nerves that traverse the feet are stimulated. When the foot, nails and the knees are coated with a balm made from cooling ingredients like camphor and menthol, the entire body is revitalized. This massage helps relieve heaviness in the legs, digestive disorders, headaches, etc. “When we touch the feet, it touches the soul” – this Asian proverb couldn’t have said it better.
The Ascent of the Wise
Inspired by Native American rituals, the treatment “the ascent of the wise” is practiced in a teepee, heated by the wood stove and built according to sacred geometry (entrance is from the east). Once you are lying on a bed made of logs, the task begins with the individual reading of your animal totem and printing of “Medicine Cards”. The soothing and purifying fragrances of Sage and Sweet Grass are accompanied by Aboriginal songs and voice therapy. The mind calms, the breathing becomes fuller. Then there is an alternate and chained arrangement of warm and smooth volcanic pebbles; percussion and swaying with bamboo; and a sliding pressure on the abdomen. The session ends with a scalp massage. The body, under the effect of heat, deeply relaxes and all pain and toxins and eliminated. To rebalance the body’s temperature and get a tonic effect, a dip in the river is recommended.