Swedish massage is defined by four or five somewhat familiar techniques, which have French names: effleurage (stroking), petrissage (kneading), tapotement (rhythmic choppings), and friction (rubbing). Some therapists now incorporate advanced techniques that have rehabilitating effects and stretches for improving your range of motion. But the ultimate goal here is relaxation. As the default Western massage, Swedish massage is an extremely popular, simple, soothing touch therapy. At most spas, Swedish massage is the most popular treatment, and it’s for good reason. Perfect for first-time spa-goers, Swedish massage will help to release neck knots and sooth nerves. Traditional Swedish massage, or “classical massage,” consists mainly of long strokes over oiled skin and kneading of the outer layers of muscle tissue to reduce stress and sooth sore joints and muscles. Studies have shown Swedish massage relaxes the nervous system, aids circulation, and helps with detoxification. Find out more about Swedish Massage in Spafinder's What is Swedish Massage? To help you find the massage that fits your specific needs, read Spafinder's guide to Which Massage is Right For You?, or select one of the links on this page for a different massage type.
The practice of using essential oils dates back to Egyptian times (it’s been said Cleopatra was a fan). Today, aromatherapy is used to promote well-being and stimulate the senses in a wide range of spa treatments, varying from massage to facials to hydrotherapy. Fragrant essential extracts sourced from plants, flowers, and herbs are mainly applied for their therapeutic benefits; studies show aromatherapy not only improves your mood, but may reduce stress levels and treat insomnia. So whether you want to rejuvenate or simply smell delicious, we say aromatherapy just makes sense! Step into a spa and one of the first things you’ll notice is a signature scent wafting in the air. It’s there to entice your senses straight off the bat and sets the tone for a relaxed experience. Not only is aromatherapy used to set the mood in a spa, it’s celebrated for healing purposes as well. Different natural oils are used for different therapeutic benefits. For example, lavender endorses calm, so speak with your therapist about what you’d like to accomplish during your treatment. To help you find the massage that fits your specific needs, read Spafinder's guide to Which Massage is Right For You?
If your dream weekend getaway includes having the option to explore a bustling city between spa treatments, consider the spa at The Peninsula New York. Its award-winning spa includes a blend of signature treatments with Asian, European and Ayurvedic philosophies. Try the "Escape From The City" package (body wrap exfoliation, holistic massage and remodeling facial) or the "Red Carpet Ready" (healthy glow facial, salt and oil scrub, body wrap, hair wash and blowout and professional makeup application — plus champagne and lunch!).
A native Hawaiian healing practice, Lomi Lomi or lomilomi massage is a deeply nurturing style of massage characterized by fast flowing movement. There is also a spiritual side therapists focus on giving the treatment with love and intention. Traditional practitioners may offer a prayer beforehand. There are 100,000 styles of Lomi Lomi massage, according to author Makana Risser Chai, so it’s hard to know what you’ll be getting. In general, strokes are long, flowing, fast, and rhythmic, and therapists use their hands, forearms, and occasionally their fists for deep pressure. Lomi Lomi treatments are typically choreographed and given in time to special music (mostly drums). Beware treatments that are “lomi lomi-inspired.” Lomi lomi massage training takes several years to complete, either with a mentor or through a multi-level training program. Spas with seriously trained therapists will be glad to tell you where their staff learned it. You may be asked to remove all clothing (you’ll still be covered with a sarong or sheet) so the therapist can keep the quick tempo and move from your shoulders to your glutes and back up in two seconds flat. Read about Lomi Lomi Massage in Spafinder's post, What is an Hawaiian or Lomi Lomi Massage? To help you find the massage that fits your specific needs, read Spafinder's guide to Which Massage is Right For You?, or select one of the links on this page for a different massage type.
From romantic weekend getaways to total health transformations, day spas specialize in improving beauty and tending the body and mind through a variety of personal care treatment. Clients can sign up for an overnight retreat and a day spa resort or stop in for a quick session at a local wellness center. Everyone deserves a little me time. Next time you need a healthy pick-me-up, check out this list of popular day spas near you.
Prepare for one of those rare city moments where you can enjoy some peace and relaxation without having to actually leave the city. This dreamy spa in Chicago’s Near North Side neighborhood is perfect for a daylong pamper session, with amenities like a lap pool, health club, and some extraordinary spa treatments. The Signature Massage is one of their most popular because it is personalized for each guest according to their needs.
Escape into the trees at this luxury cottage resort hidden among 60 acres of birch forest. A walkway woven between trees will lead you to treetop treatment rooms (suspended eight feet above ground) where products made from organically grown herbs, flowers, oils and grains are used for spa services. Try a "Maine Honey Body Buzz" or a bamboo therapy massage.
In the desert about 125 miles north of Los Angeles, you'll find palm trees, cacti, flowering vines, and dramatic mountain vistas as you detox, Hollywood-style, in this juice-fast led program. Guests often emerge reporting a one to three pound per day weight loss—as well as clearer heads and brighter eyes and skin. Credit goes to both the clean liquid diet and the raft of classes offered, including breath work, Reiki, sound-healing, yoga of every flavor, "creative visioning"—and even sessions about transitioning back to solid food.