7 Different Massages to Try Around the World
Slept on a hard mattress? Your boss tried a new judo throw on you? Your office chair is not orthopaedic enough? Or do you simply need a bit of relaxation? Massages can resolve many issues ranging from usual backaches to bad blood flow. Read on to find out about 7 different massages practiced around the world, which you absolutely have to try!
1. Swedish Massages
Let’s start with the most basic of massages. Against many beliefs the Swedish massage was not first practised by a Swede. According to Robert Noah Calvert, founder of the Massage Magazine, the Dutch Georg Mezger is credited for adopting it from the French. This massage is defined by its mixture of stroking, kneading, striking and rubbing. Although the Swedish or Classical Massage is offered all around the world, we recommend trying it in the Netherlands or France as its roots lay there.
2. African Rungu Massage
The African Rungu massage, originating from deep within the tribes of South Africa, is technique which uses a Rungu to massage. “The Rungu stick is a wooden throwing club or baton, bearing special symbolism and significance in East African Tribal Cultures“, as Jacqueline Avis, spa manager at The Oyster Box in South Africa says. While using the Rungu stick to help penetrate deep enough into the muscle, the shaft and two knobs are used differently. The shaft and bigger knob are used for effleurages and circular movements on larger areas and muscles as the smaller knob is used for getting into smaller spaces like the scapula (shoulder blade).
Although this technique originates in South Africa and is very popular around those areas, there are also Spas popping up in Europe offering this technique.
3. Japanese Shiatsu Massage
While it’s known as Japanese today, Shiatsu is having its roots in China. “Massage, along with acupuncture and herbalism, was for centuries an integral part of traditional Chinese medicine, which was introduced to Japan by a Buddhist monk in the 6th century “, so the Shiatsu Society. By using finger pressure, touch, comfortable pressure and manipulative techniques the body’s energy flow is balanced and its physical structure adjusted.
Where to enjoy it? Since the Japan Shiatsu College has been approved by the Ministry of Health in Japan, we highly recommend enjoying it in Japan. Not able to travel to Japan in the distant future? No problem, as the Japanese Shiatsu massage is offered all over the world.
4. Thai Massage
Often referred to as yoga massage, the Thai massages are taught from generation to generation orally. Due to this fact, there are hardly any documentations about the massages history.
Unlike other massages, the Thai massage requires a bit of movement from both, the masseuse and the receiver. It includes rubbing, deep tissue kneading, and body movements in which the masseuse will move the body in certain ways in order to achieve a deep body stretch. A good indicator whether the masseuse is doing it right is if you hear cracking across your body.
You can enjoy this massage all around the globe, but as its origins are in Thailand and the prices there are really affordable we would recommend enjoying it there. Also, it’s hard to not be solicited about it in Thailand.
5. Ayurvedic Head Massage
Let’s move on to India, where the Ayurvedic (knowledge of life) Head Massage originates from. Blossoming from a 5,000-year-old system of healing, the Ayurvedic Head Massage is using several variations in its system. The traditional Chinese medical practitioner Scott Blossom describes it as “a system of healing that examines physical constitution, emotional nature, and spiritual outlook in the context of the universe” in an article he wrote for the Yoga Journal.
Practitioners use certain oils for the massage while kneading and stroking the clients head, going through their hair and focusing on hitting the temples. Additionally, the practitioner will also work on your hands, shoulders and more to guarantee the best result. This massage is targeting to support the nervous system by relieving stress.
As we did with the Shiatsu and Thai massages, we would, too, recommend trying the Aryuvedic Head Massage in India. But as Indian traffic can be very busy and stressful you might want to visit a calmer place to enjoy the massage and relieve your stress.
6. Hot Stone Massage
No definite information is given on the origins of this massage or therapy, except that heated stones were once a component of native American and Egyptian tribes.
Mary Nelson, founder of LaStone, the original hot and cold stone massage, explains that the focus of LaStone is applying different temperatures to the body in order for it to affect. “The whole goal is about using temperature to get the body to chemically respond. It’s all about alternating temperatures to make the appropriate changes for the cleansing process.”, she says.
While there are many different types of hot stone massages, we highly agree with Mary Nelson that you should focus on finding a certified LaStone practitioner, as the balance of hot and cold temperature is of utmost importance. You should enjoy it in the southwest of America.
7. Chinese Reflexology Massage
Last stop: China. Reflexology Massage is the ancient art of healing by working pressure points on the feet, hands and ears, which correspond to different parts of the body. It is a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which utilizes energy zones on the hands and feet to energize the body system and provide relief for a variety of illnesses. Chinese reflexology is commonly referred as foot massage by most of the Chinese people.
The practitioner usually uses his knuckles as they provide a hard and smooth part for the massage. If the patient doesn't feel any strong pain as soon as the pressure is applied to the sole, he is perfectly healthy. The reflexologists believe that the painful spots reflect illnesses of other parts of the body.
Where to enjoy it? Basically you can enjoy it all over the world now as it has become very popular. But why not combine your massage with a trip to China and learn about a new culture and enjoy stunning views?
Still not convinced of massages? You can also book a different truly cleansing experience at Kuala Lumpur’s SweatSpa. Read about our experiences with it in our review, in which two of our Beautyguide representatives enjoyed the spa’s services.
We hope that you liked the article and hopefully could sway you in booking your next massage whether it’s in the massages’ country of origin or in your local town. Did you ever experience one of those massages? Let us know about your experiences by writing a comment down below.