Ahhh... the soothing sounds of gentle music as you blissfully lie beneath a soft sheet, cocooned in relaxing smells and dim light. You find your nerves unbundling and your troubles slipping away as seasoned hands massage your back and shoulders.
If you've ever been to a spa to enjoy the relaxing benefits of a Swedish massage, you're familiar with this pattern. If you haven't, or feel that a massage might not really benefit you, think again. In particular, Swedish massage incorporates several specific techniques that combine to give you a relaxing and beneficial experience.
1. Long, sweeping strokes over a muscle that help to break up trigger points
2. Kneading the muscle to work deeper into the affected area
3. Rhythmically tapping an area with cupped hands to facilitate relaxation
4. Friction or rubbing a muscle group rapidly with the palms to stimulate warmth
5. Vibration or using the fingertips to quickly shake a muscle back and forth to loosen the area
If the idea of going to a spa makes you nervous, you're not alone. Many people have their first spa experience when they get a gift card to a
day spa. Some people don't even use it because they're anxious about what will happen and the finer points of spa etiquette.
Most of us make our decisions based on convenience—what's close by, and within my budget? But there are other things you should take into account. Look for friendly, nurturing staff, from the person at the front desk to the massage therapists, estheticians, nail technicians, and make-up artists. Of course, all therapists should be licensed. (If the treatments are really cheap, this might be one reason.)
A well-trained staff starts with the person at the front desk, so if we're not polite over the phone—forget it. When you arrive, you want a quiet, relaxing, well-designed environment with soothing music, low lighting, and pleasant aromas that is also clean and sanitary. you will find special equipment such as hydrotherapy tubs, whirlpool tubs, steam rooms, sauna, steam cabinets, Vichy shower, etc.