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Spa Glossary - A to Z

Dec 16, 2007
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.

Body Wrap
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.

Complementary medicine
Unlike alternative medicine which replaces traditional therapies, complementary medicine uses treatments and therapies in conjunction with traditional medicine.

Destination Spa
Property that focuses on improving one's lifestyle, enhancing health, and creating self-renewal in the company of other like-minded people.

European Facial
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.

Lymph Drainage
A type of massage meant to stimulate circulation in the lymph system to drain away excess fluids and trapped toxins.

Medical Spa
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.

Salt Glow
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.

Thai Massage
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.

Vichy Shower
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.
About the Author
Geologix Inc. manufactures products using a proprietary formula featuring 34 natural minerals contained in the ancient sea water from the famous Michigan Basin -- a concentration of minerals higher than that found in any known body of water in the world. Mineral Essentials focuses on spa, skin care, and massage products to moisturize and provide anti-aging protection for great skin. Mineral Essentials, and Acheaway
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