In the Ayurvedic method, the masseur will use specialized, heated-up oil (probably with a herbal mix). If you’re lucky you might even get the one with the hot oil dripping on your forehead (Shirodhara). This very typical Indian massage occurs on a specially designed table. A device with a small hole at the bottom is hung above the head of the client. The special medicinal oil is made to flow in a continuous stream on to the upper part of the forehead. The eyes are protected with cotton pads to prevent oil from dripping into them. Apparently, this technique is very helpful against insomnia, nervous disorders and headaches, and it reduces shoulder and neck pains.
Reflexology (foot massage)
Reflexology can be very relaxing and therapeutic, helping to release stress, which in turn helps the body heal and regenerate itself. According to the theory, the reflexologist’s pressure to feet, hands or ears sends a calming message from the peripheral nerves to the central nervous system, which in turn signals the body to adjust the tension level. This enhances overall relaxation, brings internal organs and their systems into a state of optimum functioning and increases blood supply. This technique is based on the Chinese design of the organs represented in the feet. Touching the feet simulates all the organs accordingly. If you suffer from pain and sensitivity in the foot, heel and calf areas, be sure to communicate your pain levels with your therapist during your treatment. It is also a good idea to rest after receiving reflexology treatment.
Tui-na (Chinese acupressure)
Here the therapist uses his or her hands, elbows, fingers, knees or forearms to administer touches that range from light strokes to deep tissue. You will generally lay unclothed on a table underneath a sheet. Usually it will be a full body massage with simple oils; other times the massage therapist will focus on an isolated muscle group. Tui Na is not generally used for pleasure and relaxation, but rather as a treatment to address specific physical disharmony. It follows the same principles as acupuncture.
The problem with tuina is that you get really greasy and cannot easily get back to the office afterwards. But some massage centres offer the possibility to take a shower.
Energetic massage (the BARS ®)
The Bars is an American treatment protocol from the Access Consciousness School. It contains a set of 32 points on the head which, when gently touched, effortlessly and easily release anything that doesn’t allow you to receive (energy). According to the theory, these points contain all the thoughts, ideas, beliefs, emotions and considerations you have stored in your lifetime. For most people, it is the first time that they allow themselves to receive without obligation of returning it.
During the process you might even feel a wave effect of cleansing. This is a great treatment when you are in the process of a major life change, reducing your stress levels and keeping you in a state of deep wellbeing.
Tantric massage is one of the massage procedures that are highly associated with sensual touch or erotic massage. Tantra is the liaison between sexuality and spirituality. In order to understand it and wisely practice it, open-mindedness, intelligence and courage are required. However an erotic tantric massage achieves more than just sexual pleasure. It is all about the use of sensuous touch on the skin in order to enhance erotic stimulation. This technique will use long strokes, perfumed oils and music to enhance mood. It is very relaxing mentally, physically and even emotionally. It helps stimulating blood circulation throughout the body and smoothening out knots and tension from the muscles.
It may even bring sexual and emotional healing. It helps eliminate stress, high blood pressure and depression. When going for a tantric massage be sure to be explicit about your needs. You might want to ask for detailed information on their practice. Usually they offer white massage (masseur is dressed and it is performed on a massage table), red and black (which are more explicit practices).