Glossary of Spa terms


Massage using pressure from the thumbs or fingers to stimulate points along the same meridians used in acupuncture.


The application of essential plant oils in massage, facials, wraps, steam inhalation, and baths. Different oils have different therapeutic uses, and may stimulate circulation, soothe the nerves, or have antibacterial and antiviral properties.


In traditional Asian therapies, the vital energy or life force of the body.

Craniosacral therapy:

A gentle treatment that focuses on the connection between the skull and the base of the spine along the spinal column. It promotes circulation of the cerebrospinal fluid.

Deep tissue massage:

A more focused type of massage that uses a firm pressure applied slowly to specific muscles or muscle groups.


The process of encouraging the body to eliminate stored wastes and toxins in order to promote better health.

Energetic therapy:

Hands-on therapies that balance or stimulate the flow of the body’s energy.


A skin treatment that promotes the sloughing off of the upper layer of dead skin cells. Dry brushing, loofah mitts, or enzyme creams can be all be used for this purpose.

Myofascial massage:

A more focused form of massage that stretches the fascia or connective tissue that surrounds muscles.

Swedish massage:

The classic European massage technique, consisting of long smooth gliding and kneading strokes and using the application of oil or lotion.


A form of movement education using gentle rhythmic rocking movements to create new awareness and free habitual patterns of movements.