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    Five Massages You Must Experience

    Take a deep breath. And hold on for just a second. Okay, now let it out. And take one more. Good. Now, I bet you already feel a little bit better. With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it can be easy to forget something as simple as breathing. With no time to breathe, it's highly likely that you really giving yourself the care and support that you need to stay balanced. If you've been burning your candle at every end, trying to create those perfect holiday moments for your loved ones, you have most certainly earned a reprieve ... but what kind will be best? Read on and discover the 5 types of massage that we feel you must experience at least once.

    Once you've finally curbed the festive decorations, a restorative vacation to kick off the New Year and get a head start on all of those resolutions may be just the thing. Whatever you do, it's great to to focus on health and wellness this time of year. I always like to get at least one massage when I travel. Not only does a full session help to work out the stiffness that I experience after a long flight, it provides me with a chance to speak with a helpful local about the best ways to relax and enjoy the location in a safe and supportive manner. As a fully trained and licensed massage therapist practicing in Maine, I also view my travel massages as positive learning opportunities, that is, if I can stay alert in the state of total pampered serenity. I find that I am best able to really enjoy the gorgeous scenery of so many incredible destinations when I feel relaxed, refreshed and energized. Once you've booked your airfare, rental car, and hotel, you might give a little bit of thought to the type of massage that you would like to have to enhance your vacation. These are my five favorite types of relaxation massages.

    Popular Types of Massages (and where to find them)

    Also called 'Lomi-Lomi,' which means 'rub-rub' in Hawaiian, this style of massage incorporates a relaxing touch and long, repetitive, gentle strokes across the muscle fibers. In a time before the westernization of Hawaii, this treatment was a very integral part of community health care, often performed by the priests, or within families. There is great care within this tradition to promote the holistic well-being of the recipient, resulting in a very relaxed and harmonious feeling. It's a perfect accoutrement to a full exploration of Hawaii. Among the ocean scenery of this island paradise, this unique therapy is deeply enhanced by locally sourced fragrant oils. After such a lush treatment, you will find deep rest and harmony within yourself as you dig your toes into the golden sand beaches and take in the scenery and magic of Honolulu.

    Imagine being engulfed by warm gentle rain, a diverse array of lush floral aromas and gentle touch that melts away every worry and care. Now, imagine that you walk out of this personal rainforest paradise with a stronger immune system, balanced energy and a much straighter backbone. You can find this hour of heaven on earth in many popular spa destinations including Saint Lucia. What fun it would be to hop out of your rental car in Castries after a leisurely day of exploring and tasting everything the tropical island has to offer, only to have a compassionate therapist take you to the core of comfort. Throw in an island sunset and fresh squeezed juice and you will have found complete rejuvenation.

    At the University of Stockholm, in the early 1800's, a physiologist by the name of Per Henrich Lang pioneered a type of massage that differed from the eastern traditions in that it was based on modern medical concepts of Anatomy and Physiology, rather than energy fields. With the basic goal of increasing blood flow and warming and loosening muscles to relieve stress and tension, a proper Swedish massage is a real treat to experience. Characterized by sweeping strokes followed by deeper kneading, a Swedish massage is meant to be relaxing.

    In my experience, Swedish massage in the late afternoon promotes an incredible night of sleep followed by several days of glowing effervescence. Many spas will offer aromatherapy, hot stones, deep tissue or other modalities to accompany a traditional Swedish technique and personalize the service to suit your needs. And it's important to note that while this massage did originate in Sweden, it's a mainstay of some of the best spas everywhere in the world. Whether you are enjoying the slopes and saunas in Switzerland or fun and sun in Costa Rica, you are sure to savor great comfort and relief with a Swedish massage.

    Shiatsu Imagine that with certain pressures applied to points of your body, that you could experience improvement in a variety of maladies ranging from headaches to depression. Shiatsu is the most common style of eastern traditional massage. While it draws from long standing concepts from the field of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the massage was refined in Japan in the early 1900's. In a shiatsu session, you can expect the therapist to apply direct pressure to certain points associated with body energies and attempt to create balance and promote general well-being.

    Thai To move away from the passive rubbing styles of massage, Thai massage focuses a lot on joint mobilization. Said to have been developed by Buddha's physician, this holistic health tradition has moved into Thailand and incorporated many elements of traditional Chinese medicine. It is often compared to yoga because it contains many practices and philosophies in common with yoga. Performed on padded mats, and fully dressed, it is a long standing favorite of many massage enthusiasts. Thai massage is active and energizing. While also incorporating muscle compression and acupressure, the therapist expertly puts you through a series of poses specially developed to increase circulation, flexibility and energy, creating an overall feeling of balance.
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    While there are many great reasons to travel, a proper vacation should include restoration and relaxation and any of these types of massage can help you feel restored and refreshed. Eating well and getting plenty of fresh air and exercise will help you return home feeling better than you did when you left. With a massage, you can be sure that you will feel great as you soak in the local essence. A rental car is also a helpful addition to any well-planned relaxation tour. With the freedom from scheduled transport, the world is your oyster and you can cruise in comfort. Getting on the road is a breeze with our plethora of convenient pick-up locations and helpful 24/7 service. Call us toll-free at 1-888-223-5555 to speak with our friendly reservationists about your journey to relief.

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