Spas in Ireland

Health Spa Glossary

By , September 16, 2007


A technique that involves placing physical pressure by hand, elbow, or with the aid of various devices on different acupuncture points on the surface of the body. Used for relieving stress and muscular tension.

Alexander Technique

A method used to retrain the mind and body to reduce unnecessary muscular strain. This technique can help to improve posture, overall movement and physical performance.


An ingredient used in treatments such as body creams and beauty packs. This derivative of marine plants is rich in vitamins, minerals and trace elements which can supply the skin with valuable nutrients.


Water based gymnastics aimed at burning fat and toning muscle. Often performed in a group, with and without fitness equipment, this form of exercise is highly effective but has a low impact on joints.


The use of essential oils to improve a person’s mood or wellbeing. The oils, distilled from a variety of plants, can be inhaled, massaged into the skin or absorbed in baths.


A 5000 year old form of alternative medicine originating from the Indian sub continent. Ayurveda deals with the actions of healthy living, along with therapeutic measures that relate to physical, mental, social and spiritual harmony.

Bio Sauna

A sauna with comfortably warm temperatures of between 40-55oC. Often combined with essential oils or lighting to produce a relaxing atmosphere.

Body Wraps

A treatment involving the application of nutrition rich substances or creams to the body which is then wrapped in heated towels. The towels help to increase body temperature which in turn improves the absorbance of the products used.


A steam room incorporating the use of essential oils. Effective for aiding breathing and loosening stressed muscles.

Colour Therapy

The use of ambient lighting to harmonise and balance the mind and body. Often used in conjunction with audio therapy to give an overall audio visual experience.

Hot Stone Therapy

A technique involving the use of specially selected heated stones to massage the body. The application of heat increases the feeling of well being and enables the therapist to work more effectively with chronic pain conditions.

Hydro Jet Massage

An invigorating massage using waves and jets of water in a large pool or tub. Good for stimulating circulation.

Indian Head Massage

An alternative medicine massage therapy in which the head, neck and facial areas are massaged with the purpose of manipulating energy channels.

Lomi Lomi Massage

A rhythmical massage technique developed in Hawaii using thumbs, palms and elbows to loosen tissues and reduce tension.

Lymph Drainage Massage

A gentle rhythmic massaging of the skin designed to stimulate the lymph nodes to open and drain. A typical session will involve drainage of the neck, abdomen, trunk, and extremities.


These treatments involve nutrient rich muds or substances being applied to the skin to improve circulation and skin tone.


An exercise program that focuses on the core postural muscles that help keep the body balanced and are essential to providing support for the spine.


A Japanese treatment that involves the practitioner placing hands on the clients body to channel energy and release energy blockages. Reiki can be very effective as a calming and stress relieving treatment.


The practice of applying pressure to “reflex zones” found on the feet and hands which are said to correspond to the different parts of the body. Application is done through thumb, finger and hand massage and is said to have beneficial effects to the specific parts of the body targeted.


A low temperature sauna where essential oils are used to produce a calming and relaxing effect.


Also known as a skin exfoliation. This technique uses fine grained substances such as salts, ground fruit seeds and sand, which are combined with creams and rubbed on the body to remove old skin cells and improve the look and feel of skin.


A Japanese form of acupressure. This massage technique uses pressure to stimulate the body’s acupuncture points. Ideal for relieving stress and muscular tension.


A place dedicated to enhancing overall well-being through a variety of professional services that encourage the renewal of mind, body and spirit.

Steam Bath

A sealed room where hot steam is released through vents at regular intervals to keep a high level of humidity. Effective for releasing toxins from the skin and clearing air passages.

Swedish massage

This style of massage utilizes long, flowing strokes, often but not necessarily in the direction of the heart. Swedish massage is designed to increase circulation and blood flow

Thai massage

This is a traditional form of massage involving the rhythmic pressing and stretching of the entire body. Thai massage involves no oil and the recipient remains clothed.


Thalassotherapy is the medical use of seawater. The therapy is applied in various forms, as either showers of warmed seawater, application of marine mud or of algae paste, or the inhalation of sea fog.

Water massage

A powerful water jet is directed at damaged or tense muscle groups in order to achieve a massage or relaxing effect.


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