Santorini Zen Spa Glossary How to enjoy the best quality Mobile massage by Zen Spa in Santorini Fira Greece near you at your suite/villa, with a friend or as a Couple Get answers on "how to spa" like what time to get there what to expect & how to choose a spa treatment
Want to know the difference between acupuncture and accupressure? Or what about Shiatsu and Watsu? You've come to the right place. We use Spafinder Wellness 365's glossary to help you stay up-to-date about terms and phrases commonly used by both spa goers and spa professionals. Names of treatments, fitness lingo, medical terminology, and more are included and constantly updated. Just click on a letter group below to see the glossary listings.
Acupressure Traditional Chinese pressure-point massage (massage where fingers are applied to key points on the body) used to stimulate energy flow in the body, ease muscle tension, relieve pain, and promote relaxation. Often referred to as "acupuncture without needles."
Acupuncture Traditional Chinese healing technique meant to maintain or restore the body's balance of energy. Administered by inserting fine needles into energy centers (meridians) to stimulate energy flow. Used to treat underlying causes of conditions including addiction, asthma, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, headaches, lower back pain, menstrual irregularities, arthritis, allergies, high blood pressure, and sciatica.
Anaerobic Opposite of aerobic exercise, anaerobic exercise -- such as weightlifting and bodybuilding -- involves muscular work that causes the body to use more oxygen than it takes in.
Anti-Aging Product or treatment that combats or defends against the aging process.
Applied Kinesiology Study of muscles, especially the mechanics of human motion.
Aqua Aerobics Aerobic exercises performed in a pool using the support and resistance of the water to burn fat, strengthen bones, and increase cardiovascular health and endurance. The buoyancy of the water greatly reduces the chance of injuring joints or muscles.
Aromatherapy Treatments such as massage, facials, body wraps, or hydrobaths that include the application of fragrant essential oils. Different oils are used for different therapeutic benefits.
Asanas Various yoga postures or poses. The practice of these physical poses is a fundamental stage in many branches of the yoga system.
Ayurvedic Massage Deep, therapeutic massage meant to release toxins, invigorate, and relax. Uses massage oils chosen to balance a person's doshas (see definition). Balancing the doshas is the basis of the ancient Indian system of Ayurvedic medicine, which incorporates nutrition, herbal medicine, aromatherapy, massage, and meditation.
Biofeedback Treatment method using real-time measurements of physiological functions (muscle tension or heart rate) to teach people how to consciously control them. Used to treat headaches, anxiety, pain, digestive disorders, high blood pressure, abnormal heartbeat, epilepsy, and more.
Blood Pressure Pressure exerted by the blood on the walls of the body's arteries. Normal blood pressure is usually 120/80.
Body Conditioning Any exercise program that focuses on overall conditioning of the body. A body-conditioning routine might combine exercises for strength and flexibility and use both strength-training equipment and floor exercises.
Body Wrap (also Herbal Wrap) Treatment in which strips of cloth are soaked in herbal teas and cocooned around the body.
Botanicals Plant part or extract used in hair or skin products.
Brush and Tone Dry brushing of the skin intended to remove dead layers and impurities while stimulating circulation. This is one of many exfoliating techniques used as a pretreatment for mud and seaweed body masks that are formed by the application of a moisturizing lotion.
Caldarium Hottest room in ancient Roman baths where people would soak in steaming water to detoxify. Modern versions may not have a pool of hot water, but all use humidity or steam, sometimes infused with essential oils.
CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) Includes health-care systems, treatments, and products that exist outside of conventional medical practices. Complementary medical techniques are used in conjunction with conventional medical therapies. Alternative medicine, in contrast, replaces conventional therapies.
Capoeira Combination of acrobatics, dance, boxing, and martial arts invented by Brazilian slaves. Widely played in South America and gaining popularity in the United States.
Cellulite Deposits of lumpy fat and fibrous tissue that cause dimpling of the skin in the thighs, hips, and buttocks of some women.
Chakra Sanskrit for "wheel." Ayurvedic term for an energy center. It is believed that there are seven chakras located along the spine, each with specific qualities.
Chi Gong (also Qigong) Ancient Chinese method of maintaining health by guiding and balancing energy, or chi, through breathing, movement, and meditation.
Cold Plunge A circulation-stimulating pool of frigid water designed to be used in conjunction with sauna or steam room sessions.
Collagen Therapy Injection of collagen beneath the skin with a fine needle to fill out wrinkles and lines.
Colonic Intense irrigation of the colon using water, intended to flush trapped impurities and prevent the recycling of toxins into the bloodstream.
Color Therapy (also Chromotherapy) Based on the concept that color has vibrational energy that can help correct imbalances in the body, color therapy uses color in rooms, lights, crystals, fabrics, etc., to treat mental and spiritual health. Dates back to ancient Egypt.
Cranio-sacral Therapy Treatment that aims to improve function of the central nervous system by balancing the fluid and membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. Performed through gentle palpitations of specific areas. Used to treat a range of conditions, including stress, insomnia, headache, anxiety, fibromyalgia, and head, neck, and back pain.
Dead Sea Mud Treatment Application of mineral-rich mud from the Dead Sea in Israel. Used to detoxify skin and body and to ease painful symptoms of rheumatism and arthritis.
Deep-tissue Massage Massage method focusing on aligning the deep layers of muscles and connective tissue (called fascia) through kneading and applying slow, intense pressure. Benefits include improved range of motion and posture, and stress and pain relief.
Detoxification (also Detox) General term used to describe a variety of treatments intended to cleanse the body of poisons or toxins.
Effleurage Massage technique involving quick, long strokes used at the beginning and end of certain treatments.
Essential Oils Aromatic liquids extracted from flowers, grasses, fruits, leaves, roots, or trees. The oils maintain the odors and tastes, and thus the essence, of the plant they are extracted from. Exfoliation Procedure to slough top layer of dead skin cells off the face or body. Dry brush, loofah scrub, and salt glow are among the techniques used in conjunction with ingredients including grape seed, sugar, clay, and salt.
F Facial Generic term for treatment of skin in the face that usually includes massaging, cleansing, toning, steaming, exfoliating, and moisturizing.
Feng Shui Chinese art of arranging buildings, objects, and furniture in optimal positions for achieving a harmonic flow of energy between a place and its inhabitants. Believed to influence health, happiness, wealth, and relationships.
Frigidarium A room in ancient Roman baths where bathers plunged into a cold pool of water to refresh and close pores after visiting the warmer areas. Modern versions similarly revitalize visitors after they undergo heat treatments.
Green Tea Tea whose leaves come from the same shrub as black tree but are heated before oxidation (called fermentation) is complete. It may reduce risk of cancer and help prevent cardiovascular disease.
Hammam (also Turkish Bath) Traditional Middle Eastern bath house. Modern versions involve a series of steam rooms of increasingly elevated temperature, wherein bathing rituals often include a massage, a cold shower, or time in a relaxation area.
Henna Dye from a natural plant substance used especially in Middle East in many cultures to decorate skin as part of ceremonial rituals. It is used also to color hair in West.
Herbal Wrap Treatment using strips of cloth soaked in a heated herbal solution to wrap around the body. It is used for relaxation and said to eliminate impurities and detoxify.
Holistic Medicine System of heath care that looks at the entire person, taking into account physical, nutritional, environmental, emotional, social, spiritual and lifestyle values, and avails itself all modes of diagnosis and treatment including drugs and surgery in the absence of a safe alternative. The patient is urged to make personal efforts to achieve balance and well-being.
HomeopathyForm of medicine based on the principle that "like cures like." To stimulate healing, patients are treated with minute quantities of natural substances that cause symptoms much like those of the disease they are meant to cure.
Hot Stone Massage Treatment in which smooth heated stones are placed on or used to stroke areas of the body, such as the back, palms, and between the toes. This type of massage is intended to relax tight muscles.
Hydrotherapy General term for therapeutic procedures that use water for a variety of purposes, from relaxation to disease treatment. Methods can include Kneipp baths, underwater jet massage, specialized or experience showers, mineral baths, thalassotherapy, and more.
Hypoallergenic Cosmetic products alleged by manufacturer to create fewer allergic reactions among those who are sensitive. However, no federal standards govern the use of this term.
Indian Head Massage Massage based on Ayurvedic principles that focuses on the scalp, face, neck, and shoulders to relieve stress and tension and nourish the scalp.
Infrared Treatment Treatment that uses far-infrared light to mimic sunlight without the exposure to harmful ultraviolet light. Applied using lamps or through infrared saunas to relieve sore muscles and joints and to detoxify.
Inhalation Therapy Steam vapor treatments that are deemed especially helpful for those suffering from impaired respiratory function due to illness or a smoking habit. Vapor is often mixed with herbal elements such as eucalyptus and chamomile. This form of therapy is often found at spas with access to a mineral or thermal spring.
Iridology The study of patterns and structures in the iris (colored part of the eye) to diagnose disease. Though the practice is disputed by most in the mainstream medical field, but many holistic health professionals claim that the response of nerves in the iris to bodily phenomena (including disease) can be interpreted through close scrutiny of visible features in the eye. Some even believe that iridology can prevent the onset of disease by discerning warning signs in the iris.
ISPA International Spa Association, a professional organization representing all aspects of the spa industry: club spas, cruise ship spas, day spas, destination spas, resort/hotel spas, medical spas, and mineral springs spas.
J Jacuzzi The first free-standing whirlpool bath was introduced by Roy Jacuzzi in 1968, of the famous inventing Jacuzzi family, whose members also were also responsible for advances in agriculture and aviation. Though many companies manufacture whirlpool baths today, Jacuzzi is the trademarked name for the invention.
Japanese Furo Bath (also Ofuro) Hot, bubbling bath used for relaxation and usually enjoyed in the nude at a Japanese sento (public bath) or onsen (hot spring).
Juice Fast Short-term diet regimen consisting of only fresh fruit or vegetable juices. Advocates claim it detoxifies the body.
Kinesiology The study and science of human movement and how it relates to health. Differs from applied kinesiology, which is a system that aims to diagnose and treat disease throughout the body by testing and improving the strength of various muscles.
LaconiumHot room with relatively low humidity that was part of ancient Roman baths. Milder than a Finnish sauna, the laconium helps users eliminate toxins through perspiration.
LomilomiHawaiian massage technique derived from ancient Polynesian cultures. Sometimes referred to as the "loving hands" massage because of its gentle, continuously flowing and rocking motion. May include gentle stretches and joint rotation, as well as traditional rituals or prayers.
Loofah Scrub Exfoliation with a sponge made of the fibrous skeleton of the loofah, a vegetable from the gourd family. Loofah is used extensively in Europe and Asia because of its effectiveness in removing dry skin and stimulating circulation.
LulurBody treatment, evolved from a traditional Javanese wedding ceremony, that typically involves a coconut oil massage, exfoliation with a mix of rice and fragrant herbs, a floral bath, and a yogurt moisturizer.
Massage Manipulation of tissues, usually manually, to improve health and well-being by relaxing muscles, relieving tension, and improving circulation
Meditation Practice of using mental skills to perform such feats as focusing attention on a single object for a long period of time; cultivating compassion, which involves the transforming of negative events; and creating a state of pure awareness of thoughts, emotions, and sensations without reacting. Meditation is said to increase emotional well-being and is being studied for alleged benefits to physical health.
Mindfulness Non-judgmental, undistracted state that is a goal of meditation and involves being aware of oneself and one's surroundings.
Mobile Spa A spa with or without a fixed facility that employs professionals who can travel to a client's home, office, or other preferred location to perform treatments.
Organic Food produced with the exclusive use of feed or fertilizer of plant or animal origin and without the use of chemicals in any fashion, including growth hormones, pesticides, fertilizers.
Osteoporosis From "porous bones," progressive disease in which bones become weaker. It most commonly affects post-menopausal women. Weight-baring exercises are helpful in maintaining bone health, as is sufficient intake of calcium.
Pilates Body conditioning program meant to develop flexibility and strength via a system of controlled exercises. Developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 1900s, it can be performed on a mat or on specially designed equipment.
Poultice Consisting of a paste-like substance spread on or between layers of cloth, poultices are a long-standing traditional remedy used most often to relieve swelling and inflammation. Contemporary spas incorporate this venerable technique (often with all-natural ingredients such as muds, herbs and botanicals) into massage treatments and other therapeutic modalities.
Practitioner Person who administers any of a number of spa or medical therapies on a professional level in such modalities as reiki, acupuncture, energy healing, reflexology, and more.
Qi Gong (also Chi Gung or Chi Kung) From qi (energy) and gong (the achievement that comes from practice), a group of Chinese self-healing exercises. They combine simple movement, breathing, and mental imagery to relax and strengthen the body and the mind.
Reflexology Introduced as zone therapy to the West in 1913 by Dr. William Fitzgerald, reflexology is based on ancient techniques that use pressure-point massage, usually on the feet but also on the hands and ears, to restore the flow of energy throughout the body. Practitioners believe that areas on feet and hands correspond to other areas throughout the body. Used to relieve symptoms of such conditions as back pain, migraines, arthritis, sleep disorders, injuries, and stress.
Reiki Spiritual Japanese healing technique in which practitioners lay hands on areas of the body to channel energy and promote deep relaxation, stress reduction, and well-being.
Restorative Yoga Passive yoga poses lasting up to 20 minutes, supported by pillows, towels, etc., and meant to encourage relaxation via the release of tension in the muscles and spine. Also quiets the mind, rejuvenates the body-mind connection, and doesn't require flexibility or athletic ability of other forms of yoga.
Roman Bath A complex of hot, warm, and cold pools and rooms where ancient Romans would go to communally bathe and socialize. (See also caldarium, frigidarium, laconium, and tepidarium.)
S Salt Glow Body treatment in which skin is rubbed with coarse salt, sometimes in combination with fragrant oils, to exfoliate and stimulate circulation.
Sauna An enclosed, heated room designed to promote sweating and boost circulation, relax muscles, and release toxins. Often followed by a shower or a dip in a pool to cool off. The Finnish sauna, which is heated by hot rocks, is the most common; other cultures have similar concepts, including Native American temazcals, Turkish hammams, and Roman laconiums and caldariums.
Seaweed Wrap Body treatment using concentrated seawater and seaweed that contains nutrients including minerals, rare trace elements, vitamins, and proteins. Said by proponents to detoxify, increase circulation, and improve appearance of cellulite.
ShiatsuJapanese for finger pressure. Japanese massage technique in which the therapist applies pressure to specific points on the body to simulate and unblock meridians (pathways through which energy is said to flow). Similar to acupressure, but involves active and passive exercises and stretching, and the therapist diagnoses the patient as the treatment is in progress.
Spa The International Spa Association (ISPA) defines the word spa in the following way: "Spas are devoted to enhancing overall well-being through a variety of professional services that encourage the renewal of mind, body and spirit."
Steam Room Room where temperatures are kept at 110 to 130° F and humidity is generated in order to soften the skin, clean the pores, calm the nervous system, and relieve tension.
Stress Management Combination of physical exercise, deep relaxation techniques, and visualization techniques meant to reduce the ill effects of stress on the body.
Stretching Extending and lengthening muscles slowly, then in a static manner when hitting resistance. Meant to increase flexibility and relieve stress by improving circulation, and facilitating blood flow to the muscles, heart, and brain.
Swedish Massage Classical European massage technique manipulating muscles with the use of massage oils and five different movements: long strokes, kneading, tapping, friction, and vibration. Used to soothe tense muscles, increase circulation and flexibility, and de-stress.
T Tai Chi (also Tai Chi Chuan) Chinese martial art in which practitioners move slowly and gracefully through a series of postures coordinated by their breath. Used to reduce stress and improve flexibility, strength, energy, agility, and well-being. Often described as "meditation in motion."
Tepidarium Warm room in ancient Roman baths where visitors would prepare for bathing. The modern version is a heated lounge area with comfortable furniture where guests can relax before and after treatments.
Thai Massage Full-body treatment that involves passive, yogalike stretching and pressure-point massage along the body's major energy channels to release blocked energy, relieve tension, align the skeletal structure, and increase flexibility. Traditionally done on the floor with client wearing loose clothing.
Thalassotherapy Umbrella term describing variety of treatments that use seawater, seaweed, and other natural elements from the ocean for therapeutic benefits. Treatments include underwater jet massage, different types of showers, mineral baths, and seaweed or algae wraps. (See also hydrotherapy.)
Tui NaChinese therapy used to balance energy in the body and release toxins with massage and acupressure techniques. An important component of traditional Chinese medicine.
W WatsuCombining the words water and shiatsu, this healing massage treatment is performed in a warm pool in which a therapist supports the client and administers rhythmic movements, pressure-point massage, and stretches. The watsu is designed to relieve stress, muscle tension, and pain, and promote deep relaxation.
Waxing Depilation process that involves application of warm wax followed by a strip of cloth quickly pulled away from skin to remove unwanted hair.
Wellness An individual's state of being that signifies positive health and quality of life, including physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional components.
Yoga Ancient art and philosophy that involves both mind and body and is aimed at self-development and self-realization. The physical practice of yoga involves performing postures (asanas) and using controlled breathing and meditation to stretch and tone the body and improve circulation.
Zen Japanese teaching with origins in ancient China whose belief is that the only path to enlightenment is through direct, intuitive insight-by focusing solely on your essential nature.
* Sources, References, Bibliography:
Understanding the Global Spa Industry: Spa Management, Marc Cohen and Gerard Bodeker
Santorini Zen Spa - Hotel Spa, Imerovigli, Santorini