Hawaiian, Swedish or Ayurvedic? Need help deciding on a massage style in Bahrain? Let Time Out make you make the right choice
The Time Out team are mad about massages – a word which derives from the Arabic ‘mass’ or ‘mash’ – meaning to press softly. Fortunately for fellow massage devotees, Bahrain boasts a bounty of beauty spots offering so many massages that there is a tendency to sit and read the menu like a child absorbed in a Harry Potter novel. But should you plump for Swedish or Shiatsu? Aromatherapy or Ayurvedic? And what exactly is a Lomi Lomi massage? Gwynn – a therapist at the Ritz Carlton spa – gives us the lowdown: ‘What massage you choose, depends on what you wish to achieve. A Swedish massage is a treatment in which the therapist works on easing muscular aches through a combination of various techniques including gliding, kneading, hacking and pounding with oil. Meanwhile an aromatherapy massage uses aromatic essential oils from plants to ease away tension.
This treatment focuses on breathing and is light in pressure. By contrast, a Shiatsu massage is a treatment working on pressure points located all over the body. No oil is used and strong pressure is applied with deep breathing in order to release energy throughout the body. Ayurvedic treatments are the most ancient of the six recognised systems of medicine to the Indian subcontinent. It is seen as an alternative medicine which roughly translates as the “wisdom of living” or “knowledge of a long life”. The most commonly practiced Ayurvedic treatments in the west are massage, diet counselling and herbal advice. Finally, Lomi Lomi is the word used to describe a Hawaiian massage. Lomi Lomi practitioners use the palms, forearms, fingers, knuckles, elbows, knees, feet and even sticks and stones. Like all endeavours in old Hawaiian, Lomi Lomi is conducted with prayer and intention.’