Health + Fitness

Hot Stone or Deep Tissue? How to Choose the Perfect Spa Treatment This Winter

During a Thai massage, your therapist will move your body into different yoga-type stretches and moves. (Photo: iStock)

As winter’s harsh months take their toll on our bodies and minds, why not indulge in some relaxation? Treat yourself to a massage to relieve physical stress and enjoy the health benefits that follow.

Unless you’re a spa aficionado, choosing which massage to receive can be confusing. There are many different types of massages that relieve various types of tension and relax the areas where you hold your stress and overall preferences. What some people don’t know however, is that there are also health benefits that come with certain massages, such as migraine relief, improved circulation and boosted immune system.

Most hotels offer spa services, so head somewhere warm and exotic while you treat yourself to a hot spa stone massage, a Thai massage or deep tissue therapy.

Stretch it Out with a Thai Massage

Working your entire body, a Thai massage often manages to leave people feeling both relaxed and invigorated. Your therapist will move your body, requiring no extra work from you, into different yoga-type stretches and moves. Not only will your therapist stretch out your kinks, but he or she will apply varying pressure into tense muscles and loosen up any tight joints. The health benefits of a Thai massage include complete release of deep muscle tension that leaves you feeling relaxed and looser for days.

Rock Out with Heated Spa Stones

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Warm your body and loosen muscles with a hot stone massage. (Photo: iStock)

If you tend to find yourself with cold feet or you often come down with a case of the chills, then you’ll love a massage with heated spa stones. Placed strategically along your spine and in other areas of your back, as well as in your hands and on your feet, the added pressure and heat of the spa stones will relieve even the tightest muscles. Some health benefits of a hot stone massage includes improved circulation and a calming of the nervous system. Many people find the hot stones to be comforting and help alleviate stress and anxiety.

Dig in with Deep Tissue Massage Therapy

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Dig into tight muscles during a deep tissue massage. (Photo: iStock)

With deep tissues massage, slower, more forceful strokes allow massage therapists to target deep layers of muscles, which leads to more health benefits than any other massage. A deep tissue massage helps mend muscle damage from injuries, reduce stress hormones and trigger the release of oxytocin and serotonin in the brain, making you feel more relaxed and content.

Because the massage focuses on the deepest layers of muscle tissue, people tend to walk away from their treatment feeling sore, so it’s better to sign up for a deep tissue massage if you’re experiencing trouble in areas like the shoulder and neck. A deep tissue therapy massage is not the massage for you if you want a relaxing, calming massage.