Many spa establishments offer a range of treatment options as a part of the spa experience – but is a spa and massage a good combination?
They say there is nothing new under the sun – and while it is certainly true that people have been enjoying the banya experience for thousands of years, can the same be said for spa and massage being utilised together?
Well, at the risk of spoiling the ending, the short answer is Yes.
Banya session plus a massage is a winning combination – for both your physical and mental health.
The more important question is Why?
We will investigate:
We have already mentioned that people have been massaging themselves, and each other, in banyas for centuries. Tthey did it with the Venik – and still do – but what are the benefits of a banya massage and is the ultimate banya experience achieved through a combination of massage and steam room?
To summarise, the main benefits of a Banya steam room are:
Likewise, the key reasons for a massage treatment are:
You can see for yourself the crossovers.
And this is the beauty of a Banya and a massage – each on its own does wonders for the body and the mind, but together, the effects are multiplied.
In other words, taken together, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Many people have found that by taking one treatment and following it on with the other, the results are amplified. This is the ‘secret’ that has been known for centuries – that combining the two stimulates the body and mind and can lead to some amazing results, for physical healing, for de-stress, for relaxation and so on.
This then leads us to the next question – is it better to have a steam room followed by a massage, or to enjoy the massage first and then relax in the steam room afterwards?
We will look closer at each option next.
A spa and massage session is a great spa experience, after all, what could be better than a Banya steam room followed by a massage?
When taking a steam bath, several things happen to the body. First, the body heats up, which begins in turn to soften and smooth your muscle tissue. And this is why you feel so relaxed after a banya experience!
Using the steam room before a massage makes sense, therefore, because the body is already prepared and relaxed when going into the massage treatment. At Banya No.1 – Chiswick, we will usually perform a massage after the banya experience for this reason.
Taking a massage when you are already ‘pre-warmed’ means that the therapist will be able to work your muscles deeper than if you were to go in cold. You will get more benefits and better results from this massage, and this is what we mean by results amplification.
But relaxed muscles are only one part of the benefit of a steam room before massage. Aside from the wonderful feeling you get from the de-stress effect, sweating in the Banya triggers the body’s detox mechanism, as toxins are expelled from the body through sweat. Massaging muscles when you are already in a state of detoxification can allow more toxins to be worked from them. This is why many find a banya experience after a strenuous workout exercise to be so effective; the pain relief and stiffness release come from the massage working the built-up lactic acid out from the muscles, and the body can flush them out, aiding muscle repair and healing.
Alternatively, taking a steam room after a massage also has its benefits.
As we mentioned above, a good massage will expel toxins from the muscles in the body, and so a session in the steam room afterwards will remove them quickly through sweating, if the toxins are already on the move, then this becomes a very efficient way to expel them fast. Some find that this can be extremely beneficial under particular circumstances – after heavy physical work or training sessions for example.
A steam room can be a good recommendation after a massage if the massage has been especially intensive and the muscles have stiffened or contracted. In these circumstances, a Banya steam session after the massage will help the muscles to soften and relax again, soothing the body and removing any remaining toxins that were worked out of the muscle groups by the therapist.
Often, those who are using banya massage therapy as a treatment for pain relief in muscles use a post-massage banya session to help their body relax fast, as a part of their recovery process.
A third option is to have a spa and massage together – that is, to have a banya massage in the steam room. This is the essence of Parenie – although the massage is done with Venik and it is a steam and leaf massage as opposed to a hands-on muscle massage only.
Parenie is a blend of the two treatments, and many find it to be the ideal warm-up to a therapist massage afterwards.
Aside from this, if you have small areas of pain or muscular discomfort, for example in your arm or leg, then it can be a great relief to gently massage the area yourself as you sit in the warmth of the Russian banya.
The combination of the two can work together very well, and produce some good results in pain relief and de-stressof various parts of the body, but nothing will quite beat the professional touch of a massage therapist.
Generally, at Banya No.1 – Chiswick, our therapists will conduct your massage after your steam room session, as this appears to be most beneficial for the majority of people.
However, it is important to understand that health and body treatments are an individual matter – as we have discussed, there are those who will benefit more from a massage before the banya experience. Alternatively, some like to warm up in the steam room, take a massage and then return to the steam afterwards for a further session.
At Banya No.1 – Chiswick, we make it easy to book joint treatments and have put together a number of different packages to suit all needs, so take a look today and discover for yourself which is your ideal combination.