For many people, there is no better cure for a tired body than a good massage.
For thousands of years, the benefits of massage for health purposes has been proven in many places around the world. In different cultures, unique forms of massage have been created, often using herbal rubs or aromatic oils.
Regardless of the form it comes in, massage is thought to be beneficial because a new energy is flowing into the body through rubbing, applied pressure and squeezing.
The Alameda Spa and Health Club at JW Marriott Hotel Jakarta recently launched its deep tissue massage, a form of treatment that is focused on the structures of the muscle and connective tissue.
I had the opportunity to try the treatment on a sizzling hot day early last week. Despite the fact that it is located at one of Jakarta’s busiest areas, entering the spa immediately lowered my body temperature. The fragrant smell of the reception room was very pleasant, calming me and improving my mood.
The private room where I endured the 90-minute treatment was small but very cozy. Wulan, the therapist, helped set the tone by adjusting the room’s lighting and temperature to make sure I felt comfortable.
To begin the treatment, my feet were washed in a basin of cool water before I climbed onto the massage table.
Wulan asked me to choose from three essential oils commonly used in a massage treatment: green tea, lavender and olive oil.
“The three are good but each has its own characteristic smell and benefit,” she said. “Green tea is soothing and relaxing, lavender is a bit stronger but it is still relaxing, while the olive oil is the least fragrant but very good for your skin.”
I wished I could have tried them all, but I finally settled on the green tea oil since I was looking for a soothing way to end my day.
Wulan asked me to lie on the table, face down. The beautiful smell of green tea intensified the level of comfort inside the small room.
Before starting the massage, Wulan asked me when I last ate.
“It is recommended that your stomach is not full when you are about to have a massage as it won’t be comfortable for you,” said Wulan, who has years of experience as a massage therapist. “And after the massage, it is good to drink plenty of water. I will prepare a drink made of crushed fresh ginger to freshen your body even more.”
The deep tissue massage shares similarities with other forms of massages, such as the Swedish and aromatic massages. It provides a therapeutic treatment that focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue.
Deep tissue massage therapists use their elbows, which can produce stronger pressure than fingertips and knuckles, to apply pressure to release chronic muscle tension and repetitive strain. It is said that one of its main benefits of deep tissue massage is curing chronically tense and contracted areas such as stiff necks, low back tightness, and sore shoulders.
“When done properly, the pressure goes deep down through layers and layers under your skin, touching the area around the pain, tension or stiffness,” Wulan said. “However, you can always tell the therapist how strong you want the pressure to be.”
The massage started at my toes and feet, before Wulan worked her way up to my upper legs.
“Again, the pressure given will be adjusted as to how much you can handle it,” Wulan said. “You shouldn’t force yourself if you start to feel uncomfortable. The massage can still be done correctly with less pressure.”
The best part of this treatment was feeling the isolated areas of stiffness when Wulan used repetitive circular and up-and-down movements of her elbow.
“Breathe deeply,” Wulan told me several times, usually when she was working on some tense area of my body.
Toward the end of the treatment, I received a soothing facial massage. Wulan pressed certain spots on my face, rubbed her hands together, then transferred the warmth by putting them onto my cheeks.
“Done,” she said, while still giving my shoulders a few last squeezes.
I closed my eyes for five minutes, feeling absolute peace and calm. I reopened them to find a hot cup of ginger drink delivered next to the massage table. The warm infusion of ginger into my relaxed body definitely made my day.
Deep Tissue Massage
A choice of 60 minutes and 90 minutes
At Alameda Spa & Health Club
JW Marriott Hotel Jakarta
Jl. Lingkar Mega Kuningan Kav E 1.2 No 1 & 2, Jakarta
Tel. 021 5798 8888