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Glossary

When it comes to health and wellness, the jargon can seem a bit daunting at times; do you know the difference between abhyanga and acupressure or shirodhara and shiatsu? Health and Fitness Travel’s glossary can help you look up any unfamiliar terms you come across. This helps to ensure that your healthy holiday experience is as comfortable as possible and that you get exactly what you’re expecting. From spa treatment names to fitness fads, health terminology and more, there’s no need to be shy; the answers are all here.

A

Abseiling

To use a rope to descend down vertical cliffs or walls, while the rope is wrapped around the body.

Abhyanga

A traditional synchronised full body massage given by two therapists using herbal infused sesame oil.

Acupressure massage

Uses the same techniques as acupuncture and Chinese medicine by using the fingers to apply pressure at acupuncture poitnts, which relieves pain and various other symptoms.

Acupuncture

An ancient chinese alternative medicine that uses thin but solid needles inserted into the skin at acupuncture points.

Aerobics

Vigorous exercise that strengthens the heart and lungs with oxygen being pumped into the bloodstream.

Affusion shower massage

Massage given as you lie under a relaxing, rain-like, warm shower of water which helps to improve blood circulation.

Africology Bespoke Facial

Personalised facial treatments accumulated with specific serums suitable for different skin types and conditions.

Aikido

Japense martial art that uses techniques such as loacks and throws, and focuses on using the opponent's own energy against himself.

Ajapa Japa

A technique used to stop the flow of unnecessary thoughts through guided meditation involving repetition of mantra with movement and awareness of breath.

Alexandra technique

A body awareness system that improves ones posture by changing everyday habits.

Algotherapy

Use of algae in treatments such as baths, scrubs, wraps and skin care.

Anapanasati Mind Training

Meditation practise that involes breathing exercises that promote greater consciousness of the body, mind and spirit .

Antar Mouna

A systematic meditation technique of witnessing the thoughts to deepen the insight into mental and emotional turbulences.

Anti-celluite treatment

Treatment that reduces celluite in various parts of the body.

Anti-stress massage

A massage which focuses on those who suffer from high levels of stress. Focuses on tension areas such as the back, face, neck and shoulders.

Aqua-Fit

Aerobic exercises performed in a swimming pool where the water provides support and resistance to increase stamina, and stretch and strengthen muscles.

Aquamedic pool

Pool with specifically positioned therapetuic jets with benefits such as relaxation and improved muscle tone.

Archery

A sport where an arrow is fired from a bow at a target.

Aromatherapy massage

A massage where essential oils are rubbed into the skin which release aromas that heal through the senses.

Asanas

Yoga postures.

Ashtanga

A fast-paced form of yoga.

Avagaha Sweda

A tub soak based steam therapy using an herbal decoction

Ayurveda

An ancient term derived from Sanskrit, meaning ‘the knowledge of life’. This concept intends to improve a person’s health and well-being by creating a balance between their mind, body and spirit.

B

Back Massage

Specialised massage that focuses on the back to relieve pain and discomfort through kneeding techniques with lotion and essential oils.

Back Therapy

Deep cleansing skin treatment for the back, neck and shoulders that removes impurities and excess oils whilst easing tension.

Balinese coffee scrub

Exfoliating scrub in which finely ground Balinese coffee beans are applied to the skin.

Beach Boxing

Boxing training on a sandy beach.

Beauty treatment

Treatments provided by spas to enhance beauty and overall well-being. Includes facial treatments, makeovers, manicures, pedicures and waxing.

Bikram

Hot yoga, where yoga is practised in a room heated to 29 degrees.

Blisswork

Deep tissue exercise that seeks to restore the body to its natural state.

Body Attack

Exercise class which involves intense cardio for weight loss and body toning.

Body Balance

Fitness class with a mix of Yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates techniques that helps build strength and flexibility.

Body Bronzing

Artifical tanning treatment.

Body Combat

Cardio workout that utilises martial arts-kickboxing, tai chi, boxing, tae kwondo and muay thai.

Body Composition Analysis

Evaluation of lean body mass to determine the percentage of body fat to help design a tailored nutrition and exercise programme.

Body Mask

Where the body is covered with clay. The minerals in the clay may be mixed with essential oils to detoxify and hydrate the skin.

Body Scrub

Exfoliating body treatment, using products such as salt or herbs, that removes dry, dead skin cells and improves blood circulation.

Body Wrap

Treatment in which the body is wrapped in linen, soaked in a herbal solution for 20 minutes, and sometimes kept under a heated blanket. Detoxifies the system, soothes tired muscles and helps hydrate the skin.

Bodypump

A group fitness class that uses weights.

Bodywork

Therapeutic touching or manupulation of the body that uses massage or exercise to relax, ease tension, pain, and treat illnesses. 

Boxercise

Combination of an aerobics and boxing workout.

Brush and tone

Use of a loofah, special brush or rough cloth to rapidly brush the body to remove dead skin cells and impurities. Also known as dry brushing.

Bungee Jumping

To jump from a height with an elastic cord wrapped around your feet.

C

Chair massage

Massage performed on you while you remain clothed and seated on a specially designed massage chair. The massage typically concentrates on the back, neck, scalp and shoulders.

Chakras

The seven energy centres in the body that are associated with the flow of the body's subtle energy.

Chi Nei Tsang

Abdominal massage that relieves stress, tension and negative emotions.

Choornaswedana

Following a full body massage with dosha specific oils, therapeutic sweating is induced by the application of warmed herbal poultices.

Circuits

A series of exercises that promotes the body’s flexibility, strength and endurance.

Cranial-Sacral Therapy

Massage of the scalp, spinal column and sacrum-that balances the body.

Cupping

A Chinese therapy that uses heated cups to stimulate the flow of energy by placing them on the skin of the meridan line.

D

Dance Movement Therapy

Dance movements used to target emotional problems.

Dancercise

Dance movements used as an aerobic exercise.

Dead Sea Mud Treatment

Application of mineral-rich mud from the Dead Sea. Detoxifies the skin and body and relieves rheumatic and arthritic pain.

Deep Tissue Massage

A full body massage enriched with aromatic oils, focussed on areas of discomfort to provide an intense treatment to ease muscle pain and aches.

Detox Aromatherapy Massage

A holistic full-body experience using essential oils to promote the elimination of toxins and waste, using lymphatic and pressure point massage to reduce water retention.

Detox Hydrotherapy Bath

A deluxe bath used to soothe and relax joints and muscles.

Detox Mud Wrap

A body mask made up of mud, used to nourish and condition lifeless skin. A warm towel is wrapped around the body after the body mask is applied to intensify the treatment.

Detox Treatment Facial

Spa facial treatment, used to cleanse, detox and rejuvenate skin.

Detox Yoga

This type of yoga uses a sequence of postures to increase blood flow.

Detoxifying Massage

Toxins that collect in the bodies' tissue are removed through therapuetic massage, which uses kneeding and stretching techniques.

Detoxifying wrap

The body is moisterised with lotion and then wrapped with tight strips of cloth that help improve skin tone and weight loss.

Dinacharya

Daily (Dina) Routines/Procedures (Charya) that focuses on cleansing  and functionaly enhancing the five senses

Doshas

In ayurveda, the three humours that make up the physical body.

E

Energy Balancing

General term to describe a variety of practices aimed at balancing the flow of energy in and around the body.

F

Facial

A beauty treatment for the face.

Fencing

A sport where two opponents fight with swords.

Fitness Consultation

A fitness programme, focussed on finding out the suitable way to achieve individual fitness.

Fitness facial for men

Facial that addresses men's skin types and needs, including shaving rash. May include a face, neck and shoulder massage. 

Floatarium sessions

With gravitational forces extracted, the body is afloat to help relieve stress and discomfort.  

Flotation Therapy

To float on salt and mineral water in an enclosed tank. Good for sensory awareness and deep relaxation.

Flow Yoga

A sychronised flow of the bodies movement, a very steady workout.

Four-handed massage

Massage performed in complete tandem by two therapists. Often uses a blend of massage techniques.

G

Gentle Flow

Also known as Vinyasa yoga, it features synchronised breathing whilst moving into yoga poses. This is a slower beginners version of Flow Yoga.

Glycolic facial

Facial that uses glycolic acid to break down the bond which holds dry skin on to the face. Exfoliates the top layer, smoothes the skin and softens lines.

Gymnasium

Workout room with weights, and a range of cardio and variable resitance equipment. 

H

Hammam

Arabic steam bath.

Hatha Yoga

This type of yoga combines postures and breathing techniques to help build flexibility and relax the mind.

Herbal Bath

Tropical baths consisting of organic herbs and steam, which relax the joints and muscles.

Herbal Bolus Bag therapy

Small muslin bags filled with ayurvedic herbs are heated and soaked in aromatic oils and used to massage the body, relieving stress and producing sweat

Herbal Steam Infusion

Steaming with herbs. The heat, moisture and fragrance of the herbs help to open the skin's pores and promote relaxation.

High-impact aerobics

High energy aerobics involves jumping, jogging and hopping movements where both feet loose contact with the ground.

Hilot haplos

A series of treatments beginning with a fresh coconut cream and cocoa scrub, followed by a warm coconut milk bath and finishing with a traditional Filipino Hilot massage.

Hobie Cat Sailing

A small specific sailboat, used for sailing in smaller ocean areas.

Holistic approach

Integrated approach to health and fitness that takes into account your lifestyle, and mental, physical and spiritual well-being.

Homeopathy

To treat diseases with natural substances.

Hot Yoga

Where yoga is practised in a room heated to 29 degrees, also know as Bikram yoga

Hydro-Colon Therapy

Therapy that removes feces and other toxins from the colon.

Hydromassage

Underwater massage in a hydrobath equipped with high-pressure jets and hand-manipulated hoses to stimulate the blood and lymphatic circulations.

Hydrotherapy pool

A therapeutic experience in a pool, where water is used to achieve pain relief.

I

Indian Head Massage

A soothing massage where subtle pressure is applied to the facial areas, neck and upper body. Promotes stress relief and discomfort in muscles whilst developing circulation.

Inkomfi Renewal

A body scrub, which exfoliates damaged or dry skin to create a natural, nourished glow. Best to end with a nourishing moisturizer to keep skin hydrated.

Iyengar

Form of yoga that focusses on symmetry and alignment.

J

Jal Neti

An effective Hatha yogic nasal cleansing experience in which salted lukewarm water is poured through the nostrils.

Jet-lag treatment

Treatment that eases travel associated aches, pains and stiffness, and helps the body to adjust to the new time zone.

K

Kashaya Vasti

Decoction enema used to remove accumulated toxins from the colon.

Kati Vasti

Practiced to ease pain in the spinal area, it soothes muscles, alleviates pain and lubricates the discs and nerves.

Kayaking

A small light canoe like frame that one sits in and paddles through the water.

Kickboxing

A martial arts and combat sport that originates from karate, muay thai and western boxing, which uses kicking and punching to help general fitness and self-defense.

Kinesiology

The study of the mechanics of body movements.

Kite Surfing

Uses a small surf board and a kite, where the wind pulls board through the water.

Kudalini

A form of yoga that combines chanting and breathing exercises with different asanas. Designed to awaken kundalini energy.

Kundalini Massage

A massage technigue that useds chakra healing and massage to soothe and relax.

Kunjal

A powerful yogic technique of cleansing the digestive tract between the stomach and mouth through regurgitation of salted water.

L

La Sante Signature Massage

A deep, full body massage which incorporates a Shiatsu and Swedish style to suppress bad circulation and provide instant pain relief for tense muscles.

Laghoo Shankha Prakshalana

A powerful Hatha yogic technique for cleansing the digestive and colon using saline lukewarm water and series of yogic postures.

Lifestyle Recommendation Session

Private health assessments that analyse current well-being and promotes a healthier lifestyle.

Low-impact aerobics

Form of aerobics with side-to-side marching or gliding movements which spare the body from excessive stress and possible injuries. 

Lymphatic Drainage Massage

Gentle, wave-like massage of the face and neck that promotes drainage of toxins and waste from the body's intricate lymph system.

M

Macrobiotics

Diet that aims to balance foods by their yin-yang qualites and according to your needs.

Marma point massage

Ayurvedic massage in which the marma points are massaged with the thumb or index fingers in clockwise circles. Focuses on the face, neck, scalp and shoulders.

Massage

To use rubbing and kneading techniques with the hands in order to relax muscles, improve circulation and relieve pain.

Meditation

To observe one's mind by using breathing and visualisation techniques

Meridian Stretching

Stretching exercises designed to encourage physical and mental flexiblity, for the body and mind to perform at their peak. Combines exercises, yoga and traditional Chinese medicine. 

Meridians

Pathways or channels through which the vital energy circulates throughout the body. All illnesses are believed to result from an imbalance or blockage of this flow.

Mineral Hydrotherapy Bath

Deluxe bath filled with aromatic mineral water, that relax muscle and joints, while soothing the body and mind.

Moxibustion

The burning of moxa against the skin to treat pain or illness.

Muay Thai

Thai boxing that involves the use of the upper and lower bodies. A cardiovascular and fat-burning exercise that helps relieve stress. 

Mud treatment

Mineral-rich mud used to detoxify, loosen muscles and stimulate circulation.

Mukh Lepa Facial

Traditional herbs are used to cleanse, exfoliate and finally hydrate.

Myofascial release

Use of the fingers, palms, foreams and elbows in long, deliberate, gliding stokes to stretch and mobilize the fascia to provide the long-term relief of pain and promote well-being.

N

Nasya

Instillation of medicated oil into the nostrils after massaging and inducing sweating to the upper portion of the body.

Naturopathic

Therapy using natural treatments such as, homeopathy, acupuncture and herbal medicines.

Navarakizhi Invigorating Herbal Massage

A full body massage, which incorporates Indian rice, Navar and herbs to achieve softer skin and relaxed muscles.  

Nutritional consultation

Consultation with a qualified nutritional practitioner to review eating habits and dietary needs.

O

Organic food

Food grown without the use of pesticides or other chemicals. 

Ozone therapy

Alternative medicine believed by some to have remarkable healing abilities, is used to treat such things as cancer and dental issues, taken a variety of ways.

P

Paddle boarding

To use a surfboard while standing and moving oneself with a paddle-water surface sport.

Padhabhyanga Foot Massage

Traditional foot massage derived from the Indian concept ‘Ayurveda’. Designed to relieve tension in muscles and enhance health.

Personal fitness assesment

Programme that assesses your current fitness levels to recommend a suitable exercise programme. May include tests for aerobic capacity, body composition, blood pressure, heart rate, and muscular endurance and strength. 

Physiotherapy

To treat injurius or disfunction through exercise, massage and other modalities.

Pilates

A type of exercise, which enhances the body’s balance, flexibility and strength.

Pizichil

Luke warm herbal oils anoint the entire body. It strengthens immunity, lubricates the joints, liquefies toxins and increases flexibility.

Pranayama

Pranayama is a yoga art that focuses on breathing control and breathing techniques to help reduce the toxins in the body.

Pranayama & Meditation

A series of breathing exercises to help regulate breathing, adopting a yogic approach and style.  

Pregnancy massage

Certain massage techniques used to treat pregnant women, usually lying on side or on a pregnancy suited massage bed.

Pressotherapy

A lymphatic massage using a machine that pumps air into special trousers and an abdomen strap to do the massage. It is the equivalent of a 10-hand massage and stimulates the circulation and lymph system to eliminate toxins and fats. It is also very good for reducing cellulite.

Q

Qi

Vital energy or life force of the universe and the body. Also known as Ki (Japanese) and prana (Indian).

Qi Gong

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.

R

Rasul

Tiled steam room in which different muds are applied to the body before being washed off.

Reflexology

To apply pressure on specific points of the hands and feet in order to achieve a physical and internal transformation in the body’s movement.

Reiki

 Japanese form of alternative medicine, based on the idea that energy can be channeled into the patient through touch to promote physical and emotional well-being.

Restorative Yoga

Props are used in this type of yoga to support the body therefore able to hold poses for longer. This is a calming class that focuses on relaxing the body to help relieve stress.

S

Sarvanga Lepa (Ubtan)

An exfoliating and fomentation therapy with application of herbal paste on the body

Segway

Transportation device, with two wheels, self balancing.

Shamana Nasya

Gentle flow of a fixed amount of herbal oil/decoction in each nostril

Shanti Fusion

Shanti musical band.

Shiatsu

Japanese orgins and similar to acupressure, where pressure is placed upon certain points of the body, helps unblock the flow of energy and balances the meridian.

Shirodhara

Luke warm herbal oil is poured in an even stream on to the forehead to pacify and revitalize the mind and body.

Snana

A warm water shower with herbal powder scrub

Sneha Vasti

Oil enema to lubricate and remove toxins from the end of the colon and rectum.

Snowboarding

To use a long board (Snowboard) to slide down snow covered slopes.

Spa cuisine

Light, healthy meals served at spas. Typically low in calaroies, fat and salt.

Spinning

Intense aerobic exercising using a stationary bike at various paces and led by an instructor.

Sports massage

Deep tissue massage that pin-points major aches and sport injuries, using knuckles, elbows and fists.

Squash

A game in which two players use rackets to hit a small, soft rubber ball against the walls of a closed court.

Step aerobics

Aerobic sessions done with a small platform for stepping up and down.

Stone therapy

To use hot stones with massage to relax and help balance the energy flow.

Stress management

To manage stress through a combination of physical exercise, deep relaxation techniques, and visualization techniques.

Stretching

Pull (something) tightly from one point to another or across a space.

Sun Salutation Yoga

Ancient style of yoga, which focuses on enhancing flexibility in crucial muscle and body parts.

Swedish Massage

A rhythmic full body massage, achieved with warm oils to smooth out tensions and relieve discomfort. Recommended for first time spa goers.

T

Tai Chi

Developed in China, form of martial arts that is learned for defense and health reasons.

Tan lepa

This stimulates the natural cleansing and healing abilities of the body.

Tantra

A form of yoga that includes visulization, chating, asana and strong breathing practises.

Tarpana

Medicated ghee is retained in the eye providing a cooling effect on irritated and stressed eyes. Tarpana is a tradition Ayurvedic treatment used to improve eye sight and treat other eye related disorders.

Thai massage

A type of massage used by the Thai that involves yoga stretches, acupressure points and massage.

Thalassotherapy

The use of seawater in cosmetic and health treatment.

Tibetan Ku Nye Massage

Focusing on restoring the nervous system and lymphatic drainage; acupressure and meridian work using hot himalayan salt poultices to balance the 5 elements within the body.

Tradtional Chinese medicine (TCM)

Includes a range of traditional medicine practices originating in China, use methods such as acupuncture, heat application (moxibustion), herbal preparations and exercises (e.g., tai chi, qigong) to restore the flow of qi (vital energy) and the balance of yin and yang.

Trapeze

A horizontal bar hanging by two ropes and suspended above the ground, used by acrobats in the circus.

Trataka

An intense Hatha yogic technique of candle gazing to develop concentration and will power.

Tui na

A form of Chinese manipulative therapy often used in conjunction with acupuncture, moxibustion, fire cupping, Chinese herbalism, Tai Chi, and Qi Gong.

U

Udhavarthanam Cellulite Powder Massage

Full body massage where herbal powder is applied and massaged into skin. Designed to smooth and tone skin, reducing the effects of weight loss.

Udwarthana

A deep, dry herbal powder massage stimulates the hair follicles, assisting to break down the body's excess subcutaneous fat.

Urovasti

An Ayurvedic experience that balances the heart chakra and helps to reduce stress in the chest region. Warm, medicated oil is retained in a gram flour reservoir over the chest.

V

Vashpa Sweda

A sitting steam therapy using fresh herbs

Vatakizhi Herbal Pain Relief

Full body massage achieved with the use of boluses, saturated in warm herbal oils. Designed to reduce pain and aches in muscles, to attain revitalized skin.

Vegan

A person who doesn’t eat or use animal products.

Vegetarian

A person who does not eat meat or fish.

Vichy Shower

A kind of shower in which large quantities of warm water are poured over you while you lie in a shallow wet bed, similar to a massage table, but with drainage for the water.

Voya Signature Hot Stone Therapy

Deep tissue massage achieved with hot stones, organic leaves and fragranced oils.

W

Wake boarding

To use a board on water while being pulled by a boat- one stands up and boards over water currents.

Water Polo

A game played in a swimming pool, where a ball similar to a volleyball is used by throwing it into an opponents net.

Water skiing

To ski the water while being pulled by a boat.

Watsu

A form of shiatsu massage that takes place in water.

Wellness Consultation

A health programme, focussed on finding out the suitable way to achieve individual health and well-being.

Windsurfing

Combination of a surfboard and sailboat, standing on board while being moved by the wind.

Y

Yin Yoga

Yin Yoga is practised to stretch the connective tissues of the body, mainly thighs, hips and the lower spinal cord.

Yoga Core

By doing different abdominal exercises to strengthen and tone up the core muscles of the body.

Yoga Nidra

A guided process of relaxing the conscious mind and to awaken the awareness and healing potential of the subconscious.

Z

Zip lining

A pulley suspended on a cable, at an incline, in which one can use to get from one place to another while sliding down the line.

Zumba

A Latin dance fitness program.