Spa Glossary, S – U
We have just a few letters left in our Spa Glossary and this week we’re covering letters S – U. If you have any spa terms you’d like some help defining, please be sure to leave a comment below.
SPF: Sun Protection Factor. A laboratory measure of the effectiveness of sunscreen.
Salicylic acid: This occurs naturally in many plants. It can also be synthetically made. It is used externally as an antiseptic agent, as well as an antifungal agent and skin sloughing ingredient. It is commonly used in the treatment for removal of warts in the form of an Occlusal. Salicylic Acid also is currently used for its anti-aging properties in the form of beta hydroxy acids.
Salt Glow: An exfoliating treatment where the body is rubbed with coarse salt to remove the top layer of dead skin and stimulate circulation.
Shea Butter (Butyrospermum parkii): Shea butter is natural fat from the Karite tree grown in West and Central Africa. Shea butter is a wonderfully therapeutic emollient which helps heal dry, cracked, aged and damaged skin. Shea butter is rich in Vitamins A and E and is easily and deeply absorbed by the skin. Shea butter is rich in unsaponifiables and cinnamic esters, which provide antimicrobial and moisturizing qualities. Some cosmetic chemists believe shea butter also speeds healing of bruises.
Shiatsu: Japanese acupressure massage technique, in which pressure is applied to specific points of the body to stimulate or release the ‘meridians’ (paths of the body) through which energy flows.
Spa: While many different origins of the term are bandied about, the most popular is that it originates from the Latin term “Sanum Per Aqua” or “Sanus Per Aqua” which is “health through water” or “cure of water.” Others give credit to the town of Spa, in Belgium, for popularizing “taking the waters” as a health measure. We are less convinced this is the case, since there are thousands of healthful spa regions in the World and which one, if any, can lay claim to being the first “spa site” is lost to history.
Sports Massage: Massage of foundation tissues directed specifically at the muscles used in athletic activities. This is a deep muscle massage often used around the joints. It combines classical Swedish style with trigger points, compression and electro-neuromuscular techniques to reduce soreness. Excellent when preparing for sports activities or after a strenuous workout.
Steam Room: Tiled room in which steam is generated at high pressure and temperature. This treatment is used to open the pores and eliminate toxins.
Structural Integration: A system that relieves the patterns of stress and impaired body functioning due to poor posture, chronic and acute conditions (such as lower back pain, or neck and shoulder injuries) through the manipulation of deep and superficial connection tissue, plus movement education.
Swedish Massage: A classical European massage technique of the muscles with special oils by therapeutic stroking and kneading of muscle tissue to promote stress relief. It is used to improve circulation, relieve muscle pain and tension, increase flexibility and induce relaxation. It combines three basic strokes to the skin: long, firm strokes; kneading strokes; and small circles. This is the most requested and one of the most enjoyable massages.
Swiss Shower: Powerful shower jets that alternate hot and cold water are directed onto the body at various levels to produce the effect of an invigorating massage.
T’ai Chi: A form of Chinese martial art that combines mental concentration, slow respiration and graceful movements similar to those of a dance.
Tapotement: A massage technique that involves a light, steady tapping that causes a slight vibration of the muscle.
Thai Massage: A technique that involves a unique combination of gentle rocking and stretching using range of motion and acupressure techniques applied through clothing without oils.
Thalassotherapy: Water-based treatments using seawater, seaweed, algae and/or mud to rejuvenate, energise, cleanse, nourish and detoxify which improve circulation, detoxify and revitalise the body.
Tincture: An infusion in which a particular herb or blend of herbs is steeped in alcohol, glycerine, or vinegar and water.
Tui Na: An ancient system of Chinese body work in which the practitioner uses acupressure and massage to balance the body’s flow of energy, flush toxins, and treat specific ailments.
T-Zone: The T shaped oily area generally extending across the forehead and down the nose, across the lips, and to the bottom of your chin (T shape).