Valuable information from the world of spas and spa medicine

The glossary of the European Spas Association contains a variety of definitions and explanations of all sorts of terms related to spas and health resorts. This extremely useful dictionary can be ordered from bookshops (ISBN 3-88907-014-0) or directly from ESPA's head office in Brussels. As a foretaste, a few excerpts from the dictionary containing plenty of interesting information are listed below.



Light finger massage applied to key points of the body ("energy" or "meridian" pressure points), similar to Shiatsu.


A three thousand year old Chinese system of healing and pain relief, where fine needles are inserted at key points of the body that relate to different organs (energy or meridian points as in accupressure). Relieves pain from muscular, neurological and arthritic conditions.


A regime of rhythmic exercises performed to music in order to stimulate the heart and lungs, consume fat and improve muscle activity by using oxygen from the circulating blood.

Aerobic activity

This includes gentle exercise such as walking, slow jogging and swimming, ballroom dancing, but not Jiving or Rock and Roll! Aerobic means „in the presence of oxygen“.


See Vichy shower.

Ai Chi

A series of water exercises derived from Tai-Chi concepts combined with Shiatsu and Watsu regimes to relay body and mind. It is performed in shoulder depth water using deep breathing techniques.


Use of heated seaweed wraps, which relieve pain and stress. Seaweed is a mild sedative with anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.


Muscle activity not completely dependent on the oxygen readily available from the circulating blood. Exercises such as sprinting, rowing, cycling, competitive swimming, weight lifting and body building use more oxygen than is available from the cirulating blood.


Body, face and/or scalp massage treatments that induce relaxation and improve the circulation through the use of aromatic essential oils derived from plants, trees and flowers. Acupressure points are used to restore a balanced flow of energy throughout the body.




Indian treatment using heated oils and herbs to trigger the body’s natural healing processes, enhance the immune system, increase the metabolism, soften the skin and induce deep relaxation and peace of mind.

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