Taiwan Massage Types
Massage in Taiwan has a rich and storied history, far more than the average tourist may know. The practice of touch therapy has been written about for about 5,000 years in the Chinese culture, and still today it plays an important part in the holistic well-being of Taiwanese citizens. Whether you seek a luxurious five star spa or a backstreet informal rubdown, chances are you’ll find what you desire somewhere in Taipei.
Despite public perception, Taiwanese masseuses aren’t merely “full body” servants for hire, bestowing happy endings on tourists instead of legitimate massage techniques. In actuality, the therapists working in Taipei can rival any industrial city when it comes to certification standards and training requirements. Just a few of the therapy types you can find in Taiwan are listed below.
Head and Back Massage
The most common and convenient massage type, these quick rubdowns have become popular in recent years throughout the city of Taipei, especially in business and shopping districts. Weary customers enjoy the convenience of a 15 minute session, and find that oftentimes it reinvigorates and provides the energy needed to finish the workday or tiresome shopping trip.
One of the most ancient Chinese traditional therapies, reflexology focuses on points located on the foot that coincide with the energy sources throughout the body. The release of stored energy can be substantial for those who spend substantial time on their feet, making reflexology a great choice for weary tourists or after a long workday.
Touch therapy for expecting mothers is growing in popularity throughout the world, and Taipei has dozens of therapy centers offering this type of massage. Focused on relieving swelling and bloating, increasing mobility, and alleviating the stress and depression associated with pregnancy, many pregnant women make the prenatal massage a part of their weekly routine.
A long time favorite in Asia, the Thai technique involves stimulation of specific pressure points throughout the body to provide relief and release of stored energy. In comparison with acupressure, the Thai therapists engages in a partnership with the client, and utilizes stretches along with targeted stimulation to create the holistic therapeutic experience that is popular with so many.
Originating in Japan, the Shiatsu massage techniques have found their way throughout Asia for centuries. The Shiatsu therapists utilizes training to target specific pressure points throughout the body with firm touch, which if done properly both releases stored energy and restores a balance to the body that Shiatsu fans truly appreciate.
Hot Stones Therapy
In recent years customers have demanded hot stones therapy in Taiwan, and many local spa parlors are now offering this as a standard treatment option. Hot stones are placed on pressure centers or joints, relieving pressure on tired or sore areas of the body. Because of the reduced pressure, it is quite popular with elderly clients or those sensitive to the firmer touch of other techniques.
Popular in the west, the Swedish technique involves long strokes combined with circular motion to provide therapy on muscle groups, limbs, and is a popular way to provide overall relief of a tired body. While the Swedish massages aren’t the most popular in Asia, Taiwan offers many parlors offering this form of touch treatment.
While many purists exclude aromatherapy from massage discussions, it’s eastern origins and proven stress-relieving results have earned it a place in many spas and treatment centers. Using scented oils and herbs, the aromatherapists creates an ultimate elixir aimed at providing the olfactory bliss for the client while a light-touch massage is rendered.
Typically offered in the more luxurious spas, this massage involves two clients simultaneously receiving treatment while either facing each other or laying adjacently. The massage types can differ and be individually tailored to each partner’s needs, and often the simultaneous therapy provides an intimate experience to couples or close friends while enjoying a massage.
Four Hands Massage
Remarkably popular in India, this involves two masseuses simultaneously proving touch to one client. Additional therapists can be added to create even more “hands” touching and caressing the customer upon request, for those seeking something new and exciting for their next session.
Body to Body
Many western men prefer a more intimate massage type which can be thought of as a happy ending or full service massage. In fact, any discussion of massage in Taiwan wouldn’t be complete without mentioning this type of therapy session. Many times a legitimate massage therapist will offer these extras near the end of a session, but due to cultural taboos this can be an awkward topic for the customer to bring up.
Spa centers throughout Taipei offer a variety of massage techniques to suit the clients’ needs, with a variety unrivaled throughout much of the world. Whether you choose a western style massage like deep tissue or Swedish, or decide on a more authentic Asian massage like Thai or Shiatsu, is ultimately up to you. One thing is for sure though, you’ll quickly discover there’s something to be said for trying out as many Taiwan massages as you can fit into your schedule. Your body will thank you for it!
Last updated byat February 21, 2013.