Massage Around the World

massageOne of the oldest medical practices around today, the first written records of massage therapy can be traced back centuries to Eastern and Western cultures. Fast-forward to 2019, and The National Center for Health Statistics projects a 26% growth rate for Massage Therapists through 2026.

In today’s post we visit 3 different regions where massage therapy takes on slightly different techniques, yet shares a common thread, as a tool of restoration and healing.

  1. Lomilomi: South Pacific

 Inspired by the Hawaiian word “lomi”, translated as “to rub” or to knead. The practice, said twice “lomilomi” for emphasis, was a sacred calling reserved for native healers. Not only a physical practice, the ancient lomilomi had a spiritual aspect that involved prayer and intention. Today, practitioners use a variety of technique that sometimes use palms, forearms for long massage strokes, knuckles, elbows, knees, feet, and stones.

  1. Shiatsu: Japan

Translated from the Japanese word “shiatsu”, meaning “finger pressure.” Shiatsu is a form of body work using the manipulation by thumbs, fingers and palms to apply pressure to the human skin to correct internal malfunctions, promote and maintain health, and treat specific diseases. The techniques used in shiatsu include stretching, holding, and most commonly, leaning body weight into various points along key channels.

  1. Swedish: Western

The most common style of massage is the Swedish massage, credited to a Dutch doctor and inspired by medical gymnastics. The gentler technique, compared to a deep tissue massage, Swedish massage is suited for relaxation and tension relief. This technique involves the application of long gliding strokes, friction, and kneading and tapping movements on the soft tissues of the body.


Let the experienced Cielo massage staff help you find a massage that best suits your needs. Guests can pick from rejuvenating Swedish, deep tissue, pregnancy and couples’ massages. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and enjoy as you experience a tranquil Santa Barbara escape:

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