You’re likely familiar with traditional bamboo… that tree-like shoot pandas love to eat. You’ve also likely seen bamboo essence added to beauty products, like lotions and creams, the stalks used to make furniture, or even the fibres used for bed sheets. However, have you ever heard of using bamboo for a deep tissue massage?
Bamboo was considered a powerful healing tool in ancient China, Japan, and Indonesia. In these cultures, it often symbolizes life, energy, prosperity, longevity, and fertility. While we’ve likely purchased bamboo products in one of its versatile forms, today it’s making a comeback as a bodywork tool due to its hard, flexible, and lightweight construction.
Bamboo is a highly renewable resource. Although some varieties can grow more than 30 m (98 ft) tall, it is, in fact, a giant perennial grass. The hollow stem can be cut, leaving the root system intact for rapid re-growth (as much as 1 ft in 24 hours, growing back to full-size in just a few years!).
When used for body massage, several hollow and full bamboo sticks of various lengths are used during the massage; generally the longer, thicker sticks are used for gliding and rolling movements along larger muscles (like the back and thighs), whereas the shorter, thinner sticks are used to roll out muscle tension, knots, and trigger points. For practitioners, using bamboo sticks can ease occupational pain in the hands and wrists from repeated deep tissue work. Using the bamboo as a tool can give more strength and stamina for deeper pressure.
Similar to a hot stone massage, some practitioners prefer to intensify the massage by heating the bamboo in a heating pad. The belief is that the extra heat will penetrate more deeply into tissue and muscle layers. The warmth alone can relax cold, tense muscles, essentially helping the massage to become more effective.
Those who’ve experienced a bamboo massage compare it to a deep-tissue massage, especially when the bamboo sticks are used to replicate the strokes used in Swedish massage. The combined warmth from the heated bamboo sticks along with rolling movements stimulates circulation in the body, increasing blood flow, which essentially helps the body flush toxins. Similarly, lymphatic fluid circulation is also enhanced, resulting in improved bodily functions, lower blood pressure, and the removal of metabolic waste from internal organs and muscles.
Bamboo is a natural antioxidant, and its extract contains silica, which assists your body in absorbing calcium, potassium, magnesium and other essential minerals that give your skin a healthy glow. While your body won’t be directly be getting the benefits of silica during a massage treatment, you may see an alleviation of psoriasis and eczema because of bamboo’s anti-irritant properties.
Like any form of massage, there are numerous physical, mental, and emotional benefits of hot bamboo massage, including
-Reactivating and stimulating blood circulation
-Improving sleep quality
-Managing respiratory ailments
-Alleviating arthritic pain
-Increasing joint and muscle flexibility
-Stimulating cellular activity to repair and nourish the skin
-Assists in removing lactic acid to reduce pain
Interested in experiencing a hot bamboo massage? For a limited time, the Greenhouse Spa is offering hot bamboo massages! Give us a call at 705-256-6461 for more information, or request an appointment today.