In South Africa, massage is regulated, but enforcement is poor. The minimum legal requirement to be able to practice as a professional massage therapist is a 2-year diploma in Therapeutic Massage and registration with The Allied Health Professions Council of SA (AHPCSA). The 2 year qualification includes 240 credits, about 80 case studies, and about 100 hours community service.
Keeping with the spa’s Turkish theme, the colossal couples space is adorned with cream and white mosaic tiles and boasts nine-foot-high ceilings, a marble infinity tub and an extra-large private shower with multiple jets that hit you at every angle. The Soul to Soul massage for two ($600) comes with lots of lavish touches, from plush robes to ice-soaked towels for your foreheads during your 30-minute soak in the rose-petal-strewn Jacuzzi. Afterward, you'll be led to the heated side-by-side massage tables for hour-long Swedish rubdowns that incorporate aromatherapy oils. Top the treatment off with a steamy rinse in the shower together and chocolate-covered strawberries.
This modality was first developed by a Swedish doctor, Dr. Per Henrik Ling, though it possesses more than just Swedish influence. With techniques borrowed from several countries, including China, Egypt, Greece and more, Swedish massage is worldly in nature and combines many practices to create a massage experience that has become popular for good reason. Swedish massage is very therapeutic and very relaxing.
Several mechanisms for deep massage’s natural stress-relieving effects include its ability to dilate blood vessels and also lower activity of the limbic system (including the hypothalamus), which is responsible for autonomic nervous system regulation and cortisol secretion. Massage has been shown to improve relaxation by boosting activity of the parasympathetic nervous system, as measured by heart rate, blood pressure and heart rate variability. (8, 9)
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