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Body Massage Treatment - A Holiday Treat

by Jolanta Basnyet(more info)

listed in massage, originally published in issue 24 - January 1998

A truly relaxing holiday for me is a holiday with body massage or any other form of natural treatments (not necessarily tactile).

My experience of such natural treatments experienced abroad date back to 1988 when our family holiday took us to Bulgaria. The warm weather, sunny beach, good food and balneology with massage contributed to a fully relaxing time. Mud treatment helped the skin to accept the harshness of conditions such as the sea salt, wind and sun. My treatments included thermal waters with healing properties, and body massage with Pure Essential Oils

(Rosa damascena purchased in Bulgaria has relaxing and peace-inducing properties). The Body Massage in Bulgaria was performed to the standards taught in England and I had a medical check-up at the medical centre. My blood pressure was taken and so was my medical history. I also received advice on the type of treatment best suited to me and the benefits as well as contra-indications. At the end of the holiday, my muscles and joints were more supple and toned. My skin was glowing.

My next memorable holiday destination was Cyprus. There, by the swimming pool, I discovered a little treatment room tucked away from the main building and a “youngish” male therapist. I approached the young man and enquired about body massage treatment. We agreed to go ahead with the appointment on the following day.

The treatment room was simple and must not have been used for some time. The towels were “tired”, the bottles of body lotion and oil a bit dusty, and the curtains not very fresh.

I explained that I was a therapist myself and that I trained practitioners in body massage at the Lancashire Holistic College in Preston. He acknowledged this information and mentioned that he learned his skills himself via his yoga teacher because he suffered whiplash as a result of a motorbike accident last year.

I offered my osteopathic treatment to ease the discomfort in his neck. We parted as good fellow therapists. I enjoyed his body massage treatment and he enjoyed my osteopathic adjustment to his misaligned neck vertebrae.

Reporting back for my next treatment the following day, I found the room spotless. Clean bottles were positioned in a row on the table and the couch was covered with fresh and clean towels. I congratulated him on the professional look and received a “soap massage”. I gleamed all over after this treatment. I was so clean, I almost felt “opaque”. After the “soap massage”, I was taken to the adjacent room with three small marble pools of water. First, I was guided through a warm water pool, then a tepid temperature water pool and lastly through the cold water pool. What an experience! I felt rejuvenated and refreshed. My treatments followed every day (bar Sunday) and as I came to know the procedure, the treatments brought my body and mind back to life. I was relaxed, calm and very, very lively!

However, I noticed that I had to book my appointments well in advance because more and more tourists were booking for treatments. My therapist had to call his friend to help him with the demand. He thanked me for guidance and practical hints by contributing to my birthday. This time, however, he brought his guitar with him and entertained our party at the table.

I received several types of body massage treatments in Cyprus. The “soap” massage was the least favoured, simply because my skin was sensitive, due to the effect of fresh suntan, but the Ayurvedic massage was the most enjoyable.

Another example of body massage treatments I have received when abroad was in Italy. This type of treatment was performed by a fully qualified therapist in a clinic adjacent to the hotel. Again, a medical check-up was performed and advice rendered on the type of treatment most beneficial for me. This was a therapeutic body massage with manual lymph drainage at the end. “Fango” (a mud treatment) was most enjoyable and a swim in volcanic spring water was kind to the skin. My family did not recognise me at the airport upon my return!

The trip to Turkey, however, was a different experience. There, I received an intuitive body massage, on a couch positioned in a shaded corner of the swimming pool area, in the open air. What a delight! This treatment blended therapeutic manual lymph drainage and “Turkish” body massage strokes. The movements concentrated around the skeletal structure of the body. It was decongesting and relaxing with profound draining action: aiding lymph drainage throughout the body. However, to receive mud treatment we had to book an excursion. The original mud treatment was a D.I.Y. job and it took place in the open air, with a similar procedure to the one experienced in Italy, but on a much more simple level.

Simplicity is the word in Turkey. The spring water was heavily sulphurated and warm! All in all it was a magical experience!

Whenever I travel abroad I try to depart from what I do for a living, but because I enjoy what I do, I like to be the recipient of it myself. A holiday is the time for my own delight and pleasure.

As a therapist, on holiday, I experience what other therapists have to offer. I hope more therapists change roles on their holidays. All therapists should try it – it is unforgettable! No, not the holiday! The treatment which you receive on holiday, in a relaxed and peaceful atmosphere! That is the holiday for you, my dear therapist friend. With your mind and body in balance upon return, you can give your best to others!


  1. John said..


    It is nice that you posted your massage experience. I am interested in the massage you have described in Cyprus. Is it possible that I have the place you had this nice massage and maybe a name or phone number so that i can schedule a massage as well?

    Thank you

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About Jolanta Basnyet

Jolanta Basnyet BA(Hons), BSc, MFO, DO, MGO(Lon), ITEC, C&GTC, MAR, is a fully qualified osteopath, aromatherapist, reflexologist and a body worker with the practical knowledge of Reiki therapy. She practises in her own multi-disciplinary health clinic in Preston. She also trains practitioners in the field of body massage, aromatherapy and reflexology in her private training establishment Lancashire Holistic College. Jolanta takes part in radio programmes on contemporary health issues and is a Chairperson of the British Massage Therapy Council, a national organisation with its minimum Core Syllabus for body massage training in the U.K. Jolanta embarked on her second degree course at the University of Central Lancashire and this year successfully finished her degree in Complementary Medicine course. She decided to conduct a pilot study in aromatherapy for her final dissertation. Her findings and comments on the preparation of this project may be of interest to many practitioners of natural therapies, whose practical skills and financial resources would enable them to proceed with such a project without any external financial support.

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