Berlin spa centers continue to surprise many newcomers. Not only are spa hotels and wellness centers more common than expected, the level of service can be world-class or a touristy ripoff best avoided.
In order to get the most out of your visits to Berlin spa centers, choosing the right facility or therapist can make all the difference. Besides different training requirements for the therapists, many times the management in various spas can either enhance or diminish the quality of services through their very approach to serving clients.
Germany has a long history when it comes to massage therapy, as you’ll soon find out. Not only that, but today’s options in therapeutic styles means that customers have big decisions to make before seeking their next therapy session. Continue reading below to discover the history and current massage options in Berlin.
Massage in Berlin – A Brief History
The early work of the knochen-einrichter (“bone setter”) in Germany goes back several hundred years, and many of these practitioners were burned as witches during the middle ages. By the eighteenth century, massage practices made a comeback in Germany led mostly by the nursing profession. Nurses trained in basic Swedish massage techniques assisted patients recovering from surgery or accidents, and massage therapy became accepted by science and mainstream society by 1900.
Berlin Spa Hotels
The concept of a spa hotel in Berlin took off in the 1950’s as a way of providing therapeutic relief for rural customers not located near the city itself. Professional masseuses would offer two or three day treatment options which often proves much more effective than a massage crammed between traveling to and from the spa center. Today’s modern spa hotels are common in Berlin’s business district, and customers often enjoy relaxing and comfort more than any therapy provided.
Wellness Berlin Day Spas
Popular with many locals, the day spa concept started to gain popularity in recent decades. Most of the larger spas of this type offer something for an entire family – from relaxing lounges and social recreation centers with billiards and bartenders, to a variety of sauna and bath options to suit the client’s needs. Certified therapists typically are available, but sometimes the day spa more resembles a social club with relaxation facilities than a professional massage center.
Berlin Spa Massage Options
Today’s massage options in Berlin are outstanding for clients. Never before have customers had so many styles to choose from, as well as top-notch facilities and independent therapists. German massage professionals are among the best in Europe, and therapy centers have responded to recent customer demands of choices of therapy styles. While Swedish techniques are by far the most common, eastern styles have also gained popularity lately – including acupressure, Thai, and even Shiatsu massage.
Acupressure in Germany
Although acupuncture in Germany has received mixed reviews, it’s close relative acupressure has proven a popular style with some massage enthusiasts. A style originating from Traditional Chinese medicine, acupressure works by manual stimulation of “acupoints” or reflex meridians. While typically the therapists uses their fingers or palm to apply strategic pressure, instruments such as rollers are also used to stimulate larger areas.
Swedish Massage in Berlin
Swedish massage in Germany enjoys a long history, a technique popular throughout the western world. By employing long or circular strokes, a Swedish trained therapist can often prove the most effective at relieving muscle fatigue or tension. The style is well suited for relief after a long workday or sight seeing, and this style is by far the most requested by German customers.
The eastern therapy style originating in Thailand has become increasing popular in Deutschland in recent years. In a typical Thai massage, the therapist works in cooperation with the client to increase the flexibility and balance of the body. Performed on a floor or mat, the Thai massage doesn’t use oils, instead focuses on cooperative stretching to release stored energy and restore balance and overall well-being to the client.
Berlin Shiatsu Massage Centers
A more recent import from Japan, the Shiatsu therapists use pressure applied with their fingers or hands to provide relief from stored or blocked energy. A shiatsu therapist will often begin a session with “detective work”, diagnosing where in the body the chi energy is blocked, and tailor the focus points of the therapy based on this diagnosis.
Massage in Berlin – Something for Everyone!
Whether you seek a therapeutic massage or a more relaxation experience, you’ll find plenty of options in the Germany capital. While western styles like Swedish are prominent, eastern massage techniques like Thai and Shiatsu can be tried out as well. And if you just wish to relax and unwind, a German day spa or even a spa hotel in Berlin can easily provide satisfaction. Whichever spa center you choose to visit in Berlin, be sure to do your homework and choose only facilities and therapists that come well recommended.