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From Our Editors
Bamboo Massage: Plant-Based Healing
Massage therapists use bamboo as a unique source of soothing pressure. Study up, then relax with Groupon's look at bamboo massage.
A massage therapist's hands are strong and capable by necessity, but for deep, consistent pressure all over the body, bamboo can lend a little extra help. By kneading, tapping, sliding, and rolling smooth bamboo sticks—often heated—across muscles, practitioners can induce a state of deep relaxation in their clients. Because it's so versatile, bamboo can achieve effects similar to shiatsu, lymphatic-drainage, and thai massage while enabling more intense and prolonged pressure, since the rods relieve some of the hands' burden. Oil or lotion often accompanies the strokes, which can range from focused kneading with the end of the stick to rolls that travel the length of the body. Massage therapists are likely to use several rods for different parts of the body—thicker ones across the upper legs and shoulders, and thinner ones elsewhere to avoid squishing the tentacles. Wherever they roll, the sticks help promote circulation and release muscle knots.
Though bamboo massage is the new rising star on spa menus across North America, the tradition is rooted in ancient Chinese medicine. Since bamboo was part of daily life—used for everything from paper and musical instruments to simple farm tools and wireless routers—it was only natural that it found its way into the culture's healing practices. The plant even took on spiritual significance, becoming an enduring symbol for youth, prosperity, strength, and peace.