Ideal for relaxing, getting back on form in winter or reshaping your figure when summer arrives, the massage is an art that is practised in various ways all over the world. Cosmopolitan Paris is home to these many ancestral traditions in places with an exotic touch specialised in a particular area or more generalist, such as L’Arbre à Sens and the Cinq Mondes spas. Give yourself a change of scenery!
In India, inspired by the age-old tradition of Ayurveda, massage is renowned for the sense of harmony and joy at being alive that it brings. In Japan, many benefits are believed to be associated with massages: revitalizing the body, eliminating toxins, releasing tension, improving circulation, removing negative feelings, etc.
But you can also choose to embark on a journey to China or Thailand, with little extras like authentic decor, traditional costumes,fine teas or fresh fruit cocktails.
Ayurveda is a traditional Indian medicine system based on a holistic approach to help people be in better shape and in good health and to reach harmony between body and mind. As well as a healthy lifestyle, including following certain diet advice, physical exercise and aromatherapy, this system recommends regular massages and treatments. If you want to experience these, you can make an appointment at the Centre Tapovan, La beauté Indienne, Indian Beauty Paris - Marcadet or Om Tibet Spa.
Thai massage is a full-body treatment that helps you to feel more relaxed and energised. It takes inspiration from yoga and meditation and also uses deep kneading of the muscles, pressure on acupuncture points and various specific techniques. While it is traditionally done preventively, it is often a good way to alleviate aches and pains, especially in the back. To try it out, you can go to generalist spas, where it often features on the treatment menu, or to places specially designed for this type of experience, where very often your adventure begins as soon as you get your first glimpse at the decor. Ban Sabaï's two branches are some of the best for this, providing massages performed in line with the traditional rules. At the very chic Ban Thaï Spa de Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the Thai beauty rituals performed by experts trained in Bangkok can be topped off with a hammam to continue the self-care.
Shiatsu, foot reflexology, hot stone massage, treatments based around the tea ceremony... Japanese beauty treatments are very gentle and codified. Maison Suisen is a ryokan - a type of traditional inn - in the Marais district in the heart of the city, offering Shiatsu massages, tea tasting and other surprises. At EviDens, the tremendously soothing Japanese decor sets the tone as soon as you walk through the door, before you give in to complete relaxation in the treatment rooms. At Le Nid du Phénix, as well as various massages, treatments focused on lymphatic drainage are available to help you feel better. Menard, a leading name in Asia, has opened a salon in the 2nd arrondissement, transporting us to Tokyo with its exceptional products and traditional beauty rituals.
Swedish massage involves the use of a dynamic technique on the muscles and joints to improve blood circulation. You can expect muscle toning and relaxation for a guaranteed feeling of wellbeing. Californian massage has a body-and-mind approach. The long, fluid motions used produce a feeling of physical and mental relaxation. L’institut MassäG & Aesthetic and Massage Concept, located on the very chic rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré and in the Châtelet district respectively, offer both of these massage styles.
Beauty institutes and salons are constantly renewing their offers to enable us to discover new forms of massage. Because the properties of a massage are endless, Parisian establishments will always be exploring new themes and techniques. Numerous salons and beauty institutes choose to propose personalized massages, massages for two, four-hand massages, ‘blind’ massages (in total darkness), massages with fruit,chocolate and champagne, shiatsu, reflexology, self-massage, prenatal and postnatalmassages ... Enjoy!
There’s nothing better to get all your senses working than being introduced to massages in the dark in the spa whose name, Dans le Noir, literally means ‘in the dark’. Plunged into soft darkness, you’ll be able to experience feelings you’ve never felt before at the nimble and skilled hands of the therapists, all blind or partially sighted.
Tea lovers can head to Thémaé Paris spa for an unforgettable experience based around this precious hot drink. All of the products here are made using tea and the treatments, massages and ceremonies provide a unique escape.
And if it’s a one-of-a-kind wellness experience you’re after, Paris’s more inventive places have you covered. You can have a little nap or a fish pedicure at Zen, Paris city centre’s siesta bar, experience floating in a sensory deprivation tank at Meïso or Les Bulles à Flotter, try out the ‘salt caves’ (halotherapy) with their proven benefits at modern meditation studio Bloom or visit Paris’s first aquatic spa: Cléméns.