Another Way to Use Bamboo
A good deep tissue massage for me is like a hot fudge sundae for an ice cream fanatic. But, even I understand that there's more to the spa life than a deep tissue.
So on a recent midday, I entrusted my knotted muscles to the caring hands of The Journey Spa & Wellness Center owner Tana Diaz, who treated me with one of the spa's latest additions – the Bamboo Journey Massage (90 minutes for $150), including a foot soak, bamboo massage and massage "cupping."
Diaz started off my session with a tub of warm water infused with Dead Sea salt and massage marbles. She said the foot soak is intended to induce relaxation in the client, in preparation for the upcoming treatment. After about 10 minutes of rolling my feet on the marbles and trying to clear my mind, Diaz left me to disrobe and lay myself face down onto the massage table.
She began with a light tapping followed by a light sweeping motion across my body. Then she started on my back with the wooden bamboo rollers – technically called bamboo wands – which reminded me of something like pizza rollers. Bamboo contains natural silica, which makes up quartz, evoking the energy of crystals during the massage, according to Diaz. The bamboo and massage combined are supposed to help move toxins up to the surface of the body. In addition to the bamboo energy, Diaz also used rose quartz and clear quartz crystals during my treatment.
Using a mixture of bamboo wands (Diaz has wands of different lengths) and her hands, Diaz worked my back, legs and arms. I was impressed at the various angles into which she was able to maneuver a solid stick tool. She rolled it straight down my back, along the side of my spine and under the shoulder blades. While I was a little concerned that rolling the wand straight over my spine was going to hurt, it didn't. She was firm and gentle at the same time – expertly knowing how hard she could press down.
At the end of the treatment across my back side, Diaz incorporated cupping – using a cup-like attachment at the end of a machine that creates suction – into the massage. The cupping is supposed to help flush out toxins that have surfaced from the treatment. The cupping concept is not new to me – it's a Mexican tradition for my grandmother and mom, who've performed it on my back and on the backs of others in my family with the help of a small drinking glass, a candle and coin to create suction and help relieve pain in that area. Apparently the tradition is an old one and a widespread one. As Diaz moved the cup across my back, with the suction on, there were areas of some discomfort. It particularly hurt along my lower back, with a sort of cramping sensation; it didn't hurt as much at the top of my back.
After the cupping, I turned onto my back, at which point Diaz continued the bamboo massage along my neck, chest area, arms, legs, and stomach.
At the end of the massage, I was contently relaxed. Diaz used the bamboo expertly and firmly, but not too deeply, so don't go in expecting a deep tissue bamboo massage. Go in expecting a unique and soothing experience. Diaz herself says "each treatment is as unique as the person receiving the massage."
To contact The Journey Spa & Wellness Center (247 East Katella Ave., Orange), call 877-576-9772 or visit myjourneyspa.com.