We’re fascinated by nuru massage, so we've looked everywhere to gather the information needed to compile this complete guide to the ancient Japanese art. Below you'll find our what a nuru massage involves, how it’s performed, and even some history about its Far Eastern origins...
Nuru is a Japanese word meaning ‘slippery’. Nuru massage is an erotic form of wet massage which originates from the bathhouses of Japan – also known as the soaplands.
The therapy itself is a fully nude, body to body treatment in which the masseuse uses her whole body – rather than just her hands – to massage the client. The therapist glides her naked body over the client’s, aided by special lubricating oil or gel known as nuru gel.
Despite its erotic nature, nuru massage is considered an art form in Asia and is highly celebrated. The Japanese respect the sensual and sexual side of the personality (known as honne) and accept that the sex industry is necessary.
The bathhouses, or soaplands, first emerged in 1958 when explicit prostitution became illegal. As an alternative to penetrative sex, the clients were sensually bathed and massaged to achieve orgasm. This treatment became so popular and immersed in ritual that it is now amongst the most expensive available in Japan’s red light districts.
Nuru gel is an exceptionally slippery massage gel made from a type of edible seaweed called nori – the same kind used to make sushi. It is known to absorb a great deal of nutrients from the ocean, and the gel derived from the plant is an excellent skin moisturiser.
Nuru gel is odourless, tasteless, clear and does not stain sheets or clothing. In addition, nuru gel contains other extracts including aloe vera, chamomile, and grapefruit, which are also beneficial for the skin. All this means that nuru gel is a completely natural product.
There are several manufacturers of nuru gel; the most respected being Nurux, who manufacture their products according to an original Japanese recipe.
Their product range includes the best-selling Nuru Standard Massage Gel, the thicker and longer lasting Nuru Platinum and the new Nurux Shake powder, which is mixed with water.
Mr Nori’s Magic Gel is an American formulated product, which is also gaining popularity.
The relief of tension in the muscles helps to stimulate the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, reducing discomfort in an entirely natural way and increasing flexibility throughout the body.
Massage is proven to stimulate metabolic processes in the circulatory, musculoskeletal and lymphatic systems – helping to reduce the time it takes the body to recuperate from an injury or ill-health, and allowing the body to heal itself.
Massage therapy provides a release of tension in the mind as well as the body. In fact, scientific studies suggest that it can even alleviate symptoms of depression.
During a nuru massage, the seaweed-based nuru gel is applied to the entire body nourishing and moisturising the skin.
By making you feel so much more relaxed and well, your susceptibility to illness is greatly reduced.
Sensual massage can increase libido, erotic sensitivity, and help with arousal issues.
Before the massage begins, your therapist will put a waterproof sheet on the bed to protect the mattress. She may also prepare the room with candles and music to set the mood. The room should be heated to above 26 degrees to ensure a comfortable temperature.
Nuru gel works best on damp skin, so the treatment usually begins with a bath or shower, shared with the masseuse.
Next, the masseuse will mix the pre-warmed nuru gel with warm water in a large bowl until it reaches the desired consistency. She will then apply the gel all over her naked body, before applying it to the client’s naked body as well.
Finally the therapist will climb astride the client, who is laid out on the bed. She will then begin to slide her body over the client, making as much contact as possible.
She will use her buttocks, thighs, groin and breasts to massage, using rhythmic rocking and gliding motions. The lubricating nuru gel ensures there is minimum friction and the skin glides smoothly with heightened sensations.
The erotic nature of this massage means the client may become sexually aroused, reaching climax.