I’ve had the good fortune to visit a few great spas in my time. From the Cheeca Lodge to the Canyon Ranch Spa, I’ve had my share of treatments, and I’ll be the first to admit that at first I was a little intimidated. I quickly learned my way through the “menu,” but still find that spa services seem to be always changing (two months ago I had a “diamond” facial….yes, with crushed diamonds). For the first timer, here are the basics.
A spa is a type of resort or day spa where you can go to pamper yourself. There are several types of treatments that are available at these resorts and salons. A treatment is a procedure that is not medical and the goal is to help the body feel better.
Aromatherapy is a type of alternative medicine which uses volatile materials from plants. These materials are known as essentials oils and they are used to alter your mood, cognitive function or mind. Lemon oil is often used to help with relaxation and stress. Lavender and tea tree oil are often used in soaps or lotion. They heal burns and cuts or scrapes because of its antiseptic properties. Peppermint, jasmine and lavender are all used to reduce stress and anxiety.
Many people go to a resort to soak in a bath of some type. A hot spring is made from the rising of heated water underground from the Earths crust. Hot springs are very therapeutic. They are sometimes used at rehabilitation facilities to help those who have disabilities. Hot springs contain a high volume of minerals, including calcium and lithium. A mud bath is a mixture of ash from volcanoes, peat that is imported from Canada as well as mineral water that is naturally heated. Mud baths were used back in the Eastern and Western European times to help those who suffered from arthritis.
Also called mud wraps, these are treatments that are used to slim and firm the body. It is also used to hydrate skin and relax sore muscles. Other uses for body wraps include helping to relieve sore joints and reduce inflammation. A body wrap is a layer of mud that is put on the skin. This works by easing water retention and cleaning out the pores of the skin. A mud wrap is much like mummification because bandages are wrapped around the body over the mud. This is to hold the mud in place.
There are dozens of massage types available but the basic idea of a massage is to get down deep into the layers of muscle and tissue to help relax the body. Massage derives from the French meaning friction of kneading. Massages mainly target ligaments, connective tissue, tendons and muscles.
is a type of massage that is based on the thought that the hands and feet contain reflexes which are intertwined to every organ, system and gland within the body. A hot stone massage uses stones that are heated in water to put pressure on the body. The most commonly used stones are lava rocks which are smooth and polished.
Waxing is another treatment that is popular at a resort. This involves removing hair from the back, feet, eyebrows, bikini area, abdomen, face, legs and arms. The procedure involves placing a layer of wax on the skin. Then a paper strip is placed over the wax and removed quickly against the way the hair grows.
The benefits of a spa are that your body relaxes and tension is released. This is JUST the beginning (kind of like a primer). I’ll be telling you more in-depth information about various treatments, like hot stone massages, salt and/or sugar scrubs, phytomer facials, and more soon.
Isn’t it time you treated yourself to a spa day?