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In the Spa Zone

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What is the ultimate vacation experience today? For many it has become the pampering and tranquility only felt from a stay at a full-service spa

What is the ultimate vacation experience today? For many it has become the pampering and tranquility only felt from a stay at a full-service spa. Over the last several years, North American spas have begun incorporating unique and ancient treatments that focus on total body wellness. That is, these therapies not only offer topical skin benefits, but they also provide the client with internal rebalancing. With numerous day spas and resort spas popping up, there are endless choices of treatments that can help you feel renewed in mind, body and spirit.

Water Therapy

The use of water to heal and nourish the body dates back thousands of years. The Romans indulged in the famous Roman baths, which they claimed healed the body of sickness, pain and toxins. Spas today have incorporated water therapy in such an array of treatments that each offers their own unique benefits. Many spa resorts are in areas where mineral springs are available. These nutrient-rich spring waters are used in all of their water therapies and are even provided as drinking water.

Hydrotherapy

Tubs are used in spas to promote relaxation, to stimulate circulation and detoxification and to relieve sore muscles. The jets in the tub vigorously massage the body from the neck to the feet at a temperature of about 35 C. The heat of the water along with the jet massage and specific added ingredients can make this treatment pampering as well as healing. Common ingredients include essential oils, mineral or sea salts, muds and seaweed. All help in detoxifying and replenishing lost nutrients.

Vichy Shower

Over the last few years spas have incorporated the Vichy rain shower. As you lie on a comfortable massage bed, the showerheads situated above from your head to your toes release rain showers of warm water. Various shower pressures relax the muscles, boost the immune system, stimulate the lymphatic system and put you in a state of sheer bliss! This treatment is offered individually and is also given after a wrap or body clay.

Water Massage

Many variations of water massage are offered, and some of these techniques stem from China and Japan. Water massage involves flotation, stretching and massage such as shiatsu, which is done with a therapist in a heated pool or flotation tub to soft, calming music. The soothing water helps to support the body and muscles as it is being relieved of stress, toxins and tension. Water massage can greatly improve circulation and provides a gentler approach to aqua wellness. Often a detoxifying seaweed wrap or body mask follows the water massage.

Oxygen-Rich Steam

A water steam chamber is an excellent way to relieve muscle tension and stress, and to detoxify the body. The benefits are increased when the steam chamber incorporates the use of pure oxygen, which has been shown to boost energy, reduce toxins, increase metabolism, strengthen the immune system, eliminate bacteria and reduce cellulite. A treatment in an oxygen steam chamber will leave you feeling renewed and invigorated.

Ayurvedic Treatments

Ayurvedic treatments originated in India about 5,000 years ago. They incorporate the use of traditional oils and herbs from India and techniques that help to balance an individual's body type. According to ayurveda, each person consists of three dosha or body types: vata air, pitta fire, and kapha water/earth. Each ayurvedic treatment works to detoxify and rebalance the body and relax the mind. Prior to your treatment, you are offered a brief consultation to determine your body constitution in order to recommend the most beneficial treatment and herbal oil blend.

Shiro Dhara

The ultimate in total mind and body relaxation. The shiro dhara involves having a flow of warmed herbal oil poured onto the mid-forehead, which promotes total relaxation and balance. The treatment also incorporates meditation and relaxation breathing techniques along with a massage of the feet, head and other areas.

Ayurvedic Massage

Abhyanga is one method that is incorporated into the ayurvedic massage and involves the pouring of warmed herbal oil over the body. Then the oil is massaged at specific points (marmas) to stimulate the lymphatic system. Other benefits to ayurvedic massage are: increased longevity, stress relief, prevention of nervous system disorders, prevention or treatment of insomnia and the prevention of dehydration.

Stone Massage

The ancient art of stone massage is one of the more popular spa treatments today as it promotes tranquility and effectively releases stress and tension. This treatment involves hot stones placed on specific acupressure points on the body such as the spine, neck and feet. The therapist also uses the rocks along with pure oils directly on the body during the massage. This is very soothing and aids in muscle pain relief and the improvement of energy flow. Some stone treatments involve alternating the hot stones with cold stones to relieve pain and restore balance. A very unique total mind and body treatment recommended for all!

Anti-Aging Treatments

As we age, our circulation can decrease along with the skin's firmness and smoothness. Cellulite and buildup of excess fluid in the tissues are common in women who are over the age of 25. Spas often incorporate specific treatments that can help release the excess fluid and toxins and firm the skin, thereby reducing signs of cellulite, improving circulation and making the skin softer and smoother.

Body Wraps

Body wraps involve application of a specialized product containing ingredients that can help with firming and detoxifying of the body. Ingredients include enzymes, herbs, essential oils, clays, muds, seaweed and vitamins. After applying the product, the body is wrapped tightly in warm coverings or a heated blanket. After the wrap the skin is smooth and soft and can appear firmer.

Lymphatic Drainage

This is a specific massage that helps to dislodge toxins, reduce excess water in the tissues and increase metabolism. The massage stimulates the lymph system, which is responsible for drainage. For these treatments often a specialized lymphatic drainage machine is used during the procedure along with a blend of natural oils an excellent treatment for those with excess cellulite and fluid retention.

These are just a few of the treatments now being offered in spas that focus on mind and body wellness. For many, life is stressful and busy with little or no time for self-care. Make the time to indulge yourself with a refuge away from the daily grind, a place where you can rejuvenate and find inner peace.

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