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Spa Treatments

A little decadence does you good

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Spa Treatments

Spas attract a wide range of clients from teenagers to seniors, both male and female. I put spa treatments into three rough categories: holistic, stress release, and cosmetic. Often these categories overlap; simply stated, holistic treatments are therapeutic and include various types of massage, reflexology, and hot paraffin wax treatments.

I must admit that I used to be an uninitiated spa rookie. Sitting in the waiting room, biding my time to my first massage therapy treatment, I wondered with trepidation if I’d be expected to bare all or if I’d be able to leave on a few essentials.

Perhaps you feel the same uncertainty; I have found that staff and therapists in both high-end and local spas are very client-oriented, explaining each procedure and encouraging questions. Some spas offer mini-treatment specials so you can try out various therapies. Ask to walk through the spa prior to booking an appointment–if the spa is not spotless, make a hasty retreat.

If treatment is given by a registered massage therapist (RMT), some extended health plans will cover part or all of the cost; however, not all therapists of spas are registered. Becoming an RMT takes years of rigorous training and regulations vary provincially.

What to Expect

Spas attract a wide range of clients from teenagers to seniors, both male and female. I put spa treatments into three rough categories: holistic, stress release, and cosmetic. Often these categories overlap; simply stated, holistic treatments are therapeutic and include various types of massage, reflexology, and hot paraffin wax treatments.

Cosmetic care includes makeup application, manicure, pedicure, eyebrow/eyelash tinting, hair styling, waxing, and cellulite treatments. Body wraps are relaxing and benefit the skin, bringing healing and nourishing properties to the body. Exfoliation resulting from a wrap will invigorate tired skin, improving tone by removing dry, dead cells.

Blissfully Stoned

Hot stone massage is my favourite spa treatment. The massage therapist works with warm, smooth, black river-rock stones, followed by cool white marble stones, to gently ease away muscle tension. Small warm stones are placed between the toes, in the palms of the hands, and strategically on the body. A row of warm stones are placed on the chest and belly. Only by experiencing this treatment will you understand the feeling of total relaxation.

During my travels throughout North America, I have sought spa treatments in major cities and remote towns. My most memorable massage was on the beach in Mexico, under a swaying palm tree–yes, I was wearing my swimsuit. The sound of the surf accompanied a wonderful massage by a highly adept Mexican masseur.

I am currently finalizing my plans for a trip to Thailand. Thai massage, also called yoga Thai massage, originates from the time of Buddha, and is known as Nuad Phaen Boran. The therapy stretches and moves the body to align the body’s energies. A Thai massage (or two) is definitely on my must-do list.

Spa treatment prices vary according to size of the facility, location, and services offered.

$50 and Under

  • manicure–polish is often an optional extra
  • pedicure–paraffin wax can be added (well worth the extra)
  • mini massage–seated for neck and shoulders, these are also available at some airport spas
  • eyebrow shape and –nice for the summer when you don’t wear makeup

Around $100

Many options of massage are available (30- to 90-minute treatments):

  • prenatal–to relieve back aches and stress on knees
  • Swedish–to improve circulation
  • lymphatic–to stimulate blood and lymphatic system
  • Thai yoga, incorporating stretches
  • sea salt exfoliation
  • aromatherapy
  • hot stone

Herbal wraps bring nourishing minerals and herbs to the entire body. The body is cocooned in a herbal or mud paste, then wrapped. You are left in a darkened room–may not be a good choice for claustrophobics.

Facial–the face is cleansed and steamed, followed by application of a toner and moisturizer.

$200 and Over

A day at the spa includes several treatments such as pedicure, manicure, aromatherapy massage, and/or steam room.

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