What is Body Spa?
A body spa is a place where several personal care and wellness services such as massages, beauty treatments (skin, facials, hair, nails, etc.) are provided to enhance overall well being of the body and encourage the renewal of mind, body and spirit.
Body spas operate as businesses that specialize in providing personal care and wellness services and there are several benefits of spa services to your health and overall well being.
Benefits of Spa
There are people who think that utilizing spa services is just a luxury without thinking about the benefits of spa services and how these services can improve their general well being. Some of these benefits include:
1. Muscle Pain
One of the important benefits of spa services like massage is the relief from muscle pain. Several studies showed an improvement in muscle pain related relief in patients who suffered from neck and shoulder pain. The study recommended that people with chronic neck pain should receive the appropriate dosage of massage per week to alleviate the pain.
2. Osteo-Arthritis Pain Relief
Several research studies have demonstrated one of the benefits of spa in patients with knee osteoarthritis pain. The studies showed that patients who received massage had better short term relief in pain symptoms than other patients who did not receive massage.
These results indicate that massage may be a viable way of getting relief for people with some form of musculoskeletal pain. However, always remember to consult with your healthcare provider before deciding on what to do.
3. Stress Relief
Most of the services you will receive at a spa have the potential of providing relief from the stress you have been experiencing. Stress causes the build-up of cortisol which acts on various body organs and parts to produce various active and stress-related actions. Lactic acid also builds up in your muscles which causes tense and stiff muscles with pain in some cases.
One of the benefits of spa massages and other spa services is that they help you to relax and your body stops the production of stress hormones like cortisol causing your body to calm down. Your body will also release calming hormones like GABA, serotonin etc. which helps your body to calm down, and you are able to relax and feel good.
4. Improves Sleep
When your body is relaxed and the stress-causing substances or hormones have been eliminated, there is a higher tendency for you to fall asleep and sleep more soundly. That is why some people fall asleep right there on the massage table.
One of the reasons why this happens is because when the body starts getting relaxed during your spa session, calming hormones like serotonin, GABA is secreted which also helps us to improve your sleep and make you sleep better at night.
5. Lower Blood Pressure
One of the most common features in people who are stressed in an increase in blood pressure which may result in hypertension for most people. However, one of the benefits of spa services is relief from stress. This will typically lead to a decrease in blood pressure when you get some relief from the stress.
Another spa treatment that can result in lower blood pressure is hot tub baths, steam baths etc. These hot baths cause the blood vessels to expand (also known as vasodilation). The pressure is the blood vessels is reduced when this happens because the space in the vessels has increased. Some of the medications used in controlling blood pressure operate on this principle.
However, remember you need to consult your healthcare provider for advice on your conditions.
6. Reduces Your Anxiety
Anxiety and stress are very closely related. Hence, if you can get rid of your stress with a massage or any of the spa services, this will most likely take care of your anxiety too. Anxiety causes the release of well-known stressor hormones like cortisol.
When you get relief from any anxiety-causing situation (which you can get with most spa services), the stress hormones cease and you the effect of anxiety is taken care of in your body.
7.Diabetes and Weight Loss
Several studies have demonstrated the positive effects of massage therapy in patients with Diabetes. Some of the benefits of spa massage treatment for diabetic patients include an increase in absorption of insulin when insulin injection sites are massaged shortly after injections.
Also, diabetic patients who received massage experienced normalized blood glucose levels as well as improvements in diabetic neuropathy. However, it was indicated that more studies are needed to clarify the long term benefits of massage in the treatment of diabetes.
8. Abdominal Fat Reduction
Body wraps is a common beauty treatment at most body spas, it is a treatment used in enhancing the quality or texture or skin (skin hydration), for detoxification and reducing body weight. A research study showed that body wraps are effective in reducing weight when combined with aerobic exercises. Most body wrap clay contains minerals or substances that enhance the oxidation of fatty acids (lipolysis) which leads to an increase in the breakdown of fatty tissue and ultimately weight loss.
Many spa treatments like lymphatic drainage massage, body wraps, hot tub baths etc. helps the body to release toxins that are harmful to the body. Lymphatic drainage massage helps the body’s lymphatic system which helps in eliminating foreign bodies and toxins from the body to drain out accumulated toxins in the lymph systems. Always remember to confirm with your healthcare provider if this is a good option for you.
10. Improved Immunity
Naturally, an improved lymphatic drainage system will lead to an improved immune system. The lymphatic system is part of the body’s immune system and when spa services like lymphatic drainage massage are used to improve the lymphatic system, it will have a positive effect on the body’s immunity.
11. Improve Your Confidence
One of the results of using spa services which is one of the subtle benefits of spas is the boost in confidence and self-esteem that you get. It is often overlooked because it is not something that is tangible since it has to do with your thinking and feeling.
When you use a body spa, you will realize that you feel good about yourself, and your confidence and self-esteem goes through the roof. There are several reasons responsible for this, but just imagine if you come out of the spa with nice nails, beautiful hair and skin, flexible body etc. you will definitely be feeling on top of the world. Look out for this the next time you use a spa.
12. Skin Regeneration
When you undergo a skin treatment or most beauty treatments at a spa, you will come out with more radiant younger skin and of course a better feeling about your body too. One of the benefits of spa treatments like body wrap or skin treatments is that you undergo a skin exfoliation treatment where older skin is exfoliated using various techniques. This helps you to have new younger-looking skin.
13. Improved Healing
There is evidence that shows that massage enhances the healing of wounds and scars. Most people who employed this got good results with scar tissues. This is an additional benefit of spa massages that can be considered when visiting a body spa. The study, however, noted that there are no standards regarding how this should be used in scar management but evidence shows that many people are using it.
14. Digestive Disorders
There are various body spa services that can help with digestive issues like constipation. Some massage techniques have proven to be effective in helping to relieve some of the discomforts that are common with digestive disorders. For example, there are several issues that you can use a technique like a stomach massage to get relief. Some of these issues include constipation, diarrhoea, menstrual pain, bloated stomach etc.
15. Sports Injuries
It is commonly known that you can get relief from pain with massage therapy for many sports injuries like sprains, dislocations etc. Also, massage helps injured athletes recover faster from injuries and achieve better performance more quickly.
Different Types of Spas
Spas have improved and evolved over the years with increased differentiation of services to cater for diverse kinds of clientele and their needs. This has led to different categories and types of spas with different business models that target specific clients depending on market demand and need for services that spas provide. There are essentially six different types of spas and these include:
1. Day Spas
These are the basic spas where you get your basic spa services like massages, facials etc. They are not very elaborate and may not have a lot of space. They do not have most amenities and luxuries and are usually quite affordable when compared to other luxury or high-end spas. Day spas are just basic and most neighborhood spas fit into this category and business model.
2. Destination Spas
These are spa locations where the whole environment is purposefully designed to create an immersive experience for users and help them recover and rejuvenate their bodies. Most destination spas have everything you will need on location including amenities for overnight stays. They take care of all that you will need from special customized cuisine menus to body treatments, wellness classes etc. as well as the kind of environment you need.
These types of spas are usually expensive and sometimes offered as luxury serious the benefits of spas like this is that they take all the stress from you and ensure that you have a splendid experience while there. However, you can find destination spas that are very affordable if you are not looking for the luxury experience.
3. Resort and Hotel Spas
These are hotels and resorts that have spa services on their premises just like other traditional services and amenities like tennis courts, golf courses, swimming pools etc. that are usually found in hotels. Most hotels figured out that spa services will attract more guests to patronize them and make their stay more rewarding.
Many hotels have invested very well in providing great spa services and experience for their guests. One of the benefits of spas for many hotel guests is the convenience of having all amenities in one location. Most of the services are affordable and some hotels may charge spa services separately from normal hotel bills.
4. Mineral Springs Spas
These are spas with a natural source of spring waters that are rich in minerals. These mineral-rich spring waters from natural sources are usually used for various hydrotherapy treatments in spas. Most of these mineral spring spas have historical roots with treatments that are anchored in old relaxing soak therapies. Most mineral spring spas are associated with luxurious lifestyles among the rich and famous.
5. Medical Spas
Medical spas can be considered as medical clinics with various spa services that are provided under the guidance and supervision of a medical doctor. Medical spas usually provide specialized spa services that require the expertise of a medical practitioner. Some of the treatments that are provided at medical spas include microdermabrasion, botox treatments, chemical peels, laser treatments etc.
6. Club Spas
Club spas fall under the category of spas that are operated in places like fitness clubs, or country clubs and provide their services mainly for club members. In most cases, services at club spas are meant to complement the fitness services at the club and to help club members experience the benefits of spas without leaving the club to go use a spa elsewhere. In most cases, non-club members may also use the spa services at the club for a fee.
Different Types of Spa Treatments and Benefits
You have probably heard of the different types of spa treatments and their benefits, but you may not know about all of the benefits from these treatments and how you can get the most value from your spa massage experience. If you are considering a spa treatment to relieve your body from stress but wondering about the benefits of spa treatments that will get from these treatments, then you are in the right place.
You will find good descriptions of the different types of spa treatments you can get and the benefits you will get from each treatment. Generally, these treatments are meant to help you relax, relieve your body from stress and pain with all of its effects and enable you to regain your energy back again so that you can perform at your full or optimal capacity.
The different types of spa treatments include:
Face Treatments: Face treatments or facials are skincare treatments that are meant to enhance facial beauty including alleviating the effects of ageing. These treatments include exfoliation of old skin cells, unclogging skin pores, massaging of facial muscles and moisturizing the new layer of skin. Face treatments have huge benefits besides the beauty it brings to the face. Exfoliation of facial skin results in polished younger-looking skin which reduces or slows down the effects of ageing.
Unclogged skin pores reduce the risk of acne and help in maintaining a beautiful face. Facial massage improves circulation and may help to fix the effects of stress like developing “eye bags” under your eyes. It can also cause increased growth of collagen when combined with moisturizing agents. Increased growth of collagen and moisturizers reduce the effects of ageing like wrinkles and dry skin.
Body Treatments: Just like facial treatments, body treatments also enhance the beauty of the skin and also result in general relief from stress and may lead to younger-looking skin. These treatments generally use different methods to remove dead skin cells (exfoliation), smoothen the skin and apply moisturizers (usually creams) to hydrate the skin. Some of the different body treatment methods that are commonly used at most spas include aquatherapy, body polishes, body wraps etc.
Aquatherapy involves soaking the body in a mixture of exfoliates (for skin removal), oils, and moisturizers. This helps with exfoliation of the skin, improving circulation, and skin hydration. Body scrubs like sea salt and sugars are used as body polishes for exfoliation by scrubbing the skin with these scrubs, then hydrating the skin with moisturizing agents. Body wraps are used after exfoliation and the body is wrapped in a mixture to remove impurities before washing it before applying moisturizers.
Hair Removal: Hair removal treatments are important in helping you to have smooth sexy skin. It is a common treatment at most spas, and waxing is a common method of hair removal used for these treatments. It is used in removing hair at any part of the body.
The waxing technique involves covering hair with warm or hot wax strips and removing the strips with hair trapped in them. The smooth skin is then treated with a waxing soothing gel to numb any pain or discomfort. This can be done on any part of the body including private areas. Some spas may also offer laser hair removal treatments.
Medical Treatments: Medical treatments are not commonly available at most spas. You will only find them at medical spas with physicians providing these services. One of the benefits of spas with medical treatments is that you can receive your medical care and wellness services in one location. Common treatments at medical spas include laser treatments, intense pulsed light treatments, botox injections, laser hair removal etc.
Types of Spa Massage and their Benefits
There are various types of massages that you can get at a spa. Some of these massages and their benefits include:
Swedish Massage: Swedish massage is one of the most common types of massage treatments available in most spas. It involves the use of hands and palms and utilizing various techniques like firm kneading, percussion-like tapping, and stretching aimed at relaxing the body muscles.
This massage treatment also helps in improving blood circulation, reducing muscle tension, increasing blood oxygen level and reducing the amount of muscle toxins. A scientific study also confirmed one of the benefits of spa massages particularly swedish massage in reducing stress-causing hormones.
Deep Tissue Massage: This massage therapy is similar to Swedish massage but the pressure is applied more firm and deeper, targeting the deep muscle layers and fascia. It is beneficial for chronic pain and stiff muscles in the neck, upper and lower back pain, and helps with injury rehabilitation, osteoarthritis etc.
Massage therapists perform different techniques using their palms, fingers, knuckles, elbows, forearms and you may experience some discomfort sometimes.
Acupressure Massage: This treatment uses the same concepts as those used in acupuncture except for the use of needles. It involves the application of pressure using fingers, palms, elbows and feet on specific areas of your body known as acupoints.
Other methods like stretching can also be used in this treatment. Acupressure massage has benefits like improved blood circulation, relaxation of body muscles etc. It is also reported to improve conditions like back pain, arthritis, nausea etc.
Aromatherapy Massage: This is essentially a Swedish massage that is done using essential oils. Essential oils are used instead of regular massage oil for aromatherapy. This is because essential oils are reported to have profound effects on the body when absorbed through the skin or inhalation.
Some of these effects include relaxation of muscles, relief from stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, pain etc. A report by the National Cancer Institute indicated that some essential oils used in aromatherapy may have some effects on the body by reducing anxiety.
Hot Stone Massage: Smooth hot stones are used in this massage therapy to ease muscle tensions and allow the therapist to massage the deep muscle layers easily. The stones are placed on specific parts of the body like chest, stomach, along the spine etc.
Massage therapists can hold some of the stones while performing Swedish massage techniques like firm kneading, circular movements, tapping etc. Some of the benefits of spa massage with hot stone among several other benefits include: relieving muscle tension and pain, anxiety and stress reduction, boosting immunity, improving relaxation and sleep.
Four Hand Massage: This is more like getting two massages from two different therapists at the same time. It involves receiving a massage from two therapists working in sync with each other at the same time and they may use a variety of techniques. This helps your brain to relinquish control without trying to understand and follow what the therapists are doing.
This brings about a deep level of relaxation that helps to ease deep muscle tensions that often cause pain and inflammation. Besides the deep relief and amazing experience, it also results in increased blood circulation around the body.
These are some of the different types of spa treatment and benefits of spa massages and services that you can find in most spas and massage parlours. You can always ask your massage therapist about any treatment that may be good for you.