A beachfront hut; the sound of waves crashing up against the shore; a perfectly picturesque blue sky; and the music of a pan flute and chimes play all the while you are getting a hot stone massage by a gorgeously toned and muscular masseuse named Dante. Oh, that sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? If money were no obstacle, I would be on the first plane to an exotic island where I spent all day every day in yoga classes and massage therapy sessions trying everything from aromatherapy, full-body mud masks, to reflexology treatments. One of my all time favorites is the deep tissue Swedish massage. In between sessions, I would of course have treatments done to my hair to give me long flowing locks, and get manicures and pedicures every day. Again, that would be if money were no obstacle.
There are so many benefits of a day at the spa. It is rejuvenating; relaxing, and can take years off of you physically and emotionally. The daily grind of life can wear on us women when we feel pulled in every direction between the home, the kids, our work, the extracurricular activities, taking care of family members sometimes, being the therapist for your friends, and any other responsibilities you have. We tend to put ourselves last… dead last… so last that we are not even on the 5th list of "to-do’s" we’ve made just for the day. We need a day at the spa. We deserve a day or a month at the spa. The reality of the fact is, however, we probably cannot afford it in time or in finances. Don’t let that discourage you from taking care of yourself every once in a while with a visit to the spa.
So, what do you want from your visit at the spa? A day at the spa can serve a few purposes: relieve tension in your muscles; feel pampered; rejuvenate your skin; or just relax. It can be daunting walking into a spa with so many choices of treatments. How do you know which one to choose? Here is a breakdown of treatments typically found at a spa.
The classic facial is one where you just lay down and let yourself be pampered. When you wake up, you feel rested, refreshed, and rejuvenated. A lymphatic massage helps relieve tension headaches, clenched jaws, and helps reduce puffiness. A microdermabrasion facial takes off the dead skin cells leaving behind a healthy and youthful glow by scouring the skin with small little micronized crystals then vacuuming away the dead skin cells. An acupuncture facial leaves your skin looking radiant and your eyes brighter. The LED facial is best for those with acne-prone skin. Enzyme peels, acid peels, and hydrating facials can fight the signs of aging.
The most popular massage seems to be the ever-famous Swedish massage. This massage is could for working out cramped muscles, release of stress, or just good ol’ fashioned relaxation. A hot stone massage uses almost too hot to handle stones to relieve tension in your muscles. Your body is weighted down while the masseuse uses the stones to also massage your body. Choosing a deep tissue massage does pretty much what it says—massages deep into the tissue of the muscles. This is NOT a massage to make you feel relaxed. People who order this massage are very hard on their bodies.
A shiatsu massage is a technique from Japan that uses the pressure of fingers to hit pressure points. Generally speaking, this method is done while you are fully clothed. A Thai massage is extremely physical… for both you and the therapist. This is a massage that requires the masseuse to climb on top of you and use his or her knees, elbows, hands, and feet to stretch you in ways you didn’t know you could stretch all the while applying pressure to your muscles as well. The last type of massage that I’ll mention here is sports massage. This is generally performed on athletes needing injury prevention, injury treatment, or just before a big event. It combines a variety of massage types.
A couple of things to keep in mind before you book a massage: if you are pregnant, let them know. They may turn you down as it is not safe practice to get massages in the first trimester. There are also specialty therapies for pregnancy. Another thing to keep in mind when booking a massage is to be sure the therapist you request or are given is trained in the style of massage you want. Not all therapists are trained in every type. Also be sure to mention your areas of concern.
A basic manicure is just that — basic. There is a soak, a little shaping, a little moisturizer, and a little polish. Done.
The French manicure is my personal favorite since it gives your nails a clean and classic look that goes well with all outfits and occasions. After the nail tech soaks, shapes, and moisturizes, she applies a pale pink or beige polish to the entire nail and then applies white polish to the tips. This classic choice leaves your nails looking crisp and ready for anything. You can always choose the Reverse French manicure where the tips are one color and the nails are a darker shade.
An indulgence I have had once was a paraffin manicure and it was fabulous! Your hands are dunked into a tub of paraffin wax that infuses your skin with lots of moisture leaving your hands smooth and incredibly supple. You will receive a relaxing hand massage that you don’t want to end — EVER. The finishing touch is a basic manicure. Your hands will look and feel YEARS younger.
Basically, spas offer a variety of wonderful and enticing services. If you can, indulge in them ALL… you deserve it! It’s good to take care of yourself… you need to take care of yourself.
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