(Originally published in the February 2012 issue of the Nova Scotia Business Journal - Spa Escapes feature)
In search of an opportunity to unwind and disconnect from this hectic 24/7 world and rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit?
Your idyllic escape awaits… at the spa
Spas are not just places for pampering — they’re havens for stress relief and relaxation. The International SPA Association (ISPA) says stress can lead to many unwelcome side effects, including high blood pressure, decreased immunity function and reduced energy levels. It may also negatively impact your attitude and do a number on your appearance, aggravating such conditions as acne and eczema.
Wondering what spa treatment is right for you?
Services can range from pedicures which incorporate hot wax and exfoliation for softening the skin and nails to refreshing facials which cleanse, tone and moisturize. There are even chemical peels to aid in cellular renewal, reduction of fine lines, and improved skin tone.
Massage, one of the oldest and simplest therapeutic treatments, utilizes different methods to relieve pain, relax, stimulate, and tone the body. Hot stone massage is a specialty massage where the therapist uses smooth, heated stones, either as an extension of their own hands or by placing them on the skin, while they massage other parts of the body. With shiatsu, fingers, thumbs, palms, knees, forearms, elbows and feet are used to apply pressure to the areas of energy lines to stimulate the body’s energy flow.
Hydrotherapy is a treatment that incorporates water for therapeutic purposes, often aiding in circulation and helping to relieve pain. Treatments can include underwater massage and mineral baths. A Vichy shower treatment involves the application of several water jets of varying temperatures and pressures over the entire body, and is often complemented by exfoliating treatments.
Every spa offers its own signature experiences, but they all share one common goal — to relax and reinvigorate you, inside and out. Ask a spa professional what may be the ideal treatment for you.
Spa 101: What you should know before you go
• Spas offer a menu of services that describes each treatment and its therapeutic value. Becoming familiar with the service you are having performed will make you more comfortable.
• At the time of booking, indicate whether you prefer a male or female therapist. You have the right to choose. It's your treatment, and you should enjoy it.
• Spas will never compromise your modesty. Most often, you will be given a robe to change into before your treatment. Under the robe? It's up to you. Therapists will only expose the portion of your body that is being treated at the time.
• There's no pressure to talk during a treatment. If you have questions or would like to talk, certainly do so. The staff takes their cues from you. If you're quiet, they will be too.
• Spas are meant to be relaxing and quiet. Cell phones and loud conversations are not appropriate. This is your time to be away from outside distractions.
• If your therapist's touch is too rough or too light or if the temperature of the room is not to your liking… speak up. They are there for you and their goal is to provide you with the perfect spa experience.