Being a Spa Girl is all about opening your mind to new experiences. On your next visit to your favorite spa or salon, why not just throw caution to the wind and try something new and adventurous … you just might end up lovin’ it! Below are just some of the many services offered at a place near you.
acupressure massage – This treatment restores unrestricted flow of energy by stimulating specific pressure points in your body.
aromatherapy – Based on ancient Egyptian practices, aromatherapy uses fragrant essential oils to stimulate the olfactory senses, mental responses, and circulatory and respiratory functions. For a slightly higher price you can usually get it incorporated into a massage, facial, balneotherapy or body wrap treatments. Great thing is there are so many options out there designed to get the same effect at home!
ayurveda – Ancient Indian treatments designed to place equal emphasis on the mind, spirit and body.
balneotherapy – This is basically a fancy term for a bath. Water surging from highly powerful jets improves your circulation, strengthens your immune system, and reduces pain related to stress, arthritis and circulation. Many day, medical and destination spas offer this treatment at a nominal price, making it a great add-on to any treatment or the perfect pick-me-up when you’re low on time or cash. Also known as hydrotherapy.
bindi – This body treatments combining exfoliation, herbal treatment and light massage.
brush and tone – In this treatment, the skin is dry brushed to remove dead layers and impurities while stimulating circulation. This is often used as a pre-treatment for mud and seaweed body masks. At the end of the treatment, a rich moisturizing lotion is applied.
cranio-sacral massage – Another fancy word for something simple but divine … a massage on your noggin. Besides relieving stress and promoting energy, this treatment may help with those annoying head and neck aches.
dead sea mud treatment – Known to alleviate pain from arthritis and rheumatism, these treatments use mineral-rich mud from the Dead Sea to detoxify the body.
european facial – A European facial is all a girl ever wanted — deep cleansing, steam, exfoliation, and face, shoulders and chest massage culminating with a mask — Need we say more?
exfoliating facial – This facial is designed to peel away dry skin cells and remove your nasty little white heads, black heads and wrinkles (a-hem, we mean character lines). The process of sloughing off those dead cells also improves circulation and stimulating blood flow.
fitness – If you’re looking to shape up, fitness services can be found all over — in health clubs, yoga studios, gyms and the like.
glycolic facial – Here’s a great one for us SpaGirls approaching our 30’s and beyond. Glycolic acid, a mild chemical solution, is used to break down the bond that holds dry skin on your face (ick, get it off!), then creates a rapid exfoliation to soften lines and smooth the skin. Whew, aren’t you glad some genius thought of this?
gommage – This treatment uses creams applied in long massage-like strokes to the body and used on the face with short, quick strokes to cleanse and rehydrate the skin.
hair removal – Hair removal specialists are the wonderful professionals sympathetic to those frustrating excess hair concerns. Hair removal services include traditional waxing, Brazilian waxing, laser hair removal, electrolysis and threading.
herbal wrap – In this popular treatment, strips of cloth or gauze soaked in a heated mixture of herbs used to detoxify, eliminate impurities and relax the skin. Your body is wrapped in a cloth soaked in an herbal solution to eliminate impurities, detoxify the body and induce relaxation. You’ll feel warm and cozy once the treatment is applied, which is why we caution gals who experience claustrophobia … there is typically a tight, confined feeling often associated with this treatment.
holistic treatments – Holistic services are healing therapies that consider your body, mind and spirit at the same time. These therapies include, but are not limited to: acupuncture, aromatherapy, chakra-balancing, crystal therapy, color therapy and hypnotherapy.
hot stone massage – This unique massage applies heated and cooled stones (also known as thermotherapy) to the body in various ways to bring relief to stiff and sore muscles.
hydration facial – This is the motherload of rehydration! Enzymes and hylauronic acids followed by a paraffin mask and essential oils hydrate your skin to its fullest potential.
jin shin jyutsu – Jin Shin Jyutsu is an ancient Japanese healing tradition that assists the body in reawakening to universal life energy and its innate and natural ability to harmonize and balance. The apprachs uses gentle, light pressure to what is referred to as “safety energy locks”, which are the body’s circuit breakers that act to protect the body when the universal life energy is blocked.
loofah body scrub – A favorite for many SpaGirls, this treatment uses a loofah sponge to exfoliate dead skin. We love it because it’s easy to recreate in your own home bath and they usually give you a loofah to take home!
lymph massage – Through a gentle massage to your face and neck, fluid retention and trapped toxins are drained out of the body via your lymph system.
makeup artistry – Makeup artistry is performed by talented individuals who know how to highlight our best features (yes, we all have at least a few) through the strategic use of makeup. In our directory, we only include professionally trained makeup artists?after all, well-intentioned sales associates offering free makeup demonstrations really deserve a category of their own.
makeup consultation – Once you find a consultant you love (it takes while, so don’t be discouraged) you’ve got to touch base with this guru about once a year. It’ll keep you from being that girl (you know, the one who uses light blue shadow straight from ’85). Don’t be that girl! Oh, and look for a consultant who recognizes your unique features and show you how to emphasize (or possibly even hide) them. You’ll know you’ve got the right person if you walk away feeling self-assured and looking good!
manicure – A cosmetic treatment of the fingernails that typically includes shaping, massage, polishing and chatting.
microdermabrasion – This skin polishing technique exfoliates the skin faster and penetrates the skin more deeply than a glycolic peel. The aesthetician uses a device that blasts fine crystals onto the skin and then vacuums away the used crystals, dirt and dead surface skin. Sounds intense, huh? However, the radiant, healthy glow is well worth it.
mud bath – Nothing like soaking in a vat of mud! Mineral-rich mud detoxifies the body, loosens muscles and stimulates circulation.
oxygenate – A type of facial treatment that utilizes pure oxygen to cleanse and revitalizing the skin. This is particularly great for those of us living in high altitude areas or fighting off character lines.
paraffin treatment – Paraffin wax is heated and applied to the body, hands or feet. The wax traps the heat and draws out toxins. Your therapist will wrap the treated area with plastic or warm fuzzy (and maybe even heated) mitts. Finally it will all be peeled away, leaving the skin silky soft. Be sure to get this added to your next manicure, pedicure or facial for a few more well spent bucks. You can also pick up at home versions at a reasonable price?a great investment for your at home spa!
pedicure – See “manicure” and replace “hands” with “feet.” Duh. But seriously, a pedicure isn’t all about having pretty tootsies, your feet are known to hold a lot of tension so a good pedicure is also a great way to relieve stress!
reflexology massage – Getting your tootsies rubbed is such a fine treat. But the practice of reflexology combined with massage makes this treatment extra special. Through the massage of feet pressure points, corresponding organs are stimulated, often curing your specific ailments such as back and headaches.
salt glow – This just might be the human answer to the car buff. With the use of coarse salt, you’ll leave this treatment with a fully cleansed, exfoliated and shiny as new.
seaweed wrap – As we’ve learned, mother knows best ? well this treatment takes Mother Nature’s gifts of sea water, seaweed, and the ocean’s nutrients and uses them to revitalize the skin.
shiatsu – This modality combines acupressure, compression movement and stretches along the 12 energy meridians of the body, clearing blocked channels and moving the body toward balance. Expect for it to be done on a futon to be asked to wear the kind of loose, comfortable clothing like you might to a yoga class.
skincare – Skincare services focus on, you guessed it, your skin. You can ask for one or more of the following services: facials, wraps, laser therapy, plastic surgery and microdermabrasion.
sound therapy – What could be more relaxing than the sounds of waves crashing on the shore or birds singing in the early morning? Based on this simple premise, sound therapy, also referred to as musical massage sound therapy (MMST), uses the vibration of sounds — whether it be music, drumming or singing bowls — to lull our bodies into a meditative, healing state.
sports massage – One of the more widely requested massages, this treatment is designed to either prevent or correct problems in muscles used in athletic activities. You’ll find it a great way to reward yourself for your good exercise habits while optimizing your performance afterward. That’s our justification, anyway.
swedish massage – We can’t help it but the name conjures up images of some buff Swede woman in pigtails and white uniform working you over. The reality is, this massage uses stroking, kneading, friction, vibration, and tapping to relax your muscles gently.
tanning – Tanning services are dedicated to, as we say in the West (well, some of us anyway), tannin’ yer hide.
therapeutic massage – Massage can be one of the most relaxing therapies known to, ahem, “spagirlkind.” Whether you’re preparing a nursery or nursing an injury, therapeutic massage is geared toward simultaneously restoring body and mind. Massage therapies come in a wide selection — many of which are described in the services section of the SpaGirl guide — and new ones are being invented daily.
watsu – Watsu massage is a gentle, soothing treatment that combines the benefits of water and shiatsu massage. Don’t forget your bathing suit because you and your therapist will get in a warm, shallow pool for this underwater massage.
waxing – Come one, come all! Get your body hair removed with hot wax! Sound appealing? We don’t think so either, but the truth is certain hair has got to go. Look, a good therapist will not make it so painful (although there are no guarantees) and even in this high-tech age, it’s still one of the best ways to shape those brows. Don’t let the Dukakis fiasco be in vain!
Photo courtesy: The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North