To challenge the idea that spa treatments are more about indulgence than restoring health and wellbeing, here are just five different treatments proven to have positive effects on a person’s physical and mental wellbeing that might make you reconsider feeling guilty over ‘treating’ yourself to a spa day.
One of the most well known and popular treatments provided by spas in the UK is a message, with most spas providing a range of different massages to suit everybody.
Of the different types of massage out there, the most commonly chosen is what is known as a Swedish massage (or ‘therapeutic massage’) which involves gently but firmly rubbing, pressing and manipulating a person’s muscles in order to relax them, release tension and increase blood circulation.
Swedish massage is, due to its recognised health benefits, supported by the NHS here in the UK, which has for years now provided massage as a ‘manual therapy’ option for those who require certain physiotherapies or are undergoing cancer treatment. Hence, to learn more about the role of massage and its proven health benefits, you can do so via the NHS website.
Acupuncture is another popular spa treatment available on the NHS because of the strong evidence that it provides genuine benefits for those who partake in it. To read a selection of the most recent academic and medical research carried out as to the actual benefits provided by acupuncture, which have so far included reducing post-operative pain, fighting inflammation and even reducing instances of tension and migraine type headaches, visit the Wellness Evidence website
A traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture involves having very fine needle inserted skin-deep and ‘is based on the theory that there’s a system of life force (energy) channels in the body. The energy that’s believed to move along the channels is known as chi’ as stated in the Massage and Energy Based Therapies Guide published by the NHS.
Used to relieve aches and pains by warming a person’s muscles which causes muscles to relax and become less tense and knotted, body wrapping is perhaps most known as a spa treatment opted for by those who are aiming to look like athletes more than become them – or at least shed a few of those extra pounds. But does it work?
To answer that very question, Penny Smith of the Daily Mail, tasked a willing team to give body wrapping a go, and documented the results in the article: Can a Body Wrap Really Lose You Inches? And, the results suggest that body wrapping can indeed help to fight the flab, with only major criticism made by those who partook in the experiment being the in some cases less than luxurious condition of some of the spas, leading Penny to advise those choosing a spa to choose one recommended by friends .
For those whose friends are new to the spa too though, it is easy to avoid disappointment and even poorly carried out treatments by simply playing it safe and opting to a visit a spa such as the Holmer Park Spa which achieves an almost perfect five out of five stars according to the hundreds who have rated it via both the Holmer Park Facebook Page and as well via the Trip Advisor website.
Bathing has been used as a means of restoring health and maintaining it long before it was understood why or how it worked. Of course, now we do know that spa baths offer genuine health benefits, it is no wonder so many spas provide water-based treatments. But what are the benefits for those who opt to partake in them?
The benefits of taking a spa bath are numerous. Spa bathing in particular can positively affect our physical, mental and even emotional wellbeing. After all, a physically and mentally relaxed person is of course far more likely to be a happy one too.
To learn about how spa bathing does this though and just how many health benefits there are relating to spa bathing, head over to the Life Hack website and give their article: 10 Irresistible Benefits of Spa Baths a read.
That is, when disrobing many of the British swimmers and some of the British gymnasts have revealed perfectly round red patches that have got numerous people wondering why. Most notably, champion swimmer Michael Phelps has hit the media for sporting skin that looks ‘strewn with livid polka dots’ as worded by The Independent Newspaper.
As the Independent Newspaper subsequently explains: ‘The athletes are among the latest adherents to the traditional Chinese medicine treatment known as “cupping” [which] involves having hot suction cups applied to the skin for several minutes, leaving what appears to be a circular love bite on the surface, which can take over two weeks to fade.’
The technique has been proven to relieve pain caused by sore muscles. Hence, it is little wonder athletes are embracing the technique. Olympic gymnast, Alex Naddour, in fact has gone so far as to say that cupping has ‘been the secret that I have had through this year that keeps me healthy,’ as reported by the BBC News website.
Then, to alleviate those aches, pains and sore muscles whether work related or due to a hard work out at the gym, hitting your local spa for a ‘cupping’ session might just do the trick; after all, if it is good enough for the world’s best athletes, it can probably handle that painful case of ‘shopping shoulder’ caused by carrying the groceries or a few too many pairs of new shoes home!
Cleanse the Mind and Soul
For those of us whose minds and souls are in need of a simple pick me up rather than full on spring clean at the shrink’s office, the spa may well hold the answer.
Many of the treatments devised and used within health spas focus on rejuvenating the mind as well as the body – this is true, for example, of Swedish massages which whilst giving our muscles a good going over also help to unknot and relax the mind. It isn’t just treatments specifically that have a positive impact on our minds and wellbeing though.
As explained via the article: Psychological Benefits of Visiting a Spa featured on the Complete Wellbeing website, the real and most rewarding benefits of a spa day aren’t necessarily or always the way your body feels or the way you look afterwards, but a result of simply ‘being in a safe space, separated from the interruptions of technology, where you can become present and tune into the thoughts in your own head’ and the fact that ‘[v]isiting a spa is an opportunity to be touched and cared for by another person’ .
Hence, to battle the blues and help reduce the risk of getting overly stressed, anxious and worn-out with trying to keep up with modern life, which can if ignored elevate the risk of developing actual mental health conditions such as depression, allow yourself to indulge in a spa day every now and then.