Also known as the Swedish massage, a full body massage is no doubt the most popular and sought after kind of massage in the West. In fact, this kind of massage has brought about variations such as the deep tissue massage, sports massages, aromatherapy massages, and so many kinds of massages that have become popular in the west. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.
2.What Happens During a Full Body Massage
3.What are the Benefits of Getting a Full Body Massage
4.The Massage Routine
What is a Full Body Massage?
- The Basics, Photo: Rido/stock.adobe.com
- What Happens During a Full Body Massage, Photo: baranq/stock.adobe.com
- What are the Benefits of Getting a Full Body Massage, Photo: Maksim Šmeljov/stock.adobe.com
- The Massage Routine, Photo: Prostock-studio /stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Andrey Popov - Fotolia.com
What is a Manicure and Pedicure?
Spa manicures and pedicures are what they suggest they are - manicure and pedicure services, only they are given by a spa instead of a salon. There are a couple of distinctions between the two, but the most significant one is the fact that the manicure and pedicure services in the spa are a lot more expensive than the ones at the average salon. For example, if you live in New York City manicures can cost $10.50 which is a lot more compared to the usual Korean nail salons.
There are many reasons for the disparity in price, but it boils down to the quality and brand of the service. The cheaper nail salons tend to pay their manicurists less, going as low as $1.50 per hour. The more expensive services are often rendered by licensed manicurists as well. Naturally, those who don’t have licenses or formal training tend to charge less.
Prices can also vary because of all the amenities and added services that come with the manicure or pedicure. Spas tend to offer more high quality and relaxing environments, allowing them to charge more for their services, whereas people who go to the average nail salon can expect bare quality service.
But if you’re looking for numbers, a spa manicure should set you back for a minimum of $25, which goes up depending on where you’re getting the service. Meanwhile, pedicures are rated at $45 and above. In many cases, such as those offered in resorts and hotels, pedicures can go up to $100.
What do You Get from Expensive Manicure and Pedicure Services?
Assuming that the establishment is not deliberately ripping you off, you can expect much better quality manicure and pedicure services. These would normally entail more steps and the use of more sophisticated products and equipment, such as:
- Salt rubs
- Hydrating masks
- Hot towel wraps
- Paraffin dips
- Hot stone massages
All these, and more, make the manicure and pedicure experience more luxurious and comforting. You’re pampered for a much longer period of time. Essentially, you’re paying for the added comfort while you’re getting your nails done.
You’re paying for the more luxurious atmosphere as well. Beautiful light fixtures that induce relaxation are there instead of the typical salon fluorescent lights. You’re also immersed in a quieter place where you can enjoy your manicure and pedicure in peace while laying back on a more comfortable chair. The experience is so special that it does justify the added cost.
Some spas even go to greater lengths to help you get better looking nails. These spas often offer to give you better shaped nails and let you choose from a wide variety of designs that could totally fit how you imagined your nails to look like. These manicurists are also trained professionals so you can bet that you won’t have problems communicating with them.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that the manicure and pedicure services at the spa should be your go-to for nail treatment or maintenance. What most people do is that they maintain or clean their nails at the typical salon or at home, but go to the spa to treat them every now and then. But in situations where you don’t seem to be satisfied with the local nail salons, then the spa is definitely the way to go because it’s easier to expect and even demand better services because you have to pay more.
Treating Yourself at Home
Speaking of getting a quality manicure and pedicure, it’s quite possible to give yourself one at home if you just know how. These could save you a lot of money and can be in many ways more fulfilling than your trip to the spa. Here’s what you should do:
Step #1: Soak. Make sure that your nails are all cleaned up and polish free. Take a basin and fill it up with warm water and add a bit of soap, ideally one that you like in terms of feel and scent. When ready, dip your feet and feel the warmth of the water. If the temperature is right, completely immerse your feet into the basin and let it stay there for about two to five minutes.
Step #2: Filing. Take out your feet and dry them with a clean towel. Take a foot file and start scrubbing your feet until they’re smooth. Make it a point to use files with coarser grains to remove the calluses. This shouldn’t be too difficult since the foot soak should have already softened your skin.
Step #3: Scrubbing. Get a foot scrub of your choice (i.e. your preferred scent, etc.) and start working on exfoliating your feet and hands. Make sure you have a basin of water ready to rinse your hands and feet with when you’re satisfied with the scrubbing. It helps to have glove-shaped scrubs, but you can pretty much do this with your bare hands. Just be thorough.
Step #4: Shape. Start cutting your nails. Get your favorite clippers and work and shape your nails to your satisfaction. Use an emery board to get that perfect shape. Make sure you get your nails just the way you like them before you move to the next step.
Step #5: Removing Cuticles. Apply a cuticle softener around your toenails and fingernails before starting. Use a cuticle pusher to carve the base of each nail until they perfectly match the shape of your nails.
Step #6: Polishing. This is the fun part. Once you’ve got the perfectly shaped nails, you can start polishing your nails and coloring them to your heart’s content. Be as artistic as you want with the colors touches - there are no rules to this!
Step #7: Conditioning. When you’re done and the nail polish finally dries, lather your hands and feet with lotion or some minty conditioner to leave them cool and refreshed. And you’re done!
One interesting tip is to go to a spa that you like and get your manicure and pedicure there at least once. Take note of the things that you like and find ways to add them to your home regimen as well. With a bit of investment and some wise purchases, you’ll be able to set yourself up to unlimited spa manicures and pedicures for life!
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What Is a Spa Treatment?
A spa treatment is pretty much any therapeutic or beauty service that a spa offers. The most common and well known spa treatment out there is the massage, but most spa enthusiasts will know that there is a wide variety of treatments that clients can get individually or as a package, all of which having their own respective health benefits.
Some of these other spa treatments include body treatments like scrubs and wraps as well as all manner of facials. There are also treatments for the hands and feet like the usual manicure and pedicure. Other spas, still, offer salon services like haircuts, styling, and even makeup. And of course, most spas offer special rates for a combination of two or more of these treatments for those who want to spend an entire day being pampered in a spa.
All these services are laid down in every spa’s menu, complete with brief descriptions and rates. The treatments of the same type are all grouped together along a variety of categories for your convenience. Below are some of the more common services you’ll see in a typical spa’s menu.
This is by far the most basic type of spa treatment there is. The massage, however, comes in many forms, each of which has their unique origins and styles. Two of the most popular massage types are the Swedish and deep tissue massages. The Swedish massage covers the entire body and uses firm strokes in order to loosen the tightened muscles. The deep tissue massage uses stronger pressure to help relief parts of the body that are feeling stress.
There’s also the aromatherapy massage, which is like the typical massage but focuses on letting the client derive relaxation from the fragrance of essential oils. There are different kinds of oils used for aromatherapy, and the guest usually gets to choose which one they want. Sometimes spas create their own special oil products.
Some massages include a hot stone treatment, where the therapist places warmed pieces of stone on the client’s body to help loosen the muscles. When applied properly, they can be incredibly soothing.
Massages are normally experienced alone, but spas offer rooms for couples so it can be a great idea for couple getaway as well.
You’d be surprised with how many types of massages there are. Beyond the basics, you’ll also hear about special kinds of massages that employ unique techniques such as the sports and Thai massages and are not always available everywhere.
For those who might be experiencing some pain or muscle injury, the sports massage could be worth a try. The massage was designed to help deal with strains and tensions caused by heavy physical activity, hence the name sports massage.
In contrast, there are massages that are meant to be gentle and careful as well. For instance, the prenatal massage is mean for expectant mothers. This is a special kind of massage that can only be administered by trained professionals using special equipment.
There are also a number of other custom massages that spas offer their clients, but the truth is that they’re usually a combination of different techniques that are meant to set them apart from the competition. If you have a specific purpose for getting a massage, the best way to get what you want is to consult both a doctor and a physical therapist to know which type of massage is best for you.
Perhaps the second most sought after spa treatment is the facial. As the name of the treatment suggests, it’s a skin care treatment focused on the face. Some of these treatments have anti-aging properties while others focus on deep cleaning the pores.
In spite of their variety, almost all kinds of facials cover the basic steps from cleansing to exfoliation. What really makes each one different is the kind of skin care product that’s used on the client to achieve the desired effect. Just like with essential oils, spas usually have their own line of facial products so that they can cater to different kinds of people who need the service.
The ideal facial service for you could be determined by a number of factors, including your skin type. Again, the best way to know which of these is right for you is to get the advice of the spa’s therapist.
There are also special kinds of facials that use special equipment, such as the gentle peel and even LED light therapy. Some of these can cost a little extra, but they are worth it since they tend to be more effective and are less invasive.
The face, however, isn’t the only skin that can be treated by the spa. In fact, it is a little known fact that spas focus on caring for the body as well. Just like the face, the rest of the body could greatly benefit from cleansing and exfoliation as well.
More importantly, many of these body treatments tend to be very relaxing to the body in spite of the rigorous cleansing process. Some treatments like the body scrub can help improve circulation all over the body as well, which in itself has tons of health benefits.
After any of these treatments, the client is usually allowed to shower to remove any of the oils and products that were used during the treatment, leaving only fresh and rejuvenated skin. These spas also offer their body treatment products for sale so people can perform these treatments within the comforts of their own homes.
Clearly, there’s so much that you can do at the spa that there’s at least something there for everyone. But if you want to make the most of your spa experience, don’t hesitate to mix and match the different spa treatments to give your body all the pampering it deserves. Not only do spa packages help you maximize your trip to the spa, but they also help you save on the total cost of the services as well.
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What is a Sugar Scrub?
If you’re into skin care, you’ve probably heard or even tried a scrub before. As the name suggests, it’s a treatment where an abrasive product is rubbed against the skin in order to massage and exfoliate it, leaving it clean, smooth, and fresh. This treatment is useful for getting rid of dead skin cells, flakes, and other impurities on the skin, making everything look brand new.
Scrubs are also used to relax the skin and prepare it for other skin regimen such as wraps and mud treatments or skin tanning. It also allows for easier absorption of substances used to promote a healthier skin.
However, most people think of salt when they hear the word scrub. But did you know that sugar can also be used as a scrub?
Aptly named the sugar scrub, it’s an exfoliating technique that’s essentially a gentler alternative to the more common salt scrub. Most spas didn’t use sugar scrubs back then since they preferred salt, thinking it would be the more effective treatment, being rougher and more aggressive. This thinking, however, completely forgot about the fact that the scrub would actually hurt at some point. Eventually, spas started considering sugar as a legitimate substitute for their salt scrub services.
As can be inferred, sugar scrubs tend to be easier on the skin while still able to remove the outermost layers of a person’s skin, resulting in a painless process of removing dead skin cells. This makes it the perfect solution for those who want to get a scrub but have very sensitive skin or feel like they get itchy or uncomfortable during with a salt scrub.
The other benefit of a sugar scrub is that it can hydrate your skin. The sugar is usually combined with oil and a couple of aromatic substances like rose geranium, grapefruit, or lavender. The scrubbed sugar is then rinsed off by showering. Once the skin is all dry, lotion will be applied, keeping the skin moisturized and smelling good.
What To Expect During a Sugar Scrub
The scrubbing is usually done in a wet room that has its own shower. The spa will have varying amenities and facilities, but you’ll usually be set on a table while being covered by a sheet or towel. In some cases, the table will be wet and you’ll have to wear some disposable underwear if you don’t want your own clothes to get soaked. This applies to both men and women.
You’re going to lie down on the surface on your stomach. The therapist will then start rubbing a mix of sugar, oil, and some aromatic essences on your skin, starting with your back and then moving to other parts of the body until you’re pretty much covered in the stuff. You’ll then turn over and have the same process done to your front. This whole process might feel a bit weird at first, but it’s nothing people can’t get used to over time. Just relax and learn to enjoy the treatment.
Tip: In case you have privacy issues, don’t hesitate to speak to the therapist about it. They’re usually trained to adjust to the special requests of the client.
Once you’re done, the therapist will leave your room to give you some privacy. You can then step into the shower in order to rinse off all the sugar. Don’t use any soap or shower gel as much as possible so that you don’t wash off the aroma that’s on your body. In some cases, your body will be rinsed off at the table using a hand shower so that you don’t have to bathe yourself, which can be a relaxing feeling in itself.
Combining Sugar Scrub with other Treatments
In most cases, the sugar scrub isn’t done on its own. It’s usually followed by a body wrap of mud or seaweed wrap. The exfoliation from the sugar scrub promotes better circulation and thus makes it better ready to benefit from the detoxing effect of the algae or seaweed.
Sugar scrubs are also great when followed up with a massage of your choice. The sugar scrub really stimulates your skin, allowing you to maximize the effects of the relaxing massage. In fact, this is a great way to end your spa session since you’ll be completely relaxed afterwards.
The truth is that you can pretty much combine the sugar scrub with any kind of spa service. Just make sure to get the sugar scrub first. This is because the sugar scrub is supposed to stimulate your skin. Meanwhile all the other kinds of treatments aim to relax your body, allowing you to end your session feeling a bit balanced out.
Tip: Ask your therapist if you can choose your preferred scent. Spas usually allow this.
DIY Sugar Scrub
Want to make your own sugar scrub solution? No problem. Here’s a good recipe you can start with:
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup oil (olive or coconut oil)
- Essential oil of your choice
Mix all the ingredients in an air-tight jar and you’re done. To use, just take out one teaspoon of the mixture and use it in the shower.
The sugar scrub is basically just sugar and oil. What makes mixtures different from each other is the choice of essential or aromatic oils. Pick the one that you find the most relaxing, may it be lavender, rose, mint, or more.
Another suggestion would be to add another ingredient to the mix such as pumpkin spices or vanilla. One interesting idea is to use lemon oil for a scrub that you can use after washing dishes.
Finally, don’t forget about brown sugar. It’s softer than the white counterpart, so it’s a good alternative if you’re going to make a scrub for your face or for sensitive parts of the body.
Sugar scrub is definitely the solution for smoother and healthier skin for those who don’t really like the salt variant. Whether you plan to get it from a spa or to make one for yourself at home, it’s definitely worth a try.
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