Tis the season to be stressed out with all the hustle and bustle and cramming in of last minute work, not to mention the season’s shopping and hosting of holiday parties. It’s also that time of the year where we all start thinking about starting New Year’s resolutions—we say to ourselves we’re going to eat better, exercise more, and just take better care of our health and well-being. What better way to kick off this resolution than with a trip to the spa?
Studies have found spa days to be the number one thing on the top of a mom’s gift wish list. It says, “I know you’re stressed and in need of some down time.” It’s much more personal than flowers or jewelry. So start dropping hints! Or set aside time to give yourself a present.
Did you know spas are not just massages and facials anymore? I had no idea till we started working with SpaFinder Wellness. You are probably familiar with spa treatments like aromatherapy and hydrotherapy, but today’s spa treatments include fitness, alternative medicine, nutrition, meditation, and unexpected treatments using music and flower essences.
There’s a growing body of medical evidence supporting the health benefits of spa treatments to help with everything from insomnia, depression, pain relief, allergies, hypertension, and headaches/migraines.
These treatments can do many beneficial things by:
• Triggering the release of pain-altering endorphins
• Releasing healing chemicals and hormones
• Enhancing immunity
• Detoxifying the blood
• Reducing inflammation
• Boosting the body’s circulation
• Improving mood
You just need to figure out the correct spa and treatment for you. Do you want a smaller, more private experience or a more public experience? And what kind of treatment? I’ve personally had Swedish, Shiatsu, and Reiki massages, as well as acupuncture, hot stones, and hydrotherapy. My favorite by far is a combination of acupuncture and Shiatsu. I’ve walked into a spa not able to bend down and tie my shoes and walked out cured.
Things to you need to know:
• Be punctual. It’s important to show up on time so you’re not rushed and are still able to take advantage of the lounge areas before your treatment. They are geared to start you on your way to relaxation. Spas run on tight timetables and generally can’t extend your time to make up for your lateness.
• Male or female therapist? If who is touching you is important, you need to let the spa know.
• Hard or soft? What style of therapy? You need to communicate the style when you make a booking or risk being disappointed in the treatment.
• Do you have to get nude? You can keep your underwear on. Whew! Or you can strip down to your birthday suit. It’s all up to you. The therapists are skilled on being modest. And if you’re shaving, do that plenty in advance of the treatment to avoid irritation.
• Don’t eat for at least an hour before the massage. I knew about drinking lots of water before and after, but had no idea you should not eat before a massage as well. (Eating a heavy meal may present difficult digestion issues during a massage, not exactly a recipe for relaxation. On the other hand, being hungry may also make it difficult to relax. Eating a light meal 60-90 minutes before your treatment will be the best option.)
• You can pay by credit card, but tipping is cash. Don’t show up without some cash. Putting the tip on a credit card is frowned upon. And the tip should be somewhere be 15 and 20 percent based on your satisfaction with your treatment.
To take the stress out of finding a spa, just call the spa and give them the run down of what you’re looking for. SpaFinder Wellness even has a free mobile app that puts over 5,000 spas in the palm of your hand including treatments, directions, reviews, and deals/last-minute special offers.