Sometimes you’ve just got to pamper yourself. But how do you choose which spa treatment to try? And what should you expect from your first trip to the spa?
Types of Massage
This form of massage involves not only pressure but also stretching. Your masseuse will use hands, elbows, knees, and even feet to work on your muscles.
You’re probably most familiar with Swedish massage, a technique that involves long, slow strokes and firm pressure.
Hot Stone Massage
In this spa treatment, smooth stones are heated in water and then placed at key points on your body. The heat and pressure can be very relaxing.
Deep Tissue Massage
This type of massage is best for those of us with specific areas of tension, such as the shoulders or lower back. Deep tissue massage is more intense than Swedish massage and focuses on problem areas.
Many spas incorporate aromatherapy into their treatments. Massage therapists might use an essential oil diffuser or apply oils directly to your skin. Soaks and scrubs also frequently use essential oils to relax (lavender) or energize (citrus) or anything in between.
Don’t be afraid to speak up if you prefer a particular essential oil–or if you don’t like the one that they’re using.
Facial Spa Treatments
Facials come in countless varieties, from a basic cleanse and massage to the “vampire” facial touted by Kim Kardashian. The essential elements of a facial are the same for most treatments:
1. Cleanse the skin to remove makeup, dirt, oil, and other gunk
2. Exfoliate to remove dead skin
3. Extract any minor blemishes, such as blackheads
4. Massage the face
5. Apply a mask to refresh the skin and leave you feeling like a million bucks
Body Scrubs & Wraps
Getting a full-body spa treatment is a luxury–but you should treat yourself at least once. Scrubs exfoliate your skin, usually with salt or sugar combined with oils and botanicals. You can even get a coffee scrub at some spas!
Afterward, you’ll need to rinse off and moisturize. Many spas offer a scrub and wrap package so that your freshly exfoliated skin can get the maximum benefit. Seaweed wraps are common, as are mud and clay.
Before Your Appointment
If this is your first trip to the spa, be sure to talk to the employees so they know your concerns ahead of time. You should also let them know about any allergies since many spa treatments contain natural ingredients that could trigger a reaction.
Above all, try to relax and enjoy the experience without feeling self-conscious. You only need to bare as much skin as you want, and the spa employees are professionals who’ve seen literally everything before. If you’re ever uncomfortable, ask to take a break or stop entirely. You’re the boss, and this is your day to be pampered exactly how you want!