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  Category: Articles » Health & Fitness » Article

Spa treatments are more than just a luxury

By Martin McAllister

In the last few decades, the concept of a spa treatment has undergone a widespread revolution, both in America and the rest of the world. While spas were once seen as the domain of only the rich and famous, today a variety of people see attending a day spa or a spa holiday as a wonderfully relaxing and rewarding way to spend their time and money. Moreover, spa breaks have become less of a female-only domain, with more men now indulging in the luxury that spa treatments provide.

Traditionally, the name "spa" comes from the town of Spa in Belgium, which is famous for its hot thermal baths (balneotherapy) and mineral water treatments (hydrotherapy). While spa towns have historically been concentrated in Europe, hot springs in the USA have acquired similar importance for spa treatments, as their high mineral content is especially suitable for hydrotherapy. Modern day spas, however, incorporate a wide range of body treatments, including a wide variety of facials, massages, body wraps, aromatherapy and even yoga or meditation classes.

Spa massages are a common treatment enjoyed by people visiting day spas or on spa holidays. Spa massages rely on more than the simple practice of applying pressure to the body's muscles and tissues. Instead, these types of massages are much more complex in character, with visitors to spas being able to choose from a wide-ranging list of massages that offer different benefits. The treatment of Myofascial Release, for example, involves the freeing of fascial muscles, while neuromuscular therapy is used for pain relief and specific problems with structural and postural imbalances. Spa massages can also incorporate a wide range of national massage techniques: for instance, petrissage is an important form of the Swedish massage technique, while 'Lomilomi' is an ancient form of massage based on traditional methods employed by Hawaiian healing specialists.

Spa treatments are as much a beneficial activity for medical and healing reasons as they are for fun and indulging in a bit of relaxation. Of late, spa locations and spa hotels have become venues for spa parties or spa dates and also offer a sophisticated way to spend a bachelorette or 'hen' party for brides-to-be. Many spas even offer a "Couple's Treatment", so that a couple can indulge in the fantastic releases of spa treatments together. Moreover, spa gift certificates are becoming popular; so if you haven't indulged in a spa treatment yet, what are you waiting for? The benefits - both physically and emotionally - could be endless.
About the Author
Of late, spa locations and spa hotels have become venues for spa parties or spa dates and also offer a sophisticated way to spend a bachelorette or 'hen' party for brides-to-be.
Martin McAllister is an online freelance journalist. He lives in Scotland.

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