Planning a relaxing Spa break in Britain?
By Martin McAllister
In today's fast-paced and often hectic modern world, relaxation is the key to maintaining not only an active and healthy body, but also a fresh and alert mind. Historically people have chosen to relax in a variety of ways, whether it's by playing golf, visiting a beautician or even indulging in a bit of retail therapy. However, a new trend has been emerging among both men and women over the last decade – that is to chill out by paying a visit to a spa.
Taking a short break at a spa hotel or a popular spa destination can prove to be one of the most rewarding ways in which to escape the hurly burly of everyday life, particularly if you live or work in a fast-paced environment. The idea of the "spa" takes its name from the Belgian town of Spa, which is famous for its hot thermal baths and mineral water treatments - known respectively as balneotherapy and hydrotherapy. A typical spa service can include facials, massages and waxing, as well as body treatments (such as body wraps and aromatherapy) and skin exfoliation treatments, such as chemical peels and micro-dermabrasion.
While the medical value of spas and similar hydrotherapy clinics has been scientifically proven and are more than just attractive destinations for tourists, they are also considered excellent centres of rehabilitation; whether its from long-term medical conditions or substance abuse. Some of the most popular treatments to aid relaxation and rehabilitation in spas involve applying pressure to muscles and tissues in the body, using Swedish massage techniques, or the principles of Chinese acupressure.
"Zone therapy" is another popular form of spa treatment and involves the stimulation of points on the feet and hands - a treatment which is believed to offer benefit to other parts of the body. Techniques such as this, coupled with modern methods of aromatherapy have proven themselves to be crucial in maintaining the success of day spas and luxury spa hotels alike. In fact, one of the main attractions of spas is that people can choose to indulge themselves in a treatment even if they can't afford to take a whole weekend break. Alternatively, those wishing to indulge in longer spa breaks can opt to spend an entire weekend relaxing at a spa getaway.
Britain is home to several exciting spa locations. In England, many excellent spas can be found in cities such as Chester, Stratford-upon-Avon and in the Cotswolds. In Scotland, there are fantastic spa locations to be found in Edinburgh and Dundee, while Ireland and Wales are also catered for, with Belfast and Cardiff offering top-quality spa hotels. So if you're looking for a place to take a short spa break, you're sure to have plenty of options to choose from which are close to home.
About the Author
Martin Mcallister is a freelance online journalist. He now lives in Edinburgh and enjoys travelling.
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