10 Spa Treatments You'll Love!

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Have you ever wanted to indulge yourself in a trip to a spa, but were confused about what services to enjoy? Many people find the myriad treatments available to be daunting at the least. Massage, manicures, body wraps and more--which one should you choose?

Fear not! Check out this list of the most luxurious spa procedures, designed to leave you feeling refreshed, your body detoxified, and your muscles relaxed.

Manicures and Pedicures
A spa manicure and pedicure are definitely more luxurious than visiting your local nail salon and you'll pay a little more for the decadent treatment you'll receive. A manicure in a salon is a quick soak, buff and some nail paint. At the spa your feet and hands will receive star treatment with a series of soaks, dips, massages and oils to make your skin softer than a baby's.

First, you can expect your hands and feet to be soaked in a soothing concoction that will soften your feet and give other benefits. Expect to be pampered with a nice soak in such solutions as milk and honey, or salt from the Dead Sea. At this time, your skin might be exfoliated with a sugar or sea salt scrub, helping to remove dead skin and increase circulation.

A paraffin dip consists of melted mineral wax that softens skin while the soothing heat helps to alleviate joint pain and stiffness. The wax can be scented with aromatherapy oils to give an added therapeutic boost. The warm wax is applied to the skin then usually covered with hot mitts or booties to seal in the warmth. After the wax cools and hardens, the mitts or booties are removed, as is the wax.

After the soaks and dips you can expect your hands and feet to be massaged and rubbed with special oils or creams to invigorate and soften. Finally, your nails will be trimmed, buffed and expertly polished to your liking.

Massages
Massage has expanded from the typical rubbing and manipulating of muscles to a total well-body experience that incorporates different methods of relaxation such as aromatherapy. There are many different forms and styles of massage, some with origins that are many centuries old. Deep Tissue massage is the one most people think of, which addresses the stiff, tight muscles deep under your skin. Others include:

Reflexology. The ancient Chinese used this type massage for thousands of years, believing that pressure points in the foot control body functions and relaxation. Your feet will be cleansed and exfoliated then massaged to stimulate the energy flow within your body.

Hot Stone Massage. Stone massage is a unique, indulgent type of massage that utilizes aromatherapy, deep heat and massage to soothe and relax your body. Basalt stones are heated in water then applied to different parts of your body. The stones give the area deep, healing heat while the rest of your body is massaged. If you're experiencing inflammation or injury, sometimes smaller, marble-sized frozen stones are added to the treatment to help soothe injured areas.

Shiatsu. This form of Asian/Japanese massage works by stimulating pressure points along the different energy meridians of the body. These points are called tsubos, and it's believed that unblocking these painful pressure points will free the energy that's penned up in your body. If you don't like the idea of being unclothed yet want a meaningful massage that stimulates your muscles, this is the type for you!

Facials
Sure, you can wash and treat your face at home, but there is no way to duplicate the relaxation you get from having a spa facial done. This treatment is designed to make your skin radiant and youthful again, all while pampering you with the utmost care. Many spas offer beds designed to cradle you in blissful comfort during your facial. Your skin will be analyzed, cleansed and exfoliated. If you have problems with blackheads, they will be extracted. You'll also receive a heavenly facial massage, mask and moisturizers. Some of the most lavish facials include caviar and pearl extract.

Body Wraps
Body wraps are a decadent way to detoxify your body, soften skin and soothe your soul. The body is first cleansed with a body scrub of sugar or sea salt to exfoliate and moisturize skin and stimulate blood circulation. Then a mask of detoxifying substances such as seaweed, mineral-rich mud, clay or lotion is applied to the body. Then you'll be wrapped in plastic or warm towels for 20 minutes while the mask works its magic. Afterwards you'll be rinsed clean, leaving you feeling refreshed.

Body Scrubs
This is a luxurious way to detoxify and stimulate your body. Exotic oils, salt from the Dead Sea, sugar or cleansing mud concoctions are applied to your skin from head to toe. The various treatments will exfoliate dead skin, help to stimulate blood flow and leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Team this treatment with a deep tissue massage or use before air brush tanning to maximize your spa experience.

Bath Treatments
Many of the larger spas now offer hydrotherapy tub treatments. Whether you want to soak with your spouse or take a long, relaxing solo bath, this treatment rejuvenates body and soul. The bath usually offers jets to massage you with water and special lighting to help you unwind. A variety of essential oils including tangerine, lavender, rosemary and pine, as well as sea salt or seaweed, will relax, detoxify and renew your body.

Electrolysis
Are you sick of shaving and waxing unwanted hair? Indulging in a session of electrolysis could rid you of unwanted hair for eternity. Electrolysis is a way to permanently remove unwanted hair. Low electrical currents are delivered to the base of the hair follicle, destroying the hair's reproductive system. Some spas offer electrolysis treatments starting at 15 minutes in length. How long of a session you'll need depends on the thickness of hair and the amount to be removed.

Air Brush Tanning
With the rise of skin cancer statistics and awareness of this deadly disease comes the invention of sunless tanning. Chemicals are sprayed or 'air brushed' onto your skin, where the chemicals react with the amino acids of your skin. This 15-20 minute session will leave you golden brown without the streaky mess and orange palms resulting from bronzing creams or other topical solutions. Your tan will last 7-10 days typically, and will need a touch up once a week to keep your tan looking fresh and golden.

Rejuvenation Treatments
A lot of the bigger spas are now including decadent treatments to remove wrinkles, fine lines, cellulite and give your skin a youthful glow you haven't experienced since childhood. Now you too can enjoy services that were once only utilized by the very rich.

Botox: When done by a trained professional, these injections are safe and effective to help erase wrinkles and fine lines. Expect to see results in 4 days after the treatment and lasting for 6-9 months afterwards.

Laser Treatments: Laser treatments safely remove the results of sun damage, wrinkles, fine lines and other blemishes. You can also have rosacea, acne scars, unwanted hair, and varicose veins removed.

Go for the Day Spa
This is the ultimate spa luxury! Most spas offer a full-day package, which are popular gifts for Valentine's Day and Christmas. A day spa package will provide hours of pampering, including a minimum of manicure, pedicure, massage and facial treatments. Deluxe packages may include a body wrap and bath treatment as well. Lunch is provided, allowing you to immerse yourself in complete relaxation all day long.

Give Someone a Luxurious Gift
A spa day is a luxurious gift you can give to pamper someone special. A trip to the spa is a perfect idea for a bride-to-be, pregnant sister or special friend that needs to spend a little time relaxing. However, with all of the choices available for treatments, you might find it to be a confusing gift. Consider instead giving a gift certificate to your favorite spa and allowing the happy recipient to pick their decadent favorite.

Some packages include the tip, so ask before ordering a gift certificate. However, if you want to make sure the tip is covered, you can include cash in the amount of 10-20% above the certificate price. Don't worry if your certificate doesn't equal a spa package--the balance can be used toward spa sale items such as nail polish, aromatherapy scents or makeup. Of course, they may save the balance to put toward another spa visit at a later date.

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