As an organic day spa owner for more than 12 years, I have found several key services that I believe are as beneficial as your daily gym routine, run or tennis game.
Here is a quick list of my top five alternative spa services. Note that these treatments are not in the main stream of popularity, but I believe each one is a must try!
1. Wraps. This is a very common spa service within the industry, yet one of the least chosen. I chose this as my first pick because I think it is one of the most important spa services available for long term health and wellbeing. Things to know before you go: Make sure that your spa of choice provides a minimum 50 minute spa wrap service. This means that you and your spa technician will be in the treatment room together the entire time. You should not be left in a mummified version of yourself at anytime, period. Water and or a detoxifying beverage of choice should be offered to you via straw several times throughout the service. You should have had a nice application of the product to your skin prior to being wrapped, and your wrap should be warm, not hot or cool. Your eyes should be covered and your spa technician should work on your face, neck, head and feet throughout the service. Body wraps are extremely relaxing, but they also help with digestion, lymphatic drainage and can seriously revamp your REM sleep.
2. Hot and cold plunges. Not all spas can offer this service but many can even without the hot tub, hot baths and or cold plunges. A simple steam room service and cold shower can provide the same benefits at your gym. Since we are speaking spa, I recommend a warm salt or sulfur bath or mud bath followed by a cold wrap and or cold shower. Again this is rejuvenating to the lymph system and highly effective in good skin care and muscle repair after a hard work out and or just a day sitting at the desk.
3. Pedicure. It’s simply not just for beauty: a good pedicure is important to your overall health. Let’s just keep it real, these babies are going to keep you up right for the rest of your life! A good pedicure technician will have clean sterile tools, preferably in a sealed package that she opens in front of you. She will also have fundamental knowledge of the honeycomb structure that is the base of the foot and know how to properly and thoroughly massage this area. She will also push – not cut – your cuticles back and she will provide you with a highly detailed calf and shin pressure point massage. Never be afraid to ask, a 2-minute once over is not o.k. so if you need to ask for a 50 minute service and pay for it, do it. This is the literally roots in which you will nurture and grow on, look into Asian cultures and you will be amazed at the reverence and care in which the feet are awarded.
4. Steam Extractions. This is strictly in regards to extracting white heads, black heads and melia on the face. This is a very old technique but it is one of the best methods of cleaning out old sebum and rancid oil build up in the skin. Your skin technician should consult with you in detail prior to your service. They should ask about your diet, skin care routine and the products you use, as these all have significant effect on what type of extractions and tools the technician will use. She should also make sure to inquire about the allergies and time you want spent on the extractions themselves. I personally choose 80 minute facials with 20 to 30 minute steam extractions. A steam extraction consists of open vapor being used over the skin while the technician is extracting and or clearing out debris. Typically this is not done, and extractions are done after vapor and before a mask. Ask your spa and be clear of your request. Tools should be clean and sealed and medical-grade blood lancet needles should be used to extract melia. Steam extractions are one of the least intrusive and painless ways to clean and hydrate your skin and a minimum once a month recommendation for your health care regime. Remember: the skin is the largest organ in the body!
5. Back facial/Bikini Facial. These sound very different, but I have placed them together as the protocols are almost the same. Men tend to get ingrown hairs on the back and women in the bikini region. A good technician will be able to release and cleanse these from these areas almost painlessly. Over time with regular sessions your hair will grow in a more efficient arc leaving these painless problems behind. Your technician will also remove dead skin build up, exfoliate and help clear up your skin with tools and products you do not have at home.