My travels have taken me to some of the best spas around the world. Every spa treatment is unique in its massage techniques and products that are used on the body and face. Surprisingly, even if you visit a spa that falls under the same corporate umbrella, the treatments and results felt by the body are completely different. The reason for this is the knowledge that the therapist has about the anatomy of the body. Individual understandings of the muscles, tension and stress release will invariably differ from therapist to therapist.
We all know that massages cause physiological changes to the body through the relaxation response. The nervous system’s response will vary dramatically, depending on massage techniques and touch methods. The physical effects are especially pronounced when pressure is applied to soft body tissue. For me, a massage is all about relaxation, which brings the heart rate down, decreases my stress hormones and causes my muscles to, well, relax. It is my way of spending some me-time.
I am very fussy when it comes to treatments. I prefer a clean, quiet spa with a relaxed ambience – one that makes my treatment a worthwhile “indulgence”, needless to say. I recently visited Camelot Spa at the Table Bay Hotel and tried their signature Hydra-Moisture Source Facial. My face was double cleansed and then exfoliated, while a steam apparatus gently heated my face. A creamy hydrating mask was applied and left to work its magic for about fifteen minutes. The mask was then washed off, mild toner was applied to clean out any debris and then an eye cream, moisturizer and sun block was applied. The products used were all by Thalgo, which is marine based and non- irritating to the skin. The results were amazing as my skin felt soft, hydrated and I could see an improvement in skin texture – very much a “worthwhile “indulgence”. This facial is suitable for all types of skin and I would definitely recommend it to everyone. All facial treatments are sixty minutes long and include facial steaming, scalp, neck and shoulder massage. (Book at www.camelotspa.co.za.)
Massage treatments should always be customized to suite your specific needs and pressure preference. This should lead to improved circulation and enhanced delivery of oxygen and nutrients to muscle cells, as well as the removal of waste products and the reduction of swelling in soft tissues. Touching the skin or applying pressure relaxes muscles, tendons and ligaments.
I recently visited Relax Spa at Breakwater Lodge and tried their signature aromatherapy body massage, which incorporated the use of healing therapeutic strokes. The therapist used natural oils during the massage, which left my body feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. (Book a treatment at www.relaxspas.co.za for a complete calming and soothing massage.)
There are so many benefits of body treatments and while we all need time off and a day to relax, a massage or a facial is one of the best ways to decrease the physical effects of stress, anxiety, insomnia and fatigue. Book one of these treatments and feel the physical and emotional benefits.