The mere thought of popping into a spa or salon for a treatment is enough to send elated shivers down any aching spine. Planning a visit? Here’s a checklist to ensure you bliss out to the best of your abilities, writes Emma-Charlotte Bangay.
Visiting a salon for a facial or day spa for a treatment is a personal experience. To ensure you get the right fit for you, here is your checklist to better bliss.
If You Want To: Completely Bliss Out
“The best spa treatments are holistic,” explains Christine Snow, Education and Regulatory Manager for Spa Universe. “They work from the outside in (touch) and the inside out (emotion)." So, even if the massage is magnificent, if the sensory surrounds aren't aligned, your visit won't be a positive one. “Scent especially is incredibly emotive," notes Christine. "A certain fragrance can immediately conjure up memories of our childhood, a friend or an event."
A scent that you love. A good spa has an array on offer to suit, but avoid artificial fragrances as these do not have the same benefits as essential oils, says Christine.
If You Want to: Reconnect With Nature
“There is definitely more of a focus on earthing in spas, which is tackling this generation’s nature deficiency and welcoming the earth back into our lives,” explains Melinda Dunn, Spa Manager at The Byron at Byron Resort. “Earthing is all about reconnecting with nature, which has definite spiritual and physical benefits."
An outdoor massage or facial if your spa location accommodates. Usually if it does, the spa manager will make concessions to get you into the great outdoors. If not, choose one that does!
If You Want To: Take It All In
Not all spa experiences are about falling into a deep slumber. If you are the kind of person who likes to keep awake and alert during a foot rub or back massage, ensure that your spa is visually relaxing for you. Even though it sounds superficial, choosing a spa you like the aesthetic of, is very important. “The association of colour varies from person to person and between cultures and sets the tone for your experience,” emphasises Co-Founder of Aum Organics, Julian Markin.
• Red, violet, purple if you want to feel invigorated and energised
• Yellow, orange, pink, blue, green if you need calm and cool
If You Want To: Tune In Whilst You Chill Out
Music is a precious tool as it helps relax the mind, and this is something the best spas know only too well. Music should be played at low volume and in timing with the treatment, explains Christine. “When in perfect harmony with the treatment procedures, this music accompanies the different phases, highlighting the rituals, rhythms and gestures. The olfactory journey is echoed by a musical voyage,” she says.
Christine encourages asking for the type of music you want, in order to facilitate your wellbeing and emphasis the perception of a personalised treatment. “We are more at ease when the sounds that we hear are those that we want to hear.”
If You Want To: Extend Your Spa Experience
Book A Holistic Holiday: “I would say that in the last decade the biggest development has been integration,” notes Melinda. Rather than making it an annual stopover, people are building their getaways around a core wellness escape. “The spa and retreat experience has become considerably more normalised and is now a base for people’s holidays, rather than a ‘health or weight loss camp’ as once thought of by most of the population.”
The best spa retreats from your travel agent that accommodate families, singles or whoever you are travelling with. Ensure some spa experiences are bundled into the cost, and commit to booking at least three treatments before you even hit the tarmac, so that you are guaranteed respite even when a brilliant book or awesome tourist attraction beckons!