PHUKET: Beauty and relaxation therapies such as massage, facial, and body wraps remain popular spa treatments for those who want to relax their mind and body, and melt away the stress of a busy work schedule.
Spa treatments have a huge range of benefits, which include: increased relaxation, reduced stress, relief from headaches, relief from muscle tension (including facial muscles), improved skin quality, anti-aging effects and ridding the body of toxic chemicals from cosmetics.
Most spas consist of a massage component, often including a body, foot or face massage, and a beauty component, which is all about facial and body treatments such as body wraps, salt scrubs and so on.
Body scrubs are a great way to keep your skin healthy and beautiful through exfoliation. Most scrub treatments have three main ingredients – an exfoliant, an oil and a fragrant.
Exfoliation materials can include salt, sugar, rice bran, jojoba beads, apricot kernels or coffee grounds – in short, just about anything that can rub away dead skin cells and expose a fresh layer of smooth skin.
Ideally, high quality essential oils are used to generate a pleasant fragrance. There are an enormous number of synthetic oils on the market, but true aromatherapy uses only the best pure plant extracts. If you are going to use a spa service, make sure the they use a pure therapeutic grade essential oil.
A body wrap is another common treatments undertaken when you go to a spa. During the process, people are slathered with algae, seaweed, mud, clay, lotion or cream before being covered in a plastic wrap, which is tightly wrapped around the body and left on for about 20-30 minutes. This kind of treatment helps rid the body of toxins and helps to soften the skin.
Massage is another vital component of a relaxing spa treatment and there is nothing quite like a foot massage to help you shed your stress. Foot massage is to Thailand like eating sushi to Japan – part of people regular routine and an integral element of the country’s culture.
Massage techniques in the Land of Smiles are influenced by the traditional medicine systems from all over Asia, but with a particularly strong influence coming from India and China.
The goal of massage is to stimulate your muscles, improve circulation, lessen stiffness and strain and eliminate pain. A basic foot massage consists of 21 steps and focuses on putting pressure on specific points of your feet. Some of it you can do at home. Start with putting massage oil or foot cream on your feet and legs. Next, hold the bottom of the foot with both hands. Start rubbing the top of the foot, slowly working your way down to the sole of the foot. Apply more pressure as you get closer to the sole. Reverse slowly towards the top, reducing pressure as you go. In the next step, rub the heel of the foot, use your thumbs to make small circles with medium to heavy pressure. Massage around the entire heel. Do it again on the ball of the foot.
Next, use your thumbs to push up and down the heel. Finally, use both of your hands to rub in circular motion around the heel bone on both sides, and softly rub your fingers over the top of the bone. After that make fists and use your knuckles to push to the arch. Roll your hand back and forth to massage the skin gently.
Or just grab 200-300 baht and let the nearby foot massage parlor do it for you! Properly performed, a foot massage can relieve diarrhea, headache, asthma and stress. It’s surely worth the price and the perfect way to treat yourself after a long week at work. This article first appeared in the August 24-30 issue of the hard-copy of the
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