Best spas in the UK

Spa treatments are inspired by ancient traditions and combine different treatments that originate from all over the world. These days there are a variety of treatments available try anything from a regular massage to more New Age therapies like Shiatsu or Zero Balancing. The choice can be confusing. Do you want beauty treatments, well-being treatments or lifestyle therapies? Before you decide on which treatment you want why not take a look at our guide to spa treatments.

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One of the most popular beauty treatments available are facials. These are available in various forms but should result in a fresh, cleansed and moisturised finish. They work by exfoliating the dead skin and cleansing pores of blackheads. Facials should be a relaxing experience with a real element of pampering taking place in a relaxing setting.

Hair removal is another popular beauty treatment. People interested in removing hair from their upper lip, eyebrows, back, legs and almost anywhere you can find hair. To remove the hair you will normally have warm wax applied gently to the selected area on a piece of soft cotton, then after it cools, it is ripped off taking the unwanted hair with it. Alternatively, you may be given laser hair removal which should be a lot less painful.

Massage is probably the most familiar spa treatment. There are many different types from sport, deep tissue to more relaxing massages. Your spa may offer full body, cranial sacral or more specific massages for a troublesome area. The purpose should be to work the muscles of the body, release toxins and encourage relaxation as tension is relieved.

Ayurvedic Yoga Massage is a powerful, totally body therapy. You will be completing assisted stretches that open and realign the entire body. This is combined with breathing and stretching. The process progresses in intensity, moving deeper within the body.

A Balinese massage combines stretching with aromatherapy oils and acupressure stimulating blood flow, oxygen and 'qi' (energy). The massage combines a range of techniques including kneading, reflexology and skin rolling.

Sports Massage is aimed at the soft tissues of the body including muscles, ligaments and tendons. It is especially good if you have a specific sporting injury that you want attention on. Don't expect to relax too much these massages can be quite intense at times. If you take regular exercise then you should certainly consider one as they increase endurance and performance, minimising the chances of injury and reducing recovery time.

Deep tissue massage is quite similar to the sports massage but is more general and les targeted. Deep finger pressure is applied to loosen tight muscles and get into the deep connecting tissue surrounding bones, tendons, organs and nerves.

Hot stone massage therapy is a popular spa therapy. It involves placing smooth warmed stones on the body at key points to relax the muscles before the main massage begins.

Body treatments are an all over treatment where the body may be scrubbed with exfoliates like sea salt. You will probably be wrapped in warm towels that encourage the release of toxins, while being gently massaged throughout.

A spa manicure will include a hand massage, shaping of the nails and new paint. If you opt for a pedicure then it will include foot scrubs, wraps, and removal of calluses. Being wrapped in warm, hot towels after an exfoliation is a popular pedicure spa treatment. Every spa will have its own version with hot wax to soften hands and different types of exfoliation to condition your skin and nails.

Hydrotherapy spa treatments can be used for cleansing, relaxing, sporting and therapeutic. If you have an ailment you may be able to Injuries treat it with hydrotherapy by administering hot and cold alternately to injured areas. The treatment usually involves an exfoliation and skin scrub followed by a soak in the hot, massaging water. Why not try a steam room or Turkish bath? It will encourage the relaxation of pores so they can be cleansed more thoroughly.

Aromatherapy is an extremely popular treatment. Many spas offer different versions including bathing, massage and inhalation. The treatment involves the use of plant and essential oils with certain scents that trigger hormone releases in the brain resulting in a psychological treatment. Different oils are thought to act on the body indifferent ways, having a relaxing, energizing, calming or uplifting effect Massages, pedicures, hydrotherapy, and facials may all be offered with aromatherapy to encourage relaxation.