Browsing: Spa and Wellness

Day Spa – All About Esthetic Salons

Beautiful skin, shiny hair, and a youthful glow clearly gains anyone's self esteem. Esthetic Salons offer services that slow down aging and maintain the healthiness of your skin. It promises to replace lost vigor due to everyday stress and it reverses the effects of harmful environmental factors.

These salons address a variety of skin concerns by providing specialized treatments such as:

1) Haircuts and Professional Hairstyling

Haircuts and Professional Hairstyling – Do you feel so ten minutes ago? Maybe it is time that you browse through the latest hairstyles and find something that suits your personality most. Whether you want to go short for the cute and sassy look or stay long and sophisticated, if you want your hair professionally done, then use this service. Just make sure that you clearly describe the look that you want to achieve. Usually prices for this service are about $ 40.

2) Hair Coloring and Tinting Services

Hair coloring and tinting services are available as well. Explore a more dading color or enjoy sun-kissed highlights. Prices for this kind of treatment start at $ 50.

3) Facial Peeling

Facial Peeling – This clears cellular-build ups thereby getting rid of blackheads and acne. This makes the skin less prone to environmental damage and leaves the skin clear and glowing. Usually prices for this kind of treatment starts at $ 30.

4) Facials

Facials – Restoring your skin's healthy glow and getting it back to the beauty that it was easy with regular facials. Facials are safe and can be used to maintain healthy skin. They deep cleanse the pores and provide treatments that suit your skin best. These are not limited to the face because it can be done to the body and back as well. These are called body scrubs. Usually prices for this kind of treatment start at $ 50.

5) Waxing

Facial and Body Waxing gets rid of unwanted hair with a thin layer of hot wax. This removes the wax along with the hair and dead skin cells, leaving the skin smooth. If waxing is done regularly for several years, permanent hair reduction may be achieved. Usually prices for this kind of treatment start at $ 20.

6) Manicure

Manicure- Indulge in a manicure that eases away everyday stress, strain and damage to your hands and nails. Have your nails shaped to your preference. Choose from different palettes of nail polish, may be that sexy red or chic French manicure. Some salons offer rejuvenating hand spas. Soak your tired hands in luxurious herbal oils, scrubs, and lotions. Manicure services are often priced around $ 25.

7) Pedicure

Pedicure- dirty toenails are definitely turn-offs. Keep them looking clean and groomed by having a pedicure. Paint your toensails with your preferred color. It is about time that you reward your feet by having them pampered with an assortment of natural cleansers, scrubs, and lotions. Some salons offer wonderfully relaxing foot massages along with nail grooming. A massage stimulates circulation, and revitalizes tired feet.

8) Eye Treatments

Eye treatments- are those sleepless nights taking a toll on you? The areas that surround your eyes are the most vulnerable to premature aging. Some esthetic salons provide treatments that smoothes fine lines, helps relieve puffiness and eliminates dark circles. Capture other eyes through this treatment. The cost for this treatment is about $ 35.00.

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History and Origin of Day Spa – Where it Came From and Why?

The term spa comes from a town in Belgium called Spa. During medieval times, iron deficiencies were cured by drinking iron bearing or chalybeate spring water. The mineral springs in Spa, Belgium was famous for the origin of the term “spa”. From then on, the word spa was considered as any place that has a mineral or medicinal spring.

“Spa” is also from the word that means “soda fountain” in Eastern New England. Maybe because it was an insinuation to the “mineral” or carbonated water that is the main ingredient of numerous soda fountain drinks.

It is also thought to mean “fountain” in the Walloon language, or “to sprinkle, moisten, or scatter” in the Latin language. It has also been said that the term spa is from the acronym “Sanitas Per Aquam” or “Salus Per Aquam” that means health through water.

From then on, spas were known as resorts or institutions that had therapeutic baths. It is now regarded as a resort that has many mineral springs, a health institution, a fashionable resort or hotel, and / or a relaxation or invigoration tub that typically includes a device that raises or makes whirlpools in the water.

Catherine Atzen coined the term “day spa” in the year 1980. It was done upon her arrival in France from the United States. However, some say that Burke Williams of San Francisco, claimed to have covered the term. In 2007, it was said that a Day Spa Consortium was made in order to design the person who really deserved to rule this contentious item.

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All About Day Spa

Day spas provide customers a safe, nurturing, caring, serene, and clean atmosphere. They offer services that benefit anyone. Facials, massages, treatment rooms, you name it! The only difference of a Day Spa from other spas is that they work on a daily basis. People usually go there to avail and complete a service in 1 session.

That is why it is termed as a day spa because it only caters to services on a daily basis unlike other kinds of spas. In contrast to this statement, destination spas offer similar services but they are done in a hotel or in hotel like settings where people stay for one or more days. Here, they are accommodated for treatments that can be done overnight.

Typical services offered by Day Spas are: a facial which includes facial cleansing done with different kinds of products, massages which people get for relaxation and therapeutic services, waxing which removes undesired body hair using a thin layer of hot wax, body treatments that include body wraps, aromatherapy, and body scrubs which remove dead skin cells, and skin exfoliation treatments that included microdermabrasion and chemical peels which remove dead skin cells and hydrate the skin as well.

Medical Spas, also called med spas, are a type of day spa that does medical and aesthetic procedures with the supervision of a licensed health care professional, usually a medical doctor. They offer treatments that are not offered in usual health spas. These treatments can only be performed under the supervision and administration of licensed medical practitioners.

The treatments performed are dependent on the scope of practice of the licensed medical practitioner. They include laser and intense pulse light procedures that removes undesired body hair through the use of xenon light treatments, medical microdermabrasions, photofacials, botox and restylane injections, and medical peels.

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How Does Day Spa Operate – Regulations Involved

Day Spas are institutions where people come to visit for beauty and therapeutic services that can be done in one session. Typically, these services are offered only on a daily basis. Overnight accommodations are not available. Day spas offer treatments such as facial, body treatments, aesthetic treatments, and therapeutic treatments.

Day spas are frequented by people that are termed as Spa Patrons. These spa patrons often visit the spa for treatments and the like.

However, even those who seldom visit the spa are also called Spa Patrons. It does not matter just as long as they use the services given by that certain spa.

Spas offer a new trend similar to what gymnasiums and body building centers offer its customers nowdays: Membership. Members of the spa are also called Spa Patrons. However, if they frequent the spa every so often, use their services, and purchase their products, they may be termed as very important persons (VIPs).

They are also able to enjoy free services and programs offered by the institution.

There are different criteria, each varying from one facility to the next, on who can be accommodated at day spas or spas in general.

Pregnant women, elderly people, people suffering from diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure, and people using prescription medications should consult their doctors before using the spa and its facilities.

Individuals who are under the influence of drugs and alcohol will not be given privileges to use the spa and its facilities.

Persons are prohibited from using the spa alone or without proper oversight and company.

People are advised and mandated not to spend more than 15 minutes at any one session in the spa. This is especially suitable to thermal treatments such as saunas and the like.

Children that are under 16 years of age should be accompanied by an adult or someone 16 years of age or older. This may be an exception if a lifeguard is present during swimming activities.

Every spa has a user capacity that should not be exempted to guarantee great service of its personnel and the facilities they shall utilize.

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How to Select a Day Spa

There is nothing more relaxing than going to a spa to soak away the stress and soothe those aching muscles. Selecting a day spa is the key to making the most of this experience. The choice you make should benefit you not only for a short while but in the long run as well. Know what the spa's primary purpose is so that you will find out if it can help you out with your needs.

It is imperative for any spa patron to choose the day spa that is compatible with his or her taste. It is not enough that the service they wanted is available.

Seek out a day spa if you want to pamper, refresh, rejuvenate, nurture, and recharge your mind, body, and spirit. It may seem to be easy to choose the spa that is best for you. Everything out there offers the same pampering experience so why not just pick one and get on with it, right? Wrong. The variety of spas offering more services are available anywhere, anytime, yes. But that is just one good reason to be more cautious about selecting a spa.

The service they offer may sound way too enticing: from scalp treatment to hydrotherapy baths, the choices are endless. Selecting a spa can be more confusing than you think.

It is not only women who are looking forward to a day of pampering in the spa but men as well. Men are now experiencing the relaxing atmosphere of spas and returning. Athletes, or people with active lifestyles, most likely use the massage services that the spa provides. However, those who spend a lot of time outdoors also get facial treatments and products that can protect their skin from damage.

1) Licensed Professionals
It is important to check the basics upon selecting a spa. There are more important things to look for in addition to the services that you wanted to use. According to the Day Spa Association, the spa should be licensed and should employ licensed therapists and aestheticians. They should feature spa products that are professional. The therapist and aestheticians should have received training in administering these products and / or services.

2) Atmosphere Wise
The spa should maintain a safe, clean, nurturing, and calming environment. Observe if the spa has private treatment rooms for clients that want a personal service such as changing facilities for men and women, shower room, shoes and spa robes for all sizes. It is important that the staff are also licensed aestheticians and therapists.

To reiterate, utilization of professional spa products and techniques should be done by the aestheticians and therapist who are professionally trained to do it. Almost all of the treatments need to be handled by professionals. To mention some, Stone Therapy Facials, medical treatments such as chemical and micro peels, microdermabrasion, and acne treatments.

Massage therapists must be able to do and offer these following techniques professionally: Therapeutic Massages, La Stone Therapies, Swedish Massages, Aromatherapy, Reflexology Massage, Couple's Massage, and Lymph Drainage Therapies.

3) Spa Neophytes

First time guests and visitors of a spa are asked to fill out a registration form. You should arrive on time for your appointment so as to maximize the time in the facility. Any medical conditions should be considered upon availing spa services.

Let your therapist know your comfort level as well as any problem areas you wish to put more focus on or the other way around. If you are undergoing massage treatments, let him or her know if the pressure is sufficient or too much. It is important to let your massage therapist be aware of this because people have different preferences on massage pressures. Some may prefer deep tissue massages while others enjoy soft stroking therapies. Do not be afraid to let your therapist know what you want.

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Why Should I Manicure?

Women regard their nails as the weapon. You may ask why these women take the trouble of keeping beautiful digits. A manicure is great when one is disconcerted. Today there are pictures of nicely manicured fingers in advertisements. All of them have their own reasons for going for a manicure. Many women think neatly manicured nails will improve their look and others opt for it simply because it is cheaper than therapy. All women, whether they be a model, a working woman or homemaker want to look smart and presentable.

Print Media and Ad media are dominated by nicely manicured nails nowdays. This glamorous show of manicured nails has given rise to nail salons. Today it is easy to get manicures as each manicurist today desires to start a nail salon of their own. These salons are highly competitive to entice regular customers so some can offer first time free manicure offer or half price days or some festival offers such as 20% discount on services etc.

Age is immediately reflected on hands. Unlike other parts of the body such as face hands grow old very quickly. But frequent manicure will keep nails neat and hands clean. Each part of hand is deal with separately like particular nail type. Cuticles are treated with creams and oils. The importance of manicures is not just the glam factor linked with it but also with the goal linked with it. Nails are manicured to protect them from chipping and cracking. Women have to do the household work in which ongoing contact with water tend to chip off or break their nails. So opting for initial manicure will prevent their nails from chipping and cracking. Also the nails may break due to lack of calcium in body.

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5 Different Types of Traditional Day Spa

There are two definitions of a traditional day spa. First, traditional day spas are spas that offer the usual services that can be seen at every spa. Among these services include the usual facials, facial masks, body scrubs, body masks, body wraps, pedicures, manicures, and massages.

1) Facial

Facial cleanses, exfoliates, and nourishes the skin to promote a well-hydrated and clear complexion. It is the second most in demand spa service next to massages. A facial is administered by a licensed aesthetician with special education in skin care.

They are usually given in a step by step process where it starts with cleansing the skin, analysis, exfoliation, extraction of blackhead, facial massage, facial masks, application of protective creams and toners, and health teachings regarding home skin care.

2) Body Treatment

Body treatments such as body scrubs and masks are just like a facial for the whole body. It is as important to maintain a moisturized and healthy body skin just like in facial treatments. Body treatments leave the body exfoliated, hydrated, and glowing.

3) Massage

Massages have been around for more than a thousand years. To date, it is the most in demand spa treatment. Massages manipulate the body and its soft tissues with functional (therapeutic and mechanical) and physical purposes. It involves kneading the body with pressure targeted on muscles, tendons, skin, joints, and ligaments. There are numerous types of massages. However all of them offer beneficial effects to the individual getting them. Pain relief, relaxation, and other health benefits await those who take part in this service.

4) Ancient Form of Healing

Second, Traditional Day Spas are spas that offer services that have already been long-established. Most of these spas are focused on traditional ways of healing and rejuvenating. Most of there techniques are based on different cultures and religion. The most popular among them are Chinese healing treatments and Indian (or Ayurvedic) therapeutic treatments.

They make use of oils and other natural ingredients and products in order to bring the body back to its normal, healthy beginnings. The majority of these treatments do not make use of modern aesthetic equipment. Some spas offer these kinds of services at a much cheaper rate than their modernized versions. However, because of rare supplies, some spas provide these services at higher prices.

They offer the same effects on the body and skin but with the advantage of only the most natural elements touching your skin. They deep cleanse, exfoliate, hydrate, treat acne, removes dead skin cells, detoxify, and relax the body, mind, and spirit.

5) Indian Treatment

Ayurvedic treatment is a traditional Indian therapeutic treatment. It is a health system that has been utilized for successful healing and prevention of illnesses for more than 5 thousand years. It is responsible for creating balance and intensifying the body's healing abilities.

Ayurveda states that diseases are primarily caused by impurities and imbalances that accumulate in the body for a long period of time. Before symptoms of the disease arise, Ayurveda is used to diagnose these imbalances and cure them. One may unknowingly create imbalances in their own bodies because of stress and strains in the mind and body. Ayurveda then eliminates the imbalances from the body and focuses on teaching the individual to live a balanced and healthy life.

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Shaving Vs Waxing For Removing Hair From Bikini Line Area

Both shaving and waxing are used by the women for removing the unwanted hairs from the bikini lines. Hairs on the bikini lines are a major problem for the women. Women feel embarrassed when the unwanted hairs come out of their bikini and give a very ugly look.

They can not wear bikinis due to this condition.

Waxing and shaving both are temporary hair removal methods. Both have their own benefits and also complications or side effects.

Waxing – Waxing removes the unwashed hairs directly from the root. Waxing is
often popular among women as it leaves nothing on the skin. The result of waxing
lasts for up to six weeks. Waxing can be used both at home and at a salon.

Shaving – Shaving is a very easy method for removing unwanted hairs. It is quick and requires only a razor, brush and a shaving cream. The results of shaving last for just one day.

Below is a comparison of both the above discussed methods –

Time Factor

Waxing – The best thing about waxing is that it removes a large amount of hairs at a time.
If performed by a professional, it may take up to one hour and if performed on own, it may take more than an hour.

Shaving – Shaving is very quick, but the hair should be trimmed down first, it makes shaving very easy.

Price Factor

Waxing – A waxing kit costs about $ 25- $ 100.

Shaving – Shaving is really inexpensive. It costs just some cents on a shaving cream, brush and a razor.

Difficulty Factor

Waxing – Performing waxing on own is very difficult but a professional cosmetologist performs it in less time and easily.

Shaving – Shaving is done very easily.

At-Home Factor

Waxing – It requires wax, heater, strips, applicators, power and wax remover.

Shaving – It only requires water, shaving cream, brush and razor.

Result Factor

Waxing – The results are good. They last for up to six weeks.

Shaving – The results are short-lasting. After a day or two hairs grow back.

Side Effects Factor

Waxing – Waxing causes pain, redness and irritation.

Shaving – Risk of razor bumps, cuts and nicks.

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Different Types of Bikini Waxing and the Best Waxing Procedure

Waxing is widely used by women for removing the unwanted hairs from the bikini area.

Bikini waxing is classified in four types –

American Waxing – It s removal of the unwanted hair at the top of the thighs and under the navel. This is also known as the basic bikini wax. With this type strip wax is preferred over the hard wax. It is used all over but the labia. On both bikini sides, a small applicator is used to create a clean and even line. Wax is applied in the hair growth direction. A second application wax is often performed as the hair on the pubis is coarse and grows horizontally.Wax is rolled against the hair growth direction. At last, person is asked to lift the legs so the hair near the table can be worked on.

French Waxing – It leaves a vertical strip in front (two to three finger-widths in length) just above the vulva. This type of waxing is also known as a partial Brazilian wax. With this style, the hair of the Peri-anal area and labia can be removed. This kind of hair removal style is also known as the Playboy wax or G-waxing. This method involves similar steps like those done for the Brazilian wax. It involves removing the hairs found at the lower parts and surrounding parts of the genitalia. A tiny, narrow strip of hair is left on the upper part. The hairs on the thighs and buttock region are removed depending on the person's preference.

Brazilian Waxing – This is the most commonly used style. This waxing style removes almost everything, front to the back (except a thin strip of hair on the pubis). This is an extreme form of bikini waxing. It completely removes the undesired hairs from the buttocks and adjacent to the anus, and vulva. This kind of bikini waxing is also known as full Bikini wax, Hollywood wax and the Sphinx. Brazilian wax includes the labia and the area which reaches into the buttocks. The stray hairs are removed with tweezers afterwords. Now it is very common that like women men also ask for Brazilian Waxing.

Full Brazilian Waxing – This kind of bikini waxing is not popular in Brazil. In Brazil, it is considered extreme. This bikini waxing style is leaves a small strip of hair which is known in as cavado, meaning “to miss peripheral material”.

Procedure of Waxing –
The procedure starts with applying baby or talcum powder spread liberally over the area to be waxed. It brings the hot wax from sticking to the sensitive skin. The wax is allowed to harden briefly before applying. After heating it up, the wax is applied on the desired area and spread with the waxing strip. Then after, the wax is removed with stripin the hair growth direction.

Then the unwanted hairs are removed from the bikini area, buttocks, and anus. It removes the hair, wax and dead skin cells lying on the skin surface. After the wax is removed, with tweezers, the stray hairs are removed which are missed earlier. Then the remaining pubic hair are either trimmed with scissors or waxed off. The pain involved can be slight or severe and it may continue for some time from seconds to minutes. But it is felt less during subsequent treatments. Wax is a mixture of natural beeswax and and tall oil. Beeswax is very strong. It is more effective for removing the thicker, coarser pubic hairs. To minimize the pain, products like topical anesthetics are available. The result of bikini waxing lasts for up to six weeks.

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After Care of Newly Waxed Skin – The Newly Waxed Skin is So Sensitive

Waxing hair removal method is gaining popularity along both men and women. It is a temporary hair removal method. The results of waxing are long. They last for up to six weeks. If waxing is performed at a salon, the salon workers give some instructions for the sin care. They also provide a lotion. But after the waxing, any lotion or creams should not be used for at least 12 hours.

Bath or shower can be taken with cool water only. Bath with hot water is not advisable as it irritates the waxed skin, whereas cool water makes the skin feel better. The newly waxed skin should not be exposed to excess heat like heat from steam baths or saunas, for at least 12 hours. The newly waxed skin is so sensitive that excess heat can actually irritate the skin.

Also the newly waxed skin should not be exposed to sun for 24 to 48 hours after the waxing. Exposure to sunlight is not good for the newly waxed skin. Sunscreen cream should not be used for at least 24 hours after the waxing. The chemicals of sunscreen cream can irritate the newly waxed skin. The use of heavily spotted products like perfumes and cosmetics should be avoided for at least 12 hours after the waxing.

The use of scented deodorants or antiperspirants to newly waxed underarm skin should be avoided for at least 12 hours after waxing. The sensitivity and open pores of the newly waxed skin requires specialized aftercare.

After any type of hair removal, a little bit of dead skin is lifted and that comes back and create a crust where ingrown hairs occurs. This happens mostly with waxing because it removes the hair directly from the root and that creates a hole. Actually the skin cells falls back into the hole which results in ingrown hair. When it creates the crust, the hair is not able to come back and this causes bumps and ingrown hair. So, the skin should be exfoliated with a loofah. Soap should never be used.

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Upper Lip Care After The Waxing – For Sensitive Areas Like Lips, a Cotton Ball Should Be Used

Waxing is a good option for the facial use. Women often use waxing for different body areas. Waxing hair removal method gives long results of up to six weeks. Wax should be titled according to the instructions given on the label. The wax should be just warmed and not hot as it may burn the skin. So it is advisable to test on a small area like back of the hand, before applying on the desired area.

The best thing about the waxing apart from the long result is that it removes hair in large amount at one time. Also hairs re-grow softer. Waxing also has some drawbacks. Waxing causes red bumps and minor bleeding. It also causes pain and irritation.

A thin layer of the wax is applied with a waxing strip. Then the wax is spread with the waxing strip. The wax should be applied in the direction of the hair growth. If it is applied against the hair growth direction, it may lead to ingrown hair. Then the wax is removed in opposite the hair growth direction.

For sensitive areas like lips, a cotton ball should be used with waxing strip. After removing the wax, tea tree lotion or a cooling gel can be applied to the upper lip. This will soothe the skin. Makeup should be avoided for at least 24 hours to minimize the chance of infection and irritation. The face should not be touched for 2-3 days. Touching the face increases the chance of infection caused by the germs in the sensitive area.

After the waxing, the upper lip turns pink for a few hours but it is normal. The skin is irritated more after the first time waxing is used but after that the irritation is comparatively less. A hair inhibitor can be used after the waxing. It makes the hair grow back slower and thinner.

Waxing has certain limitations. It is not suitable for the pregnant women or women who take birth control pills. Also it is not suitable for the people who take medications like Re tin-A and who are diabetics.

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Manicure and Pedicure – How to Make the Most of Your Hands and Feet

Nicely pedicured feet and manicured hands can be a turn on for a lot of people. Getting regular manicures and pedicures done will surely show and make your hands and feet look pretty and feel feather soft. This is one beauty treatment that not only makes you look good but rejuvenates your whole body and relaxes your mind.

However not many people give a lot of importance to these treatments. For them if you have a good hair style and good make up on, then that is all you need. However if you are all dressed up and beneeth your heels people notice dirty feet, that would only leave a bad impression on the people who else may find you very pretty. The very same people would now be shy away from you. On the other hand if you are regular in pedicure and manicure treatments, your hands and feet will ooze beauty and grace and make your appearance even better than before.

There used to be a big misconception that these treatments are only for women. Increasingly men are also going for treatments like these. This is a very positive step as men too need these as much as women do. If their hands and feet are soft and clean no woman would be able to resist them and it will in the very first instant make a god impression.

Having said that, it is also very important to take a few precautions when you are getting either your manicure or your pedicure done. Let us take a look at some of these:

1. Always go to a trusted parlor. There are many of chances of contracting infections if these treatments are not done in a clean environment.
2. Make sure wherever you go; the accessories used for the treatment are cleaned and sterilized.
3. If possible invest in a good manicure kit and take it with you to insure you do not get any infections.
4. Insist on clean towels and a change of water every time you sit for a treatment.
5. Also be alert in checking the chemicals being used and what effect they may have on you.

A great idea would be to try both these treatments at home. That way you can save a lot of money from the spa manicures and also do it more frequently as it would be less time consuming. But a spa manicure once a month could make your hands really beautiful.

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Day Spa Certificates – Your Way to a Great Spa Adventure

Have you been stressed out from work slowly? Is your school giving you assignments that are way beyond your capabilities? Is everything around you knocking you off your feet? Well, maybe it's about time for you to sit back and relax. Get yourself a day spa certificate, and pamper and soothe yourself from its heavenly feelings that you deserve.

Before finally heading out to your favorite day spa center, there are things that you will need to keep in mind. Here are some of these things:

Choose your body bath and spa ingredients

With day spa certificates, you will enjoy body wraps, massages, facials, pedicures, manicures, hydrotherapy and so much more. Make sure the body bath and spa products used are the ones that suit your delicate skin. Because not all of us have the same skin type, choose the one that is right for you.

If you are someone with a sensitive skin, choose a gentle ingredient such as an organic apricot scrub. If you think that stress is making your skin look older, then you might go well with a micro dermabrasion. Soothe your entire body with essential oils that are mixed with sugar and salt scrubs. Detoxify your skin with charcoal, clay and mineral washes. Experience a true soothing spa by soaking in a fragranced and moisturizing tub that is blended with natural essential oils.

Decide amongst your best options

One great way to relax your entire body is through the use of hot tubs physical therapy spas. This type of spa offers arrays of benefits such as relieving muscle pains and inflammation. It is also used as a physical therapy and hydrotherapy treatment by medical practitioners.

Aside from offering great physical benefits, hot tubs physical therapy spas are also good for the mind. Soaking in warm water is found to be beneficial in getting rid of worries, stress and anxiety.

So what are you waiting for, get on your feet and get yourself a day spa certificate and enjoy the great spa adventure at your favorite day spa center. Bid your body pains and worries goodbye and start living a wonderful worry-free and stress-free life.

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Hooked on Spa – My Humble 101

Excerpted from Singapore's arguably most famous sitcom in its heyday, the mantra of its lead protagonist, the honorary Phua Chu Kang (PCK), was how he was the “Best in Singapore, in JB and some say Batam”. This might ring true if PCK were to say, now start a spa chain in Southeast Asia.

My first perception of massages stemmed from the media images of seedy parlours in Geylang. The seemingly less prurient purposes of massages are not unbeknownst to me of course. I knew about the ubiquitous massage of the freelancing lady, usually from the Malay community, always a whizz at expelling the post-natal bulge.

Then when my parents scrambled for cheap Thai massages in Bangkok, I subconsciously compartmentalized massages to an older person's sport. However, after you slog it out for a couple of years in the work, you discover that the apple has not fallen that far from the tree when you start to occasionally indulge in the healing rituals of “wellness” with massages, amalgamated from different lands , swirling spa pools, oxygenated rooms, all in an ambience heretofore only known to luxury island hoppers.

As a self-proclaimed but not a reliable spa aficionado, I will share with you what little I've gleaned from sampling the spa menus in Singapore (and some say Batam). For my encounters of the spa kind, I have attempted the Oriental Tui Na, Balinese Spa, Javanese Massage & Scrub (with Mandi Lulur or Milk Bath), Aromatherapy, Hydrotherapy, Ayurvedic spa, Hot Stone Therapy, Swedish and Deep Tissue massage.

My humble “101 manual” for the future Spa connoisseur (dare I hope), is here with some simple tips for you to optimize on the experience, which is nothing short of “Sense-sational”:
– The only time you like somebody to talk to you behind your back is well if a masseuse checks with you about the level of firmness of her stroke. If you have interacted with some, you might find that the well honed therapist is generally proud of her craft. But fear not, about indicating your preference, stroke-wise, to her. I know that they will not take it personally unless you have caught one fledgling off guard on her first day of work?

– If you are wounded up like a toy, like most urbanites, with stiff shoulders that ergonomic chairs help alleviate only so much, do try either the Swedish or the Deep Tissue massage. The Balinese spa can be quite a treat and I have heard that the marine elements of the spa treatments are generally more relaxing. In the website by Associated Content, they stated that the Swedish massage is more relaxing than the Deep Tissue massage while the latter is “good for problem muscle areas”.

– If you cherish the thrills and spills of an additional contraption used on the body, opt for the ayurvedic rice bolus (Njvara Kizhi) massage or the hot stone therapy. For the rice bolus massage, there is the tantalizing ball of muslin cloth containing special rice dipped in herbs slathered on your body. It felt like having desiccated coconut rubbed onto your body. The heated volcanic stones placed at strategic points on your body, combined with Swedish massage techniques, provide for an interesting spa experience.

– Aromatherapy as I know it fuses essential oils and clever ministrations of the therapist's hands to engender one of the most soothing massages ever known. The oils are left on your body for assimilation leaving an almost-cherubic glow on your skin.

– Generally, firm practiced strokes of the right service-oriented masseuse in the right setting of resort-like ambiance, complete with enchanting music and down to the comfort of the face rest are the key elements incorporating the simple pleasures of the spa.

– In the end, nothing beats the exemplary service rendered by the staff and for that, kudos to the spa therapists in Batam. They might not have the best equipment and one actually had a pathetic seashell in a possibly wriggler-infected spittoon right below where my face rested on the massage table. Forget enchanting music, the construction of the neighboring wing of the hotel played havoc on my ears when you were supposedly to hear the waves caressing the beach. Disposable underwear will not be part of any package I I encountered apparently so far.

At another venue, a joint massage room consistent of gymnastic-style mats where the Javanese massage took place and the toilet was the traditional hose-it-down kind. At junctures of the massage, you might feel as though your toes and fingers were tugged a little too painfully. If pain is gain, you wonder if pain was the only thing you gained. Do not let the Indonesian girls' petite frame fool you. They are strong.

What ever saved the day was really the impeccable service rendered, not the overly-sweeted ginger tea. The scrub and milk bath was divine and the batik, serving as the drape for your body as the massage proceeds, heavenly. After the spa, I almost wanted to award them a medal for the competitive price too.

Well, if PCK had an epiphany and wanted to start a spa chain, he might need to continuously reinvent the spa menu, get stunning and unique massages, with permutations and combinations of techniques and massage oils. He could send his staff to emulate true Indonesian hospitality and get a great marketing guru to revamp his website. It might just work and his clientele will certainly be hooked on spa.

Have a Blessed Festive Season!
Sharon

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Day Spa – Licensing Requirements

Day spa technicians, therapists, the facilities in which they operate, and estheticians must be licensed by the Board of Cosmetology and the Department of Health. Additional licenses and requirements may be required based on the additional and specific services provided by any given day spa.

Staff Requirements

All staff and personnel of a day spa, or any spa for that matter, should have passed the following requirements and authorized professional licenses in the field of their study. These are the following qualifications each staff must meet:

1) Cosmetologists

All staff cosmetologists should be at least 17 years of age and should have completed or completed GED or 9th grade. The applicant must present proof of completion of his or her requirements (24 months of practice as a registered apprentice in a licensed beauty salon or 1500 hours of training in a cosmetology school).

2) Esthetician

All staff esthetician should be at least seventeen (17) years of age and should have completed or completed GED or 9th grade. The applicant must present proof of completion of his or her requirements (12 months as a registered apprentice in a licensed beauty salon or 600 hours of training in a cosmetology school).

3) Nail Technician

All staff esthetician should be at least seventeen (17) years of age and should have completed or completed GED or 9th grade. The applicant must present proof of completion of his or her requirements (8 months as a registered apprentice in a licensed beauty salon or 250 hours of training in a cosmetology school).

4) Makeup Artist

All staff estheticians should be at least seventeen (17) years of age and should have completed or completed GED or 9th grade. The applicant must present proof of completion of his or her requirements (completes a program or course in makeup artist services approved by the Board).

5) Senior Cosmetologist

All senior cosmetologists should have two (2) years of experience as a licensed cosmetologist and passing grades on the Cosmetologist Exam and the Senior Cosmetologist Exam.

6) Salon Owner

All salon owners should have submitted employment and approved use permits from local zoning agencies with a license application.

7) Owner Limited Practice

All Owner Limited Practice licenses are issued for either esthetician or manicuring. All should have submitted employment and an approved use authorization from a local zoning agency with license application.

8) Apprentice Cosmetologist

All apprentice cosmetologists should have completed a sponsorship and application form which must be signed by a senior cosmetologist. All should have completed 24 months training with at least 20 hours per week. All licensees are obliged to mail monthly training reports to the Board every month.

9) Apprentice Nail Technician

All apprentice nail technicians should have completed a sponsorship and application form which must be signed by a licensed senior cosmetologist or 2 year licensed nail technician. All should have completed 8 months of training with at least 20 hours per week. All licensees are required to mail monthly training reports to the Board every month.

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