Archive for the ‘Health Beauty Fitness’ Category

What is Balneotherapy?

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Balneotherapy

It’s no coincidence that floating ‘round a swimming pool, diving into the ocean, or sitting in the bubbly comfort of a hot tub all evoke in us a wonderful calming sensation, mind and body. Because water, amongst its myriad amazing qualities, is as therapeutic for our outsides as our insides. And when wielded in specific ways, it actually has the power to restore our physiology, from our digestive systems to chronic skin diseases, to our metabolism and blood circulation. So if you’re looking for a unique approach to healing with a spa-slant, why not give balneotherapy a try?

It’s a mouthful, for sure, but once you’re ensconced in a thermal bath, your body invigorated by various minerals and the motion of the water, the name won’t seem like such a bother. Balneotherapy – the treatment of disease by bathing – uses the science of H20 to promote healing and restoration. By harnessing water’s innate qualities and controlling external conditions (time, temperature, motion, and supplemental materials), the spa experience is quickly transformed into a time of both relaxation and rejuvenation.

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Spic-and-Span-and-Spa

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

They say cleanliness is next to spa-liness, right? (Oh wait…that might not be the saying after all.) Well, regardless of the actual phrase, this one’s true too. The time you spend in a spa should be as clean as possible. After all, no one wants their pores open to the world in an environment that’s less than spic-and-span. This explains why so many people are opting to install home spas over renewing their memberships to outside organizations, where luxury might run high, but so does the germ factor. So to keep your home spa running shipshape and sanitary, we have some squeaky clean tips.

Clean from within. When designing your home spa, choose elements that keep things clean from the inside – like a ThermaSol steam shower with PowerFlush technology, an inner-tank cleaning system you can activate from an in-shower control, to keep things clean while you steam. When the cleaning happens from the inside, all you have to worry about is the surface stuff!

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Go Team Steam!

Monday, July 12th, 2010
Steam Shower

Steam Shower

Steam is magic. It really is. Warm, swirling, and rife with brilliant little pockets of misty vapor – it’s by far water’s most elusive and interesting form. Still fancy yourself a skeptic? Have you tried to iron a pair of pants without the amazing power of steam? Mhmm. That’s what I thought. Steam rocks.

Beyond its abilities as a crinkle-reducer (and, of course, tea kettle indicator), steam first and foremost has incredible benefits for our bodies. After all, steam is simply a reincarnation of the element every health enthusiast would deem The Best Thing Ever: water. And if you know what a little H2O can do for our insides, it’s unbelievable what steam can do for our outsides, and beyond.

By simply stepping into a steam room, you’re immediately exposed to the fantastic healing powers of steam. For your skin, steam instantly opens pores and induces sweating (aka, nature’s toxin-releaser – one of the healthiest things your body can do), leaving skin softer, cleaner, and ultimately healthier. The heat of the room also causes a healthy elevation in heart rate and an increase in metabolism (who knew? A steam room diet!). Circulation and flexibility also skyrocket within minutes of stepping into a steam room, the result of the warm, moist air, which acts as a natural joint-relaxer. Arthritis sufferers and individuals with bone or muscle problems see amazing results from time spent in steam rooms. And despite the thickness of the atmosphere, steam rooms actually hold myriad benefits for our respiratory systems, opening up the lungs and bronchial tubes, and even aiding those with asthma and other breathing disorders, thanks to the temperature of the air and the water vapor. In addition, the relaxing effects of steam can have wonderful effects beyond our physiology – time spent in steam rooms has been shown to increase mental calm, and even act as an antidote to insomnia or other sleeping problems. Adding other elements to your steam experience – such as light exercise or yoga, skin exfoliation, or even aromatherapy – will only enhance the already-amazing health benefits of steam.

Thermasol offers a wide array of steam bath products for the home. Consider turning your shower into a steam shower and experience all the amazing benefits of steam on a daily basis.

So if you thought that a stay in a vapory paradise was just one of those spa activities to knock off your “to do” list, it just might be time to rethink steam, not only for its powers as a force of relaxation, but more importantly, as an amazing tool for your health – mind and body. See? I told you. Steam rocks!

Summer Skin Protection

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Summer is here and that means we’re all hopefully going to be taking advantage of the summer sunshine. One thing to think about when you’re soaking in the rays is the importance of protecting your skin from the damaging effects of the sun.

Summer Skin Protection

Summer Skin Protection

Some of this potential damage includes dehydrated and saggy skin caused by a loss collagen, keratin and elasticity. You’ll want to practice preventative skin care to avoid having to undergo costly laser treatments further down the road. Consider treatments that rejuvenate and hydrate the skin, as well as exfoliating treatments which unclog the skin of sun screens.

One product to consider is Thermasol’s Bulgarian Rose Hydrosol. This therapeutic Hydrosol is made from ECOCERT certified, 100% true organic quality roses, is anti-bacterial and restores the natural PH balance of your skin.

For more information visit www.thermasol.com

Thermasol Bulgarian Rose Hydrosol

Thermasol Bulgarian Rose Hydrosol

Give Your Mom a Spa Gift for Mother’s Day

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Chances are your mother has been working hard this year and may not have had the opportunity to indulge herself with a trip to the spa. Carnations are always a nice gift, but she gets to look at them for a few days and then they die. Why not try stepping up your game this Mother’s Day by giving her some spa products that will leave her relaxed, refreshed, and ready to tackle another year of motherhood. Bring the spa to her with these spa-centric gift ideas.

Six Pack of Aromatherapy Essential Oils from ThermaSol

This year you can get your mother a six pack of Aromatherapy Essential Oils that will last her until next year’s Mother’s Day. If you mom has a steam shower, or an essential oil diffuser than this could just be her favorite spa gift of the year! The essential oil six pack includes French Lavender, Portuguese Eucalyptus and Italian Bergamot Madagascar Ylang Ylang, French Rosemary and Egyptian Geranium oils.

Essential Oil Six Pack

Essential Oil Six Pack

The Theramasol Six Pack of Aromatherapy Essential Oils costs $99 at ThermaSol.com

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Common Treatments for your Ailments- Inspired by the Spa!

Monday, April 5th, 2010

We all have them from time to time; common, annoying discomforts and ailments that can cause us pain or just make us feel icky. Here is a list of some common things that we suffer with and some simple treatments that you can try next time you are afflicted with one of the following, all which have been inspired by the spa! (Keep in mind that this is not to be taken as medical advice, and is meant to be read for entertainment value only.)

1. Jet Lag | Treatment: Tanning – It has been fairly well documented that one of the only treatments for a bad case of jet lag is to get out in the sun in your new time zone. Many suggest taking part in some type of exercise activity such as walking or running, between the hours of 11:30 am and 2:00 pm on your first day at your new destination, but if you can’t exert yourself, try laying out in the sun. You may also want to try hitting the tanning bed if getting the real thing is not an option.

Tanning Bed

Tanning Bed

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Geisha Facial – The Truth Behind the Poop

Friday, March 12th, 2010
Geisha Girl with Nightingale

Geisha Girl with Nightingale

While we wouldn’t say that the Geisha Facial is mainstream, this new facial is definitely starting to catch on throughout the US and is much more commonly found in Japan. The secret ingredient to this unique facial is called uguisu no fun in Japanese, or powdered, hygienic, Nightingale droppings.  This traditional Japanese ingredient has been used for centuries by kabuki actors and the Geisha themselves to help keep their skin clean and clear.

The Geisha mask contains a very gentle cleansing solution that is completely natural, yet is able to cleanse the skin and the pores extremely well when compared to chemical alternatives. A rice rub can be combined with this Geisha mask to serve as an exfoliate. The Geisha mask is applied cold and feels calming when applied. It doesn’t really have a smell, besides a subtle scent of rice or oatmeal from the exfoliant. The Geisha powder typically comes from Japan, and is then made into a paste at the spa before the facial. You can expect to spend a bit more on a Geisha facial than other more typical facials (For example, the spa that made this treatment famous, the Shizuka NY Day Spa, commands $180 for a 60 minute treatment).

As knowledge about the Geisha Facial spreads it will no surely become more and more popular. No doubt Hollywood will be the next to catch on!

If you would like to try this unique spa treatment but don’t want to break the bank, you may want to wait for SpaWeek, as the Shizuka NY Day Spa was offering this spa last year for the $50 SpaWeek rate.

State of the Spa Address

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010
Rejuvinating in the Spa

Rejuvenating in the Spa

To all our Talk Spas readers; we are here today to address the spa fanatics, members of the spa industry as well as the home spa enthusiasts of the world to let you know that the spa is here to stay. In the past year we may have not seen the spa industry or the number of home spa projects grow in number, but we did see the diversity in services and product offerings expand to a new high. Out of nowhere new markets have become much larger than before for the spa industry, including Medical Spas, Pet Spas, Teen Spas and even Baby Spas. In the past year, outrageous, amazing and extremely expensive spa treatments had their day in the limelight, while more custom, personal and home based spa services have continued to increase in popularity.

Las Vegas continues to be a hotbed for amazing new spas and more and more people are now using the quality of the spa amenities to choose their next resort or cruise vacation. While destination spas are still very popular, the home spa and more specifically the inclusion of a luxury steam shower with advanced technological systems continue to increase home values in these tough times.

Make no doubt that times are still tough for the spa industry as we have seen many close their doors and go bankrupt, but be clear that the surviving day spas, spa product manufacturers and resorts will come out of this downturn stronger than ever before. People across the world are beginning to re-discover how and why it is so important to treat your mind and body to spa treatments that provide relaxation that ultimately improves your overall health and well being. We can assure you that even if the tough times are not yet behind us, the light is visible at the end of the tunnel, and the light will please your senses and rejuvenate your body and soul.

Related Posts:

Spa Trends to Look for in 2010

SpaFinder’s Top 10 Spa Trends in the Past Decade

SpaFinder’s Top 10 Spa Trends in the Past Decade

Friday, January 8th, 2010

One of the spa industry’s authority, SpaFinder, has published their top ten list for the top trends we’ve seen in spas in the past ten years. For more information visit SpaFinder’s blog at: blog.spafinder.com

Top 10 Spa Trends of the Decade:

1. Indigenous Treatments
While one would see the use of local ingredients and local customs on occasion at spas decades ago, during the past decade this became an almost unspoken rule. Culturally-grounded ingredients, treatments and customs deliver that healthy native flavor, and they also represent the unearthing of special, often centuries-old experiences that could not be easily replicated. From a lomi lomi massage in Hawaii, to the Royal Javanese Lular wedding ritual from Indonesia, indigenous treatments gave spas a grounded ‘sense of place’ that has made each spa-going experience around the world truly unique.

2. Medicine and Spa
In the early 90’s there was very little overlap between medicine and spas. That has changed dramatically over the last 10 years. More doctors have ‘discovered’ that spa approaches contribute to health and wellness, specifically by targeting stress…(Perhaps even through their own experiences, say, by experiencing a massage after a round of golf at a medical conference). The forces driving this integration are diverse, but, basically, the spa and medical worlds began talking. Then, when Botox arrived in 2002, a new type of aesthetic/medical spa was born and the spa and medicine connection was solidified. Spas also got their act together, becoming more transparently health- oriented, and downplaying the ‘woo woo’ factor.

3. Organic
This was the headline story in spa products for the decade. The popularity of all things ‘green’ helped several obscure organic lines make it big, and nearly all spa product companies launched their own branded organic lines. The organic product trend also helped open the door for a more far-reaching eco-friendly, environmentally conscious zeitgeist throughout the spa arena – from spa building and design – to cuisine. And while it’s not yet garnering universal praise, at least it’s gotten things going in the right direction.

4. Men
While the decade saw a range of new demographics rush into the spa arena (from teens to pre-teens to babies and seniors), it was the steady stream of men making spa-going a regular part of their lives that’s had the most profound impact. While it took some doing to get men to try a spa for the first time, this ‘first time,’ typically, resulted in a second and third, etc. Men discovered there was more to this ‘spa thing’ than just idle pampering:  it was, in fact, the quickest way for them to reduce stress (something there was plenty of this decade), and it helped improve their sports performance. As spas with a traditionally female ‘pampering’ and ‘beauty’ emphasis were joined by those emphasizing male grooming, and the industry began to focus more on health and wellness, millions of men began to comfortably, eagerly hit the spa.

5. Wellness
The word ‘wellness’ was hardly used in the 90’s, not really appearing on the scene until after the millennium. A term that has its origins in Europe (combining the concepts of ‘fitness’ ‘and ‘well-being’), it gained momentum there as a positive alternative terminology…Because in Europe the word ‘spa’ had narrower connotations: either water treatments for sick older people, or, with the emergence of some newer spas like the swanky Brenner’s Park Hotel and Spa in Baden Baden – an association with expense and luxury. Because the word ‘wellness’ was such an apt word to describe places that offered fitness, massage, alternative medicine and healthy nutrition – increasingly the core mission of spas- the terms, understandably, have become tightly interwoven.

6. Spa Comes Home

The influence of spas on the home has its humble beginnings at the start of the decade, with spa-inspired consumers, say, purchasing a candle to use in the bath, or maybe
a loofah sponge.  In the years since, it’s blossomed into a booming industry of spa products, design, furniture, home amenities (like spa bathrooms), even clothing and cuisine. The trend reached its most bold expression with the birth of ‘spa living real estate,’ where consumers could actually ‘live at the spa,’ purchasing residences with spectacular spa/wellness offerings in new luxury high-rises or special communities. We’ve not only seen spa-ing burst the confines of its traditional walls – but a new term, ‘spa lifestyle,’ has emerged to describe a whole healthier way of living, thinking and being.


7. Yin of Luxury, Yang of Discount

While the last few tough economic years have put more industry emphasis on the  ‘yang’ of discount, the wider ‘spa decade’ definitely spent quite a bit of time on the ‘yin’ of luxury. The reality is, that with more than 80,000 spas across the world now, there’s plenty of ‘yin’ and plenty of ‘yang’ to go around. In almost every country across the globe consumers can find bargain-priced spas/treatments right alongside sky-high-priced options (with their bejeweled massage oils and exotic, over-the-top settings). As spa-going has become totally mainstream, there’s a spa now to suit every taste and budget.

8. Online Spa
At the turn of the millennium, there were many spas that didn’t even have websites.   Today, almost every spa – and even therapists and practitioners – have their own URL. But that’s just the beginning of the spa.com revolution: today consumers can search spas, book spa appointments in real-time, buy spa products, review spas and fully engage in new forms of spa-related social networking – all online. And with the Internet so well matched for wellness coaching, and new technology enabling medical diagnosis and virtual health records, unprecedented aspects of the spa/wellness experience are becoming available through the Internet. Only the therapists’ hands haven’t been brought online – yet.

9. Social Spa-ing
Spas traditionally put their emphasis on the pillars of exercise, nutrition and body and beauty treatments – while the social aspects of spa-going (which existed all along) haven’t garnered much attention…until recently. Now we know that social spa-ing (just like spa programs for sleep or brain health) is a recognized contributor to health and natural de-stressing. From the isolation of the massage therapy room and the whisper-only relaxation lounges, has come the recognition that spas are not only natural community hubs, but that mingling and socializing are an important part of getting healthy too.

10. Gift Certificates, Vouchers, Cards
Lastly, a development that evolved so gradually it never made any of SpaFinder’s annual trends lists. And yet it probably has had more to do with the explosion of spas and spa-goers around the world than any other trend – or even all of them combined.

The trend: the emergence and popularity of the spa gift certificate, card and voucher that has introduced so many new people to the spa experience. (In fact, research shows that approximately one-third of all spa visits are generated by the redemption of certificates and vouchers.) Spa gifting has been galvanized by their near-universal availability at almost every individual spa and via third-party programs – and they’ve not only given people permission to pamper themselves, they’ve ushered in a new era where gifting ‘spa’ represents an expression of true thoughtfulness and care.

To put it in perspective: while SpaFinder is now the largest retailer of spa gift certificates, cards and vouchers in the world, the company didn’t make its first certificate sale until 1999. Today, over 5,000 spas worldwide are part of the company’s gift programs, and the cards/vouchers are available at virtually every major drug and grocery chain.

…It’s been quite a decade.

LEARN MORE: To learn more, or to speak to SpaFinder president Susie Ellis, contact: Betsy Isroelit, (213) 300-0108 or betsy@spafinder.com

About SpaFinder, Inc.:
The world’s largest spa media, marketing, and gifting company, SpaFinder, Inc., connects millions of wellness-focused consumers with thousands of spas worldwide. SpaFinder’s media properties include the award-winning Spafinder.com, the Spa Enthusiast newsletter, and the annual Global Spa and Wellness Directory. SpaFinder and its new gift division, Salon Wish, offer spa gift certificates and cards that are redeemable at a combined network of over 9,000 spas and salons worldwide and are available at thousands of retail outlets. The company’s technology division innovates new solutions that help spas build and streamline their businesses, including the popular SpaBooker online booking system. SpaFinder Europe and SpaFinder Japan offer regional spa marketing and gifting programs, including localized, native-language websites. Founded in 1986, the privately held company is headquartered in Manhattan.

Steam Shower, Sauna or Hot Tub?

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Steam showers, hot tubs and saunas can provide excellent ways to relax without leaving the comfort of your own home. Using a steam shower, hot tub or sauna on a regular basis can even help improve your health and feel better, improving your overall wellness. But what is the best for you?

If you are looking for weight-loss effects then you should consider a steam shower or sauna. If you regularly use your steam shower or sauna for 20 minutes a day you will get the same metabolic effect as if you had gone on a short walk. While it is thought that you will also burn calories in a hot tub due to the increase in body temperature, you will not sweat as much as you would if you were in a steam shower or sauna. Keep in mind that you will be much better off if you exercise AND take a steam shower or sauna. Learn more from our Steam Shower Diet post: Steam Shower Diet.

Sweating will also help to cleanse the skin of impurities. While a hot tub might have the same effects, your face, the most important place where you would want to lose impurities, will not sweat as much as if you were in a steam shower or sauna.

If you have sleeping problems all three will help you, but the American Sleep Association recommends soaking in a hot tub for 15-20 minutes at least 2 hours before bed at 102-104 degrees.  As your body cools, you’ll be ready for a deep relaxing sleep.

The steam from a steam shower will surely help you if you have respiratory problems such as asthma, chest congestion or bronchitis, where the sauna and hot tub will not be as helpful because of the lack of steam.

If you are one that works out often, or is sore a lot, then a hot tub is recommended to soothe aching muscles, although a steam shower will also help your body aches and pains and shorten your recovery time as well.

If you have plenty of indoor space, and don’t want to do an entire build or large remodel of your bathroom you can install a steam shower without having to build a whole new bathroom. If you were to build a sauna you would have much more work to create the enclosure.

If you prefer to use outdoor space, then a hot tub is the easiest to install, as there is little to no building required. If you want an outdoor, modular sauna or steam shower you will have to build or purchase an enclosure, plus the steam generator or sauna heater.

This is a large purchase no matter how you look at it. In order to choose the best thing for your home spa, you really need to closely examine your lifestyle, as well as the benefits you would receive from each. If you have a favorite spa activity, make sure to think about what you would really use the most, like if the seasons will limit your use or if you would use the home spa addition to entertain.


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