Spa treatments are the services that a spa provides. The most popular spa treatment in the United States, by far, is massage. It has been around for thousands of years and has a number of health benefits.
Other popular spa treatments include facials and body treatments like salt glows and body wraps. Most spas have a nail salon offering spa manicures and spa pedicures. Some spas, especially hotel and resort spas, usually have signature services that might combine several different treatments: a body scrub followed by a massage and a mini-facial, for instance.
Many day spas are attached to salons that offer additional service, like hair cuts, coloring, styling and makeup.
Once you've been exfoliated and showered off the salt or sugar, you get back up on the table and lay down so the cream, clay, mud or seaweed can be applied. Then you're wrapped up and kept warm for about 20 minutes, hopefully getting a head massage at the same time.
If it's a hydrating treatment, you don't want to rinse off the cream. If it's clay, mud or seaweed, you go back into the shower, then come back for a quick application of lotion.
Body scrubs and wraps often show up in longer treatments called rituals or signature treatments.
The two most popular massages are Swedish massage and deep tissue massage. Swedish massage typically covers the whole body with firm strokes but without much deep, focused work. Deep tissue massage massage will use firmer pressure and also include focused work on areas that are especially tight.
Another massage offering on most menus is an aromatherapy massage, which uses essential oils to achieve different purposes, most commonly relaxation. Sometimes the oils are created by companies to achieve different effects, and the therapist asks you to smell a few different oils to find out which one most appeals to you.
Sports massage is good if you're dealing with some pain or restriction due to your favorite activities. If you're pregnant, you need the prenatal massage because there are special training, techniques, precautions and equipment for the mom-to-be.
Sometimes a spa will offer a "customized massage" with a fancy name. Frankly, all massage should be customized, but usually they say that this massage will call on the therapist's full range of massage skills, depending on what you need and want. It seems gimmicky, but it may be a way to get a more seasoned therapist who has a command of more techniques.
Hot stone massage is another massage found on most spa menus. Hot stone massage uses smooth, rounded basalt stones that have been heated in water and retain their heat well. The heat helps warm up your muscles and is very relaxing .. The therapist uses the stones as an extension of her hand and may also place them on your belly, hands or back.