Most ev­ery­one has ex­pe­ri­enced a man­i­cure or mas­sage, but what about some of the more in­ter­est­ing spa treat­ments that are avail­able? Let’s de­con­struct some of the hot trends in spa ther­a­pies.

The Oban Times - - SPA -

RA­SUL Ra­sul ther­mal mud treat­ment is a tra­di­tional cleans­ing treat­ment that is tra­di­tional in Ara­bia, com­bin­ing the health en­hanc­ing prop­er­ties of heat, steam and mud for a re­lax­ing and skin con­di­tion­ing treat­ment in a mag­i­cal and sen­sory pri­vate en­vi­ro­ment, com­plete with twin­kling lights and fra­grant vapours. In a Ra­sul treat­ment, De­tox­i­fy­ing Body & Mus­cle Es­sen­tial Oil Clay Lo­tions are ap­plied to spe­cific ar­eas of the body, then you re­lax with a com­bi­na­tion of steam and cool show­ers. REIKI Reiki is a form of non-in­tru­sive en­ergy heal­ing orig­i­nat­ing in Ja­pan in the early 1900s in which nat­u­rally oc­cur­ring elec­tro­mag­netic en­ergy is chan­nelled by an ‘at­tuned’ prac­ti­tioner. Once as­so­ci­ated with the in­cense soaked realm of new age hip­pies, Reiki is rapidly in­fil­trat­ing the main­stream. Like acupuncture and reflexology be­fore it, doc­tors are now rec­om­mend­ing Reiki as a vi­able heal­ing method, and to­day it’s prac­ticed through the world by many mil­lions of peo­ple. REFLEXOLOGY Reflexology is a type of ‘zone ther­apy’ which in­volves ap­ply­ing pres­sure to cer­tain points on the hands, feet and ears. Do­ing this is be­lieved to en­cour­age the body’s nat­u­ral heal­ing process in cor­re­spond­ing ar­eas. It can also be used for stress re­lief and to im­prove over­all well-be­ing. The ther­apy is based on the prin­ci­pal that cer­tain points on the feet, hands and ears (known as re­flexes) are linked to other ar­eas of the body. For ex­am­ple, the tips of the toes cor­re­spond with the head and the heel is as­so­ci­ated with the lower back and in­testines. CUP­PING Cup­ping is a lesser-known treat­ment that comes from Asian medicine, one that can pro­vide an es­pe­cially pleas­ant ex­pe­ri­ence. Cup­ping is the term ap­plied to a tech­nique that uses small glass cups or bam­boo jars as suc­tion de­vices that are placed on the skin. Once the suc­tion has oc­curred (with the use of heat), the cups can be gen­tly moved across the skin (of­ten re­ferred to as ‘glid­ing cup­ping’). The suc­tion in the cups causes the skin and su­per­fi­cial mus­cle layer to be lightly drawn into the cup. Cup­ping is much like the in­verse of mas­sage - rather than ap­ply­ing pres­sure to mus­cles, it uses gen­tle pres­sure to pull them up­ward. ION CLEANSE An ion cleanse is meant to be a detox­i­fi­ca­tion sys­tem to re­duce the symp­toms of un­avoid­able ‘toxic over­load’ through a se­ries of detox ses­sions. Sim­ply re­lax with your feet in wa­ter for about 30 min­utes. The pro­ce­dure is pain­less and com­fort­able. The ther­a­pist uses a basin con­tain­ing sea salt dis­solved in pu­ri­fied wa­ter and then place an elec­tri­cal unit, called an ar­ray, in the wa­ter. The ar­ray gen­er­ates al­ter­nat­ing pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive ions around the feet. The ions en­ter the body through your feet and be­gin neu­tral­iz­ing the tox­ins. Why the feet? Ap­par­ently, the largest pores in your body are lo­cated in your feet, al­low­ing for the great­est re­lease of tox­ins in the short­est amount of time. ROSE QUARTZ FA­CIAL Rose quartz fa­cial mas­sage ther­apy is a treat­ment for mind, body and soul. Rose es­sen­tial oil, rose­hip oil and rosewater are used to nour­ish the skin, while a fa­cial mas­sage with rose quartz crys­tal wands stim­u­late cell re­newal, heal and re-en­er­gise the skin while pro­mot­ing a feel­ing of well­be­ing. Rose quartz con­tains a num­ber of min­er­als, in­clud­ing iron, mag­ne­sium, sodium, man­ganese and sili­cium, as well as oxy­gen. Thanks to the abil­ity to trans­fer en­ergy, this crys­tal is be­lieved to have a pos­i­tive ef­fect on body, mind and soul and im­prove skin mois­ture, in­crease vi­tal­ity and stim­u­late cir­cu­la­tion. A BOT­TOM FA­CIAL Why stop at your face when go­ing for a beauty treat­ment? In Amer­ica, der­rière ther­apy is all the rage. Scrubs and mi­crother­apy help smooth out the lit­tle bumps and lumps on your tush, while a fin­ish of spray tan makes sure your

bum is beach ready.

SALT CAVES The cu­ra­tive ef­fects of the salt cave are be­lieved to lie in the anti-bac­te­rial, anti-mi­cro­bial, and anti-in­flam­ma­tory prop­er­ties of Hi­malayan crys­tal salt. Hi­malayan Crys­tal Salt is more than mere salt: it is the en­ergy of the pri­mal sea, the Earth, the Sun, and the stars. Once sought by em­per­ors, kings, and sul­tans, nat­u­ral crys­tal salt is be­lieved to be a panacea and it has been known and used as a holis­tic rem­edy for cen­turies. Halother­apy (‘ha­los’ in Greek means salt) is a com­pletely nat­u­ral treat­ment with no side ef­fects. It takes place in a dry, ster­ile, and her­metic en­vi­ron­ment that recre­ates a nat­u­ral mi­cro­cli­mate iden­ti­cal to an­cient salt caves and salt mines. Through­out the ther­apy, salt aerosol is con­stantly scat­tered into the air for the pa­tients to breathe in. The salt aerosol con­sists of tiny and dry salt par­ti­cles which are ground in a spe­cial salt gen­er­a­tor. These aerosolized mi­cropar­ti­cles can pen­e­trate into the deep­est re­gions of the lungs and de­posit upon the sur­face, de­stroy­ing bac­te­ria and fungi. CRYOTHERAPY Cold air ther­apy takes place in a whole-body cham­ber, which has dry fresh, oxy­genated air — due to the lack of mois­ture (hu­mid­ity) or wind chill, and is not painful like an ice bath or im­mer­sion. Dur­ing the treat­ment, your skin tem­per­a­ture will de­crease be­tween 30-45 de­grees over 2.5 to 3.5 min­utes in­side the cham­ber. You will im­me­di­ately warm af­ter ex­it­ing the cham­ber, with full range of mo­tion in your mus­cles and joints, un­like wa­ter or ice treat­ments, where the joints re­main stiff for hours. Even if you don’t like be­ing cold, this process will re­ju­ve­nate your body, skin and mind, and you will leave feel­ing warmer than when you ar­rived. BEER BATH Beer has al­ways been the se­cret to shiny tresses, but in Ger­many they are tak­ing it to the next level with a beer bath. Be­sides be­ing bub­bly, warm and por­ta­ble, this whirlpool like treat­ment is meant to soothe and cleanse the skin with B vi­ta­mins, bi­otin and pro­tein com­pounds. AYURVEDIC TREAT­MENTS Ayurvedic medicine (“Ayurveda” for short) is one of the world’s old­est holis­tic (“whole-body”) heal­ing sys­tems. It was de­vel­oped more than 3,000 years ago in In­dia. It’s based on the be­lief that health and well­ness de­pend on a del­i­cate bal­ance be­tween the mind, body, and spirit. Ab­hyanga is a form of Ayurvedic medicine that in­volves mas­sage of the body with large amounts of warm oil. The oil is of­ten pre-med­i­cated with herbs for spe­cific con­di­tions. SERAIL MUD CHAM­BER A tra­di­tional Egyp­tian treat­ment, the Serail Mud Cham­ber har­nesses the ther­a­peu­tic ben­e­fits of min- eral mud to im­prove the com­plex­ion, re­lieve rheumatic dis­com­fort and re­move tox­ins by en­cour­ag­ing blood flow to re­vive tis­sue and stim­u­late the lymph sys­tem. CHAKRA BAL­ANC­ING Chakras are seven sub­tle en­ergy cen­tres in the body that af­fect our equi­lib­rium and in­ner har­mony. When blocked, these Chakras can af­fect the body and mind emo­tion­ally and phys­i­cally.

The fol­low­ing three treat­ments are all avail­able at One Spa, Sher­a­ton Grand Ho­tel, Ed­in­burgh:

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