April is Stress Awareness Month. Stress is a major component to a number of mental and physical health issues. Stress can manifest itself in different ways for different people and can arise out of a number of life events. Allowing yourself the opportunity to relax is key to keeping those stress and anxiety levels under control. To most of us, the epitome of relaxation includes a day at the spa.
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Spa treatments and massage therapies
Spa treatments and massage therapies, which are quick and relatively affordable, create both mental and physical health benefits. In fact, studies have shown that the frequency of visiting a spa directly correlates with better quality sleep, fewer sick days, reduced absenteeism from work and fewer hospitalizations. More specifically, the heat from a hot tub, sauna or steam shower soothes aches and pains from arthritis, fibromyalgia and other joint issues. Hydrotherapy, heat therapy and massages both improve blood circulation and manage blood pressure. Some spas even have Pilates and yoga, which improve flexibility and breathing.
Throughout the process of massage therapy, lymph flow stimulation enhances the immune system. Proper lymph flow, the body’s defense, draws out metabolic waste, excess water, toxins, and bacteria from the muscles. In turn, swelling and soreness decreases while ability to fight off disease increases. Massage also improves circulation and posture.
Facials and mud baths
Facials and mud baths detoxify the skin from built up waste and bacteria. This is important because the skin is not only the largest organ in the body, but also the first line of defense against environmental toxins. Facials also release stress tension from the head and neck, which can prevent headaches. Mud baths exfoliate and nourish the skin through the earth’s natural elements, like soil, clay, and water, which are full of vitamins and minerals.
As an additional stress reliever, most spas make the effort to use products that increase the physical and mental benefits of your particular service or treatment. In other words, lotions, scrubs, wraps, etc. come in soothing scents like lavender, eucalyptus, and aloe. In fact, in between spa visits scrubs are easy to make at home from ingredients found in most cupboards.
Brown Sugar Body Scrub
- 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons of ground oats
- 2 tablespoons of Aloe vera gel
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon of almond oil
Mix all ingredients together and massage in a circular motion with your fingertips. Rinse with warm water. The results are best when done after a shower.
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