National Spa Week aims to raise public awareness of the real physical, mental and emotional benefits that regular spa attendance can offer.
Regular spa attendance for the whole family is a cultural norm in many parts of Europe. The benefits of regular spa attendance really can be felt by every body and every mind. We want more people to give it a try because we know we have an important role to play in effective stress management and relaxation; something that we are not too good at in the UK.
If you want to find our more about the various physical and mental health benefits of spa or even read more about the history of spa – why not check out our ‘guide to spa’ booklet below.
Still not sure spa is for you? Don’t forget there are many different types of spas out there to cater for all needs.
Here are some examples of everyday people who use different types of spas for different reasons to give you some further inspiration.
Different Types of Spa and Who Would Use Them
Lynne, from Hertfordshire works as a legal secretary for one of the main partners; she works 9-5 but then goes home to care for her mother who suffers from dementia.
Lynne likes to escape at least once per year to a destination spa for duration of stay for 7 nights. This allows Lynne to release and relax the tensions built up during the year.
Lynne’s ideal location is a spa which has a hydrotherapy pool for aches and pains and helps her regain some flexibility. Built into the spa facilities are optional uses of the infra red saunas which will help detox the body of any unwanted build up of toxic minerals.
NSW would recommend combining hydrotherapy with a remedial deep tissue massage on the day after arrival to help release the tension from the muscles that has built up over duration of time.
Due to the duration of stay Lynne can look at a treatment a day package which is available from destination spas that offer a combination of hydrotherapy, infra red, remedial deep tissue massage and also clinical aromatherapy.
Stu is a musician, tours with his band and teaches is several schools and is vegan. He’s married to Nat, a Nurse Manager working long shifts and in the thick of the struggles the NHS are currently facing.
Both are fried. They have two children both under eight. The youngest can often take several hours to settle at night and frequently wakes through the night having had a nightmare – Nat usually deals with these given Stu is more often or not away with the band. This renders her dazed and low in energy when facing a 12 hours shift on her ward.
Stu is often on the road having to endure a poor night’s sleep in one of many budget hotels, eating fast food that he detests and inclined to drink a bit too much when on tour. This is a real mental and physical challenge for Stu given his love for cooking healthy plant based meals for his wife and family.
Similarly, Nat is reliant on the NHS staff canteen to keep her energy levels up once she’s consumed her (vegan) packed lunch which can be disastrous given how sedentary Nats new role is.
Like ships that pass in the night, there are rare family occasions where Stu can cook for Nat and the two children and both he and Nat feel close to burn out – no surprise trying to juggle two demanding professional careers and two demanding professional children! They long for time together outside of the usual trips to organised tourist spots and want space to just ‘be’ together, hanging out in a pool, maybe taking a morning yoga class before a spot of healthy lunch. They want to ride bikes across the countryside, see their children partake in a mindfulness class all before sitting down to a nutritionally balanced meal prepared together at an afternoon class. What they want is a week of reconnecting not just with each other but with themselves. They want to feel well again.
NSW would recommend a long weekend or if possible a whole week at one of the hundreds of award winning family friendly destination spas we have here in the UK. Many of which provide activities centred around bringing the family back together and most have ample countryside to explore.
Judy is an avid traveller and always makes sure she checks online if the hotel she is staying in at the airport has a spa facility. By researching this online Judy can see the spa menu and make sure she either calls in advance to book her treatment or uses the online booking system.
Prior to a flight Judy books a massage which allows her to be more comfortable sitting on a plane for a long duration. Judy will go to the spa rather a having an in-room treatment as she like to use the steam or sauna rooms in the spa as a pre-heat treatment before a massage treatment.
NSW would recommend an 80minute or 90 minute treatment - the longer duration of time the better - and selecting a deep tissue massage for tension within her shoulders and hips. If the therapist is trained in stretches we would also recommend requesting to be stretched
Sara and Karen have just returned from a six month tour of the world; both taking sabbatical leave from their jobs as journalists. They travelled to countries such as Jakarta, Hong Kong, China and India, where pollution is very high. While travelling they had no time to receive treatments for the face or body and were unable to follow their routines as they would have at home with regular monthly visits to the spa.
They both feel that the skin on their face, neck and chest has become a build up of dead skin cells and their healthy diets have gone out the window. Sara has always had a problem with stretch marks and these seem to be really bothering her now as they appear more prominent.
The UK Spa Association would recommend that Sara and Karen visit a Medical Spa. A medical spa offers surgical treatments, which could be liposuction or blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) and non-surgical treatments such as Micro-dermabrasion, stretch mark removal, diet and nutrition, hair removal, and specialised facials such as Glycolic peels. Treatments that are offered by a medical spa can be a mixture of medical and wellness but generally deal with areas of concern that require specific result driven treatments which can be performed by therapists, nurses or doctors.
Both ladies would benefit from a micro-dermabrasion treatment to slough off dead and dull surface skin cells, stimulating and rejuvenating collagen production. They would also benefit from seeing the nutritionist to aid them getting a healthy diet back on track. Sara would benefit from seeing the specialist who deals with stretch mark removal to gain advice and see how she maybe able to help her.
Eleanor and Paul are heading off on honeymoon and in the process of booking beauty and spa treatments, but not sure what the difference is between a Spa and a salon.
A spa does not mean it has to have water treatments such as sauna, Jacuzzi, or pool. A spa is about the wellness of body and mind. Spas can be large or small, attached to hotels or stand alone or an Urban spa on your high street, and they all offer treatments according to the facilities that they have. Some will have treatments which include pools and flotation tanks, some without these facilities will offer, Intuitive healers, holistic massages. Most spas offer spa programmes which can last anything from two hours to a full day. Programmes can often include facials, head massage, body and feet treatments, which can include scrubs, body mask, herbal wraps and holistic massage.
NSW would recommend that Eleanor and Paul have a half day spa package which could be performed by a man or women (often a choice is given if they have the staff), and even have dual beds in the same room. This would give them a top to toe treatment offering total relaxation of the mind and benefits of skin treatments to meet their specific needs and not missing a second together on their special holiday.
If Eleanor and Paul would also like a pedicure or manicure, they could have this in the spa or visit a salon for these treatments. In the Salon more traditional treatments of hair removal, lash tinting, general or specialised massage and facials are offered. It is beneficial to note that in today's industry spa and salon treatments are often available in either establishment, but they will allhave their own specialities.
Whichever treatments Eleanor or Paul choose to have or establishment they wish to visit they will receive excellent treatments in the Spa or Salon to meet their specific needs, helping them to enjoy their honeymoon with health and wellness to celebrate their special time
Mandy is looking for a spa treatment for her 65-year-old mum. Her mother suffers from arthritis and her skin is very dry but she does not like to be massaged as she finds this irritating on the skin. Her mother says she feels worn out and could do with some rejuvenation. Mandy has decided to look into thermal spas.
Thermal spas are spas that have access to natural springs of mineral rich water. They harness and use these natural springs by building pools and whirlpools where users can immerse themselves in the water. These are quite often naturally hot due to geothermal heating, heat retained in the earth since the early formation of the planet, from radioactive decay of minerals and solar energy absorbed at the surface. The water is often also used to perform treatments such as hydrotherapy massage or other treatments such as wraps of seaweed and mud sometimes on a floatation bed or Watsu water massage, using the water to massage.
NSW would recommend that a Thermal Spa would be ideal for Mandy’s mother as immersion in the mineral rich water warm water may help to ease the arthritis area, tone the skin, enhance blood circulation and remove toxins from body tissues. A Watsu massage would also be excellent as it is a massage by the water but with all the benefits of hands-on massage giving Mandy's mother the perfect result of well-being and rejuvenation.
James is a 45-year-old banking executive who lives in central London and runs his own business, which is based in New York.
This means that James works through the night when everyone else is asleep in the UK and then he sleeps when everyone is awake. Going about his daily tasks, James finds it difficult to get to sleep in the morning and also to feel alert in the evening when he needs to begin work, where he spends about eight hours a night hunched over his laptop working. This has left him quite often with a stiff neck and shoulders and lower back pain.
NSW would recommend that James visited an Urban Spa. These are spas which offer treatments in the areas you live and work and quite often open very early for appointments.
He would benefit from the early opening hours as it would enable him to receive his treatment as soon as he has finished his night's work. A relaxing lymphatic massage to calm the body and drain away toxins from the neck, shoulders and back area or even a rest in a sleep pod or floatation tank would have James ready for bed in no time. In the late evening prior to work, he would benefit from a vigorous Swedish massage using a blend of aromatherapy oils to revitalise his mind and body ready for the working night.
Susan is an active, retired Grandmother of five energetic children and since retiring helps out in her husband’s business a few morning a week as she never really got used to the idea of retiring after a very successful career in marketing.
She budgeted and made plans for her pension sufficiently, so that she can now enjoy the finer things in life such as time with her family and hill walking holidays across the Swiss Alps with her husband and their loyal Labrador!
She spends a great deal of time outdoors walking, playing golf and gardening which has begun to take its toll on her back and her skin is now showing signs of sun damage despite using a factor 30 for most of her life. Not one to seek professional advice for these seemingly ‘minor’ health troubles she is reluctant to speak to her doctor for fear of wasting his time, so typical of this generation.
UKSA would suggest visiting a wellness centre where she can combine getting her skin assessed and her back looked at by the collection of wellbeing experts on hand. Quite often there are visiting experts to consult with at a wellness centre so Susan may just believe that her troubled back and sun damaged skin isn’t just fuss and nonsense if health experts other than her doctor allow her the time to explore how she can get the most out of life at 60+ and enjoy even more years with her five lively grandchildren.
Kinds of People Who Can All Benefit From Spa Massage
Hannah is a busy mum of two who has recently gone back to her office job after her kids started school. Both her work life and her home life are hectic and can be stressful, whether it’s remembering what after school club the children have got or whether she’s prepared for her next meeting.
She’d love to enjoy more time to herself outside of work, but she struggles to find the time and the money to treat herself. She’ll sometimes take a massage with her girlfriends, but they tend to only be on special occasions or when she’s on holiday.
The thought of committing to a direct debit for 12 months seems daunting, but Hannah is ready to find the time to look after herself now her kids are at school and she’s back at work. She realises the importance of de-stressing in order to be her best self for her children and for her boss.
Joe understands the importance of reducing stress because of his profession, but he struggles to find the motivation to regularly look after himself.
He’d love to have a completely stress-free life, but worries that the monetary cost will be high and he won’t be able to get into the habit of going for a massage regularly.
Joe often suffers from muscular tension where he gets a tight neck and shoulders and would love to have some “me-time” to help reduce stress and be able to move better.
He’s looking forward to having regular massages that fit around his lifestyle – his occupation often means he’s working different hours each week.
Now that he is finally retired, Steve is ready to spend some time doing something for himself after years of looking after his kids and providing for his family.
He now has the available money to treat himself every now and again without feeling guilty, but he’s had trouble finding a place that fits his needs and motivates him to look after himself.
He worries that he isn’t doing enough to stay healthy and stress-free and that he’s not good enough at being proactive with what he says he will do.
He’s tried searching the internet for an activity that might help him out and he’s been to his GP for advice, but now he’s ready to get the benefits from a monthly massage.
Sandra is keen to remove the tension and pain that has built up in her shoulders after years of rushing around after the kids and working a busy full-time job.
She would love some time to herself to get the headspace she needs to better her life now her kids are a bit older and she’s progressing in her career. Sandra believes her life would be calmer, more organised, and pain-free if she started looking after herself better, but she struggles to find the time between all of her work and personal responsibilities.
In the past, she’s tried all sorts – from chiro to osteo and physio, but she found she never had the time to squeeze them into her busy schedule. She’s ready to find a solution that will reduce her stress levels and be accessible when it’s convenient for her. The obvious answer would be to work less, but Sandra enjoys her job and believes that there are many other people out there in the same position as her.