Why We Spa: Health Benefits beyond Feeling Good
Ask a majority of people why they book a spa treatment, and the overwhelming response will be, “To relax, of course.” But going to the spa is doing more than helping you to feel good and pampered (not that there’s anything wrong with that!)—spa-ing also provides numerous health benefits to help you feel good and live well.
We’re highlighting a few health advantages here, with help from WellnessEvidence™; presented by Spafinder Wellness 365®’s sister think-tank, the Global Wellness Institute, WellnessEvidence is the world’s first portal spotlighting the medical evidence that exists for spa and wellness therapies.
- Aromatherapy: A 2014 small randomized pilot study found keeping 100-percent pure lavender oil at hospital patients’ bedsides was linked to lower blood pressure and a slightly higher sleep score.
- Massage: Massages relaxes tense muscles and calms the nervous system, resulting in the body’s rhythm to slow, blood pressure to lower, heart rate to settle, and breathing to become deeper and more rhythmic.
- Yoga: Twelve weeks of yoga resulted in “significant increases” in a critical brain chemical that improves mood and lowers anxiety, says a Boston University School of Medicine randomized controlled study.
- Meditation: A 2014 John Hopkins University School of Medicine meta-review discovered those participating in an eight-week meditation program experienced a moderate reduction in anxiety, depression, and pain.
- Acupressure: Acupressure is “considerably more effective” than physical therapy in lowering chronic lower back pain, according to one randomized controlled trial.
- Acupuncture: Many people suffering from frequent or chronic tension headaches identified acupuncture as a pain reliever.
- Hydrotherapy: A 2014 systematic review of randomized controlled trials by the University of Freiburg revealed moderate to strong evidence in pain reduction for fibromyalgia sufferers.
- Hot Springs: Pain and quality of life improved for osteoarthritis sufferers who soaked in mineral springs, according to an Erasmus University review of seven randomized controlled trials.
- Pilates: Pilates compared favorably with massage for near-term lower back pain, states a 2014 systematic review of 14 randomized controlled trials.
- While many book facials and medical spa-based skin-care services to ensure healthy complexions or combat problems such as aging, acne, rosacea, etc., other therapies have proven to aid those with skin ailments. For example:
- Massage can increase the uptake of vital skin-repairing nutrients and speed the removal of toxins. Improved circulation helps moisturize your skin, improving its texture, while easing dryness and itching.
- Hydrotherapy: Switching between hot and cold via facilities like experience showers, sauna and steam rooms, cold plunge pools, and whirlpools also helps tone the skin and reduce the appearance of cellulite.
- Soaking in mineral-rich hot/thermal springs can help alleviate skin problems like psoriasis and eczema.