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Spa Glossary 


Spas have come a long way since the hot springs and mineral waters of old and the wealth of information and choice of treatments can be overwhelming. If you're confused about Reiki and think Shiatsu is a small dog, read our glossary to help you choose the right therapy for you.

Algotherapy
Algae or marine-based products like seaweed are applied in facials, body wraps, and baths for detoxification and rejuvenation.

Aromatherapy
Fragrant essential oils originating from plants and flowers are applied during treatments, or used in inhalation or baths to yield different therapeutic benefits.

Ayurveda
A traditional Indian medical practice aiming to realign mind, body and spirit by using a variety of techniques. These can include nutrition, herbal medicine, yoga, massage, aromatherapy and meditation.

Balneotherapy
A specific water therapy using sea or hot spring waters to restore the body, improve circulation, aid digestion and strengthen the immune system.

Body Scrub
An exfoliation treatment that removes dead skin cells and induces smooth skin, using various methods including essential oils, water, brushes or loofahs.

Electrotherapy
A low voltage electric current is employed to stimulate and strengthen muscles; particularly useful in treating injured or stressed muscles and joints.

Hot Stone Treatment
Heated lava stones and frozen marble stones are gently massaged onto the body to give an intense and unique massage therapy.

Hydrotherapy
Popular within European spas, this hydro-bath based water therapy uses underwater jet massage, jet sprays and mineral baths to improve circulation.

Meditation
By focusing the mind on breathing, thoughts, sounds or images, the regular practice of this therapy is said to promote concentration power and reduce stress and anxiety.

Physiotherapy
This therapy aims to assess, maintain and restore the physical functionality of the body either in isolation (back and neck pain, for example) or in conjunction with other medical treatments.

Reflexology
This ancient Chinese therapy uses finger-point manipulation on pressure points in the soles of the feet, which correspond to a different part of the body. This helps to restore body flow and relieve stress.

Reiki
During this traditional Japanese therapy, hands are placed on or just above the body, in complete stillness for several minutes, to promote inner calm.

Shiatsu
A Japanese acupressure massage that uses fingertip pressure on various energy points on the body to improve life energy flow throughout the body.

Tai Chi
A form of Chinese martial arts that promotes positive energy flow by employing breathing techniques, mental concentration and controlled movement.

Thai Massage
This unique massage technique is performed over light cotton pyjamas without the use of oils. Pressure is exerted using yoga-style moves like stretching and rocking to loosen limbs and improve agility.

Thalassotherapy
Derived from the Greek word thalassos, meaning sea, this treatment uses fresh heated seawater, seaweed, or marine by-products to induce an exchange of minerals and toxins, thereby detoxifying the body.

Vichy Shower
A technique renowned for improving circulation, whereby the body is relaxed on a table whilst energising jets of water of varying temperature and pressure are applied.

Yoga
A revered Indian practice that focuses on posture and breathing to stretch and tone the body, in turn promoting well-being.

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