Meet End of the Year Stress Head On: Consider a Day (or Just an Hour?) at the Spa

A relaxing day at the spa can do more than just pamper us; it can also provide relaxation, mindfulness and a recentering of the mind and spirit.  According to Jeremy McCarthy, author of “The Psychology of Spas and Wellbeing,” the spa industry has a unique perspective on wellbeing and takes a holistic view of a person that includes mental and spiritual wellness.  “When a spa does a good job of addressing the mental and spiritual needs of its customers, it fills an important void not being covered by many other healing institutions.”

Many seem to agree. According to the U.S. Spa Industry, a total of 184 million visits were made to over 20,000 spa facilities across the United States in 2016. This is an increase of five million visits made in 2015. The number of facilities in the country has also more than doubled between 2003 and 2016.

Experts believe about 70 percent of doctor visits and 80 percent of serious illnesses may be exacerbated or linked to stress. Studies have shown that practices like massage and aromatherapy help reduce stress and anxiety. Traditional spa services are specifically targeted to alleviate stress and achieve relaxation, and other extended services can go even further by targeting pain, boosting the immune system and improving overall health.

Locally, the greater Gainesville area has a number of day spas which offer services ranging from traditional massage and pedicure to acupuncture and detox services.

Cloud Nine Spa and Salon

Located on Archer Road, Cloud Nine Spa has received numerous reader’s choice awards from various publications in greater Gainesville. Their most requested service is massage therapy which ranges from traditional relaxation massage, sports and deep tissue as well as hot stone therapy and massages for expectant mothers. Some specialty massages include a tension and deep trio and a sole soother for tired soles.

Their spa body treatments include exfoliation, moisture, soften, and soothe skin. With “flavors” available such as whipt cream n’ sugar dream, chocolate decadence, sugar slushy and Bavarian body buff, all body treatments also include an herbal scalp treatment.

Cloud Nine also offers many types of relaxing pedicures and manicures, hair salon services and facials and skin services. They offer a traditional facial in addition skin treatments help fight acne, replenish moisture and provide anti-aging benefits. Finally, they offer hair removal and eyelash extensions.

Floating Lotus Spa

The Floating Lotus Spa, located in the Thornebrook Village, is a therapeutic spa and health center offering a unique variety of services focused on anti-aging treatments and complete wellness at a cellular level. They offer traditional relaxation massage services as well as deep tissue and sports therapy massages.

Floating Lotus also offer reflexology services where specific pressure is applied to hands and feet that correspond to systems of the body for natural balance. In addition, they offer the increasingly popular cupping service which is intended to relieve the body by improving blood flow, stimulating lymphatic drainage, detoxifying, lifting connective tissue and reducing pain and cellulite.

Floating Lotus also offers facial services to target acne and fight aging as well as microdermabrasion which removes dulling dead skin cells revealing a cleaner, smoother and more even toned complexion.  The spa also offers cryospray, a new cell therapy that rebuilds, and nourishes the skin while treating fine lines and uneven or damaged skin. The spa offers both facial and full body waxing.

Floating Lotus offers acupuncture services, a traditional Chinese medicine which focuses on balancing the body’s energies. Acupuncture typically used to boost the immune system and help prevent many common ailments as well as treat conditions without the use of drugs. Each acupuncture service includes a required consultation, usually three to ten treatments for simple patterns is normal, but a customer may require 20 or more treatments for chronic conditions.

In addition to detoxification services, the Floating Lotus Spa offers BioMat therapy, an FDA approved, light therapy system. Owner Victoria Golden was inspired to open the spa because of her experience with BioMat, which is a “pad” which lies on top of a massage table. It converts electricity through a computerized control panel, into Far Infrared Rays (FIR), natures invisible light. The BioMat has been shown to help reduce swelling, increase blood flow, relieve pain and joint stiffness, rejuvenate skin and cellular function, reduce stress and fatigue, and boost immune system, among other benefits.

Spa Royale

Founded in 2003, Spa Royale offers more than 50 services from massage therapy, hydrafacials, manicures, pedicures, spa body treatments, spa baths and waxing. They also offer medical spa services and wellness memberships. These memberships offer options for monthly payments for a chosen service per month. Spa Royale’s wellness membership program provides ways to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, relieve aches and pains and improve overall wellness through mind and body.

Spa Royale offers traditional massage therapies as well as some signature to their spa including a bamboo fusion massage which combines the traditional benefits of massage along with the comforting qualities of heat. They also offer stone massage therapy as well as a maternity massage and an express stress less massage.

Spa Royale offers body treatments including body wraps, scrubs and masques to help maximize tranquility and relaxation as well as private spa baths. Baths feature a body scrub for the hands and arms with a warm herbal neck wrap to relieve tension. The hot air jet tub provides over 140 jets and for a relaxing hydrotherapy massage. Candles, light therapy and aromatherapy complete the experience.

By Tracy Wright

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