The spa world is an ever changing beast, as beauty addicts are always on the lookout for the latest hot facial or relaxing treatment. Spas are getting more inventive to cater to their thrill seeking clientele, and spa menus nowadays offer far more than the traditional facial, massage and manicure combo. Some of the latest treatments to hit the spa scene offer rather esoteric beauty benefits, and some will increase your adrenaline just by looking at the photos! Here are some of the strange and wonderful spa treatments now available.
Tickle therapy may sound like a kind of torture to those with sensitive skins, but the CosquilleArte spa in Spain believes this can have very therapeutic benefits. This isn’t tickling as you know it- rather than being tickled till you squirm, this therapy is all about soft fingertip like strokes, and is performed by two people so you get a 20 finger sensation. Fingers are gently traced around the body and often aided by feathers to provide a treatment that soothes and relaxes the senses. Isabel Aires, the creator of tickle therapy says it allows ‘customers to return to a state of childhood, recalling earlier stages of pleasure and play to move to a state of wellbeing and relaxation.’ Tempted? Sounds a lot better when she puts it like that…
The Meat clever massage
I like my massages to err on the firm side and am happy to encourage my therapists to use more pressure as I don’t feel like I’ve had a proper massage unless I’m in a little pain (slightly masochistic I know). The Meat Cleaver massage is beyond even my range of comfort as it involves sharpened meat cleaver being lightly pressed against your face. Yes- your FACE.
Also known as the Chinese knife massage, the idea is that the blades help release the bodies stored energy and help it heal itself, as well as encourage circulation. You don’t have to go east to try this- Chinese Knife massage has now made its way over to France, so it’s a matter of time before it’s UK bound!
Russian Platza Treatment/ Venik massage
Russians are known for being capable and hardy, and the traditional Venik massage certainly puts their courage to the test. The Venik massage involves being repeatedly struck with tree branches in a variety of strokes- waggling, compressing, stroking, lashing, rubbing and stretching. The Venik (oak leaves attached to a branch) is placed along the body in a variety of motions, with pressure going from a light stroke to a full on lashing.
This will normally be combined with greasing up the body with olive oil and is thought to help release toxins from the body (oak leaves are a natural astringent) and exfoliate dead skin. Different types of Venik (tree branches) are used depending on the ailments- Birch is said to be good with joint pains and healing whilst Oak is good for those with oily skin. Some other Veniks are made with Fir or Eucalyptus. This treatment is available at lots of places in the UK and you can normally find good spa deals offering it.
Watsu Water massage
Water is a great stress reliever and floating and swimming can really ease the stress of the day. Watsu combines the buoyancy and entertainment factor of water with that of a Shiatsu massage- hence the combined name of the treatment Wa(ter)tsu (shiatsu). This therapy involves entering a pool in your swimming costume (or nude, depending on therapist) and allowing yourself to sink into the arms of your treatment provider.
They will then manipulate pressure points on the body and combine this with stretched to make you feel amazing- because you’re so light they can really help ease tension all over and you’ll find yourself blessing out as it’s incredibly relaxing.