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Spa Treatment Glossary

The truth behind the baffling retreat terminology

Spa Treatment Glossary

Don't be flummoxed when you're on your spa getaway. Here's a glossary of the potentially alien vocab that could be slung your way...

ACUPRESSURE : Finger massage that releases tension by applying pressure to the nerves.

AROMATHERAPY: The use of fragrant, natural oils from plants and leaves to refresh and relax the skin and mind.

BINDI: Treatment that combines exfoliation, herbal treatment and light massage.

COLLAGEN FACIAL: Used to plump the skin to fill in the fine lines acquired by stress or sunbathing.

CONTOURING: Deep toning of muscles using calisthenics — a variety of rhythmic body movements.

DEEP-TISSUE MASSAGE: Deep work restores your range of motion by unblocking muscle attachments.

EXFOLIATING FACIAL TREATMENT: Peels away dead skin cells and removes deeply-trapped secretions.

FLOTATION: Float in tanks of saltwater at your body temperature. Because you float in sensory isolation, no nerve impulses move from the skin to the brain.

GLYCOLIC FACIAL: This breaks down the glue bond that holds dry skin on the face to exfoliate and smooth the skin.

HOLISTIC HEALTH: A philosophy of wellbeing that considers the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of life as closely interconnected.

HOMEOPATHY: Treatments using natural substances that cause symptoms much like those manifested by the ailment, thus stimulating the body to heal itself.

HYDROTHERAPY: A traditional therapy that includes underwater jet massages and mineral baths.

LYMPH DRAINAGE: A special therapeutic massage that uses a delicate pumping technique to drain sacks of water and trapped toxins.

RASUL: An Eastern ceremony for body care involving a cleansing seaweed soap shower and medicinal muds.

REFLEXOLOGY : A Chinese technique in which specific pressure points are massaged to help the flow of energy throughout the body.

SALT GLOW: The body is rubbed with coarse salt to remove the top layer of dead skin and stimulate circulation.

SHIATSU: Japanese technique where pressure is applied to the body to stimulate ‘meridians’ — paths of the body where energy flows.

Image: Rex