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What Is a Therapeutic Spa?

By Megan Shoop
Updated May 21, 2024
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All spas are places where individuals go to relax, but a therapeutic spa usually takes this service to a very high level. Ordinary spas typically attend to grooming by offering manicures, pedicures, facials, and body scrubs. A therapeutic spa commonly offers these treatments along with massages, mineral baths, and many other treatments designed to cleanse and heal the body in addition to improving appearance.

Ordinary spas may use chemical peels and artificial ingredients, but therapeutic spas typically lean toward natural and organic substances. Sea salts, aloe vera gels, herbs, essential oils, and seaweed are just a few things a patron might see in his or her therapeutic spa treatments. These facilities may also offer light meals consisting of herbal teas and easily-digested vegan soups, fruit trays, and cookies made of organic grains.

Treatments at a therapeutic spa vary greatly, but an almost universal offering is the massage. Spa massages come in many forms, with some focusing only to the hands and feet, while others treat everything from the forehead to the toes. Most therapeutic spas use some kind of aromatherapy, such as scented oils and candles, during massages. The idea is to help the patron relax so the massage is as beneficial as possible.

Skin treatments are also very popular at many therapeutic spas. They are usually gentle and aimed at scrubbing and renewing the skin without risking damage. Such a facial scrub might contain oatmeal and herbs rather than harsh synthetic exfoliants, while a skin-softening bath is likely to contain sea salts and herbal washes.

Full body wraps generally involve painting the entire body with substances like seaweed paste, honey, or even chocolate and wrapping the patron in warm towels. The substances painted on the body soak into the skin to tone and soften it. Some wraps are also meant to pull toxins from the pores. When the treatment is over, the dried substances are usually gently rinsed from the body with warm water.

Cleansing the body is usually an important part of a therapeutic spa experience. These places often offer detoxifying beverages and meal plans to complement treatments designed to open the pores and draw out dirt and impurities. Occasionally, a patron might discover a spa that offers colon cleansings and other medical procedures meant to purge the body of unnecessary waste.

Many therapeutic spa experiences also offer spiritual guidance, meditation sessions, chakra alignments, or even reiki healing sessions. Sessions like these are supposed to align the invisible energies in the body. The spa may even have spiritualist experts on staff to meet and council with patrons on a regular basis.

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