Also referred to as ear-coning (because the candles used are cone-shaped), ear candling was used by the ancient Chinese, ancient Egyptians and Native Americans as a practice of good hygiene. When done well, an ear candling session will not only detoxify your lymphatic system, it can also help to clear sinuses and improve your sense of hearing, sight, smell and taste. But it doesn’t just involve whacking a candle in your ear and lighting it up! When performed by a trained practitioner, an ear candling session will actually start with a pressure point massage of the lymphatic system to assist in moving built-up toxins and debris from inside your ear canals towards your ear. The hollow candle is then placed in your ear with a special plastic tip and lit. The heat burns the oxygen, creating a natural vacuum that sucks the wax up through the cone. At the end of the treatment, you can ask your therapist to show you the inside of the candle and wait to be impressed (or disgusted) by the results!
Too often we think of our skin as important for just cosmetic reasons. As the largest organ of the body, taking care of our skin is actually vital for good health, and one of the easiest ways to maintain skin health is by practicing regular dry brushing. Another ancient spa treatment that is often overlooked, dry brushing has a myriad of benefits. While the most obvious benefit is sweeping away dead skin cells (which also happens to help eliminate pesky ingrown hairs), the brushing itself brings blood to the skin’s surface, encouraging cell renewal and keeping skin fresh & healthy. The simple act, which can easily become a daily ritual, has a series of knock-on effects which improve appearance and mood, including detoxification of the lymphatic system. Because lymph nodes, ducts & vessels (aka the body’s natural detox system) run just below the skin, dry brushing encourages lymph towards the heart where it is naturally expelled, providing a natural energy boost and improving overall health. On top of all these health benefits, it’s also worth giving dry brushing a try simply because - much like a massage - it leaves you feeling relaxed and recharged!
HOT HERBAL COMPRESS TREATMENTS
Particularly famous as a traditional Thai spa treatment, hot herbal compresses use ancient knowledge of herbs (such as ginger, turmeric, and lemongrass) alongside massage therapy to relieve pain and inflammation. The herbs are wrapped in a natural cloth compress then steamed and applied to the body using a variety of motions. Like all massages, the pressure itself relaxes muscles, with the heat of the compress providing extra relief as it dilates blood vessels, improving blood circulation and encouraging the natural detox of the lymphatic system. The aroma of the herbs can also help to relax the mind, improve mood, and assist the body to heal through their natural anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antioxidant properties. For this reason, hot herbal compress treatments not only help in relaxing muscles, but also in healing sprains, bruises, and soft tissue injuries. The combination of the steam and healing properties of the herbs can also clear sinuses and treat ailments like the common cold, asthma and bronchitis.
Reflexology so often gets a bad rap, yet it is so much more than just a simple foot massage! With roots going back to ancient Egypt & China, reflexology is actually a specialized massage that uses reflex points in the feet, hands and ears that relate back to specific organs and glands in the body. The massage itself involves various movements such as kneading, finger pressure, rubbing and rotation, to relax and energize the areas that correspond to the treated zones. Some find it quite a shock to discover that a foot massage can actually put an end to a pain in your back that you’ve had since forever! Reflexology massages, when given by trained practitioners, also serve to improve the circulation of blood and oxygen around the body, minimize stress, alleviate anxiety, and reduce tension throughout the body. It’s a great alternative for those who are a bit reluctant to have a traditional full body massage but still want to reap the positive benefits of massage therapy.
Whether you’re a spa newbie or spa veteran, consider giving these often-overlooked treatments a try. Just like the spa treatments we know and love, these treatments will leave you feeling energized and refreshed while assisting the body’s natural detox system. Plus, you never know - they might even become one of your favorite treatments!
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