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Spa Tips and Terminology

How to receive a massage

  • Tell your therapist about any areas that are sore, tense or injured.
  • During your massage, close your eyes and allow yourself to relax as completely as possible. Focus your attention on breathing slowly and deeply.
  • Allow your therapist to move your limbs into position. Be limp and do not try to assist in the movement of your limbs, unless the therapist requests your assistance.
  • Mention any medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart problems, headaches, varicose veins or recent surgery.
  • If you have any infectious disease such as a cold or flu, or a skin rash, mention it to your therapist. Deep massage can increase your health risk and add to the discomfort brought about by these ailments.

Some general guidelines

  • If you have a heart condition, diabetes, are taking medication or have high or low blood pressure, consult with a doctor before using spa facilities.
  • Intoxicated patrons are not permitted.
  • Smoking is not permitted.
  • Most spas allow only those 18 and older to enter, though some will allow those as young as 16. Check with the spa first.
  • When using the steam, sauna or spa, cool down after each session.
  • Use the whirlpool, steam or sauna beforehand if you are receiving a moisturizing treatment or facial.
  • To avoid burning, remove all jewelry and extra clothing during heat treatments.
  • Shower before entering any spa facilities.
  • Proper footwear is required in fitness areas.
  • All spa rates are subject to change, so make sure to call spas for the latest rates and menus of services.
  • It's a good idea to arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment time.
  • In most cases, tips are not included in the price. A gratuity of 15 percent to 20 percent is considered appropriate for good service.
  • Most but not every facial will include moisturizing treatment for the hands and feet; ask before you book.
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions about the products being used or the condition of your skin.
  • Each spa offers different types and versions of spa services. Call the spas for current menus of services.

Types of Massage

  • Swedish: Classic massage found in most spas. Gentle muscle manipulation with oils to improve circulation and relieve tension.
  • Deep Tissue: A deeper manipulation of the muscle to release specific problem muscle groups.
  • Sports: Localized massage focused on lengthening and loosening muscles. Heat may be used to help loosen muscles and release impurities. Similar to a Deep Tissue massage.
  • Aromatherapy: Light to medium pressure is applied, often combining Swedish, Shiatsu and reflexology techniques, with therapeutic essential oils.
  • Reflexology: Pressure is applied to the reflex points of the feet and/or hands to improve circulation, relieve stress and promote relaxation.
  • Aveda Therapy: Based on ancient Ayurvedic principles. Sensory testing is conducted to choose an aromatic key element to create an overall sense of well-being and balance.
  • Watsu: While you are in water your therapist uses Shiatsu pressure point techniques, stretching and movement therapy to release tension.
  • Maternity: Specially designed for relaxation and to give relief to expectant mothers.
  • Tandem: Massage performed by two therapists at once.
  • Shiatsu: Pressure is applied to the meridians and acu-points on the body, to relax and energize.
  • Reiki: Healing is transferred by lightly placing hands on various parts of the body.
  • Jin Shin Jyutsu: Holding of energy points to balance the mind, body and spirit.
  • Stone: Smooth, rounded, heated stones are used as a massage medium for relaxation.
  • Cranial Sacral: Gentle traction and pressure on the scalp and spine to release tension and restore symmetry. Especially helpful for those who experience migraines, TMJ and sinus problems.
  • Head, Shoulder, Neck: Concentrates on these three problem areas to relieve tension.
  • Neuromuscular Therapy: Deep Massage used to locate spasms and hyper-contraction in tissues. Eliminates trigger points that can cause pain, restores posture alignment, rebuilds injured tissue, increases flexibility and blood flow.

Other spa services

  • Facials: Facials can consist of a variety or combination of the following: a deep cleansing treatment to tone and exfoliate the skin; steam; extraction; facial massage; neck and shoulder massage; moisture treatment. There are many varieties of facials, so make sure to contact the spa for information and a menu of services.
  • Wraps: The body is wrapped in a purifying element such as clay, seaweed or pre-treated herbal towels to draw out impurities, relax muscles and detoxify the skin. Steam and moisturizers also may be applied. There are many varieties of wraps, so contact the spa for more information and a menu of services.
  • Salt Glow: Sea salt crystals and a cleanser are used to exfoliate the skin, then rinsed away and followed by a moisturizing treatment.
  • Body Buff: Similar to a salt glow, but using smoother elements such as Jojoba beads or crushed nuts as the exfoliant.
  • Body Scrub: Similar to the salt glow, but using natural elements such as pumice or a loofah as the exfoliant.

    -- Massage tips & terms based on information provided by Las Vegas spas.