spas

Everyone Deserves Spa Treatment

Let’s face it – life is stressful and hard. Most of us work too much, and spend too little time taking care of ourselves. We do all the cliches – keep our nose to the grindstone, burn the candle at both ends, and strive to make hay while the sun shines. As a result we spend too much of our lives stressed out and tired.

But the truth is, if we got a little more rest, took intentional breaks to relax, and spent a little more time on refreshing ourselves we’d greatly improve both the quality of our life, and also increase our overall productivity.

That is the idea behind SpaTrade – encouraging people to trade some of their time spent striving for spa time. Spa time is time spent resting and refreshing your mind, body, and spirit.

We want to encourage you to intentionally make plans to get away from the hustle and bustle of regular life, and to take a spa break. There are a number of ways to do that (even if it just means soaking your feet in a foot spa or soaking in the tub with a bath bomb and bath pillow, or even just using an essential oil diffuser in your home), and our hope is that we can help inspire you to try the ones that will give you fresh energy and a new look at life.

Saunas

barrel saunaNormally we associate sweating with hard work. But a sauna uses our sweat to our benefit, helping us to relax, unwind, and at the same time improve our cardiovascular health.

This isn’t some radical new treatment – the use of sweat lodges goes back for thousands of years. Saunas have long been popular in Scandinavian countries, and are seeing an explosion of new practitioners across the United States.

A typical sauna is a room that uses a dry heat to raise your skin temperature and induce sweating. As the temperature of your skin rises, heavy sweating will start. Your heart rate also rises as your body tries to keep it cool. If this sounds like what happens during a workout you are right – your body behaves the same way, but without the strenuous activity. It is common to lose upwards of a pint of sweat from spending just a short time in a sauna.

Sauna users note that spending time in one is both pleasurable and relaxing. And beyond that, it may provide significant health benefits, including pain reduction, improved circulation, and even reducing the risk of heart disease.

Getting a home sauna allows you to bring those health and relaxation benefits into your house. Installing a larger sauna can require a substantial investment. But there are many personal models that are relatively inexpensive. See our review of the best portable saunas for more information.

Hot Tubs

jacuzziIt is tough to find something more relaxing than a hot tub. Sitting back in a warm tub of water with jets directed at your sore parts is a little piece of heaven. And even better, a hot tub is something you can share.

The use of hot baths as therapy dates back thousands of years. Public bath houses and private baths have been soothing sore muscles back into the BC years. Today when you hear hot tub you probably think of a fiberglass or acrylic tub filled with several people with jets of air or water filling it with bubbles. But both the material and jets are relatively new advances, coming on the scene in the 1970’s.

Today’s hot tubs are light, strong, and easy to maintain. Most people have them installed outside their home – often on a porch or deck. But more and more homeowners are having them installed inside their house to bring the enjoyment indoors.

Hot tubs are usually measured by how many people they seat, along with how many jets they have. And not all hot tubs are hard shelled – there are now high quality inflatable hot tubs available that let you take the joys of a hot tub on the road.

Pools

swimming poolSwimming pools are a great way to relax and beat the summer heat. Sitting poolside in a lounge chair, sipping a cold drink, and reading a good book can help the clear the stress and cares of daily living. And floating on the surface of a pool is a superb way to soak up the sun and let the gentle lapping of the water lull you to sleep.

If exercise is your thing, then swimming is an excellent way to work all manner of muscles in a low-impact way. There are even specific exercises you can do while standing in your pool that take advantage of water resistance to develop your muscles and improve your cardiovascular health. And even if space in your yard is at a premium, an endless swimming pool can let you paddle to your heart’s content in a small space.

Kids love a swimming pool, and will get endless hours of entertainment from floating, splashing, and just having fun in the water. If you are looking for a way to please both yourself and your kiddos then consider a pool for the family. Even if your budget is tight, there are excellent above ground pool options that are much less expensive than in-ground models. And the best above ground pool choices offer superior quality in a form that can be taken down and stored in the winter.

Massage

hot rock massageWhen it comes to relaxation and rejuvenation of sore muscles, nothing beats a massage. A good massage can improve your circulation, and provide relief for tight muscles, aches, and pains. It can also offer help to those suffering from nerve pain like sciatica, and improve your flexibility and range of motion. It can also help restore your energy levels, and speed recovery from injury or intense workouts. There are so many benefits to massage that it is tough to count them all.

When most people think of massage what they picture is a Swedish massage that targets your full body. This type of massage is great for relaxation. But it is far from the only kind of massage available. Hot stone massage, for example, is a great way to target specific pains and reduce tension. And handheld massagers can provide deep tissue massage just where you need it. Check out our review of the best handheld massagers for more info. For those looking for other ways to target specific pain areas, TENS units have proven effective. Use of an infra red heating pad is another way to use heat and other factors to relieve pain. For an eastern take on massage, check out our review of the best accupressure mats that apply pressure on thousands of tiny spots at once.

A very popular form of massage is foot massage, where the therapist concentrates their efforts solely on your feet. If you are someone who works all day standing up or are continually on the go, a good foot massage will be like a little time in heaven. And with a foot massager you can bring that bit of heaven into your home whenever you want.

Everyone appreciates a good neck and shoulder massage. These areas tend to get tense and knotted after a day of work. If you don’t have your own personal masseuse (or a loved one that can act as a stand-in), using a portable neck massager may be the next best thing.

Facial massages are also popular, and when done right they can help drain away both tension and also fluid in your face. They also sculpt and lift the muscles in your face, resulting in more radiant skin. And since it is a massage you can give yourself, many people are making it an integral part of their daily routine. The same goes for electric head massagers. If you know how to give massages, or are in the process of learning, check out our review of the best massage tables.

Skincare

skin care treatmentsOur skin is the largest organ in our body, and in many ways the most important. Healthy skin is a barrier against harmful germs and infections, and protects us from outside harm.

It is also one of the first things that people see when they meet us. The skin on our face and hands say a lot about who we are, including giving clues about our age and our overall health. That is why a healthy complexion is so important. Excessive wrinkles, acne, dry patches, and age spots can affect how others view you and can even have an impact on your relationships and job prospects.

For this reason there are countless products and treatments available to treat specific skin issues. Lotions and creams can combat dry skin and combat painful cracks, and callus removers can help smooth your feet. Acne gels, creams, and specialty devices (check out our reviews of the best blackhead vacuums and the best facial cleansing brushes) can help with clogged pores and embarrassing breakouts. Hair removal is one very popular spa treatment, and one you can also do at home (see our reviews of the best home waxing kits and best facial epilators for more info). And various spa skin treatments – like the ones in our roundup of best facial steamers – can remove wrinkles and roll years off your appearance.

And don’t forget your nails – everyone deserves to have a manicure and pedicure to keep their digits looking great. If you are a professional or just want to get professional results at home then check out our review of the best nail drills.