Holistic therapies have been used for centuries to treat a variety of physical, psychological and emotional conditions.
The aim is to restore inner balance by treating the body, mind and spirit as a whole. Holistic spa treatments harness the benefits of these traditional techniques to improve guests’ health and wellbeing. In this guide, we define holistic therapy and discuss the main benefits. We also list a few of the most popular holistic spa treatments and suggest some spas which offer these therapies.
What is holistic therapy?
Holistic therapy refers to a range of non-invasive, hands-on treatments, which can complement traditional medicine and is sometimes used as an alternative. A holistic therapist looks beyond the obvious symptoms to identify the underlying cause of a condition, issue or ailment. Holistic therapists consider the physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual states of health and wellbeing. The word “holistic” derives from the Greek word “holos”, which means “whole”.
What are the benefits of holistic therapy?
Holistic health therapies can provide multiple physical and emotional health benefits. These benefits may vary depending on the type of therapy chosen and the area which is being treated. Results will also vary from person to person. Holistic therapy has been known to help with:
- Pain relief
- Relieving muscular tension (including the face and scalp)
- Relieving muscular fatigue & spasms
- Easing joint stiffness and inflammation
- Improving muscle function and joint mobility
- Increasing cellular activity to assist tissue recovery
- Improving sleep patterns
- Regulating hormone levels
- Encouraging detoxification of lactic acid and waste from the body
- Boosting energy levels
- Improving digestion
- Strengthening the immune system
- Alleviating mental fatigue and increasing mental clarity
- Easing anxiety and stress
- Balancing emotions
- Increasing confidence
- Encouraging well-being
While holistic health treatments can be effective, it is important to seek medical advice if you have any health concerns.
Types of holistic therapy treatments
You will find lots of spa treatments that are inspired by holistic or complementary therapies. Here is a look at some of the most popular holistic spa therapies that can help to rejuvenate and revitalise you, inside and out:
Holistic aromatherapy uses essential oils to promote wellness. The idea is to match these aromas with their optimal application. For example, lavender is thought to promote relaxation, while lemongrass soothes the mind. Essential oils have many different uses. In the spa, oils are often used as part of a soothing massage. When choosing an essential oil for your own use, or when visiting a spa, it is important to take into account your specific circumstances. For example, some oils should be avoided if you are pregnant, have high blood pressure or are breastfeeding. Always let your spa therapist know beforehand, so they can choose the right aromatherapy oils for you.
Water has long been known to have healing properties. One of the more extreme uses of water as a holistic treatment is as part of colonic irrigation, which is a specialised technique used to eliminate toxins and other nasties from the colon. If you prefer something a little less invasive, hydrotherapy pools are available at many spas. Gentle exercise in these pools can help to ease aches and pains, reduce stress and improve circulation. The effectiveness of this type of therapy means it is often recommended as a part of a rehabilitation regime for certain injuries and conditions. However, it is wonderful for anyone who wants to improve their overall wellbeing.
Massage uses touch and manipulation to balance and heal the whole body. There are lots of types of massage treatments available which target different areas of the body, using specific techniques and pressures. If you’re looking for some holistic healing, you might like to try a Swedish massage, shiatsu massage or traditional Indian ayurvedic massage. If you don’t like the idea of a full body massage, you might prefer an Indian head massage, which focuses on the scalp, upper neck area and temples.
Reflexology focuses on certain pressure points or “reflex zones” to improve circulation, achieve relaxation and even promote natural pain relief. Many people think reflexology is just about the feet, but reflex zones can also be found on the hands and ears. The idea is that these zones correspond to organs in the body, so applying pressure externally produces positive effects internally.
Reiki is a traditional Japanese holistic technique used for reducing stress, promoting relaxation and encouraging natural healing. While the treatment involves touching the client’s body, it is not a massage. You stay dressed during the treatment and the therapist places their hands gently and lightly on the body in a certain sequence.
Five of the best spas for holistic spa treatments
Common holistic treatments you may enjoy at a spa include different types of massage, including balancing aromatherapy massages and relaxing head massage. You may also have the option of a soothing aromatherapy facial.
If you want to try a spa treatment inspired by holistic therapies, here are five spas that offer these options as part of their spa day or spa break packages.
- The Mere Golf Resort & Spa: This luxury spa hotel in Knutsford, Cheshire offers a superb range of facilities, including a vitality pool, and features treatments from Aromatherapy Associates, including massages and facials.
- St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London: For holistic treatments in London, pay a visit to this luxury spa, where you can enjoy an aromatherapy massage or a facial and spend some restorative time in the relaxation pool.
- Pure Spa & Beauty: The Pure family offers a range of holistic treatments in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Bristol, and London (among other locations) with such options as Indian head massage, reflexology and Hopi ear candles.
- Vita Skin Spa Shaftesbury: Enjoy holistic treatments in Dorset at this superb day spa near Salisbury, with a range of options that include Indian head massage, reflexology and aromatherapy massage.
- Moddershall Oaks Country Spa Retreat: This excellent spa hotel in Staffordshire offers facilities that include a hydrotherapy pool and outdoor vitality pool, as well as holistic spa treatment options such as Indian head massage.
Some spas offer more specialised therapies, such as reiki and acupuncture. These therapies are not typically included in our set packages but may be available as an add-on. Call us today to find out more about holistic spa treatments. You can also book any of our spa packages online.