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The spa therapy offers different non-medical procedures which usually assist in boosting the body’s health. Usually the massage therapy that is offered in the spas is for relaxation as well as helping in problems which are associated with musculoskeletal pain. Spa treatment has been proven to be beneficial to our health, there are different treatments used; scalp massage, hot stone massage and the sauna, we shall discuss the benefits, contraindications, special care and contra- actions of these methods.
The scalp massage is generally the head massage which is designed with the aim of encouraging circulation and relaxing the mind (Cressy, 2004).
History of Scalp Massage
Traditionally, the scalp massage was regarded as accompaniments to the scalp treatments that were oil-rich, which stimulated the hair follicles and conditioned tresses for healthy growth. Some cultures like the East Indian culture have been doing scalp massages for numerous years. This spa treatment was commonly known as the Indian Head massage. In the previous years, just like recently, the scalp massage does not only massage the head but also addresses the face, shoulders, as well as the neck (Cressy, 2004). Today’s scalp massages are usually aimed at relieving tension and one might still enjoy an oil-free scalp rub. Another development from the historic scalp massage is that in the recent spas, the scalp massage is usually combined with other treatments like a facial or a reflexology treatment (Koyama et al., 2016).
Benefits and Effects of Scalp Treatment
Various benefits are associated with this particular spa treatment. Some of them include it helps in boosting the flow of blood in the body, reduces migraines and headaches, and is an effective stress reliever (Kim, Kim & Ko, 2016). The migraine in this case is the tension headache which is a feeling like one is having a tight band on the hand. The increase in the blood flow during this treatment is helpful in the strengthening and feeding of the hair follicles something that may cause one’s hair to grow faster as well as minimize hair loss (Cressy, 2004).
Although scalp massage is safe, giving a variety of benefits to those who use it, there are some situations and health cases where it should be avoided. Some of the situations in which scalp massage should be left out are:
High blood pressure
When one has blood pressure they would need to either receive sedating or light massages or even no massage at all as recommended by specialists (Cressy, 2004).
This condition can prevent scalp massage because it may irritate the inflammation area even further. When some parts of the scalp are observed to be swollen, reddened, or the client experiences some pain which may be because of an infection or injury, then this therapy is to be avoided.
When one has some skin problems like boils, burns, or wounds or anything of the sort, the scalp massage in these areas should be avoided to avoid tampering with such problems that may accelerate due to the massage (Cressy, 2004).
Special Care Conditions
When a client has painful veins, then care should be taken to avoid massaging directly over those veins which may accelerate the problem. If the veins are not so painful, then some light massage could be applied besides those veins (Cressy, 2004). The veins in this case are the vasculature that is found in the scalp, the emissary veins, as well as the inner cranial circulation (Cressy, 2004).
Care should also be taken when scalp massaging clients with low blood pressure. They would need help when moving their heads around and they would also need to be put in a position that would not result in the lowering of their blood pressure (Kim, Kim, and Ko, 2016).
High fever; when one has fever it means they may have a bacterial, viral or even a fungal infection. Massage may aid in spreading the infection. For example dandruff, ringworms may be spread during the massage. Thus, it should be avoided if one has a fever or the mentioned infection (Gehart, D. R. 2017).
Recent neck or head injury
Injury such as broken collar bone, neck, head injury, slipped disk and ah histories of recent bruising are the signs and symptoms in which massage should be avoided. These conditions could be aggravated by massage, thus it is safe to avoided massage in these situations (Gehart, D. R. 2017).
Cancer and thrombosis
Gehart, D. R. (2017), says that Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are contraindicating in massage because the skin integrity may easily be impaired during massage treatment. In suspected or known cases of thrombosis, massage should be avoided because it may aid to dislodge the clot moving it to a more risky area.
Some of the contra-actions of the scalp massage may include nausea, headaches, aching muscles, dizziness, and allergy among others (Cressy, 2004).
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Hot Stone Massage
The hot stones massage does promote the relaxation of the deeper muscle by placing the water-heated, smooth stones at some of the key body points (Cressy, 2004).
History of Hot Stones Massage
History has confirmed that this massage treatment was mainly utilized by the Chinese since about 2000 years ago. This therapy was being used then with the aim of enhancing the way that the internal organs function. The hot stones were also being utilized for healing purposes in India, Egypt, Europe, Africa, South America, and North America (Cressy, 2004). The traditions of the hot stones massage involved laying the stones in some given patterns on the client’s body, using the stones for both disease diagnosis and treatment, and wearing or carrying the stones for protection and health (Mayrhofer, 2010). Currently, it is one of the massage therapies that have blossomed in the current world and has become among the most relaxing massage forms. The hot stones massage has evolved currently to entail hot stone meridian therapy, hot-stone manicures and pedicures, hot-stone facials, and deep-tissue hot stone massage (Mayrhofer, 2010).
Benefits and Effects of Hot Stones Massage
- It relieves tension and pain which are typically created by contracted and strained muscles
- Decreases muscle spasms and pain. This massage prevents the involuntary contractions of the muscles that usually cause sharp pain by stretching those muscles and keeping them active.
- Increases the levels of flexibility in the joints which helps in easier movement and mobility (Mudzingwa and Kabote, 2014). This may also go a long way in preventing some long-lasting life conditions like arthritis which is a problem for the joints.
Throughout pregnancy, one needs not to receive this massage because of the increase in body temperature (Cressy, 2004). This is because for a pregnant woman, they need to ensure that the temperature of the fetus needs to be optimum as tampering the temperature may affect the health of the fetus.
If the client has any condition where they have some levels of loss of sensation which include diabetes, neuropathy, as well as the peripheral vascular disorderas subjecting them to this kind of massage may tamper with their blood flow or body temperature (Cressy, 2004)
Any client that has some conditions which are associated with depressing the immune system like cancer, HIV/AIDS, and lupus, among others (Cressy, 2004)
Special Care Conditions
When the client has various kinds of skin conditions like psoriasis, rashes, and eczema, there are high chances that this can get worse when the skin is subjected to heat. However, when this therapy is done on them, the therapist needs to ensure that they have avoided placing any heat on such areas infected with skin conditions while being careful about the numb areas (Mudzingwa and Kabote, 2014).
When the client has conditions like cardiac problems, hypertension, and pregnancy or diabetes, then the client needs to communicate the kind of care they are getting with the therapist, so that they can evaluate the specific conditions concerning the suitability of obtaining the hot stone massage (Mudzingwa and Kabote, 2014).
Some of the treatment reactions include increased emotional state, nausea, headaches, tiredness, sensitivity, which may be followed by either more or less aching or energetic muscles (Cressy, 2004).
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The sauna is a Finnish steam bath where the steam is being provided by the water which is thrown on the hot stones (Cressy, 2004).
The sauna spa treatment mainly originated from Finland and it was invented about 2000 years ago. Historically, the sauna was designed as a small wooden house or room that is designed as the place of experiencing both wet and dry heat sessions (Cressy, 2004). The lighting in the sauna was typically shady. Sauna has been in use for centuries and not only as being the place to have a bath, but it has also been used as a place for enjoyment, relaxing, and healing. One of the earliest saunas was dug in an embankment inside the ground a structure that has evidently changed over the years. In most recent saunas, kiua, heater, or stove are the ones that provide the heat which heats the rocks with the aim of providing soft heat. Water is then thrown over those rocks so that they can provide humidity (Redberg, 2015). Also, the recent saunas have developed in that it is usually done in courses. This spa treatment continues to develop to become classier and more comfortable.
Benefits and Effects of Sauna
The sauna helps the blood vessels to be more flexible which enhances blood circulation. During the sauna bath treatment, the flow of blood towards the skin is enhanced something that is helpful in bringing nutrients to the surface tissue which leads to a healthy and glowing skin (Redberg, 2015).
The heat from the sauna leads to hyperthermia, which is where the body is put into a state of artificial fever. This ‘fake fever’ is useful in stimulating the body’s immune system which leads to enhanced production of antibodies and white blood cells which is useful in fighting diseases (Redberg, 2015).
Sauna also makes one have enhanced energy levels that will make the client feel rejuvenated.
Redberg, R. F. (2015) states that the heat from sauna opens the sinuses; it opens up the thin mucus membranes around the body. This can also be useful in clearing colds as the blocked sinuses are opened thus, one breath with ease.
Sauna opens up the skin pores; the steam clears the skin of its impurities thus, opening up the pores of the skin. This can prove helpful in treatment of acne too. It also improves the circulation around the body making the skin to glow and also feel good (Redberg, R. F. 2015).
Redberg, R. F. (2015), says that Sauna bath promotes flexibility; he explains that the heat penetrates the stiff and tired muscles making them more loose and easy to stretch.
Sauna can also be fun; when done with friends sauna can create an opportunity to socialize of working time, interacting thus sauna has proven have multiple health benefits (Redberg, R. F. 2015)..
Contra-indications of Sauna
Some of the conditions for which sauna treatment needs to be avoided completely include when one has (Hannuksela and Ellahham, 2001);
- Chronic kidney diseases
- Infectious diseases
- Oncological diseases
- Thyroid function abnormality
Special Care Conditions
When one is coming from doing a workout, they need to give their bodies some time so that they can cool down before exposing themselves to the sauna heat with the aim of avoiding a stroke (Hannuksela and Ellahham, 2001).
For children, the temperature in the sauna needs to be regulated to lower levels because their ability to tolerate high heat is usually limited.
For the pregnant women and the clients with low blood pressure, care needs to be taken to keep the heat levels as low as needed. This is because sauna bath usually decreases blood pressure whole the high temperatures may harm the fetus or may cause the pregnant woman to faint (Hannuksela and Ellahham, 2001).
Sauna bath may have the following effects (Cressy, 2004);
- It may cause the skin to dry out something that may result in skin wounds and conditions
- It may lead to the increase of particular hormones which may oppose the insulin action
- May cause excessive sweating that may result in dehydration
Spa treatment is useful in helping boost the health of the bodies in different ways. Various types of spa treatments exist and the one that the paper has focused on including the scalp massage, hot stones massage, and the sauna treatment. For each of these, their histories have been discussed, benefits, contra-actions, and contra-indications of the same.
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