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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P R S T V W Y
FACIAL

There are many types of facials. A standard facial usually includes massaging the face, cleansing, toning, steaming, exfoliating and moisturising. Other types of facials, masks and skin treatments are available at most spas. Eg a peeling mask designed to lift dead skin and encourage new skin growth; a paraffin mask, which helps increase circulation and rehydrate the skin; and a deep cleansing facial which purifies and revitalises the skin.

FANGO TREATMENT (THERAPY) (FANGO BATH)

The Italian word for mud. Used in treatments, a highly mineralised mud may be mixed with oil or water and applied over the body as a heat pack to detoxify, stimulate the circulation and relieve muscular and arthritic pain. Fango creates all-encompassing warmth and works like a poultice softening the skin. Natural ingredients such as peat moss and sea kelp are often mixed into the mud to help contain the warmth and increase mineral content.

FAST (FASTING)

To abstain from certain, or all, food and certain drink, except water, for a period of time for the purpose of physical detoxification and rejuvenation. A supplemented fast, or very low-calorie diet, consists of small amounts of regular foods and extra vitamins and minerals, or of a liquid "formula" diet which is nutritionally adequate except for its content of calories.

FELDENKRAIS (METHOD)

System developed by Moshe Feldenkrais that attempts to reprogram the nervous system through movement instrumented by physical pressure and manipulation to the body.

FLOTATION TANK

An enclosed tank the approximate size of single bed filled with 30 -40 cm of warm water and Epsom salts allowing you to float comfortably in a totally dark silent environment. This can be a serene, deeply relaxing experience for some, but claustrophobic for others. It creates a sensation that has been likened to returning to the womb.

GUIDED IMAGERY

A process which involves listening to music or a person's voice in a relaxed state for the purpose of allowing imagery, symbols, and deep feelings to arise from the inner self. This visualisation may be used to stimulate the body's immune system.

GOMMAGE

A highly effective way to exfoliate the face or body, leaving skin feeling silky soft. A cream or paste is thinly applied to the skin. It sits for a few minutes until it dries slightly. The spa therapist then removes it from your skin by rubbing. The gommage rolls up off the skin as it is rubbed, picking up the skin's dead skin cells.

HAND AND FOOT TREATMENT

This often includes a standard manicure and pedicure, followed by a seaweed or paraffin mask to soften and smooth the skin.

HAMMAM

Arabic steam bath. Muhammad believed that the heat of the hammam, which in Arabic means "spreader of warmth" enhanced fertility and the followers of the faith should multiply.

HAYSACK WRAP

Kneipp treatment with steamed hay intended to detoxify the body.

HERBAL WRAP/BATH (hot and cold)

The body is wrapped in warm linen or cotton sheets which have been steeped like tea bags in a variety of aromatic herbs, then covered with blankets or towels, preventing the moist heat from escaping. Additionally, a cool compress is applied to the forehead. Herbal wraps help relax the muscles, soothe soreness and soften skin. However, some people find the heat oppressive and the cocoon effect of the wet sheets and blankets smothering. To avoid feeling claustrophobic, the arms may remain outside of the wrap.

HERBOLOGY (HERBALISM)

The use and study of herbs for the purpose of healing and diet. Herbs are prepared for internal and external use in a variety of ways including teas, tinctures, extracts, oils, ointments, compresses, and poultices.

HOLISTIC HEALTH

Also known as wholistic (from whole) A non-medical approach to the healing and health of the whole person that looks to combine physical and mental well being. This philosophy of health views the environmental, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of life as intricately interwoven and seeks to create balance by attending to all.

HOMEOPATHY

A form of medicine based on the principle that "like cures like". Patients are treated with natural substances in minute quantities which cause symptoms much like those manifested by the disease. In this way the body's own vital force is stimulated to cure itself.

HOT PLUNGE

A hot pool for the rapid expansion of the capillaries and is complimentary to a cold plunge.

HYDROMASSAGE

See hydrotub.
 

HYDROMASSAGE

See hydrotub.
 

HYDROTHERAPY

Long a staple in European spas this is the generic term for water therapies using jets, underwater massage and mineral baths such as Balneotherapy, Iodine-Grine Therapy, Kneipp Treatments, Scotch Hose, Swiss Shower, Thalassotherapy, and others. It also can mean a whirlpool bath, hot Roman pool, hot tub, Jacuzzi, cold plunge and mineral bath. These treatments use physical water properties, such as temperature and pressure, for therapeutic purposes, to stimulate blood circulation, dispel toxins and treat certain diseases.

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