Traditionally known as havens of relaxation, spas are underestimated when it comes time to shed the excess weight that has crept up on us during the winter season. Although exercise and a healthy diet are key, beginning the journey to a healthier lifestyle with a specialized spa treatment can often lead to faster, more effective results.

Begin with a detox
The first step is to renew, re-energize, and expel toxins from the body. This is the prerequisite to successful slimming and can be accomplished by treatments that envelop the body with clay, seaweed or marine mud, all of which result in perspiration and more effective elimination of toxins. For a comprehensive spa experience, begin with a visit to the sauna or steam bath and schedule a full body scrub to prepare the skin then top off with a full body wrap.

Alternative treatments
Several spas now offer “sensorial journeys” which allow you to experience treatments inspired by various cultures. Coffee-inspired treatments from the Brazilian tradition, for example, utilize the benefits of caffeine to target problem areas.  Caffeine, tonic massages, and swimming have been the secret of Brazilian women for centuries. Indian Ayurvedic techniques and Udvartana therapies on the other hand, work by massaging problem areas with a mixture of chickpea powder and ginger. Cinq Mondes, a French company specializing in “Beauty Rituals of the World” has perfected and adapted these traditions to provide contemporary treatments with proven results.

Massage techniques
In all cases, massage techniques definitely make a difference.  By pressing muscles at the right points, toxins are expelled towards the lymphatic system, which works to eliminate them through blood circulation. This cannot be achieved by massage chairs or machines that claim to guarantee results in a matter of minutes.

Slimming creams
The temptation to purchase slimming cream will no doubt seem ever more appealing as summer approaches. Be sure to read labels and ask questions before making this investment. Products containing algae are naturally rich in iodine, which activates the metabolism and thus the fat-burning process. Fucus and Laminaria are also ideal for burning fat, while Spirulina contains nutrients geared more towards firming the skin.

In any case, the slimming process is composed of several elements including healthy eating habits, exercise, drinking lots of water, and enjoying the simple pleasures of life. Keeping these elements in mind makes the slimming process more enjoyable and results become visible faster than expected.

Toula Victor, spa-goer
14 July 2010

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