Spa days are generally thought of as being more of a girls’ day out—but spa services for men is a growing trend.
According to research from the International Spa Association, in 2005 29 percent of spa-goers were male, and by fall 2017 that number had grown to 49 percent.
The goal of spa therapies for men, and how men approach spa therapies, is usually different from the way women interact with spa therapies. Most men want treatments that are effective, cost-efficient, and make them feel invigorated and youthful.
Focusing on the health benefits of spa services is a sure way to show the public that tension-free muscles, stress relief and detoxification are not confined to a gender but are for everyone.
Try these spa techniques for men:
A facial is a great treatment for men to try first, especially if they are nervous about the spa experience.
Men often use fewer products on their face than women. Advertising a facial for a man could be more effective if described as a post-sunburn treatment or as protection from the sun.
Once they’ve experienced a facial, they will realize how relaxing and calming it can be.
Sauna and Stream Room
What could be more luxurious and invigorating than a room filled with swirling steam and heat? Saunas differ from a steam room because they use dry heat as opposed to moist heat.
Both are popular types of treatment with men for various reasons.
Steam and sauna have a long tradition in many cultures, from Turkish baths to Native American steam lodges, and the heat can feel like the best kind of self-indulgence. If a client is new to heat treatment, he will find the sensations immensely appealing.
Similar to massages, heat is associated with the relieving of muscle tension from sports, exercise, a stressful week or bad posture. A good sauna or steam room will warm the muscles before a deep massage and make the pressure more effective.
Saunas are more effective for muscle relaxation and lowering blood pressure, whereas steam rooms help with overall body detoxification.
Also popular today are infrared saunas, which use infrared light to create heat.
The heat from sauna has such various health benefits as reducing the healing time for damaged tissue, muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerve endings.
The heat can also increase the blood circulation and vasodilation of blood vessels, speed nitric oxide and healing oxygen to necessary areas, aid in cell regeneration, stimulate detoxification and weight loss, and increase energy levels, stamina and mental clarity.
Body Wrap/Mud Bath
Although men are typically not as concerned about soft and fragrant skin as are women, a healthy, healing touch is often welcomed after a hard week’s work.
A body wrap or mud bath with a refreshing, clean smell such as patchouli vetiver or vanilla may hit the spot. You could possibly create a product that soaks into the skin and doesn’t have to be rinsed off after the wrap.
A vichy shower is a great stand-alone service as a water massage. It can be also used after a mud bath or body wrap to wash off the product.
The shower has seven hoses, which are sometimes movable so the practitioner can adjust the water pressure and target specific muscle groups. It is both invigorating and relaxing.
Foot Bath Soak and Scrub
A 15-minute soak can get rid of those callouses on the feet and is a great way to start or end a day at the spa. While you’re at it, why not add an exfoliation scrub to further relieve tension and dry skin?
Hand Soak and Scrub
Why take care of the feet and ignore the hands? A hand soak can help get rid of rough edges on the hands and relieve dry skin and soreness. A scrub exfoliates the skin.
Paraffin on the hands and feet provides warmth to the muscles and conditioning to the skin. It pairs well after a hand or foot soak and scrub.
Detox Foot Bath
This is a more therapeutic foot soak in a special ionic bath. It contains an array of salts that when activated, detoxify the body. The treatment takes 30 minutes, and has been known to help relieve muscle and joint soreness, boost the immune and lymphatic systems and increase stamina and energy levels when done regularly.
Cleaning the skin with a body brush using brisk, upward strokes exfoliates the skin, eliminates dead skin cells, increases blood and lymph flow and is a great prelude to any service.
Brushes have a variety of soft, medium or brisk bristles, so the desired texture against the skin can be attained.
Vicki Sutherland, L.M.T., is a graduate of Tennessee School of Massage. She maintains massage practices in Tennessee and Mississippi. She specializes in Swedish, deep tissue, acupressure, cupping therapy and other various spa modalities. Teaching is her passion and she currently teaches National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork-approved courses in sports massage and stretching, acupressure, cupping therapy, reflexology, hot stone therapy, aromatherapy and hydrotherapy.