Who doesn’t relish being pampered with a muscle-melting massage? The trouble is, the price tag can make you tense up all over again. Well, you’re in luck—Spa Week is coming up. That means you can indulge in a slew of spa treatments for a wallet-friendly and guilt-free $50 a pop. you can start booking your appointments at one of the 800 participating spas right now. To help you decide which treatment is best for you, we’ve broken down the science behind some of the most beauty-boosting services. Search by your city at spaweek.com to find treatments in your areas. Book ‘em while they’re still available!
Getting rubbed the right way doesn’t just make you feel more relaxed and looser than a wet noodle, it’s also an effective therapy that quashes pain and improves your health. A 2010 study at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles found that a 45-minute Swedish massage lowered levels of the hormone that regulates blood pressure and water retention and increased circulating lymphocytes, which may signify an immune boost.
Try: 45 Minute Calm and Peaceful Massage at the Spa at JW Marriott Santa Monica Le Merigot Hotel in Santa Monica, California.
ReflexologyThe healing touch therapy stimulates certain areas in the feet and hands that correspond to organs in the body, releasing energy blockages. The result? Tension and stress are banished. A 1999 study of headache and migraine suffers in Denmark—where reflexology is a top alternative treatment—showed that, at the three-month follow up mark of the study, 81 percent of participants reported that reflexology treatments helped or cured their headache symptoms.
Try: 60 Minute Pumpkin Spice Reflexology treatment at the Pittsburgh Center for Complementary Health & Healing in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.
READ MORE: Your Guide to Alternative Medicine
AcupunctureThis ancient type of traditional Chinese medicine involves inserting ultra-slim sterile needles into certain points along the body to unblock qi, our vital life energy, and restore balance to the body. But being a human pincushion pays off—acupuncture can release you from a heap of aches and pains, including migraines. A 2010 study observed the perception of pain in the body with and without acupuncture treatment. Researchers saw a significant reduction in the activation of brain areas that register pain in patients who received acupuncture.
Try: 50 Minute Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture Facelift at Elixir Mind Body Massage in Denver, Colorado.
More than just sniffing heavenly scents, aromatherapy is an alternative remedy powerful enough to alter your brain chemistry in mere seconds, improving your mood and your health. Research shows that the scent-sational treatment helps reduce stress and provide pain relief. A 2009 study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that linalool, which is a compound found in many essential oils including lavender and orange, reduced stress by altering blood chemistry and gene expression, while a 2010 study found that thyme oil reduced the activity of a key inflammatory enzyme in the body by 65 percent.
Try: 55 Minute Aromatherapy Massage with Essential Oils at Elements Therapeutic Massage of Boca Raton in Florida.
Getting in touch with your inner Gumby provides a whole host of mind and body benefits. Yoga not only gives you a toned and flexible body, it’s also been shown to lower blood pressure and keep your mind calm and super-focused.
Try: 5 Pack of Mind Body Classes (Core Fusion or Yoga) at Exhale Mind Body Spa, locations nationwide.
READ MORE: Your Complete Guide to Yoga
This ancient practice has been healing people for centuries. The holistic treatment focuses restoring the mind-body balance with therapeutic combinations of diet, exercise, yoga, massage, mediation, breathing, detoxification and healing herbs. Studies back the effectiveness of several herbal remedies traditionally used as Ayurvedic remedies, including turmeric, which is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant; Boswellia serrata, which has been shown to reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis; Shilajit, which is rich in fulvic and humic acids that produce cell energy; and Terminalia chebula, which has anti-ulcer properties.
Try: 50 Minute Ayurvedic Balancing Facial with Fresh Organic Fruit Mask at Fine Living New York Ayurveda in New York City.