Not all ‘spas’ are the same. There are a wide range of health spa treatments available, depending on where you go. Traditional health spa treatments are designed to provide relaxation for weary minds and bodies, refine lines and wrinkles and get rid of unwanted hair. There is great value in some good old R&R, pampering yourself and feeling beautiful. Generally, people will come to a health spa for:
- A relaxing massage or facial
- Brow and lash tinting
Therapeutic Health Spa
At Blue Creek, we’re a bit different. We celebrate the escape that a spa can provide—a relaxing environment, mellow music, a warm cup of tea, and of course, your favorite, traditional health spa treatments. But as a ‘therapeutic health spa’ we offer experience and expertise on a range of conditions from a therapeutic perspective.
Specifically, addressing your health and wellness concerns are a main focus in a therapeutic spa. Things we may do differently are:
- Tailor treatments specific to your needs.
- Work with each person to create their individual treatment goals and how we incorporate our different modalities to best support your overall health and reach those goals.
- Treat the WHOLE you! We address your specific needs as well as you as a whole person—just as you are. You are not your diagnosis.
Oftentimes, people use western approaches, including medicine (OTC and pharmaceuticals), to address common health conditions. As a therapeutic health spa, we can offer additional support for these conditions that you can’t get from medicine or a traditional spa.
10 Common Conditions We Treat with Therapeutic Health Spa Treatments
1. Allergies (a.k.a. Allergic Rhinitis)
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, about 30% of adults suffer from allergies. While OTC antihistamines are an effective means of managing seasonal allergies, they don’t always offer adequate relief. One of our health spa treatments that has shown remarkable results with treating seasonal allergies is acupuncture.
Acupuncture can help various allergy symptoms: runny nose, itchy/red/watery eyes, headaches, low energy, etc. We have traditional acupuncture treatments, as well as allergy elimination treatments.
Traditional acupuncture treatments help bring the body back to homeostasis. Specifically with allergies (seasonal and/or environment), acupuncture:
- Alleviates sinus pressure and headaches by redirecting circulation throughout the body
- Opens and drains the sinuses
- Clears heat from the eyes (i.e. red and itchy eyes)
Allergy Elimination — helps with food, environment and/or seasonal allergies. The process of “clearing” or desensitizing an allergen involves gentle stimulation of pressure points along the spine, and then, based on the patient’s preference, acupuncture or acupressure is utilized. Allergy elimination can be used safely on anyone, including infants and the elderly, and it is 100% natural, without shots or medication.
In addition, a combination of Chinese herbs and essential oils have proven successful in treating seasonal allergies. One of our favorites, White Flower Oil, is an herbal analgesic, or a combination of essential oils (lavender, eucalyptus and peppermint) and chinese herbs. It is used to alleviate sinus pressure, headaches and minor muscle tension.
2. Mental Health (anxiety and depression)
Approximately 1 in 5 adults experience mental health symptoms like anxiety and depression. While modern medicine is constantly evolving to manage these conditions, certain therapeutic practices have been used for centuries for relief.
First is acupuncture. Acupuncture can help bridge the disconnect between mind and body. While treatments are extremely relaxing, they are also focused on any symptoms one might be experiencing such as: heart palpitations, weeping/crying, anger, insomnia, etc. Treatments can also help the body process any changes in medications and/or dosage changes.
Second is massage therapy. From a physical perspective, massage therapy can increase blood and lymph circulation, positively influence brain chemistry and ease muscle tension. Regular massages also provide the mind with space and time to allow thoughts to drift away and move into a more meditative state.
While on the subject, meditation has also been shown to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. Similar to a massage, meditation puts the mind at ease and can help train the brain to better react to stressful situations. For an even more relaxing environment, try meditating with essential oils such as lavender and rose.
3. Pain (various forms)
Most people will experience physical pain in their life, whether chronic or short-lived, which is what makes this one of the most common conditions we treat. In terms of health spa treatments, we offer massage and acupuncture as ways to alleviate pain.
Picture a garden hose with water running through it. Now, tie a knot in the hose. What happens? Water builds up on either side of the knot. This is what happens in the body; stagnation (lack of circulation) builds and pain occurs. Pain can present itself in many ways: a muscle spasm, a deep dull ache, a sharp shooting pain, etc. Luckily, there are many therapeutic treatments for pain.
First, we address ‘why’ pain has occurred. Is it chronic? The result of an accident? Understanding the root cause of the pain will help us better treat it.
In acupuncture treatments, we might solely use acupuncture needles during a treatment or incorporate other therapeutic modalities, such as cupping, electro-stim, tuina (Chinese massage) or acupressure—all depending on your specific situation.
Using a variety of techniques, a therapeutic massage can ‘untie’ those knots, smoothing muscle fibers, which releases nerve entrapment. Joints can move more freely when the muscles, as well as the connective tissue or fascia, are not constricted. Inflammation, often a cause of pain, is decreased as the lymphatic system is stimulated.
One of our favorite fertility treatments, acupuncture, works intimately with a woman’s cycle, hormones and overall constitution. Much discussion occurs (with a detailed health history and consultation) to determine the root cause and course of treatment. Is there cold in the uterus (leading to insufficient uterine blood flow)? Are any of the four phases of the menstrual cycle too short? Too long? What day is ovulation? How is the cervical fluid?
Acupuncture is also a supportive treatment for the partner/spouse. It can calm/lower stress (before each procedure), as well as nourish and increase sperm (the jing, or essence).
Massage therapy can help ease the mental and emotional challenges associated with fertility issues, as well as support the physical body on this significant undertaking. It can increase circulation, soften constrictions of the pelvic floor and support proper positioning of the uterus. Additionally, craniosacral therapy addresses the nervous system and can enhance the body’s overall ability to function properly.
5. Digestion (constipation/diarrhea/IBS/Crohns, etc.)
Gut health is integral to our overall health, which is why it’s so important to have a healthy digestive tract. However, digestive issues, ranging from constipation to Crohns, can wreak havoc on our bodies. Fortunately, there are some simple therapeutic health spa treatments that can offer relief.
Castor oil pack treatments help with inflammation, pain and healing. Start by applying the castor oil to the abdomen. This will aid the digestive system in relieving various digestive complaints (constipation, diarrhea, general inflammation of intestines and/or bowels).
Besides a caster oil treatment, massages offer relaxation for the digestive tract. The colon is a vital muscle, and massaging it, as well as the digestive tract, can help the muscle regain its proper mobility and motility. Additionally, myofascial release can create individuation of all of the abdominal muscles, thus allowing the organs to function optimally.
6. Skin conditions (eczema, acne, etc.)
The majority of skin conditions (acne, eczema, psoriasis, etc.) is caused by heat and/or dampness coming from inside the body and manifesting on the outside (the skin). Acupuncture will assess the root cause of your condition.
Various skin care treatments will help heal the skin tremendously and prevent future breakouts, especially customized facials and/or peels that are tailored to your specific condition. Are you experiencing acne breakouts? There are products to help heal active and old breakouts (e.g. salicylic acid to help stimulate shedding of the outer layer of skin). And there are also a variety of products to help calm the skin that is red, irritated and/or itchy.
An inexpensive home remedy to help heal various skin conditions is dandelion root tea. This tea is also a wonderful medicinal tea! It is mostly known for its natural diuretic effect to help your body eliminate toxins. Dandelion is a bitter herb, and the property of bitter is to expel toxins. It helps to calm the irritated area and accelerate recovery. Steep the tea and let it cool down (to even slightly cool), then use it topically. You can soak the affected area for 10-20 minutes. The tea will help to pull heat and/or dampness from the area, and speed up the healing process.
7. Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes (plantar fascia).
Acupuncture and massage treatments can help relax and calm the inflamed tissue that is tightening (and caught in an inflammatory state), causing pain. Treatments will also decrease trigger points and increase smooth circulation locally and systemically, which will result in reduced pain.
- Stand an arm’s length from a wall
- Place your right foot behind your left
- Slowly and gently bend your left leg forward
- Keep your right knee straight and your right heel on the ground
- Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds and release
- Reverse the position of your legs, and repeat
Another great stretch is before you get out of bed in the morning, write the alphabet with your toes to warm up that fascia. You can pick either upper or lower case…both if you’re going for the gold!
Acupuncture treats fibromyalgia quite differently than regular pain.
Areas of stagnant circulation (think of a traffic jam on the highway) can lead to pain, and over time, the stagnant areas will cause ‘malnourished’ muscles (imagine a shriveled raisin). We need to redirect circulation (of blood, qi/energy and lymph) so it circulates through the entire body—from foot to chest, chest to hand, hand to face and back down to your foot. We use acupuncture, food and herbs (mulberry, beets, black beans, beef and chicken, specifically) to nourish blood in the body, which will, in turn, nourish the muscles.
Massage therapy can help to release the constriction in the fascia, or connective tissue, as well as trigger points in the muscles.
9. Women’s health (menstrual health, menopause, hormone balancing, etc.)
Acupuncture is a very effective treatment in regulating the menstrual cycle. Is your cycle is too short or too long? Is it painful? Are there any emotional changes around your cycle? We will take all these things into consideration.
We will then pick specific acupuncture points based on your specific condition. Points to move stagnant blood (in the uterus). Points to reduce pain and inflammation (e.g. cramps, breast tenderness, and/or premenstrual headaches). And finally, points to calm the mind and promote peaceful sleep when there is an emotional imbalance during the menstrual cycle.
Food and nutritional support may also be used (prescribed medicinally, according to your constitution) to balance a woman’s cycle and hormones. There are different types of foods to move blood and qi/energy (and general circulation) to regulate the menstrual cycle:
- Green tea
There are also foods to nourish blood (post cycle) to replenish blood:
- Black beans
- Red berries
- Bone broth
Abdominal and uterine massage is also a beneficial treatment for reducing inflammation, as well as softening and loosening the five main ligaments that hold and support the uterus.
There are many, many causes of headaches: tension, migraine, hormonal, food-related—just to name a few. They can be an enigma, and a debilitating one at that. Acupuncture addresses both the specific pain of the headache as well as the underlying contributing causes. It is also highly effective in headache prevention, correcting the root causes, thereby eliminating the subsequent headaches.
Massage therapy can release specific trigger points that cause nerve pain and possible radiating pain contributing to the tension in the muscles causing the headaches. It can soften the vice grip on the base of the skull and surrounding musculature to allow for proper blood flow to and from the brain.
Peppermint essential oil can also offer relief when applied topically. With muscle-soothing effects, as well as a cooling sensation, peppermint can be a safer alternative to OTC pain medicine.
Health spa treatments are a great resource for many types of common health conditions. As a therapeutic health spa, we offer both traditional treatments as well as additional services in order to heal you from the inside out. To learn more about our services and methodology, click here.