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Unwind after the holidays: 8 Spa treatments

Celeste Gish is a freelance writer and recovering Gonzo Mom based in the Savannah area. Her work has been published in ABA Bank Marketing, Atlanta Journal & Constitution, Health Management Technology, Advance for Health Information Profe...

De-stress after the holidays

The in-laws are gone, but your holiday headache persists, and the closest you've come to a facial in months is the steam from the dishwasher. Don't look now, but it's spa time!

Woman Getting Facial

Spa treatments have come a long way since Swedish massage was developed in the 19th century. Today's spas offer a variety of luxurious facial, massage and body treatments to soothe aching muscles and banish stress. An increasing number of studies show that massage actually reduces heart rate, lowers blood pressure and relaxes muscles. Throw in a facial and mani-pedi, and brace yourself for a serious endorphin rush that's perfect for relieving holiday-induced stress.

Services like these are sure to be offered at a spa near you. Check the Internet or the phone book for locations and pricing.

1. Extreme Pedicure

This treatment starts with a salt massage to soften calluses and cuticles, and soothe tired, aching feet. Next, a cool, soothing aloe mask is painted onto the legs and feet and left to dry. The final step is an application of herbal foot lotion and a dip in paraffin to seal in the healing benefits of aloe.

2. Caviar facial

Currently available at swanky spots like the Bellagio of Las Vegas and the Four Seasons Hotel Spa in Beverly Hills -- but coming soon to a red carpet near you -- this anti-aging treatment uses marine caviar combined with a blend of vegetable extracts and crushed pearls to revitalize, hydrate and firm the skin for a youthful glow.

3. Urban protection facial

A vitamin-rich ampoule is applied, followed by a layered mint and lavender thermal mask that reveals rejuvenated, hydrated skin. Bonus: Skin is protected against free radical damage in the environment for weeks to come.

4. Couples massage

Indulge yourself and your partner with a luxurious couples massage by candlelight. Stress relief, indeed. Need we say more?

5. Craniosacral therapy

This gentle, hands-on massage focuses on the fluid of the spine, beginning with the head, face and neck, then moving to the sacrum. Although the technique is typically beneficial for those who suffer with headaches or chronic neck and back pain, always check with your physician before beginning treatment for a medical condition.

6. Milk and honey manicure

Imagine your dishpan hands soaked in warm milk then treated to a deep, penetrating mask, followed by a hydrating massage and paraffin treatment. After nails are shaped and groomed, you'll enjoy a dewy massage with milk and honey butter.

7. Raw sugarcane rub

A treat for your senses as well as your skin, this service gently moisturizes, exfoliates and stimulates your entire body with sugar, a natural antioxidant, followed by a cold-pressed, virgin coconut oil massage to hydrate and nourish. It wraps up with an application of rich coconut body butter.

8. Rosemary foot refresher

This luxurious treatment combines a cocoon of hot eucalyptus foot wraps and a warm rosemary sea salt polish for your soles, finished off by a soothing massage. Your tootsies never had it so good!

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