It isn’t hard to see the enjoyable side of spa; the word is synonymous with relaxation, indulgence and the more enjoyable side of health. What is perhaps a little lesser known however is the practical impact it can have, particularly as we get a little older.

A spa isn’t necessarily the first port of call for most of us when we are looking for a solution to a health problem, or even something we would seriously consider incorporating into our wider health routine. However, choose the right venue and you will find a wealth of expertise and practical advice available for everything from coping with the menopause to help with insomnia, eczema and psoriasis, rheumatism, nutrition, and general health and fitness...

Greyshott spa

Menopause

For some women it’s a life event that has very little impact, while for others menopause leaves an indelible and often intolerable mark on their day-to-day lives. However, while it often remains a somewhat unspoken trauma, an increasing number of experts are working on holistic methods and lifestyle solutions with long term effects. At Grayshott Hotel Spa, Maryon Stewart, who started the Women’s Natural Advisory Service, has implemented her specialised programmes to advise women both during and after they reach the menopause, to make the transition as seamless as possible, or even to improve your health afterwards!

Rheumatism

Sulphur water is known for its healing properties in terms of many different health concerns, thanks to both the temperatures and the natural mineral content. At Ayii Anargyri in Cyprus, the springs in the hillsides fill the spa’s hydrotherapy pools, and prove particularly soothing when it comes to rheumatic diseases and chronic joint inflammation. It has been known to improve mobility, as well as ease pain.

Eczema and Psoriasis

Anyone who has a skin condition whether it’s severe dry skill, eczema, or psoriasis, will know that skin conditions can be a problem for any of us at any stage in our lives, and treating them is an ongoing battle. Often creams, lotions and potions seem to initially treat the surface but don’t have a long lasting effect either on discomfort or appearance. At Donnington Valley, they offer an Aqua Sun Mineral Treatment, which sees you soak under a UV canopy, in a bath containing 21 minerals and organic plant extracts from the Dead Sea. As a source of Vitamin D, it has a particularly positive effect on soothing skin conditions, while also countering Seasonal Affected Disorder, acne, and aiding detox.

Insomnia

Again, insomnia, and sleep problems can affect us at any age, but often when we are changing routines, perhaps as a result of retirement, or going through life changes such as menopause or a bereavement we are more susceptible. It is common practice to believe that most sleeping problems are the result of an overactive mind. According to sleep specialist, Tej Samani, however, there is a whole catalogue of reasons as to why people can struggle to sleep, many of them physical. Another specialist now running his clinics through Grayshott Hotel and Spa, Samani’s programmes are accessible with the wider support of the venue’s health and fitness facilities, adding a concentrated healing dimension, and a kick start to change.

Nutrition

Nutrition can have an impact on all areas of health, from digestion to skin conditions, weight, and overall wellbeing. However, trying to decipher the good, the bad, and the just-plain-ridiculous from one another with so much information flying around, can be confusing at best. As the basis of all their spa packages, Longevity Wellness Resort in Portugal offers guests both a nutritional evaluation and a biophysical evaluation, which give personal, in depth nutritional and fitness guidance based on your current fitness, age, and particular health concerns, in what is nothing short of a beautiful environment (think walks in the Monchique hinterland, swimming with a view of the treetops – you get the picture). What is also particularly nice about Longevity Wellness Resort’s approach to nutrition is that they explain the ingredients and benefits of the meals they offer in the restaurant and put any belief that healthy living is about taste deprivation and unsatisfactory portions to rest, with positively mouth-watering spreads.

Fatigue

As an offshoot of insomnia, stress, or dietary imbalances, chronic fatigue can really have an impact on your quality of life. Osteopathy, and in particular, cranial osteopathy can not only help to induce a better nights sleep, but also provide a prescriptive element, helping to identify concerns across the body that might be causing fatigue or contributing to it without you realising. Again, Grayshott Hotel Spa is on hand, and also Gleneagles, thanks to their recent introduction of ESPA Life, with specialist therapists. The advantage of these treatments being delivered at a spa is that there are so many other surrounding therapies and advice available in the same place to add support to the treatment. At Gleneagles in particular, the on-site naturopath, who oversees ESPA Life, is able to offer lifestyle and nutritional advice to help ensure that the effects of the treatment are ongoing.

Visit any of these spas and more by visiting Spabreaks.com or contacting 0800 043 6600.

Words by Bonnie Friend