Spa Secrets Revealed

Posted on: 12 September 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

An expert explanation of the newest spa treatments and how they work.

Perusing the list of treatments at a spa can seem like reading a foreign language, so our expert guide from Champneys looks beyond the jargon to reveal what's actually involved in a range of wraps, therapies and so on, and their benefits for your body.


A Kriotherapy chamber looks very much like a sauna, with enough room to walk about. The chamber is split into two sections.

In the first section, the temperature drops to -60 degrees.

After 30 seconds, you are led into the next section of the chamber where the temperature drops a further 75 degrees. Small exercises have to be carried out to keep the circulation moving. After the maximum time of 3 minutes has passed, you leave the chamber.

Special clothes are provided to protect your modesty and extremities - a headband, socks, wooden clogs, mouth mask, gloves, a top and shorts. You can bring your own clothes but they must be dry and 100 per cent cotton, as clothes that aren't would simply freeze.

Kriotherapy is ideal for easing muscular tension and boosting the circulation, encouraging the release of endorphins - happy hormones - and a more relaxed, calm sense of being.

Champneys - KriotherapyIt can also aid sleep dysfunction, relieve symptoms of fatigue and depression, help to regulate hormonal activity and aid menstrual pain, improve the appearance of cellulite, rejuvenate the skin, increase immunity, revitalise the body post workout, relieve rheumatic inflammation and ease back pain.

Champneys Tring is the only place where it is available in the UK.

Chill & Tone

The latest must-have contouring and firming body treatment is unusually pampering compared to other cold, barely-bearable toning treatments. This cool body-contouring wrap combines the instant toning effects of a refreshingly cold marine-based mask, with the comfort of being cocooned in the warmth of a thermal blanket while lying on a heated bed.

A cold, peel-off mask is applied to the stomach, thigh and hip areas before you're snugly wrapped in foil and a fleece blanket and a thermal heat blanket to ensure you're cosy and comfortable.

The mask is left on for around 10 to 15 minutes during which time the therapist gives you an arm massage, using Firm and Tone Aromatherapy Oil. After a neck and shoulder massage the mask is removed and to complete the treatment Cooling Balm is applied.

A simple and effective cold mask and wrap, this treatment has instant effects but can also provide long-term benefits following a course of treatments, combating cellulite and eliminating excess fluid from the hips, thighs and stomach.

Aromatic Herbal Journey

Wonderfully comforting, it begins with a soothing facial massage to induce a relaxed state.

Gorgeously warmed aromatherapy oils are drizzled over various parts of the body, starting with the shoulders. After each area is drenched in warm aromatic oil, the warmed herbal poultice - a muslin compress filled with herbs - is pressed onto the skin, and with long sweeping movements the therapist glides it across your body for a deeply indulgent massage that quickly relaxes aching or tense muscles.

Finally, after a blissful hour and all-over body massage, a gentle scalp massage awakens your senses and brings you to the end of the treatment.

If you're feeling a little under the weather, this warming spa treatment can help beat the winter chills, sooth away aches and pains and instantly revive your body. Your skin's softened to perfection and you're left feeling warm, nurtured and thoroughly pampered.

Polish & Purify

This 55 minute facial is instantly refreshing, refining and radiance boosting. Using a traditional steam and extraction method, along with the new technology of micro-dermabrasion, even the most lack-lustre skin is left squeaky clean and radiant.

After a thorough cleanse, your hands or feet are also given a treat with a quick massage while your face is steamed for ten minutes. After a quick extraction of blackheads, skin is soothed with Skin Conditioning Toner before an Anti-Wrinkle Eye Mask is applied, followed by Radiant Skin Double Enzyme Face Mask. Now it's time for a hand, foot or scalp massage.

The finishing touch, after the masks are removed, is a dab of eye cream or serum, a protecting serum, oil or cream to suit your skin type and a layer of lip balm.

This deep cleansing facial helps rid the skin of impurities, leaving your skin spa-fresh with a healthy glow.

Hand Heaven

This specialised treatment concentrates on the hands and lower arms, incorporating the use of Fresh Face Microdermabrasion System on the back of the hands and heated paraffin wax to soften the skin. Super-hydrating oils and creams, such as Overnight Sensations Hand Care and Nail and Cuticle Wonder Oil, are used to tidy the cuticles, nourish nails and soften hands.

A lavender wheat cushion is also placed onto your shoulders or lower back to aid relaxation, and there's the choice of a foot massage or nail paint to complete the treatment.

This pampering hand treatment leaves hands immaculately groomed with a youthful appearance, nails neat and your skin feeling super-soft.

Men’s Grooming Experience

Living life in the fast lane means there's little time to spare. This treatment is the ultimate overhaul for men combining a menu of fast-track treatments to polish, buff, relax and groom.

More than just a facial that super cleans the skin, this tension-relieving treatment combines a neck and shoulder massage and a scalp massage, along with a manicure and pedicure, plus a few finishing touches - eyebrow, nose and ear trim and tidy - for the perfectly groomed man. He'll look good and feel great, and, more than likely fall asleep during the treatment.

Champneys - chocolate wrapperThe Chocolate Wrapper

Chocolate lovers can treat themselves to the sheer indulgence of chocolate therapy. Skin softening, it's also a guilt-free way to enjoy chocolate.

This mouthwatering experience begins with top-to-toe body exfoliation using Oriental Body Glow to perfectly prepare your skin for the delicious warm chocolate body wrap.

Once cocooned in this unique calorie-free wrap, enjoy the distinctive aroma of chocolate and relax with a soothing scalp massage.

Once showered, Skin Comforting Creamy Body Butter is massaged into the skin to leave it intensively moisturised.

Age Excellence Facial

This energising anti-ageing facial combines manual face lifting massage technique with a new Age Excellence premium range of products with ingredients that work at a deeper cellular level to reverse the visible signs of ageing.

This facial uses precious ingredients to effectively help restore and repair ageing skin. Age-fighting algae and purple orchid, combined with white lupin and soy extract make this age-reverse skin care range intensely replenishing and it promises to plump and tone the skin, giving it a radiant and youthful glow.

The specialised massage encourages healthy skin metabolism leaving the skin energised, smoother and glowing with instant uplifting effects.

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