Spas are no longer for quick fixes, they now offer long-term health benefits.

A recent study conducted by Cornell University confirmed the benefits of going to a health spa - increased energy, focus and creativity as well as improved physical fitness. And the spas in UAE are specialising increasingly in treatments that offer long-term health benefits rather than just superficial quick fixes.

The newly opened Khatt Springs Hotel and Spa in Ras Al Khaimah is poised to become the ultimate health spa destination with its hot spring pools, hot spring treatment rooms and Ayurveda treatments. "We also offer hydrotherapy, hydrothermal therapy and crenotherapy, which uses natural spring water that contains different minerals. The water from our hot springs is used in baths for stimulating the digestion, circulation, healing dermatitis and rheumatic ailments, and helps the immune system," says Nagarajan J Udupa, General Manager, Khatt Hotel.

Another exclusive treatment at the Khatt Hotel is the precious stones therapy, which is based on traditional Chinese medicine. "We use precious and semi-precious stones to enhance mental, spiritual and physical healing. The precious stones therapy is based on the fact that certain crystals and gems possess powerful energies that correct imbalances in the human body and promote health and well-being," explains Udupa.

The Health and Beauty Institute at the One&Only Royal Mirage features the Givenchy Spa. "Taking care of your health and being concerned for your wellbeing are central to Givenchy's philosophy," says Philippe Dupont, Manager of the spa.

The Health and Beauty Institute also counts the traditional Turkish Hammam that is on their spa menu as a distinctive service. "It is an oasis from daily stresses. We have well-trained masseurs known as ? Tellak' who are masters of their craft," says Dupont.

Ayurveda is gaining popularity in the Middle East, with a number of spas all over the UAE offering Ayurvedic massages and therapies. "Many Ayurvedic books were translated to Arabic in 1000 AD. This proves that Ayurveda had and continues to have strong links with the Middle East. The sage Kankayana, who was an authority on Ayurveda, is also believed to be from Balhika in Iran," says Dr. V. L. Shyam, Chief Ayurveda Consultant at the Softouch Ayurveda Centre at Kempinski Hotel, Ajman. With more than a dozen treatment rooms, Softouch can administer nearly 100 treatments a day, including a wide range of Ayurveda massages apart from massage techniques from Thailand, Indonesia, Bali and Sweden.

Softouch Ayurveda also recently launched a premium spa - the K Wellness Spa at Kempinski Hotel at the Mall of The Emirates. "Our wide range of luxurious face and body treatments at the new health spa will be tailor made through an Ayurveda diagnosis to suit a person's body type. The new spa will integrate yoga, pranic healing, chinese treatments, reiki, crystal healing and shiatsu to Ayurveda for a complete wellness and healing experience," says Shyam.

The Spa at Taj Palace in Diera also offers Ayurvedic treatments such as the Abhyanga, where a massage is performed with a combination of strokes, using oils specifically suited to your mind and body constitution. This massage is followed by a steam bath ensuring that all the oil is absorbed into the body.

Or you can opt for the Taila Seka, a highly recommended Ayurvedic treatment that involves two therapists pouring warm oil rhythmically all over the body that rejuvenates the muscle tissue. This treatment also includes a soothing, deep penetrating massage to improve circulation that eliminates stress and mental fatigue.

The Le- Meirage spa at Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort in Fujairah, boasts a treatment area on the beach for moonlight treatments and is an ideal way to spend an evening. " Ayurveda is a way of life and does not only treat diseases. It stresses on prevention and curing body ailments. It is the most natural way to refresh, eliminate all toxic imbalances from the body, and regain resistance and good health," says Dr Shylaja Revikumar, of Le- Meirage.

Dos and don'ts

  • Switch off your cellphone.
  • Arrive 20 minutes before the appointment. This gives you time to check-in, change and relax.
  • Take a hot shower before your treatment.
  • If you're combining two treatments during one session, always get the massage before the facial.
  • If you're uncomfortable with anything during your treatment - the pressure, the music, the temperature - don't be embarrassed to speak up.
  • Don't eat for an hour before your appointment.
  • Remember to tell your therapist if you suffer from any health problems.
  • Drink lots of water after a massage.

- American Massage Therapy Association