Like Chinese empresses and Nordic beauties, get steamed with body melting treatments.
Body melting treatments are de rigeur these days. Not just your average sauna trips, new heat therapies are the latest in skin rejuvenation.
From Thai Herbal Heat to hot-stone therapy, ELLE Canada highlights some of Canada's best offerings.
Paraffin-wax baths and parafango
What they are The heat-holding properties of melted paraffin were discovered in ancient times, and people have used it to ease aches and soften skin ever since. Paraffin-wax baths involve "spot-soaking" troubled body parts in temperature-controlled hot wax; parafango invites full-body immersion in a mix of fango mud and paraffin.
What they do Both relieve pain, expel toxins and boost circulation. "Parafango cocoons you," says Dr. Barb Loiskandl, consulting physician for Solitude Aesthetics & Day Spa in Barrie, Ont. "It traps heat beside the body like a warm blanket."
Who should try them? Non-inflammatory arthritis sufferers will benefit from both treatments.
Who should avoid them? Pregnant women and those with high or low blood pressure, cardiac conditions, unstable diabetes or multiple sclerosis.
Before and after No caffeinated drinks on the day of treatment; at least two litres of water, herbal or decaffeinated tea over the 24 hours following the treatment.
At-home alternatives Professional-style paraffin-wax baths can be purchased online; parafango is available at select spas.
Thai herbal heat
What it is For centuries, Thai healing practitioners have used "prakop," a hot cotton compress that contains a blend of 20 herbs including camphor, lemon grass, turmeric, Thai ginger and kaffir lime. The compress is kneaded across aching muscles, in conjunction with Thai and aromatherapy massage.
What it does Opens pores to invigorate, tone and detoxify skin, and eases sore muscles; balances internal "sen lines," or energy channels, to induce deep relaxation. "It enhances the flow of the nervous system," explains Ottawa chiropractor G. Paul Holtom, who refers many clients for Thai treatment to the nearby Holtz Spa.
Who should try it? Athletes, osteoporosis patients, anyone looking for stress reduction.
Who should avoid it? A rare few are allergic to the herbs. Drink 250 mL of water before and 250 mL directly after. A total of four to five glasses of water or herbal tea on the day.
At-home alternatives Treatment by a licensed practitioner is recommended, but compresses can be bought from evranch.com.