More and more women are looking to spas as their answer in quality "me" time. Worldwide, the spa industry a billion dollar business, and the Philippines is quickly finding a nice in this arena.

In general, Filipinos are comfortable with getting a massage, though some women feel uneasy about entrusting such an intimate treatment to a stranger. Take baby steps, like sampling a foot or scalp massage. Once you feel at ease and see the benefits of these treatments, move on to a basic back massage. Eventually you may give in and go for the whole body treatment.

But there are different spas that cater to different needs. Depending on the kind of spa experience you want, you may want to consider what kind you want to visit.

  • Day spas are the most accessible kind of spas as they are found almost anywhere: malls, hotels, salons, and health clubs. Treatments can be as short as 30 minutes or can last as long as a day.
  • Resort spas are usually found within the grounds of a vacation destination. Treatments done here are complemented by other activities such as hiking and water sports.
  • Medical spas offer a wide range of medical treatments alongside regular spa therapy. Medical professionals are on hand in these establishments.
  • Destination spas are designed to give your health a total makeover. Education programs, supervised spa treatments, physical fitness activities, and healthy cuisine are part of the guest's experience pver a period of a few days.
  • Wellness spas or holistic spas are visited by people with specific health problems as well as those who want to improve their lifestyle.

After you've chosen the kind of spa and treatments you want, make the most out of your visit with the tips below.

For more on getting a little healthy self-indulgence, check out the articles below:

(First published in Marie Claire Philippines, Beauty section as "Spa Gazing" in March 2006. Photos by Marc Nicdao; makeup by Steven Doloso; adapted for use in Female Network)
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