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Spa Ireland


A guide to spa speak

First time visiting a spa or 10th - it doesn't matter; the range of treatments & experiences can be confusing. If you're not sure about a treatment don't be afraid to ask. Our glossary is a start to understanding the terms but not definitive - the list is truly endless.


Dry heat in a wood lined treatment room or cabin. The heat causes sweating, which helps rid the body of impurities and relaxes the muscles


Skin peeling (otherwise known as skin exfoliation) using fine-grained substances such as salts, ground fruit seeds, fine sand and others, which are often combined with a cream to ensure that you are comfortable whilst this is used on your skin. Highly effective in sloughing off the old skin cells to reveal newer, softer and younger looking skin


Application of self-tanning products applied to face and body usually following a full body exfoliation to slough off old skin to reveal the newer, fresher skin beneath - this ensures that the tanned effect lasts longer and is not patchy

Serail – see Rasul

A rasul or serail is an elaborately tiled room where a traditional Arabic body treatment involving steam and mud takes place. A therapist will apply the mud and often shower you down in cool water after the treatment. Leaves skin feeling very soft


A Japanese form of acupressure using gentle finger pressure rather than needles. The treatment works on the principle of enhancing the flow of vital energy through the meridians of the body to aid relaxation

Signature Treatment

A spa treatment designed or specially created by a spa, sometimes using indigenous local ingredients or exclusive products


Believed to derive from the term "Sanus Per Aquam" meaning “health through water” Used to describe the facilities offered at venues that provide an integrated approach to health and wellness by way of water and spa treatments

Spa Day

A full or half day which would normally include lunch & full use of facilities such as sauna, jacuzzi, steam room, pool etc. Packages are chosen depending on how many treatments & what type you want

Spa Ritual

Usually involves multiple treatments and may be themed to suit the areas of speciality within a given spa, or to match the expertise of therapists

Sports Massage

Deep holistic massage directed at muscles used in athletic activities. If done before exercise it can help prevent injury. If done afterwards, it can help remove lactic acid and relax muscles

Steam Bath

In a closed room, hot steam is released periodically through vents to moisturise the skin and air passages. Good as a toxin-eliminator and particularly effective if you alternate with either a plunge pool or swimming pool to raise and then lower and then raise again the body temperature. Not suitable for Mums to Be

Stone Therapy

The use of warmed and chilled stones to massage the body and sometimes using hot oils

Swedish Massage

The original and probably best-known massage, similar to connective tissue massage, combining long stroking movements with circular ones, complemented by kneading to loosen the deep muscle structure