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Going Abroad for Medical Spa Treatments

By: Kathryn Senior PhD - Updated: 27 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
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For someone who is tired, stressed and maybe recovering from an illness and conventional treatment, a medical spa combined with a holiday can be very appealing. As well as getting the break away from home, some good weather and a change of scene, going for medical spa treatments abroad can also aid healing, and add complementary or alternative medicine to aid recovery.

A Range of Spa Treatments

The possibilities for different treatments are almost endless but massage forms a mainstay of spa therapy. Hot pebble massage, hydromassage, aromatherapy massages, whirlpool massages and vacuum massages can all be used to help muscle or joint problems, particularly back pain and arthritis. If you have had an injury, massage combined with plenty of time in the water at a spa, can be very beneficial. The water supports the body as you exercise gently, strengthening muscles without putting strain on tendons, ligaments and joints.

Skin treatments are another main category – algae therapy, mud treatments, peal baths, power showers and salt treatments can smooth the skin, and can help with chronic skin complains such as eczema and acne.

Other treatments include light therapy, treatment with magnets, cryotherapy, in which joints or muscles are treated by frozen ice packs, and diathermy, or deep heat treatment. Lung conditions and breathing problems are helped generally by being in a warm humid environment but medical spas also offer inhalation therapies to treat specific problems.

Where to go for Spa Treatments

Eastern Europe is a very popular destination for private spa treatments. Countries such as Romania and Hungary have a plethora of spas throughout their different provinces that offer packages including travel and accommodation. Booking can be done on the internet, just as you would do for an ordinary holiday. Cyprus is another popular destination with the medical spas part of the country’s health service. This is a wonderful holiday destination too, which is useful if your partner or family want to come with you, but they don’t need the treatments.

More exotic locations include the island of Gozo, where medical spas specialise in Ayurvedic treatments and combine them with 5 star luxury accommodations. This is a holistic spa treatment that includes treatments for the skin, therapy to relieve ailments such as migraines, joint pain and arthritis and lifestyle treatments to promote weight loss and stress relief. Some of the treatments are designed specifically for pregnant women, or women who have recently given birth.

The Cost of Medical Spa Treatments

Medical Spa treatments are rarely covered by health insurance, so any visits to a foreign health spa are usually payable out of your own pocket. Most people accept this though, because the trip is very similar to a holiday, with the extras of the treatment added in. Costs can vary enormously depending on how far you travel, where the spa is located and the style and quality of facilities it offers. A luxury week in a spa in Gozo, offering daily treatments is currently around £4500.

Check List for Choosing a Spa

This contains much the same things as a checklist for choosing any holiday abroad. It is difficult to be 100% certain of where you are going but the ideal way to choose is on a personal recommendation. If you know someone who has been recently and can tell you what the facilities were like and what the treatments achieved, that will make the decision very easy. The next best thing is reviews of the spa or the packages on offer – but make sure they are published on an independent site. Finding out as much as possible using the internet is also crucial – and why not phone up the hotels and spas you are considering once you have made a short list. The phone call will be a lot less expensive that choosing somewhere you are not happy with.

Listen to Your Body

Once you have made the choice, you are at your spa and you are in the middle of your holiday, be careful to listen to your body when taking the treatments. If you are uncomfortable, for any reason, it is fine to say no and try something else. Private medical spa treatments abroad are expensive but you should be able to return home fully relaxed, rejuvenated and ready to face normal life with a spring in your step having had the holiday of a lifetime.

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