No one benefits more from the pampering and rejuvenating effects of a trip to the spa than cancer patients and people with certain health problems such as diabetes, fibromyalgia, or chronic skin condition, but traditional spa treatments can be dangerous if you suffer from any of these conditions. Medical spas offer services tailored to deliver the maximum benefits and avoid risks for patients with specific health issues.
Massages, facials, body wraps, manicures, pedicures, hair styling, acupuncture, aromatherapy, and physical activities, such as yoga, Pilates or Tai Chi, are among the many services offered at most luxury spas. For most people these treatments are safe and effective ways to relieve stress and depression, rejuvenate the skin, hair, and body, restore beauty, and renew energy levels, but for some there are specific risks. That doesn’t mean that these treatments must be avoided, but they must be performed with special care, by professionals who are trained to address each patient’s unique needs.
Cancer patients often experience a powerful combination of stress, pain, and depression. Their bodies, skin, and hair are ravaged by the effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Cancer patients often find that with hair loss, skin conditions, an elevated risk of infection, and a heightened awareness of the dangers of the chemicals in many beauty products, even a simple trip to their usual salon can be frightening, dangerous, and for some, embarrassing.
Medical spas address the unique beauty needs of cancer patients which most traditional spas are not equipped to handle.
- Wig and prosthesis fitting. Wig fitting and styling and prosthesis fitting are basic elements of beauty solutions for cancer patients. Traditional spas and salons offer limited or no services in these areas.
- Sterile conditions. Because cancer patients often have an elevated risk of infection, manicure and pedicure tools must be absolutely sterile.
- Cancer-safe products. Many of the chemicals found in traditional beauty products can cause various illnesses, and a good portion of these chemicals are carcinogenic themselves. To cancer survivors and those who are fighting cancer, nothing is less appealing than exposing themselves to more cancer-causing substances.
- Hair styling. Medical spa salons teach techniques for camouflaging and caring for thinning hair, as well as styling new hair as it grows back after hair loss.
Massage therapy can minimize many of the side effects associated with cancer such as pain, nausea, fatigue, and depression. However, not all types of massage are appropriate for all patients. Deep massage can be dangerous for patients who are prone to blood clots. Massage programs are tailored to address patients’ specific needs. For instance, special massage techniques can be implemented to improve range of motion restrictions created by scar tissue, reduce swelling of the extremities in patients who have had lymph nodes removed, or relieve numbing and tingling in patients with neuropathy.
Medical spas are not just for cancer patients
Programs are also designed for patients with diabetes, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, chronic skin conditions, and a myriad of other health issues. Nutritional training, meditation, psychological and emotional support, condition-specific education, and classes in self-healing techniques, such as touch therapy, are often included in the programs. Many facilities have libraries available, offer physical therapy and various types of medical testing, and even provide transportation. Some give patients the opportunity to participate in clinical trials.
In addition to all of the usual benefits of a luxury spa experience, medical spas which cater to patients with specific health problems can help to alleviate depression and pain, improving quality of life, often increasing a patient’s willingness and ability to go to important doctor’s appointments, and significantly speeding the healing process. Some hospitals automatically include spa services as a standard part of treatment and rehabilitation for a variety of health problems. Many of the resources and services offered at medical spas are available to patients and family members alike.
If you or a loved one suffers from cancer or a chronic medical condition, ask your cosmetic surgeon about the benefits of medical spas today.