You deserve to go to a spa! Rejuvenate. Get back to yourself. Relax with fabulous towels and personal care.
A word to the wise, however.
If you’re going through cancer treatment or if you’re not too far out from surgery, be mindful about how to determine which place is best for you. As the industry expands its interest in catering to those with vulnerabilities, you are in the driver’s seat even more than before.
Consider these as you decide where to put your precious time, body and money:
There are a number of companies and non-profits that teach spas how to work with patients and survivors. If they have completed some level of sensitivity training they will be welcoming, helpful and sensitive to your needs and concerns. They will be competent and compassionate and ready to serve you with the upmost respect from the time you check in until the time you depart.
Soft tissue damage can occur. Swelling and lymphedema concerns must be taken into account before applying pressure to the body. Light touch in the right places can alleviate itching and burning. Every professional should ask about your body’s limits and vulnerabilities before they touch you.
Facials and Manicures
Your skin may be hypersensitive and dry so gentle, hydrating and hypoallergenic products are your friend. Fragrance free, preservative free and hormone free creams are best. You also want to protect skin lipids and your skin barrier, so exfoliating is a no-no. Cuticles are a wonderful barrier to infection so they should be moisturized and well cared for. Sunscreen is an absolute must (along with clothes and hats that keep you shaded, cool and comfortable).
Diet and Nutrition
Healthy eating can be complicated by difficulties in swallowing or in taste. Culinary personnel should be able to provide nutritious food, served in ways that are agreeable and attractive to you. If your ability to taste is compromised let the chef know – there are a variety of ways to spice things up.
Hygiene and Cleanliness
Sanitation is critical, especially if your immune system is compromised. Be sure that special precautions are in place if you are at risk of infection. Disposables should be used wherever possible, frequent hand washing should take place, and a wide variety of cleaning habits should be practiced between clients to avoid potential breeding grounds for bacteria.
Compromised breathing, fevers, lightheadedness, nausea and pain can occur without warning, especially for those who are undergoing cancer treatment. Spas should have plans in place to deal with these surprises efficiently and safely.
Spa treatments can be exhausting, even if they are suitable for your needs. Knowing how much is enough – and how much is too much – is worth discussing – so that you’re aware of the stamina it may take to get back to yourself, with optimum energy.
Now that you know what to look for, check out the spas in your region. They have much to offer for fun and for fitness. Going with girlfriends or a special partner can ramp up the excitement and the memories.
Spas in the U.S. that serve women living with cancer include Radiance Spa, Canyon Ranch, Sanoviv Medical Institute, the Chopra Center for Well-Being and the Lansdowne Resort’s Spa Minerale – just to name a few. Because their specialties and amenities vary, it is wise to do your research and to seek out recommendations from your health care team, about day and overnight spa options that easily meet your needs and requirements.
You deserve spa services that are safe for your body and that provide relaxation and comfort. Be sure to share any special concerns that you have about your needs with everyone involved. Your well-being is priority one!