Day Spa Oracle 2017-09-05T11:15:24+00:00

Welcome to Day Spa Oracle blog for wellbeing and beauty tips

I’m Katrina from ikatan Spa in Noosa, a relaxation oasis that’s waiting for you. Until then, subscribe to our newsletter for regular self-care inspiration.

Finding Chi in Ubud Bali

On a recent trip to Bali we visited the Pyramids of Chi, only minutes from the centre of Ubud, for a vibrational sound healing and relaxation session. We have never experienced this before but we are always open to trying something new. We both found it deeply relaxing and each session we went to was a different experience in the way felt and the facilitators performance. I could not find a better way to describe the synchronised instruments, music and chanting of the teachers, other than a performance, as it was an intimate concert of your own interpretation within the walls of the Pyramid.

Laying on our comfortable mattresses and placing a magnetic sand filled eye pillow (ours to keep) over our eyes, the instructor led us through a brief meditation guided intention. Amazing resonating sounds of a beautiful voice chanting, gongs, Bali style didgeridoos and so many other instruments are used throughout and constantly changing, yet calming vibrational sound.

As the first gong resonated around the pyramid and through our bodies it was enhanced with a loud clap of thunder as the tropical rain fell down the outer pyramid walls into the ponds. On cue, the thunder rolled as the various gongs vibrate with a heavenly voice around the pyramid. On a rainy day Pyramids of Chi is the perfect place to escape and enjoy the sounds of the tropical rain and thunder as it rolls across the mountain area of Ubud.

I’m not great at meditating but I found my way to slip out of this world for the most relaxing hour of deep relaxation at a Pyramid of Chi vibrational healing session.
Some people can become emotional and while initial thoughts of overwhelming sadness and loss ran through my mind it was overcome with a deep sense of gratitude for being able to experience the pyramid session, twice.

There are two Vibrational sound healing sessions a day 11am and 3pm $25 per session for an hour. On your first visit there is an introduction to explain how the vibration relates to the body and what to expect during the session.
They have a shuttle bus that runs every 30 minutes from beside the temple in Ubud. Just wait for the bus with the pyramid logo on the side and hop on. You can book a session online which I would recommend in peak tourist times. They also have a nice cafe overlooking the rice fields. But if you go to Ubud it’s an experienced not to be missed.

Tip: go as soon as you get to Ubud, because you will want to go back as much as you can while you are staying in Ubud.
Pyramids of Chi, Bali

My Balinese Balian Healer Experience

My Experience with a Balinese Balian Healer.

Most trips to Bali for us are about working, as in sourcing, searching and having made, essential things we cant find in Australia to keep Ikatan Spa authentically Balinese.

On a recent trip to Bali, between work commitments, I was in need of more than a day spa treatment to help me recover from the past few years of stress in my life, which took me by surprise as to how it effected me physically, mentally and emotionally.

My friend had been seeing Putu, a Balinese Balian Healer for years and recommended him to me, and I am now happy to recommend him to you but before I do, I would like you to understand a little about a Balian Healer and I why I am happy to tell you about my experience with him.

I’m a little Sceptical.

Apart from owning a Balinese Day Spa and teaching Balinese massage in Bali, I used to be a fitness instructor and personal trainer, therefore have a good understanding of the human body. I’m also a beauty therapist and qualified in a number of massage styles, including remedial and Balinese, along with studying Bowen Therapy Technique. I’m not what I would call overly ‘spiritual’ but have good intuition when it comes to dealing with bodies and different therapies. I was therefore open to seeing a Balian Healer but a little reserved about what Putu could actually achieve with my body, however I do believe in a lot of the same beliefs that Balinese live by and am always open to new experiences.

What is a Balian?

Being a Balian is not a job, it’s part of who they are and what they do for others. Balians don’t chose to be a healer themselves, they know their skills are a gift to help others and it is their destiny to have been chosen. Some Balians learn healing techniques from their family members who were healers before them, however many Balian also study and are qualified, skilled practitioners.

It is better to be recommend to a Balian healer by someone else as generally Balians do not like to draw attention to themselves, as in advertising what they do because it is not customary to do so. You will find brochures of leaflets about healers and they are more about informing people visiting Bali, otherwise it would be hard for tourists to find a healer but Balinese people are not enticed by this kind of advertising. Balians do not like to be addressed as a Balian, as they are genuinely humble souls and their work speaks for itself, which is why advertising themselves is not culturally acceptable.

What does a Balian Healer do?

There are numerous types of healers who work on specific problems, from broken bones to emotional stress, mental disorders to “mysterious” problems. Always choose a Balian that is appropriate for your own needs and don’t expect miracles or to be fixed in one session.

I found Putu in a small shop, on a quiet back streets of Legian. It was no more or less than I had expected, as I knew it would be a humble place where an authentic Balian would chose to be. I stepped inside the room and was meet by Putu’s wife Wayan. Putu was blessing a bottle of water for the person he had treated before me and I could see he was totally immersed in what he was doing, and I liked that. Wayan escorted me to the corner of the room, behind the half pulled curtain and explained to me to get changed and lay face down on the bed.

How do You Know a if Healer is Gifted or Qualified?

I didn’t need Putu to say anything as I could feel Putu’s presence. He lay his hands on my back and spoke softly to me ‘Hello Miss Katrina, I will look after your body’. I could have cried, as I felt so in need of someone to look after my body and intuitively know what I needed after all the stress I had been through.

I had decided when I booked that I would not tell Putu everything that was wrong with my body. If he was an authentic Balian Healer, he should be able to find my aliments and heal them. Yes, I was definitely going to test Putu’s healing, massage technique and knowledge as a Balian.

Warm healing hands worked my muscles without pain while he softly whispered to me in a soothing Balinese voice, areas of my body that had issues. I could not believe what he was telling me, how did he know?

Putu’s understanding of the body felt like he could see through my skin as if it was a map with blockages that need clearing.  When I looked up at Putu a few times, he had his eyes closed in deep concentration while his gentle but firm hands manipulated my body.

I got my Breast and Cervix Protected.

I love a good back massage that doesn’t hurt but soothes away the tension. As a therapist I know this is the best way for the body to let go of stress. His healing hands work on my upper back into my neck as well as under and down my arms, Putu tells me to look after my breasts and he was protecting them through by working through this area. I knew what he meant as this is the lymphatic area for the breasts and a very important area to massage as well as check for lumps.

It’s especially good for women to be massaged in the area around the side or ribs and under arms due to us wearing bras that can be restrictive to lymphatics, however it’s often neglected during a massage for fear of being intrusive. At ikatan Spa, staff are trained to massage around the upper arm and along the side of the body to the underarm area, particularly in our 90 minute Mantra massage.

Putu’s English is good but some things he told me were lost in translation, however I got the general idea when he said he was ‘protecting my cervix’ while massaging my stomach, obviously meaning female organs and I was relieved when he said ‘good working order now’.

Balian Body Reader.

I was totally in ore of Putu’s anatomy skills when he started working on my psoas (hip flexor) which is a very important muscle responsible for all sorts of body movement and issues, often neglected, misunderstood and rarely massaged unless it’s with a good remedial or sports massage therapists. It’s an uncomfortable area to have massaged, as it needs to be worked on around the buttocks, hip and deep into the abdominal area. Putu worked with skill, grace and kindness while letting me know if he needed to work deeper, which it didn’t hurt.

Putu is a what I will call a ‘body reader’, it’s a map he knows well, working on fixing all the blockages and speed bumps as he travels over it, this is my kind of healer.

No Eat, Pray Love for Me.

I was not interested in a Balian that could give me ‘spiritual predictions’ like the Balian in the movie or book ‘Eat , Pray, Love’ however there are Balians that specialise in spiritual healing for those that need this help.

Bodies are what I know and understand and while that comes with a good sense of intuition and awareness of a mental and emotional connection, I needed my stress healed through my physical body first, knowing the rest would follow from a better working physical body. I did feel a great sense of relief both physically and emotionally and I can highly recommend Putu if you need your body physically corrected and balanced with a professionally qualified practitioner who is gifted with talent and intuition.

Physical, Mental and Emotional Healing.

bali guide by ikatan day spa noosa 4 The healing experiences my husband and I had over a week, with three ninety-minute healing treatments worked for both of us physically, mentally and emotionally so well and yet it seemed so uncomplicated and naturally better each day. Working on a body takes time and repeated visits, my advice, from experience in working on bodies and seeing a Balian Healer is to always book the longest treatment time you can have or afford, it’s more economical to have a longer treatment, and go back a few times or don’t go at all.

Putu is a genuine Balian Healer who learnt his skills from his father and generations of healers before him as well as extensive and continued study but it’s his gentle soul that delivers the skill he has, which I feel makes him so gifted as a healer.

Owning a day spa and being a therapist myself, I know some people feel uncomfortable having a man massage them but if it makes you feel better, Putu’s wife Wayan, stays in the room, on the others side of the curtain, and this may help some people feel more comfortable. Putu covers you with a sarong and does not overly expose the body, he doesn’t need too.

Tips for Finding and Having a Balian Healing Treatment.

  • Ask friends or Balinese where you are staying for a Balian recommendation.
  • Ask you hotel to book your first visit. Sometimes we are hard for Balinese to understand over the phone.
  • Or Book via a text message or email.
  • Wear loose underwear.
  • Don’t go for a treatment with a full bladder.
  • Cost of a Balian is inexpensive and relative to how long they work on you, but well worth your health.
  • Remember to book one or two days in advance.
  • Book a minimum of 90 minute treatment.

If you would like to visit Putu you are welcome to tell him Katrina from ikatan Spa Noosa recommended you and I am sure you will be happy with his treatments of you. If you are not satisfied with his style of healing find another healer that is more suited to your needs.

Putu Balinese Healer – mobile +62 813 3852 7069 putubali.healingmassage@yahoo.co.

Have you had or are you interested in a treatment with a Balinese Balian Healer?

What Spa Treatments do you Need this Summer?

Sandy feet, salt-kissed hair! Take me there, it’s summer! While we all love to get out in the sun, sea and sand in stress-free Noosa, enjoying the freedom of relaxing on the beach or long walks in the National Park, the summer season plays havoc with our skin.

If ageing is something you want to keep under control, then you’ll need some nourishment for your body after a day on the beach or in the sun.

At ikatan Day Spa in Noosa, we change our day spa specials every seasons, because seasons change and so do we. So we regularly introduce different treatments, packages and products to suit different skins types and the time of year.

Here’s what you need to think about if you want to glow from head to toe this summer and really relax during your vacation.

Body treatments

Body brushing, exfoliating and wrapping – Body scrubs and wraps are ideal in the summertime to slough off dry skin and replenish the new skin you’ll be showing off in your swimmers and shorts.

Dry body brushing – A great way to stimulate lymphatics, exfoliate and remove dead skin. It should be done at least a couple of times a week.

Body scrubs – A convenient way to exfoliate in the shower once a week. They usually have an oil
or cream base to nourish skin at the same time.

Body wraps – A great way to get the most hydration into your skin. While you’re wrapped, the pores of your skin open with the warmth of your body heat and the nourishing products applied soak in easily to hydrate and nourish skin.

Having a spa treatment where your entire body is nourished is a relaxing experience, and ikatan Day Spa’s Summer Ceremony day spa package is the perfect summer hydration package to restore your skin with body brushing, organic coconut oil and frangipani milk.

Body oils, lotions and potions

It’s a personal choice as to what you like and what feels best on your skin, but here’s the
lowdown on what works best for different skin needs. Do use organic or natural products if you can, as your skin is the largest organ of your body and you don’t want nasty chemicals inside your body.

Oil – Ideal for dry, flaky skin, eczema or rough skin. There are so many oils to choose from, but my favourite is camellia oil, from the white tea plant, or coconut oil, because they both have a small molecular structure, which means they absorb easily. They’re both easy to find too and organic products are widely available.

Body milk and lotion – Light and easily absorbed. However, while they do make the skin look better immediately, they soak into the skin fast and can leave it looking dry again soon after application.

Body cream or body butter – These are thick and heavy so they’re better suited for use during winter as they sit on the surface of the skin for longer, then gradually soak in as your skin absorbs and disperses the products.

Pretty feet, keep them neat

Summer sandals and party heels call for pretty feet. While we should all have pedicures at least once a month, our toes are on display most of the summer, so you want them to look pretty.

Having a pedicure is a relaxing experience, especially with a glass of champagne or pot of tea while seated in the garden room at ikatan Spa.

This summer we have a special Kepala Day Spa Package that includes a pedicure and an Asian Head Massage while your painted toes are drying. As with all pedicures at ikatan Spa, you get to take home your new bottle of nail polish in the colour of your choice.

Share a double room for a massage

The holiday season and our Australian summer is a time we like to spend with family and friends and visiting the day spa is a relaxing way to be together.

If you love getting a massage, you’re going to want to book the special Bersama Noosa Day Spa Package for two which includes a 75-minute massage, a Taster Plate from our food menu, and a glass of champagne or pot of tea in the gardens before or after your treatments.

It’s the perfect way to spend time with a loved one or friend.

You can also try our new Mantra Massage alone or in a double room.

Happy Holidays from the ikatan Team

Happy holiday from me and everyone at ikatan Spa… and may all your dreams come true in 2018!

Visit ikatan Day Spa near Noosa

Find out more about day spa treatments or packages at ikatan – we recommend you book ahead during the holiday season.

Check out our Noosa day spa gift vouchers if there’s someone you’d like to treat.

Top 10 Things Women Want When They Visit a Day Spa

When I set up my Balinese Day Spa near Noosa in 2002, I had a strong vision; a simple dream of a place which created a deep feeling of wellbeing, and where people could totally relax. I wanted to create the kind of day spa I’d always wished I could visit, but had never found.

I wanted people to leave ikatan Day Spa feeling as if they’d just had the most relaxing holiday of their life, even if they’d only spent a few hours here, and long before the term ‘spa-cation’ became popular.

Since then, I’ve constantly tweaked and improved the way we do things at ikatan, based on feedback from our guests and our amazing therapists. We now know exactly what people want from a day spa.

Here are a few of the reasons we’ve gained media acclaim and now have thousands of happy guests who keep coming back for more.

  1. Peace and quiet

There’s a sign at the entrance to ikatan that our guest love. Some of them like it so much they ask if we sell copies of the signs, as they want to take it home! The sign says:

  • No children
  • No smoking
  • Mobile on silent

It’s clearly a relief for people to leave the modern world behind for a while and arrive at a place where they know they can enjoy uninterrupted peace and tranquillity.

  1. No communal changing room

Our guests enjoy the privacy of their own treatment room to change in. They never have to deal with awkward half-naked encounters with strangers, gaping, one-size-fits-all bathrobes, slippers that are difficult to walk in, or tricky lockers.

  1. No nudity and comfy undies

Once a client has undressed, privately in their treatment room they lie on the comfortable treatment bed and cover themselves modestly with a sarong. When the therapist knocks and enters the room, the client is already draped with the sarong and, if required, an extra soft, fluffy blanket is added for added comfort and modesty during our treatments. We’ve also sourced the comfiest disposable full brief undies, (no G strings here) ever made and guests are always surprised by how comfy they are and often purchase them.

  1. Therapists who work in silence

Although our therapists chat to clients before treatments, during treatments they only whisper instructions when it’s time to turn over or to check on your comfort. There’s no chitchat during treatments.

This helps our guests totally relax, without feeling the need to make small talk, and allows our therapists to fully focus on the treatment.

  1. Natural, laidback and definitely not clinical atmosphere

Staff at many day spas wear black or white formal uniforms, which gives a clinical feel to the place. Our spa is centred around a natural garden with therapy rooms hidden away down tree-lined paths and our therapists wear stylish t-shirts with loose, comfy, Balinese print pants, which staff love wearing and clients ask to buy. So people feel as if they’re on holiday as soon as they get here.

  1. Friendly staff

In keeping with the informal atmosphere, our managers, receptionists and therapists are genuinely friendly, because who wouldn’t smile about working in our environment, so guests feel immediately welcome.

  1. Authentic Balinese feel

From the antique Balinese gates, to the large copper bowls used for pedicures, batik sarongs and decorative touches, everything creates a sense of being in Bali. You certainly won’t find any plastic vibrating foot spas here!

  1. High-quality massage oils

We use only the highest-grade massage oils, mainly refined coconut oil which has the smallest molecular structure of all oils so soaks in fast. The oils are warmed before use and scented with pure essential oils to give complete sensory experience without feeling greasy after a massage.

  1. Take home nail polish

Rather than reuse a shared, gloopy bottle of nail polish, we let our guests take home their new, freshly opened bottle which has been used for their manicure or pedicure alone. It’s more hygienic, gives a better result and allows guests to easily make touch-ups if they get a chip. Our therapists love having perfectly fresh polish to paint with.

  1. No hard sell of products

Many day spas rely on product sales for revenue and their therapists rely on commission from selling makeup, facial or body care products. Retail sales are not the focus, superior treatments are, and you will never get the hard sell here at ikatan Spa.

Ikatan Spa has product for sale and our reception staff are all therapists, so, should a client need skin care advice before leaving, they can advise you. But it’s up to our guests if they want to shop or not and it’s easy to give advice as all products used on a client are listed by their therapists and added to clients file. After treatments, our guests are taken to the gardens to relax without having to hear any sales pitch but given a glass of bubbles or pot of tea instead. They can even order food if they’re feeling peckish.

How good does that sound?

What do you look for you when you visit a day spa?

New! Mantra Massage at ikatan Day Spa in Noosa

My never-ending search to find the best day spa treatments is the perfect excuse for me to visit some of the best spas around the world. Check out my global day spa guide if you’d like to plan your travels around a sensational day spa experience.

I’m particularly interested in experiencing Asian spa and beauty treatments because their healing tradition incorporates centuries of wisdom. Not surprisingly, the Balinese massage and Bali Getaway Package are popular treatments at ikatan Spa Noosa.

After experiencing the Esalen massage while visiting Taksu Spa in Ubud, and after years of studying wellbeing and experiencing different massage styles, I was inspired to create a new massage for ikatan Spa.

After months of refining the treatment and training all our therapists in how to deliver it, I’m excited to finally add the new Mantra Massage treatment to our new spa menu.

Your mind, body and emotions need time to regenerate by resetting, relaxing and keeping your thoughts in the present moment. We see a growing need for spa treatments that help mental and emotional health, which is why we created the Mantra Massage which you will only find at ikatan Day Spa, Noosa.

Mantra Massage Highlights

Mindfulness – Created by ikatan spa, the Mantra Massage creates a physical experience to help relieve mental health and emotional stress. The Mantra Massage incorporates mindfulness with a whole body experience, taking relaxation to another level.

I’ve always considered the Chi Massage to be our most relaxing massage experience, and it is by far the most nurturing massage, but the Mantra Massage is a more physical experience for the body. Combining the two necessities of a massage that’s physically effective, with complete rest of the mind, is what the Mantra Massage is all about.

When you arrive at ikatan Spa for your Mantra Massage, we ask you to select a Mantra Card with a written quote. If you wish you can then repeat it in your head, or keep returning your thoughts to it as you would with a mantra, during your massage. This helps keep your mind in the present moment.

Mantra-focused – The term mantra comes from a Sanskrit word meaning a “sacred message”. It’s used for a word or phrase such as “Om” which is believed to possess mystical or spiritual power. Mantras may be spoken aloud or uttered in thought. The Mantra Massage encourages guests to focus on a mantra of their choice, or be given their own mantra to focus on during the massage.

This combination of focusing on a positive mantra while getting a relaxing massage is powerful. It’s an experience you won’t want to miss.

A mantra is about creating pure intentions and genuine kindness which is a focus of ikatan’s new Mantra Massage.

Tension relief – The Mantra Massage is a such a unique, flowing experience, that your mind is also focused on what is happening to you physically. This also helps bring your mind to the present moment and forget about your world beyond this experience.

Warm oil, and long, flowing, palming hand and forearms movements are used by your therapist, as your limbs are gently stretched and massaged at the same time in continuous flowing motion. The technique focuses on stretching the whole body, and massaging those areas where we tend to hold our emotional tension, with a soothing, flowing movement.

We all hold tension in different parts of our body and, after asking you to complete a short questionnaire covering any special needs or problems, our therapist will discuss areas where you hold tension so she can focus on them.

Having a thorough back, neck and shoulder massage is important to the majority of people, therefore the Mantra Massage has two back massages. The first back massage is to relax the muscles, while the second is to work on areas that need more attention and relaxation.

Many of us are aware that, when tense, we clench our hands, frown or stiffen our shoulders. But it’s also common to be unaware of the tension we’re holding onto until someone takes time to massage us slowly and ease that tension away. It’s an unbeatable feeling of release.

One guest said:

‘I feel like someone did a yoga class with my body while my mind was nowhere, during my Mantra massage’.

Body Mind Experience – The Mantra Massage is designed to release tension and stress in the mind and body at the same time, treating you holistically and teaching you how to maintain relaxation after you go home.

Contraindications – The body stretches in this massage incorporate extended movement to legs, back and hip areas, as well as arms, shoulders and light, stretches to the neck, therefore the Mantra Massage is not suitable if you are pregnant, have back, hip, neck, shoulder or arm injuries. Neck stretches can be omitted if required and your therapist can modify some stretches to meet your needs. All our reception staff are also trained therapists. Please ask them if you have any areas of concern before booking the Mantra Massage.

While we pride ourself on delivering relaxing Noosa day spa treatments in a tranquil environment, we’re pretty sure this is the most amazing massage treatment for physical and mental stress.

Does our new Mantra Massage sound like a day spa experience you’d enjoy?

To book our new Mantra Massage for yourself or a loved one visit ikatan Day Spa website.

10 Reasons Day Spa Gift Vouchers are Perfect for Anyone

Christmas is always a good time to give gifts, but we find people need easy gift ideas throughout the year, for birthdays as well as for special celebrations like Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day.

The most recent research shows that experiences, rather than material objects, are most likely to make us happy.

With that in mind, here’s the perfect gift idea for Noosa lovers, or for anyone looking for a gift for someone who lives in, or will be visiting, Noosa.

Noosa Day Spa Gift Vouchers

Nominated one of the top 5 Luxury Spas of the Year, and winner of Asia and Australasia Luxury Spa of the Year Award, ikatan Day Spa near Noosa is an unforgettable experience.

Here are 10 reasons to give one of our gift vouchers:

1. Perfect for anyone – While some people think day spa visits are only for women, treatments are available for men and teenagers too, and we also offer special doubles packages. Day spa gift vouchers are ideal for people who are ill, recovering from illness or suffering from cancer. Everyone likes to be pampered and all our treatments are specially designed to relax anyone fast.

2. Gift a special treatment – Some people know exactly which day spa treatment or package their loved one will appreciate. If that’s the case, you can buy a gift voucher for that specific treatment, whether it’s a 30-minute foot pamper or a retreat for a day package.

3. Gift a dollar value – Most people aren’t sure what treatment their gift recipient would like so it’s often best to choose a gift voucher with a dollar value. The lucky gift voucher recipient can then choose their treatment when they book and top it up if they’d like a higher value treatment. This works well for people who are buying a gift where money has been collected by a group, for example for a teacher or coach. No matter how odd the amount is, your gift voucher can cover it with no shopping needed.

4. Use as you please – Our gift vouchers can be used for treatments, to buy products in our boutique or for food and wine to enjoy before or after a treatment. They’re designed to be flexible so they can be used however you want to use them and they’re valid for 12 months.

5. Grab a special – We offer special packages that change seasonally and gift vouchers can be used to try one of these special experiences.

6. Convenient – Gift vouchers are easy for anyone to buy over the phone or online and they’re easy to deliver to your loved one, either by post, in person or by email.

7. Attractively packaged – Our gift vouchers come in a heavy gold envelope that exudes luxury.

8. Surprise guaranteed – Everyone likes a surprise and you can keep surprising people by offering them a different type of treatment. They’re bound to be surprised by your thoughtfulness too.

9. Something to look forward to – Thinking about the visit to ikatan Spa is exciting. Just planning the visit, choosing treatments and thinking about food and wine options brings people pleasure.  Ultimately the experience and treatments are the gifts that bring huge joy to the person receiving it.

10. Buy online – You don’t even need to go to the shops to get one. You can buy them online and pick them up from the spa or ask them to be emailed or posted to your or the person you’re buying it for.

Looking for a unique Noosa gift?

Ikatan day spa in Noosa sells day spa gift vouchers online. You can buy them for a dollar value so your gift recipient can choose and book their own day spa treatment. They can even enjoy tea, wine or beer in the garden after being pampered and de-stressed!

10 Ways to REALLY Relax on Your Next Vacation

Downtime is proven to reduce stress, increase creativity and improve both mental and physical health. But, even though we need vacations to keep us ticking along nicely, Australians workers aren’t using their allocated holiday time.

Maybe it’s because we’re addicted to our jobs; or too time poor to be able to organise a vacation; or so over-worked that we think, if we have a break, we’ll never catch up again. There may be many different reasons why we don’t use our vacation time but, whatever the reason, it’s vital that when we do take a vacation we fully relax.

Holidays should be a stress-free zone, a time for people to really wind down and learn to enjoy the simple things in life again.

Here’s how to really relax on your next vacation:

1. Book a spa treatment at the beginning of your vacation

Don’t wait until the end of your holiday to visit the day spa. It’s a common mistake that many of the guests at our Noosa day spa make. Being pampered and eased into relaxation at a day spa will set the tone for the rest of your holiday.

Then, if it turns out to be the highlight of your vacation, you’ll have time to book in for another visit later in the holiday.

2. Do it your own way

Some people relax by trekking to Everest Base Camp, others prefer to chill out with food and drinks in our tropical garden. It’s your holiday, so don’t let other people dictate how you spend your precious vacation time.

Whether you want to start journaling, learn how to stand up paddleboard or work your way through the bestsellers list, that’s okay.

Many guests at ikatan book a day spa retreat as part of their vacation so they can also learn yoga or meditation while they’re here.

3. Have another glass of wine!

You don’t have to rush anywhere, keep a clear head for work or worry about what anyone else will think. If you love wine, vacations are the time to indulge. That’s why we offer guests the option of a glass of bubbles after their treatment as an alternative to tea.

We even have a wine list with nibbles or platters for people who want to spend as long as possible relaxing at ikatan.

4. Digital detox or not? It’s your choice

We ask people to switch off their phones when they visit ikatan Spa because beeping, swishing and ringing noises are definitely not relaxing. Do carve out set times when you’re not available for contact during your holiday but, if you need to allocate times for checking email and keeping a quiet eye on things at work, do so.

Similarly, if your idea of relaxing involves catching up on reading your favourite blogs, or getting creative with the latest photo editing apps, do it. It’s your vacation so you’re the boss.

5. Minimise relationship stress

If you’re on vacation with your family, relax the usual rules and let everyone do it their own way. Stay somewhere where the kids can safely entertain themselves some of the time, or find a babysitter so you can enjoy some childfree time. Try Nannies of Noosa if you want to visit ikatan Day Spa without the kids or, if your kids are older, do what some families do with teenagers and make ikatan day spa a family outing. We offer special teen treatments.

Or book into a day spa like ikatan where you don’t have to speak to anyone, no one expects anything of you and the only questions you’ll be asked is about what you’d like to drink and nail polish colour choices.

6. Try something new

Experiencing something new is a sure-fire way to distract us from our everyday problems and still the chattering mind. You could visit somewhere you’ve never been before, try a new sport or book a spa package you’ve never had before.

7. Learn how to deal with stress

When we’re constantly working, there’s often no time to put in place the tools we need to relax. Our day spa retreats can include private yoga and/or meditation sessions, so you can learn relaxation techniques that are proven to work, and that you can keep using once your vacation is over.

8. Sleep more

If you’ve been over-working or feeling stressed, you’re likely to have accumulated a sleep debt. Now’s the time to prioritise sleep by having a long lie in, ducking off for a nana nap, or giving yourself permission to fall asleep during a massage. Extra sleep is guaranteed to help you wind down and return to work feeling refreshed. The more sleep you get, the better you sleep.

9. Don’t over-schedule your vacation

Book one or two activities during your vacation, but don’t over-schedule yourself. This is your time to do as you please and go with the flow. Remember, it’s okay to do nothing. That’s probably exactly what you need.

10. Practice makes perfect

If you find it hard to relax on vacations, it’s probably because you’ve been enduring so much stress that you’ve forgotten how to unwind. Use your vacation time and practice good self-care.

Even if you’re time poor, you should be able to keep the holiday vibe alive and dial back stress by making time for a day spa retreat. Ikatan spa’s Retreat for a Day in Noosa are hugely popular with high-flying Brisbane women as well as fly in fly out workers.

Book a holiday or day spa retreat before you need it, because you’ll find that relaxing on vacation comes easier the more you do it.

Noosa Day Spa Bookings

Want to help yourself or someone else relax? Book a Noosa day spa visit or buy a day spa gift voucher on our website now. Our staff can suggest the best treatment if you’re not sure what to choose.

5 Reasons to Get a Head Massage

Getting a head massage does more than just feel soothing and relax you. There are many reasons why massaging the scalp has a profound effect on the way we feel.

Massaging the head and scalp is helpful for a range of conditions, from stress relief, headaches and dizziness, to excessive thinking and insomnia. It’s also one of the quickest ways to help someone relax.

Many people suffer from a tight scalp due to tension, stress and busy lives spent on devices and driving.  So a head massage is one of the best treatments to include when booking a day spa treatment or hairdressers, for busy mums and just about anyone.

1. Your head is wired with meridian lines and pressure points

Meridian lines and pressure points that run through the scalp relate to other areas of the body. Much the same as reflexology on the feet, meridian lines on the head can treat other areas of the body. It’s a little bit like electrical wiring throughout our body where, by pressing a switch in one area, a light or power goes on in another place.

When massaged, the meridian lines and pressure points on the head release tension and, almost like unblocking a channel, help healing energy flow.

2. Tap into ancient therapies

All head massages have a similar way of destressing and relaxing the mind and body through the scalp. However, Indian, Balinese, Chinese and Ayurvedic therapies all have a slightly different approach to head massage. They all involve using oil, and massaging the same areas of the scalp, but with different techniques.

At ikatan Day Spa near Noosa, we’ve combined the best of each different style into one head massage to help our guests de-stress with a 30-minute Asian head massage.

3. Skilled hands are healing hands

Flow, rhythm, technique and pressure are the secrets to a good head massage. The flow should be slow and continuous with a rhythm synchronised to relaxing music, preferably without vocals so your brain does not engage with speech.

The techniques should be varied so the scalp doesn’t get sore from too much repetition in one area. Pressure should not be too firm as this interrupts the rhythmical flow and can cause tender areas on the scalp after the massage.

Working over the entire scalp in a set pattern, so that no area of the head is massaged more than others, is crucial for a good scalp massage. It’s best done using oil as this helps hands move through the hair and over the scalp, as well as nourishing the scalp and providing aromatherapy benefits for added relaxation.

4. Seated head massages are most beneficial

Getting a head massage while lying down involves turning the head from side to side so the therapist can massage most areas of the scalp. However, it’s not as thorough as being seated for a head massage where the base of the scalp and neck can also be massaged easily.

Sitting in a comfortable chair with legs elevated is the best way to have a head massage, which should include a neck and upper shoulder massage.

Head massage is particularly good for people who can’t lie down for a full body massage, as it offers all the relaxation benefits and is one of the best treatments for clearing the mind.

Elderly, pregnant or people with special needs, such as those in wheelchairs, benefit greatly from a seated head and scalp massage. It also works well as a pregnancy treatment or father’s day gift.

5. You can give yourself a scalp massage

It’s more relaxing for a skilled therapist, hairdresser or friend to give you are head massage. However, you can do it yourself as part of a selfcare routine.

Spend time in the shower shampooing and massaging conditioner or hair treatment into your hair and scalp, in a slow rhythmical motion. Work from the front of your head to the back of the neck, then from above the ears to the top of your head. Repeat at least ten times.

You could blend your favourite aromatherapy oils with coconut oil and massage your head before you wash it. This will nourish your hair and make it shine, and is a great cure for a dry scalp.

Head massage after effects

Experiencing tender spots, headaches or a tightness in your scalp after a head massage is normal. Standing under a warm running shower with water flowing over your head should relieve any tenderness or headaches.

It can often feel as if your head is bruised or detoxing after a head massage. I always have tender pressure point areas after a scalp massage, but flowing water and shampooing my hair help relieve that so I can enjoy the benefits of the head massage.

Would you like to experience a fantastic head massage?

If you’re near Noosa, on the Sunshine Coast or planning to visit soon, find out more about the serenity foot and head massage in Noosa.

5 Popular Pregnancy Day Spa Treatments

Pregnancy can be a joyous, spiritual time for women, but it often creates stress too, both physical and mental. The body is stretched in all ways as it adapts to grow a baby and carry the extra weight, while mental stress may be increased by fear of the unknown and the responsibilities of motherhood.

Recommendations for spa treatments during pregnancy

While a trip to the spa is the ultimate way to relax and pamper a pregnant woman, they need to be treated carefully. Therapists should be specially trained to provide pregnancy treatments and understand what treatments must NOT be used during this time. At ikatan Day Spa, Noosa we play it even safer by using only organic products during pregnancy treatments.

Prime concerns for pregnant women visiting day spas should be:

  • Safety – Understanding what treatments, such as certain spices, essential oils and hot rocks, must never be used.
  • Trained staff – Who are experienced in treating pregnant women and understand their common concerns.
  • Comfort – Which is the key to all good spa treatments but can be elusive during pregnancy. We use wide spa treatment beds and recommend positions and tips like pillow support that pregnant women can use at home as well as at the day spa.
  • Nurturing – Because a mum-to-be needs to be cared for too.
  • Time to enjoy – We recommend pregnant women extend their relaxation time by booking a 75 or 90-minute massage, or a package with a combination of treatments. This will give the therapist time to focus on areas of concern and allow time for deep relaxation.

While we offer a dedicated pregnancy massage at ikatan, we also recommend a variety of treatments, specials and packages that are suitable pregnancy spa treatments,  including some which can be enjoyed with a partner, friend or relative.

Most popular pregnancy treatments

1. Bali Getaway Package

This three-hour package allows plenty of time for mums-to-be to relax with a 60-minute massage, a 60-minute facial and a deluxe pedicure – perfect when the bump gets so big that touching your toes is a challenge!

All treatments and packages at ikatan Spa start with a personal consultation about clients’ needs. All ikatan Spa staff are pregnancy trained therapists.

We use warm organic coconut oil during the massage because it is totally safe, smells heavenly, is blissfully relaxing and helps nourish the skin, thus minimising stretch marks. For clients with a nut allergy, camellia oil extracted from the green tea plant is a safe, soothing alternative.

2. 90-minute Pregnancy Massage

A 90-minute massage gives the mum-to-be time to relax and the therapist ample time to cater for clients’ needs. During pregnancy, there’s a lot of tension around the hips, thighs, back and upper shoulders due to postural changes.

It takes time to alleviate tension in these areas, therefore a 90-minute massage gives improved results and offers better value.

Once settled on our wide spa bed, with extra pillows for support and comfort, many pregnant women relax so much they fall asleep during this massage – it’s perfectly normal and therapists get a sense of satisfaction from being able to induce such deep relaxation.

3. Serenity Package

This package is popular with pregnant women who’d prefer a seated massage, focusing on feet, lower legs, head, neck and upper shoulders, rather than a full body massage.

Offered in one of our garden rooms, this package works equally well for someone who needs time out, or for women who want to enjoy the experience with a partner, relative or with a group of friends for a baby shower experience. Many women like to spend longer relaxing in the tropical gardens and order high tea or a platter during the treatment and we don’t blame them!

4. Relax Results

This two-hour package combines a 45-minute relaxing Pregnancy Massage followed by a personalised 75-minute facial, either the Uspa organic signature facial or the Environ anti-ageing facial.

This combination ensures our guest leaves feeling relaxed and with a visible glow. It’s ideal if you’re suffering from hormonal break out during pregnancy. You can also upgrade to increase the length of your massage with any package.

Complimentary mineral makeup application is an optional extra for mums to be who want to leave the spa looking their best.  

5. Retreat Day

Pregnant women deserve a final dose of me time before the baby arrives and our retreat day delivers it in spades. The retreat day allows our guests to spend eight hours at the spa indulging in a personalised package created to suit their needs.

The retreat day can include treatments of their choice or treatments created personally for the clients’ needs, as well as personalised, private yoga and/or mediation with experienced teachers. It also includes breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea at ikatan, with all dietary requirements catered for along with herbal tea, juice and a wine menu. As with the Serenity Package, this day can be enjoyed solo or with a special companion.

No matter what treatment they choose, we encourage all our guests to relax in the garden with a complimentary glass of champagne or a pot of T2 tea before and after their treatment. There’s also a light menu, wine list and boutique beer on offer, because many people find relaxing spa treatments stimulate the digestive system and make them hungry and thirsty. Plus, ikatan’s gardens are so nice, it makes sense to enjoy them over a bite to eat.

Find out more about pregnancy treatments on our website or buy a day spa gift voucher or make a booking now.

Bali Spa Review: Spring Spa in Seminyak

If you are staying in the Jl Petitenget area of Seminyak Bali, Spring Spa is easy to find, across the road from the W Resort or Potato Head entrance. While every resort in Bali has a day spa and there are also a lot of salon-type beauty places, what I like about Spring Spa is that you feel as if you’re in a day spa rather than a beauty salon or hairdressers, yet they offer salon services too.

Clean, Contemporary Vibe

With a clever use of concrete combined with large timber posts, a curved wall separates the pedicure area from the open foyer and reception, which makes a stunning design feature.

Spring Spa in Seminyak has a relaxed, fun, designer feel that makes you want to stay a while. It’s decorated in clean, crisp white with just a splash of colour in combination with soft lighting and cushioned timber furniture.

Cultural Considerations

I always prefer to visit a day spa in Bali to make a booking, it’s easier to speak face to face with the reception team rather than over the phone. English is usually a third language for Balinese people, so it’s best to speak slowly and clearly to tell the reception staff what you want to book.

Read the spa menu and repeat the name of the treatment you want from the spa menu, without making too many changes to what you want, or book online at Spring Spa online. Be patient, kind and considerate when speaking to the spa staff who are trying to help you and always remember, this is Bali and nothing happens fast, plus it’s also time for you to slow down to island time.

My Massage at Spring Spa

I always choose a massage or a pedicure when trialling a new day spa. They’re the two things I always need and I’m not keen on facials at day spas in Bali because I’ve tried many of them but have never had a good experience. I haven’t had a facial at Spring Spa but intend to try one during my next visit to Spring Spa.

My spa therapist was experienced and skilled about knowing what I needed from my massage. She had a quick chat with me before the massage to ask me if there were any areas that needed more attention or that I did not want to be massaged.

In Bali, massage often includes the stomach, upper chest, face and scalp, therefore you will often be asked what areas you don’t want to be massaged. I love a stomach massage as it’s an area where we hold emotional tension and there are many amazing benefits of stomach massages. If you haven’t had a stomach massage before, do try it.

The Elements of a Good Massage

There are a few simple things that make a massage good:

  • Your confidence in the therapist;
  • The therapist’s care factor;
  • The flow of the massage;
  • Comfort.

All these elements were included in my Spring Spa Balinese massage. I loved every second that I remember of the massage, as I drifted in and out of the real world under the hands of my nurturing therapist. She really seemed to care about me, what she was doing for me and how I felt.

Maybe I loved my Balinese massage at Spring Spa so much as it was very similar to ikatan Day Spa Noosa’s Balinese massage and the familiarity meant I relaxed immediately.

Final word on Spring Spa in Seminyak

What I loved most about Spring Spa was my therapist, my massage, the other staff, the location, the cleanliness of the entire spa and the clever, understated, fresh interior design.

Spring Spa was a little more expensive than some of the older style spas or a beach massage, but I never choose cheap locations or treatments, as I know there’s always a reason they are cheap. Hygiene, comfort, training and location are more important to me than saving a few Rupiah. If you’re not convinced, see my article 12 things to know about day spas.

I can’t wait for my next business trip to Bali to visit Spring Spa for another massage and to try many more treatments on their spa menu. I think I’ve finally found my new favourite spa in Seminyak and I definitely recommend you visit one of the Spring Spas in Bali.

If you live in, or visit, New Zealand, they also have Spring Spas in some of my favourite locations there including Auckland, Wellington and Queenstown.

Star Rating

Definitely 5 stars for Spring Spa Seminyak’s Balinese massage.

Can you recommend any amazing day spa experiences in Bali?

I’m a paying guest at all day spas I review for Day Spa Oracle. The spas and therapists are not aware of who I am, what I do, or where I come from. I like it that way; it’s nice to just be me.

I hope this day spa review helps you select day spas and treatments when you travel to Bali.  Experiences like these are how we get to know others and ourselves.

Visiting Bali Soon?

Be sure to check out our Bali Travel Guide for more top tips.

Melbourne Cup at a Noosa Day Spa

The race that stops the nation is a good opportunity to let it stop you for some time out.

While most of Australia is preparing their race day outfit, hat and shoes, not everyone wants to go all out on Melbourne Cup day. Some people don’t agree with horse racing or gambling or want to get involved with partying for the Melbourne Cup, yet they still have the day off work.

Why spend Melbourne cup at a day spa

Some people like to take the opportunity to avoid the silly hats, outrageous heels and over inebriated people who take the Melbourne Cup horse race to another level and ikatan Day Spa near Noosa is the perfect place to escape all of the above.

It’s a great excuse to escape to a place where you’ll be lying down for pampering rather than lying down because your feet hurt from those high heels or you’ve drunk too much!

Some of the most popular treatments and packages we book on Melbourne Cup day are those shared with a friend to spend time relaxing and catch up over lunch in the gardens after treatments.

Some guests book themselves in for some time out alone with a longer package or a retreat for a day, to recharge and rejuvenate, while others book a double package making the most of the time off to spend with a loved one.

Popular Melbourne Cup escape race day packages

Melbourne Cup race day is becoming a popular day for day spas offering an alternative way to spend money on yourself. Instead of a spending on a new outfit, you get to wear very little (just one of our sarongs) and be fully pampered. Instead of overeating or getting a horrible hangover, you leave feeling good after visiting a day spa.

You may have all your makeup removed before a facial, rather than loading it on for the races, but you’ll look so much fresher after some time at a day spa and the makeup application we offer after facials is a natural ‘no makeup’ look.

Champagne, High Tea or a bite to eat

There’s still time to celebrate so why not enjoy some time out at ikatan Day Spa with a complimentary glass or two of champagne if that’s your thing? We also have a wine list or T2 herbal teas if you prefer. We even offer food including High Tea, a light lunch menu or cheese and fruit, mezze or cheese boards. Some of our food items, including High Tea, need to be booked in advance, but they all offer the perfect way to extend your relaxation time.

Melbourne Cup celebrations take place at most restaurants in Noosa from 11am to close on race day and for those who are holidaying or resting after the Noosa Triathlon it’s hard to escape the Melbourne Cup lunches and after parties.

Time out at a day spa is the perfect escape from Melbourne Cup or for Noosa Triathlon recovery. Book early so you don’t miss out. Contact ikatan Day Spa now.

Noosa Triathlon: Entourage Time Out!

Noosa Triathlon Entourage pays homage to the partners, family and friends of the triathletes who flock to the Noosa Triathlon each year. The Noosa Tri Entourage are the support crew, the people behind the scenes who help by allowing the triathlete time to train, rest, race, repeat. The entourage does a lot of work before, during and after the triathlon without actually participating in the event.

Are you part of the Noosa Tri entourage? Are you happy to visit beautiful Noosa for the race you’ve all been working towards for the past year? Will you be helping prepare your loved one for the event and cheering them on from the sidelines?

Then you’re probably looking forward to the quiet life after race day when you get to enjoy some time off from all things triathlon!

The Noosa Triathlon brings thousands of people to Noosa each year and creates a buzz of excitement. Suddenly Noosa is packed to capacity with fit, healthy, enthusiastic people looking for a new personal best, and nervous first-time triathletes taking on a new challenge.

Time Out for the Noosa Triathlon Entourage

Noosa is heaps of fun during the triathlon but if you want to escape the melee of triathletes with their entourage, as well as media and officials, we know the perfect place.

If you’re looking for some time out before or after the Noosa triathlon, now is the time to book in at ikatan Day Spa for some much needed and well deserved ‘you time’. You won’t be the only one!

We see more partners of triathletes each year at our award-winning Noosa Day Spa and feel our contribution to the Noosa Triathlon is in caring for the amazing entourage of women and men who look after the house, kids or business while their triathlete partner trains, races or rests.

We’re also seeing more grandparents coming for spa treatments as a thank you gift for looking after the kids when both parents are competing in the triathlon.

If you’re part of the entourage, check out our packages or specials and book in advance to lock in your time out.

Time Out for Noosa Triathletes

A few days after the race, groups of triathletes book in together to finally relax and celebrate their successes. For athletes, the most popular treatments are massages and pedicures to soothe those aching muscles and sore feet.

A magnesium massage is by far the most popular post triathlon massage because it aids recovery. In combination with a relaxing style Balinese massage, it’s the perfect recipe for mind-body rejuvenation after months of hard training and racing.

Some athletes love to combine a facial with a massage and/or pedicure to rejuvenate their skin. Those salt or chlorinated water swims, coupled with the sun, wind and cold weather exposure on the bike or when running damage and age skin. Thankfully, a good facial can do something to reverse that damage.

We’re here to help, with a special Noosa Triathlon Recharge Package specially designed for triathletes on offer at ikatan Spa to help you feel and look like you never raced. Book online now.

Training for the Next Noosa Triathlon?

We recommend Nick and Jessica Croft (pictured above) from Multisport Consultants. Both seasoned professional triathletes, they live in Noosa and offer triathlon training camps as well as online coaching so you’ll be ready to crush it next year.

Book Day Spa Time Out Now to Avoid Disappointment

There’s no other day spa like ikatan in Noosa or anywhere in the world. Set in a tropical Balinese garden, relaxation is guaranteed from the moment you walk through the gates. We serve herbal teas, alcoholic refreshments and delicious platters so you can linger in the gardens to extend your precious time out.

Tip: To get the ideal booking time for you it’s best to call us during office hours on 07 54711199 from 9 am to 6 pm, Monday to Saturday. Alternatively, contact us by email with your phone number and we’ll call you as soon as possible or book online now.

5 Breast Cancer Effects You Probably Don’t Know

Although I haven’t had breast cancer, I’m in contact with many people who have it or are recovering from it. So I wanted to cover it for breast cancer awareness month. I own a day spa where we often care for women with breast cancer and those in recovery, so I hear first-hand how it affects them and their families.

For this reason, I support and raise funds for the Cindy McKenzie Breast Cancer Program, (CMBCP), both personally and through ikatan Day Spa.

I attended a CMBCP educational evening with a girlfriend earlier this year, both to support her and to learn more about the support available through the CMBCP and the Sunshine Coast Private Hospital Breast Clinic.

The more I know about breast cancer, the better I can support women who have breast cancer, both personal friends and guests at ikatan Day Spa.

This particular educational evening was about dealing with gynaecological and sexual issues, some of which are covered here.

Gynecologist Beverley Powell presented first, focusing on how breast cancer affects hormones and creates physical, mental and psychological changes. We’ll be focusing on physical changes here.

While I knew about and understood many of the problems associated with breast cancer, I wasn’t aware of all the issues or how extreme some of the problems can be. At the same time, I learnt there are some amazing professionals who specialise in assisting with the most intimate problems.

Here are five effects of breast cancer I learnt about:

1. Dry itchy skin is normal after breast cancer

Medication, coupled with lower estrogen levels, can reduce the body’s ability to retain moisture and cause the skin to produce fewer natural oils.

I deal with different skin types on a daily basis but didn’t realise how dry skin can impact on a person’s life and even feel like ants crawling under the skin.

Tip: Beverly suggested eating a healthy diet, including quality oils such as coconut and olive oil to reduce the symptoms of dry, irritable skin. Organic body lotions and creams can help but avoid products with petrochemical or phytoestrogen ingredients.

2. Vaginal dryness

Silicone lubricants are the best choice to combat vaginal dryness and are available at supermarkets and pharmacies. Beverly advised that products like Vaseline and pawpaw ointment (which contains Vaseline) should be avoided as they contain phytoestrogens and are petrochemicals.

Using a lubricant can relieve the painful symptoms of vaginal dryness, including painful sexual intercourse.

It’s best to avoid products containing parabens which are in many skin care products, but there are plenty of paraben-free lubricants available.

 3. Hair loss down there

We all know chemotherapy can cause hair loss and many women lose all their body hair including underarm hair, eyebrows and pubic hair. It’s a normal side effect of chemo.

Despite the popularity of Brazilian waxes, pubic hair is there for protection and helps with maintaining healthy bacteria in the genital area. When women lose their pubic hair, from chemotherapy, Brazilian waxing or laser hair removal, it can create vaginal and genital problems associated with less protection from pubic hair.

Tip: Beverly advises against the use of soap on the genital area as it upsets the natural bacterial balance. Avoid antibacterial products too as they kill good bacteria as well as bad bacteria which can lead to imbalances in the body and cause issues like thrush.

4. Tight pelvic floor muscles

Medication and the treatment of breast cancer can affect hormones and cause the vaginal wall to become atrophied and dry. The pelvic floor muscles tighten or contract causing discomfort and painful sex.

While the physical problems of a dry vagina or tight pelvic floor muscles make sense when explained, it’s not something you may think of seeking help for. It’s such a personal problem and a lot of women think it’s just happening to them.

If you’ve got breast cancer and are feeling these effects, you’re not alone. This can be a normal side effect of breast cancer.

Fortunately, there are specialised physiotherapists around who focus on helping release tension through the vagina and pelvic floor. It’s an intimate area to have treated as the physiotherapist needs to work on releasing the sling of muscles through the pubic and hip area, but it’s such a relief to release the tension and pain it causes.

Physiotherapists who offer pelvic floor release have trained specifically to treat this area. As professionals, they understand and how uncomfortable this can be for the person being treated and will explain everything to make it as easy as possible.

5. Bone density loss

During and after breast cancer, bone density can drop significantly due to a drop in estrogen. However, you can improve your bone strength with weight-bearing exercise.

Beverly stressed the importance of regular weight-bearing exercises such as weight training, yoga, walking and non-buoyant aqua classes to increase and maintain bone density. Cycling and swimming are not weight-bearing exercises because your body weight is supported by a bike or water.

Although it wasn’t easy hearing about these issues I’m so glad I attended the event.  The other women there spoke about how nice it was to feel informed and feel normal.

I came away feeling I’d learnt a lot of useful information that could help spa guests affected by breast cancer. I’ve used this information to educate my therapists and am so happy we offer organic products at ikatan Day Spa.

If you’ve got breast cancer or you know someone who has, I hope you found this information helpful.

Get Support

For more information about support and educational events contact the Cindy Mackenzie Breast Cancer Program.To practice good self-care book a massage, facial or other treatment at your favourite day spa or drop hints about gift vouchers!

For self-care book a massage, facial or other treatment at your favourite day spa or drop hints about gift vouchers to friends and family!

If you’re on the Sunshine Coast or in Brisbane, all our therapists are trained in caring for women with breast cancer, including those who’ve had a mastectomy. We would always love to care for you at ikatan Day Spa near Noosa.

What’s the Best Massage in Noosa for Relaxation?

With six different massages on offer at ikatan Day Spa near Noosa, I’m often asked which is the most relaxing. I’ve created all the massages myself so it’s a bit like being asked to choose a favourite child! And all our massages are designed for relaxation making things even harder.

The various different massages are also designed to suit different preferences and needs. For example, our pregnancy massage is obviously intended to relax and nurture mums-to-be, while our Serenity head and foot massage is designed to be enjoyed while sitting in the garden.

Just between you and me, I personally find our Chi Massage  the most relaxing massage in Noosa. But I think the new Mantra Massage which we’re launching soon (stay, tuned!) might steal the title of Noosa’s most relaxing massage.

If you’re struggling to choose, don’t worry. I can guarantee that any massage you experience at ikatan will be one of the most relaxing you’ve ever had. Here’s why:

1. Total focus on relaxation

Our whole spa has been set up with relaxation in mind, from the minute you pass through our gates and turn off your mobile phone. Whether you choose the hot rock massage or the Balinese massage, a massage isn’t just a massage at ikatan, it’s a holistic destressing experience.

2. Perfectly planned massages

I’ve been in the beauty and wellbeing industry my whole adult life and don’t mind admitting I’m a little bit obsessed with finding new ways to lower stress and increase relaxation. We’re all getting more and more stressed out by modern life and relaxing isn’t just pleasant anymore. It’s essential.

I’m constantly researching new ways to deepen relaxation, often by visiting some of the best spas around the world to see what they do. Then I tailor design all our treatments, including the massages, to incorporate the most relaxing techniques with seamless delivery and natural, calming products.

3. Highly trained therapists

All our therapists are qualified in massage therapy before we hire them and then undergo intensive training to learn the different massage styles we offer. The training is done on a day spa model who can give feedback before, during and after the massage, with a trained therapist assisting to explain exactly how the massage should be executed.

This is how we plan all the details so that there are no awkward pauses while we hunt for massage oils or fresh linen because everything is set up ready to go.

This training means that our massages are consistently executed and consistently relaxing. Even if you get a different massage therapist on a second visit, the massage style and experience will be the same.

4. No sales pitch

There’s nothing worse than getting the hard sell at the end of a massage or spa treatment. Our whole focus is on treatments, not selling products and, while we do have a small shop in the reception area, that’s for guests who choose to browse the products or ask for recommendations.

That means our guests can relax throughout their massages and at the end of it with no pressure to buy anything.

5. No time constraints

Our massages last 60 or 90 minutes and I highly recommend booking the full 90-minute experience for pure relaxation. But either way, there are no time constraints when it comes to relaxing in our gardens post-massage. You can have a glass of wine, bubbles or herbal tea and even enjoy some nibbles if you’re hungry.

It’s a beautiful way to extend the relaxation experience and allow the products time to sink in and do their work.

When it comes to deciding which of our massages are the most relaxing you be the judge. Trust me, they’ll all help you stress less and, after you’ve had one, you’ll want to come back and try them all.

Find out more about Noosa’s most relaxing massages at the ikatan Day Spa website.

24 Hours in Noosa for Instant Stress Relief

A short break can be just as good as a long holiday, and far easier to plan. Getting a fortnight off work, or stepping away from our daily lives for a week can feel impossible, but everyone can, and should, put things on hold for 24 hours.

We all need to take regular breaks and one or two holidays a year aren’t enough. If you want to dial down stress and take care of yourself, it’s better to take multiple short breaks throughout the year. Here’s how to de-stress next time you’re in Noosa.

Early morning

It’s worth getting up early to watch the sunrise over the ocean at Sunshine Beach or from the National Park. This is the most peaceful time of day, and the coolest, so it’s the best time for a relaxing walk in the National Park.

Try the Japanese art of “forest bathing” if you want to ramp up the relaxation and just spend time enjoying the bush. Or, if you’d prefer to work up a sweat, pump those arms while you walk, alternate running and walking, or follow the hilly Tanglewood Track.

Even if you miss the sunrise, mornings are the perfect time to enjoy a water-based activity like stand-up paddle boarding, surfing or kayaking. Book a lesson or take a tour with a local guide.

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head to Gympie Terrace on the Noosa River and pick one of the many cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy breakfast with river views.

Late morning

There’s no other spa in Australia, or anywhere in the world, like ikatan Day Spa in Noosa. Set in a mature tropical garden, you’ll feel as if you’re in Bali as soon as you walk through the arched wooden gateway.

If you need to relax fast, this is the place. Phones must be placed on silent for utter peace and quiet, and the staff are highly trained in the art of beauty and well-being, but also laid back and friendly

Treatments, including facials, massage, body treatments and manicure and pedicures, have been specially created to maximise feelings of well-being, and are customised to suit individual guests.

The three-hour day spa packages are most popular with locals, while a two or three-hour package is perfect for couples. For guaranteed relaxation, we recommend an organic facial, chi massage, and a foot or head massage in the garden room.


Make sure you leave plenty of time to enjoy ikatan’s gardens after your treatment with a complimentary pot of T2 tea or sparkling wine. Better yet, order a sharing platter with cheese and fruit, or a taster plate with dips, and select a low sulphate European white, rose, red or sparkling wine from the wine list.

Take your time and enjoy the experience. During the summer months, it’s too hot at the beach anyway, so you’re better off relaxing, enjoying the breeze in the shady garden, or sitting in a pavilion with a rattan fan whirring gently overhead.

Late afternoon

When the sun starts to lose its heat, and the light softens, head to the beach to swim, check out the action in the surf or do a spot of people watching at Main Beach. If you want a quieter beach, try Little Cove or Sunrise Beach.

Evening meal

Noosa is home to some of the best chefs and restaurants in Australia so it’s a foodie’s delight. Hastings Street and Gympie Terrace are the best places for restaurants. Just go for a walk and read the menus to see what takes your fancy. Try to choose a restaurant with fresh, local produce and look out for seafood specials.


For a complete escape, stay at the Phoenix Bed and Breakfast close to ikatan Day Spa in Eumundi. The guest accommodation and pool are separate from the main house, very private, and delightfully luxurious. In the morning you can enjoy a gourmet breakfast while you take in the views and listen to the birds sing.

Just thinking about spending a day like this melts the stress away. There’s no better way to relax and practice self-care.

How would you like to spend 24 hours in Noosa?

Retreat for a Day at Noosa’s Best Day Spa

Authentic Balinese touches and tropical gardens at Ikatan Day Spa near NoosaFor the ultimate day off, time out, destress, escape and recharge your body, mind and soul, ikatan Day Spa’s Retreat for a Day is the perfect package with Noosa’s the perfect destination. But how exactly do you spend an entire day at a day spa? Trust me, it’s easy…

Who Needs to Retreat for a Day?

Some people come because they need a total escape. Others find it’s the only way they can enjoy a break because they can’t get enough time off for a longer holiday. Many Retreat for a Day guests book in for the first day of their Noosa holiday to ease into their vacation with a relaxed state of mind.

Couples or friends often book a Retreat for a Day so they can enjoy some quality and relaxation time together.

Planning a Spa Retreat for a Day in Noosa

Your Retreat for a Day experience begins before you arrive with a private consultation by phone or email so we can organise everything for your tailormade experience. Every Retreat for a Day guest has different wishes and needs, so no day spa retreat is exactly the same. Nevertheless, here’s an idea of what to expect.

Getting your Retreat for a Day off to a Good Start

Some Retreat for a Day guests who are staying in Noosa like to go for a walk, swim, surf or stand-up paddle before their Retreat for a Day package starts.

The Retreat for a Day package at ikatan Day Spa in Doonan, just outside Noosa, begins with a leisurely arrival. With no early morning starts, it’s all about slowing down.

On arrival at ikatan you’ll be greeted with a welcome drink accompanied by fruit and nuts or cookies while you sit in the garden. You’ll have plenty of time to read your welcome letter, with an outline of the day ahead that’s been specially organised for you.

Body, Mind and Soul

Many guests like to starting their Retreat for a Day with a private yoga session to ease tension in your body, meditation to relax your mind or a yoga-meditation combination for body and soul.

Your yoga or meditation session is led by one of our highly trained teachers who will address your personal needs and guide your awareness. The one-hour sessions will clear your mind and prepare you for deeper relaxation.

Afterwards, you can enjoy a healthy breakfast in the garden before meeting your personal day spa therapists who’ll take care of your day spa treatments.

Morning Treatments

The focus of morning treatments depends on your personal needs and why you’ve chosen a Retreat for a Day package. You can choose the treatments if you wish or leave it up to us. We’ll guide you on the best treatments for your needs and the ideal order to enjoy them in.

At ikatan Day Spa in Noosa we understand that busy people and busy mums, in particular, find it hard to do nothing. It takes time to unwind but we know the ideal treatments to keep your mind a little bit engaged while we gradually increase your relaxation levels. Many guests find facials as relaxing as massages. Some guests want a body treatment while others want a massage but aren’t sure what type of massage to choose.

Before you know it, your therapist will be gently rousing you to take you back to the garden for a healthy lunch. Lunch is served with your choice of wine, tea or juice along with time to read a book or nap in the day lounge.

Afternoon Delight

While you’re relaxing, your therapist will prepare your treatment room then come to collect for an afternoon of treatments designed for deep relaxation. The focus is on the needs and concerns you mentioned during your consultation and we’ll select the appropriate treatments to suit you.

f we don’t have the perfect treatment on our spa menu for you we’ll create a treatment especially for you.

Your Retreat for a Day usually finishes with treatments such as a pedicure, manicure or head massage in our garden room while you enjoy a drink and a sweet treat.

Time drifts slowly away and before you know it the sun is starting to set as the birds sing in the gardens and you float blissfully out of ikatan spa feeling totally relaxed.

Find out more about the Retreat for a Day Package at Noosa’s Best Day Spa

To find out more about the chance to Retreat for a Day in Noosa or ask about treatments at ikatan Spa, contact ikatan day spa in Noosa today. We tend to get very busy during at weekends and over the school holidays, so call now on 07 5471 1199 to avoid disappointment.

If you need help or advice about booking a Retreat for a Day the receptionists will help you plan everything.

What would your ideal Retreat for a Day package look like?

How to Stress Less for a Happy, Healthy Pregnancy and Baby

Massages reduce stress for pregnant women and their babies

Spring is the season of new life in nature and it seems to be a popular time to have a baby too. Maybe it’s just the timing, forty weeks after a loved-up summer of fun.

Pregnancy pressures

Research shows that having a chilled-out mama is best for bubba but having a baby seems to be harder work for women these days. Getting pregnant can be hard and trying to maintain a stress-free pregnancy harder still when you’re working, looking after other young children and meeting the demands of everyday life.

Busy mums tend to want to get everything right and the pressure to hold it all together is stressful, especially at a time when you should be at your most tranquil.

Having to avoid certain foods and beverages during your pregnancy is yet another thing to consider if you want to give your baby the best start in life. But research indicates minimising stress and keeping calm is equally important for maintaining the perfect environment to grow your baby.

While it’s hard to find time for yourself when you’re pregnant there are many quick fixes that can help you relax and de-stress. It’s important that you focus on relaxation to give your baby bump a calmer mama.

Note: If stress is getting out of hand during pregnancy seek advice from your midwife or doctor.

Invest in your baby and your wellbeing

Pregnancy day spa treatments such as massages are worth every dollar you spend. Massages help your body adjust to the changes of pregnancy, relax you and the baby, and treat your skin with nourishing oils to help prevent stretch marks.

Facials are another popular Noosa day spa treatment during pregnancy as your body transitions through hormonal changes, which can affect your skin. Getting a facial can help your skin adjust, give you a healthy glow and provide much needed time out for relaxation during the treatment.

Most pregnant women want to look healthy and at their best during pregnancy because it’s a special time to take photos and remember the experience of your growing baby bump. Facials are perfect because they help you look good and bring deep relaxation and mental rest.

Pedicures are also popular with pregnant day spa visitors. As the bump grows when you transition into your second and third trimester it gets harder to do everything, particularly reaching your toes. Your feet may also swell during pregnancy and a pedicure with foot massage is the perfect way to spend an hour with your feet up and beautify your feet and toes.

Recommended reading: Stress Solutions for Pregnant Moms: How Breaking Free from Stress Can Boost Your Baby’s Potential by Susan Andrews, PhD.

Nurturing Time

Spending time and money maintaining your health and a stress-free pregnancy is worth it, resulting in a happier, calmer baby. Nurturing yourself is as easy as booking yourself in for some pampering in a lunch break, after work, or at the weekend when you have more time to enjoy being cared for and take care of your growing baby.

If you can’t get a day spa booking, run yourself a bath or set up a foot soak to soothe your feet. Take yourself to the movies and forget the world outside, or float in a pool or the ocean to take the weight off your body.

Learn to meditate, play relaxing music, sing to your baby and get plenty of rest as your baby grows. All these things will get help you relax and help you and your baby thrive.

If you can, plan a babymoon with your partner or a friend to a relaxing destination where you can breathe fresh air, swim, walk, eat healthy food, rest and visit a day spa for a pregnancy massage or treatments for two.

Noosa babymoons are popular because it’s so close to Brisbane, the scenery is idyllic and it’s so laid back you’ll feel chilled out as soon as you arrive. Enjoy a sleep in with a lazy breakfast or a long lunch at one of Noosa’s cafes or restaurants before the baby arrives and relaxed dining out becomes a thing of the past.

How do you maintain a stress-free pregnancy?

Would you like to book a visit to ikatan Day Spa in Noosa?

Visit the ikatan site to browse our day spa packages and treatment menu or book a spa treatment.

Sunscreen: The Risks Everyone Should Know

Sunscreen risks and benefitsSpring is here and the sun’s shining. It’s been shining all winter here in Noosa, but now spring has come the beaches are starting to get busy. Sunbaking or sunbathing feels fantastic. The heat of the sun warming your body is divine and we all need our daily dose of vitamin D. However, damage can come from UV exposure and from sunscreens designed to protect us from UV damage.

Sun Exposure and Skin Damage

It’s a well-known fact that sun damage is the fastest way to age skin with an increased risk of potentially deadly skin melanomas too. Yet knowing that doesn’t stop people from lying for hours in the sun to get a tan.

If you’re a sun-worshipper you need to know the best products to protect your skin safely, along with exactly what you are putting on your skin for sun protection. Skin care is so important and choosing the right sunscreen is crucial.

All sunscreens and sun block products claim to ‘protect’ your skin from the suns damaging rays but not all products alike. While every brand claims to keep you sun safe, many of them contain some rather nasty chemicals.

Here’s the low down on what sun protection products actually do, how they work and what to look for (and avoid) when it comes to ingredients. Armed with this knowledge you’ll be able to make a safe choice when buying your sunscreen.

How Sunscreen Works

Every sunscreen has a slightly different formulation but there are two main types; sunscreens that offer a chemical barrier and those that provide a physical barrier.

Chemical Sunscreen and its Proven Dangers

Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing the sun’s rays but recent research by Riverside Laboratories in California has found alarming information about some of the chemicals used in chemical sunscreens. Three of the most widely used organic sunscreen chemicals to block UV-B, namely Octylmethoxycinnamate, Octocrylene and Oxybenzone, do not remain on the surface of the skin but are absorbed by the skin. In other words, those chemicals penetrate the skin and end up in your body.

Research has also proven that most sunscreens penetrate the skin’s surface and the higher the Sun Protection Factor (SPF), the higher the level of chemical ingredients.

The most disturbing discovery was that these chemicals create more free radicals when they’re absorbed into the skin, They also continue to react under the surface of the skin after exposure to UV rays.

In effect, these chemicals which are commonly used in chemical sunscreens do protect us from UV rays but in doing so they create more potentially serious skin damage by creating free radicals deeper in the skin.

Dr Des Fernandes, Plastic Surgeon and founder of Environ skin care, explains:

“When a chemical absorbs UV rays, there is a change in the energy of that molecule which can result in the formation of free radicals. If the free radical is on the surface of the skin then we don’t need to worry about it too much. However, when the free radicals occur in the depth of the skin they then set up chain reactions of free radical destruction and can do significant harm.”

According to the research study, if DNA is affected by these free radicals, then mutations may occur that can lead to skin cancer at a later date.

Physical Sunscreens

Physical Sunscreens are often called sun block. Their ingredients reflect and repel harmful UV rays instead of absorbing them. Physical sunscreens contain active ingredients Zinc Oxide and or Titanium Dioxide.

Although those might sound like equally dangerous chemicals, they are safe. Unlike the active ingredients in chemical sunscreen products, Zinc Oxide and or Titanium Dioxide physically sit on the skin and literally create an outer barrier. They provide skin protection and block most UV rays without being absorbed by or damaging the skin.

Zinc Oxide and or Titanium Dioxide remain on the surface of the skin and are not affected by sun exposure so they maintain their SPF value for longer than chemical products.

However, no sunscreen products provide 100% sun block protection because they all allow UV rays to penetrate to some degree depending on the SPF.


  • Use a physical sunscreen – Look for active ingredients like Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide. Titanium Dioxide is preferable because it doesn’t interfere with antioxidant activity whereas zinc oxide can.
  • Avoid chemical sunscreens – In particular sunscreens that contain Oxybenzone as well as ingredients like Octyl Methoxycinnamate and Octocrylene.
  • If you do use a chemical sunscreen choose one with a lower SPF because the higher the SPF the more chemicals are absorbed by the skin. SPF 15 to 20 are the safest.
  • Apply sunscreen more regularly rather than use a higher SPF.
  • No matter what type of sunscreen you use, choose one with added antioxidants to reduce the activity of free radicals contained in the sunscreen and through its reaction with UV rays.
  • Choose an unperfumed sunscreen because perfume is more likely to cause photosensitivity.

No sunscreen can block 100% of solar rays and free radicals will always occur, even with the best sunscreen and after only a short exposure. So, while we all enjoy time in the sun, do minimise that time and always protect yourself by wearing a shirt, rash top or hat when possible.

Do you have any sun safety tips?

Fathers Day Gift Ideas for Noosa Lovers

Not all dads want BCF and Bunnings vouchers but sometimes more creative Fathers Day gift ideas can be hard to think of. But let’s face it, mums don’t like getting toasters and irons on Mothers Day so why should men be given a do-it-yourself voucher for Fathers Day?

If you’re stuck for Fathers Day gift ideas here are a few options you might not have considered.

Where did Fathers Day Come From?

Historians believe that the origin of Fathers Day can be traced back to the ruins of Babylon. Records show a young boy called Elmesu carved a Father’s Day message on a card made out of clay nearly 4,000 years ago. Elmesu wished his Babylonian father good health and a long life.

Fathers Day as we know it was started in 1909 by a Sonora Smart Dodd. She decided to create an official day to honour her father, William Jackson Smart, a war veteran who raised his six children by himself. Sonora’s mother died in childbirth, so Mothers Day was not something she could celebrate, and the 19th  of June was William Jackson’s birthday, therefore, the third Sunday in June was declared Fathers Day in America.

In countries like Italy where the Catholic Church is influential, Father’s Day is celebrated on St. Joseph’s Day in March.

In Australia, we celebrate Fathers day on the first Sunday in September. Both here and in the UK it became a popular celebration during World War II as a day to remember fathers when most of them were away fighting in the war.

Fathers Day celebrates male role models

Historically, fathers day was created to celebrate any male role model and today the tradition has spread worldwide and become a day to celebrate all men who make a difference to younger generations. It doesn’t have to be a father but could be another parent, grandparent, stepparent, guardian, role model, teacher or friend.

Traditional Fathers Day gift ideas

1. Ties, Handkerchiefs and Socks – In the 1900s men would receive hankies, ties, bowties and knitted socks as a Fathers Day gift. Some men still receive these traditional necessities as gifts, most often from young children.

These things can still be a good gift if they’re useful and the man in question doesn’t already have a mountain of socks and hankies.

More Creative Fathers Day gift ideas

It’s more creative and thoughtful to think about what the men in your life deserve, enjoy or wouldn’t usually buy for themselves. That’s the kind of gift that makes a special occasion like Fathers Day special.

Think outside the square hankie draw!

2. Hampers – Men love a good hamper full of their favourite treats including food and drink. We all know the kinds of things men love, like dark chocolate, nuts, jerky, craft beer or a good bottle of wine. These are things most men don’t buy them for themselves even though they enjoy them.

These are things most men don’t buy them for themselves even though they enjoy them. Well, they might buy the beer but they’d still appreciate a special hamper put together for them in a hand-painted box or big bag.

3. Massage Voucher – Most men and fathers love to be taken care of with a massage, especially if they drive a lot, sit at a computer or work hard as tradesmen.

Dads have a lot of responsibility and, while everyone thinks massages are for mums, dads deserve to be pampered too.

Men get tired and stressed by work and family demands and a massage gift voucher is just the thing to de-stress your dad on Fathers Day.

Gift vouchers are easy to purchase online then dad can book in when he has time to enjoy a good massage and some time out on his own.

4. Hobby-focused gifts

Does your dad have a hobby, sport or favourite pastime like reading or travel? If so you could make or buy him a personal gift that helps him get more out of his hobby. Or gift him a ticket for a match you can enjoy together.

5. Cleaning fairy!

Dads seem to be harder than mums to buy for than mums but if you think about what your Dad loves, something as simple as cleaning his car, tidying the garage or spring cleaning his office can be a great gift this father’s day.

Your fathers day gift ideas don’t need to be expensive but they should make him feel special and loved.

Looking for a Father’s Day gift idea for a Noosa, Sunshine Coast or Brisbane-based man?

Ikatan day spa in Noosa sells day spa gift vouchers online. You can buy them for a dollar value so dad can choose and book his own massage or other day spa treatment. He can even enjoy a beer in the garden after being pampered and de-stressed!

12 Things Everyone Should Know About Day Spas

After visiting day spas all over the world, I constantly see things which aren’t helpful in welcoming and attracting guests. Your day spa booking and visit should be the most relaxing experience in the world but often it feels far too hard.

Trying to understand a day spa menu, working out what to wear and deciding which treatment you’ll enjoy can be frustrating.

This guide is aimed at helping you understand the protocol so you have a better day spa experience.

1. What is a day spa?

Just the word ‘spa’ can be confusing because some beauty salons, and even dentists, call themselves spas.

Traditionally, the term spa means ‘partaking of waters’ and came from ancient Roman times, when people didn’t have their own bathroom so went to communal bathing houses. The communal baths, or spas, were enjoyed by men and women with attendants on hand to care for body, hair and wellbeing. Part of the ancient experience was to enjoy the social side of coming together to relax and be cared for.

The spa was, and still is, a place where others care for you at your leisure. They’re the ideal place to practice selfcare or book a day spa retreat for a mini wellcation. Although the words ‘day spa’ suggest that there should be a spa bath, not all day spas have baths. However, all day spas should focus on caring for your wellbeing and that’s what our modern understanding of a day spa is. A day spa is simply a place where you go to relax while other people take care of you.

A day spa is simply a place where you go to relax while other people take care of your health and wellbeing.

2. What’s the difference between a day spa and a salon?

Basically, you go to a day spa for an experience and to a salon for an appointment.

Day spas are built to exude luxury. They should have a unique, professional environment which is dedicated to providing a tranquil experience.

Every day spa has its own style and relaxation areas where visitors can spend time before or after treatments.

While some day spas offer water facilities, others offer sound therapy or silent rooms free of technology. Ikatan Day Spa in Noosa is surrounded by tropical gardens because being surrounded by nature has a profound and positive effect on wellbeing.

The moment you enter a day spa you should feel calmer. It’s about being in a space where you can escape from the outside world to be silently transported to another place. The staff will help facilitate that by making sure you have a special experience before, during and after spa treatments.

At ikatan, one therapist is dedicated to looking after each visitor before, during and after treatments. There’s no chatting during treatments or selling of product after treatments to ensure a restful experience.

3. How is booking at a day spa different from booking a restaurant?

At a restaurant, you decide what to have from the food and beverage menu after you arrive. At a day spa, you need to book before hand due to restrictions on time frame, therapist availability and specialities and room allocations.

When day spa reception staff are making a booking, they’re looking for an available space or room for the treatment you want. But before they can find a booking availability they need to know when you want to come and how many people are coming with you.

4. Why are day spa menus hard to understand?

Day spa treatment menus can be lengthy and overly descriptive. They shouldn’t be hard to understand but a lot of them are. Sometimes it’s hard to know what the treatment involves.

If you’ve ever had trouble deciphering a spa menu you’re not alone. I write spa menus for my own day spa in Noosa and for other day spas, and even I find some spa menus hard to understand. Many menus read like a fairy tale story, full of adjectives to describe aromas and whimsical relaxation techniques. I find this is hard work, stressful and confusing.

If you can’t understand what the treatment involves then it’s probably because the menu is badly written.

5. What’s a spa package?

Spa packages usually consist of two or more combined treatments that compliment each other and flow from one treatment to the next, giving a longer, more relaxing experience. Sometimes other services are offered and food and drinks are often packaged up with treatments to extend spa relaxation time.

At ikatan, as well as offering set spa packages we also offer personalised bespoke packages if we don’t already have a package that includes the treatments a guest is looking for. Being flexible helps our guests combine treatments to suit their preferences.

TIP: If you can’t understand, find or decide what treatment you want, just give the spa reception staff, a rough idea of what you’d like. For example, maybe you need a massage, don’t want a pedicure but would like to try a facial. That information will help spa receptionists to recommend package options or day spa pampering ideas suit your needs.

6. How should I make a day spa booking?

Booking in advance is best, but if there’s a cancellation you’ll often get lucky by booking at the last minute, so you may as well ask. Working out a basic idea of the treatments, package or amount of time you want to spend before calling or emailing will help reception staff offer you a booking faster.

Knowing what you don’t want is also useful for spa staff. If you’re interested in a certain price, package or treatment, or want to experience something different, it will help reception staff suggesting the perfect experience for you.

Emailing your booking through an online booking system is convenient for after hours bookings or if you’re at work, but it can take time to hear back from a busy spa which gets a lot of online bookings. Even when the spa does reply fast, by the time you reply someone else may have called and taken the booking. It’s unfortunate but there’s no way around it because day spas do not hold online bookings without confirmation details.

TIP: Phone bookings are best! Calling the day spa during business hours is the fastest way to book, ask questions and get advice as well as confirm your booking immediately. If you’re in a hurry ask the receptionist to suggest popular package options.

7. What if you don’t have time to read the spa treatment menu?

I find many people are so busy they don’t have time to read through the treatments listed on a spa menu, even though it’s available online. This in itself is proof you need to visit a day spa!

Good spas will understand that you’re time poor and need to escape a busy life. At ikatan, we’re constantly expanding our reception team so we can spend more time advising and caring for our guests from the first point of contact.

TIP:  Most day spas will be happy to block out spa time for you provided you give details to secure the booking. So don’t be afraid to call the day spa and secure a booking even if you haven’t had time to read the spa menu yet. Once you’ve booked and the date is locked in, you can enjoy looking at the treatment menu when you have a few minutes to spare and call or email to confirm the treatment you’ve chosen when you’re ready.

8. What if I have to cancel my appointment?

Read the day spa cancellation policy when you book as every spa will have a different policy.

Be aware that your treatment time has been reserved especially for you. If you need to reduce the treatment time, reschedule or cancel your appointment, you usually need to give 24 hours notice. If you arrive late or reduce the treatment time by changing your mind on arrival, then the day spa has the right to charge you the full amount.

9. What do I need to bring to a day spa?

Day spas have everything you need for treatments and time out in relaxation areas. If you go to a day spa with pool facilities, you’ll need swim wear, but towels, robes and slipper should be supplied.

It’s always a good idea to bring something warm to pop on after treatments and wear slip on sandals if you’re having a pedicure.

Some day spas like ikatan offer complimentary makeup application after spa treatments. This gives our guests sun protection as they relax in the garden with a pot of tea or glass of champagne after treatments and ensures they look their best for photos in the gardens.

10. What shouldn’t I bring to a day spa?

Leave your cigarettes, babies, children and pets behind and put your mobile devices on silent flight mode. That’s the policy at most day spas to ensure deep relaxation.

Leaving babies and children means you can relax without being responsible for a child. It’s not fair to other guests or young children to expect them to be quiet as is required at a day spa.

Day spa staff cannot act as babysit because they do not hold a blue card. Even if the children are older, day spa staff can’t be responsible for kids as they’re busy attending to guests. In any case, spa reception and lounge areas are for day spa guests to relax in and not a place to leave children unattended.

That’s why most day spas have a no children under the age of 16 policy.

The main day spa market is for busy mums escaping children, couples having a romantic escape and guests recovering from illness or stress. People visit a day spa for tranquillity without children and they’re one of the few places where you can escape your own kids without having to listen to other people’s!

Some day spas offer mums and bubs days which is a fantastic idea allowing other guests to book on a day when there are no children around.

11. What if I’m sick?

Clients suffering from colds, flu or viral infections should not have treatments at a day spa. Nor should people who are intoxicated.

It’s inadvisable for your own health to have treatments while unwell and unsafe for staff and other guests sharing the same facilities.

Please be thoughtful and cancel your spa booking if you’re ill and could be infectious as you may be sitting in reception with another guest who’s pregnant or undergoing treatments such as chemotherapy making them more susceptible to infection.

12How early can I arrive for my day spa booking?

Arrive early so you can start to relax before your treatment and leave time after treatments to allow you to slowly return to the real world that awaits you.

Give yourself ample time to drive to the day spa and find a parking space. It takes so much longer to relax someone whose mind is racing after arriving late for their booking.

It’s better to arrive too early than too late. Your spa therapist prepares your treatment before you arrive so that everything is ready for you. If you arrive late or decide to change your treatments on arrival, then your treatment will have to be cut short.

TIP: Check google maps for directions well in advance of your spa booking and allow for traffic.

I believe a day spa is also about the little things that make a big difference to your experience, from the first point of contact, during your treatments and throughout the visit. Feeling like you don’t want to leave, is the best compliment our guests give us.

Now you know the tips and tricks to getting what you want from a day spa experience.

Do you feel more confident about booking a day spa now?