A glossary of spa terminology

Colon Hydrotherapy Terminology


Certified Colon Hydrotherapist

A certified, professional practitioner who has completed a minimum of 100 hours of study in colonics.  They have also completed practicum study of at least 25 hours, passed an anatomy and physiology course, and passed a comprehensive exam administered by the International Association for Colon Hydrotherapy (I-ACT).  Additional levels of certification are available, which involve additional study, exams, presentations and regular practice.

Closed System

A Class II FDA registered and approved device for the purpose of administering colon hydrotherapy sessions.  This device involves the gentle flow of warm water into the colon that is then released through the device. The device is operated by a trained and certified colon hydrotherapist.


Also known as the large intestine, the colon is the last part of the digestive system; it’s purpose is to extract water and salt from solid waste before it is eliminated from the body.  It is where intestinal flora, both good and bad, keep proper balance in the body for healthy living.  The colon consists of four sections (ascending, transverse, descending and sigmoid), and the colon, cecum and rectum make up the large intestine.

Colon Hydrotherapy

A cleansing of the colon using purified, warm water and FDA registered equipment.  Also known as a colonic, colon hydrotherapy is basically a bath for the entire colon.  It’s an all-natural, safe method of hydrating the colon wall to cleanse trapped impurities and prevent the recycling of toxins into the blood stream.  By circulating purified water into the colon, the body can eliminate the bad bacteria and balance the good – naturally; just as it was meant to do.  No chemicals needed – nature knows best!


An act of colonic irrigation; synonymous with colon hydrotherapy.  Many confuse colonic with an enema.  While both procedures introduce water into the rectum, water from an enema only reaches the first one-third of the rectum and colon.  Colonic irrigation circulates warm water into the colon, possibly all five to six feet of the colon, and then drains water and waste through a drain tube.


A symptom, not a disease.  Almost everyone experiences constipation at some point in their life; poor diet is typically the cause.  Constipation is not having three bowel movements per day.  It’s usually hard, dry, small in size, and difficult to eliminate.  Some people who experience constipation find it painful to have a bowel movement and often experience straining, bloating, and the sensation of a full bowel.

Large Intestine

Also known as the colon, the large intestine is between five and six feet long, starting in the right iliac region of the pelvis (just at or below the right waist) where it is joined to the end of the small intestine.  From here it continues up the abdomen, across the width of the abdominal cavity, and then it turns down to continue to its endpoint at the anus.


Pro means “for” and biotics means “life” so it’s safe to say probiotics are for life.  Whether in the food you eat or in supplements, probiotics are “live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host.”  They help to introduce good bacteria to the body to balance the intestinal flora.  Your digestive tract is home to trillions of bacteria and over 500 different species of microflora. The two most prevalent probiotics are Lactobacilli, which make up the majority of the probiotics living in your small intestine, and Bifidobacteria, the most prevalent beneficial probiotic living in your large intestine. Most healthy people have 100 times more Bifidobacteria than Lactobacilli. Bifidobacteria are the most prevalent probiotic in a healthy colon. Bifidobacteria ferment dietary fiber and produce by-products such as B vitamins that promote the health of the entire body.  The more strains of probiotics, the better intestinal, immune system, and overall health will be.


A disposable and sterile rectal speculum aids in the colonic irrigation process.  Each speculum is discarded after each session.  The rectal speculum simply permits easier positioning of the irrigation tip and hosing unit for a thorough, effective cleansing treatment.

Spa Services Terminology



An ancient oriental healing technique based on balancing energy meridians within the body that allow the body to heal itself. Fine needles are painlessly inserted at key points corresponding to body organs to relieve pain, treat infertility, treat disease and dysfunction, prevent disease, and promote general health and well-being.


An ancient healing art that uses the fingers to press key points on the skin surface to stimulate the body’s natural self-curative abilities. When these points are pressed, they release muscular tension and promote the circulation of blood and the body’s life force to aid in healing. While acupressure and acupuncture use the same points, acupressure uses the gentle but firm pressure of hands; no needles are used in this form of healing.

AHA Fruit Peel

Fruit acid is a type of alpha hydroxyl acid, or AHA. AHA fruit peels facilitate the removal of dead and damaged surface cells and expose the newer, healthier skin underneath. An AHA fruit peel also has a rejuvenating effect on skin as it encourages cell turnover to help fade surface imperfections, fine lines and wrinkles associated with aging skin. As a treatment for acne, fruit acids work to dry up excess sebum and unclog blocked hair follicles. Studies have also shown that over time, the use of AHA products will result in smoother, more evenly pigmented skin.


An alternative form of healing that uses essential oils (extracted from herbs, flowers, resin, woods, and roots) to improve one’s health, mind, mood, and cognitive function. While aromatherapy adds a natural fragrance to any room, it is a healing technique that has been used for thousands of years to promote relaxation, improve circulation, and help heal wounds. Each essential oil has its own unique characteristics and benefits.

Body Polish

A popular body treatment that exfoliates and hydrates the skin, leaving it smooth and soft. Basically, a body polish is a facial for the whole body. While it does have some massage included in the treatment, it is not a substitute for a massage and should not be confused with such.

Body Treatment

Essentially a facial for the whole body that leaves the skin feeling smooth and soft. It is a way to cleanse, exfoliate and hydrate the skin. There are various types of body treatments, also called body scrub or body polish, but the best for your overall health is an all-natural or organic body treatment.


Cellulite is actually a fancy name for collections of fat that push against the connective tissue beneath the skin causing the surface to dimple or pucker and look lumpy (resembling cottage cheese). Most girls and women – and some men – have cellulite. Ones genes, gender, amount of body fat, age, and skin thickness are some of the factors that influence whether a person has cellulite and how much.

Chromatherapy Bath

The therapeutic use of colors of light in a sea salt bath to promote a positive impact on overall health and well-being. While different colors affect people differently, the use of light and color for therapeutic purposes is centuries old and adds a more complete, engaging, holistic experience.

Color Therapy (Chromatherapy)

The use of colors to effect changes in the human body. Red energizes and activates blood flow. Yellow stimulates nerve functions and may aid in the digestive process. Orange is a mix of red and yellow and therefore carries greater therapeutic characteristics than the colors used separately, including the soothing of muscle and joint pain. Green fosters harmony and has a calming, restorative effect on the mind and body. Blue promotes mental and physical calmness. Purple, an extremely powerful color, inspires creativity as well as relieves irritability and re-establishes a peaceful state of being.


A process or processes that enable the body to rid itself of toxin build-up in the body’s cells. Regular removal of toxins from the body is essential as high toxin loads can cause many illnesses, chronic pains, low energy levels, skin problems, memory disruption, and even cancer.

Dry Skin Brushing

Dry skin brushing, a seemingly simple and easy therapy, can have a huge impact on your overall health and well being, and is the single most important therapy you can add to your daily life and detox program. Your skin is your largest eliminative organ; it releases a pound of waste each day and is the first organ to show symptoms of imbalance or toxicity. Dry skin brushing stimulates blood and lymph flow, removes dead skin cells, reduces cellulite, strengthens the immune system, tones muscles, tightens skin, and more.

Ear Candling

An alternative practice used to open the sinuses and ear canals for drainage and clearness.  While not a cure, ear candling can help alleviate symptoms ranging from seasonal or acute allergies, ear aches, swimmer’s ear, sinus infections, sinus pressure, releasing blocked energy, and headaches, as well as aiding sinusitis.  It is a therapeutic relaxation technique similar to acupressure, acupuncture and aromatherapy.  Ear candling does not remove wax build-up from the ears, a common misconception.


Estheticians are trained in skin wellness, most often helping their clients combat complexion problems through a number of therapies and practices. They may provide therapies that are designed to improve the tone, texture, color, and youthfulness of the skin of the face and neck and perform treatments that fight fine lines, dry skin, eczema, or acne. Estheticians may also perform a wide range of body therapies such as scrubs, body wraps, and hair removal.

Greens Drink

Natural, alkalizing, whole food drinks that are made from green vegetables and sometimes certain fruits.  Green drinks make great detoxifiers and blood cleansers, and are an excellent source of chlorophyll, enzymes, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and other essential nutrients.  Available as a green powder mix that can be added to water or juice, or you can make them at home out of green veggies and a food processor or a vita mix.


The source of health, vitality and power, the hara is the physical center of the body.  Bounded by the lower rib cage and the pelvic bowl, the hara includes all the vital organs of the body, with the exception of the heart and lungs; even these have a reflexive, energetic presence here.  The hara deals with a person’s emotional center.

Holistic Health

The term holistic health comes from the word whole, meaning complete.  While there is no one definition of holistic health, it is a look at self from a whole (holistic) perspective and to understand the mind, body and spirit connection and the importance of balancing all aspects of one’s life.  Holistic health involves physical, emotional and spiritual components, bringing about the mind/body/spirit connection.

Himalayan Salt Lamp

Mined from underground salt mines in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains, these natural crystal salt lamps are hundreds of millions of years old and, as a result, have special properties and high mineral content to naturally cleanse the air.  Heat from the bulb causes the salt to emit negative ions which bond with pollutants in the air (positive ions) and neutralize them; the newly bonded ions become heavy and fall to the ground thus removing them from the air circulation.  Negative ions from the salt lamps also combat electro-smog caused by electronic devices operating in the home.  Using salt lamps can reduce the symptoms of asthma, allergies, and other illnesses.

Hot Stone Massage

A massage that uses smooth, flat, heated rocks placed at key points on the body to promote relaxation and open up the merIdians (energy pathways).  Muscles are pretreated with the heated stones to allow the massage therapist to more easily perform deep tissue manipulations.  Hot stone massage alleviates stress, releases toxins, relieves pain, improves circulation, and calms the psyche.

Ion Detox Foot Spa

This treatment starts when the feet are placed in plain, lukewarm water with some salts added; this increases the ionization, which reduces the body’s acidity so the treatment can allow the body’s own immune system to take over healing.  As the ionization machine charges the water, your body begins purging waste, and the water changes colors.  For example, black is from liver detoxification and orange is detoxification of the joints.

Lymphatic Massage

Also known as lymph drainage massage, lymphatic massage is a technique used to help increase lymph flow, which removes harmful substances from the tissues and increases immune function.  It can also be useful in for people experiencing a sluggish immune system or those suffering from lack of energy.


The manipulation of superficial and deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue to enhance function, aid in the healing process, and promote relaxation and well-being.  It involves acting on and manipulating the body with pressure, either manually or with mechanical aids.

Massage Therapist

A professional who has been trained to perform massage therapy and who has been certified by a recognized organization.  Certification requires a minimum of 600 hours of schooling and training as well as an exam.  In the state of Pennsylvania, practicing massage therapists are now required to be licensed by the Pennsylvania State Board of Massage Therapy.  Continuing education is also required.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is the practice of using touch to manipulate the soft-tissue muscles of the body.  It brings healing and wellness to bodies, and according to research is a valuable component of a well-rounded healthcare regime, not just a luxury as is often the perception.  Massage therapy, both for health benefits and relaxation purposes, has been proven to combat everything from chronic pain to the negative effects of stress.

Moor Mud Bath

A wonderfully relaxing way to detoxify toxins that do not metabolize properly in the body.  For 200 years, it has been used in European Health Spas to cleanse the body of toxins, relieve pains, encourage rehabilitation after surgery, treat gout and skin problems, deliver nutrients and anti-inflammatory elements, improve the immune system, increase circulation and metabolism, and rejuvenate body tissues.

Organic Facial

A relaxing treatment that helps to cleanse, exfoliate, tighten, and moisturize your skin back to its natural state.  This treatment uses all-natural products made from plants, flowers and herbs that work better and faster to repair skin and skin cells than harsh chemicals.  It’s very rare that anyone has a bad reaction to an organic facial.  Your skin is natural; shouldn’t your facial be too?

Prenatal/Pregnancy Massage

Performed by a trained, perinatal specialist, prenatal/pregnancy massage is both safe and effective throughout pregnancy and postpartum.  Prior to delivery, specific techniques can reduce discomforts and concerns as well as enhance the physiological and emotional well-being of both mother and fetus.  After delivery, specialized techniques rebalance structure, physiology, and emotions of the new mother which may help her bond with and care for her infant.


A safe, gentle, non-invasive form of hands-on healing.  Reiki is a spiritual practice that helps to increase energy, reduce pain, promote deep relaxation, and enhance a general feeling of well being.  The Reiki practitioner becomes a channel for the Reiki energy, which when in harmony will strengthen so healing can begin.  It is also a powerful, life-changing experience for physical, mental and spiritual growth.


Based on ancient Chinese therapy, reflexology involves manipulation of specific reflex areas in the feet, hands and ears that correspond to other parts of the body.  Reflexology involves application of pressure to these areas to stimulate organs and relieve areas of congestion within the body.  Reflexology is used to reduce pain, increase relaxation, and stimulate circulation of blood and lymphatic fluids.  It is especially useful in stress-related illness and emotional disorders.  When direct manipulation is not appropriate due to traumatized or diseased parts of the body, reflexology is a convenient method to stimulate self-healing and promote the balance of physical function.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration.  They are not meant to treat, prevent, diagnose or cure any condition, and are for informational purposes only.  Always consult your healthcare provider. 

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