The science of spas


Emma Dance pays a visit to Bristol's new EF Medispa

When you think of a spa then you probably think of warm swimming pools, saunas, steam rooms and pampering treatments.


But there’s a new type of spa which is growing in popularity – the medispa. Essentially it’s a kind of hybrid between a traditional spa and a medical facility, with fully-trained and licensed healthcare professionals carrying out the treatments. And instead of the usual facials and massages they offer surgical and non-surgical procedures such as botox, light and laser therapy, liposuction and breast enhancement.

Last month, the award-winning EF Medispa opened its first facility outside London on Whiteladies Road so I went along to give it a go.

Thanks to the combination of rain and rush-hour traffic my should-have-been-short bus journey took three times as long as expected so when by the time I arrived for my appointment, damp and late, I was feeling more than a little bit stressed. But almost as soon as I stepped through the doors I could feel myself starting to relax. The reception area is gleaming white gorgeousness, with smiling staff to put you at ease, and soft furnishings and touches which would be equally at home in a luxury boutique hotel.

I was trying the Dermalux light therapy, designed to rejuvenate your skin in just 20 minutes. There’s three different treatments available; Energise revitalises and regenerates skin for a more youthful complexion, Resolve treats problem skin conditions such as spot prone skin and redness and Recover accelerates healing and reduces discomfort after aesthetic procedure. All involve the same process but with different wavelengths of light to encourage different responses within your skin. My therapist and I decided that I would most benefit from Energise which combines red and near-infrared wavelengths to recharge the skin, energising skin cells to strengthen skin and enhance it’s natural process, and also stimulate the productions of collagen and elastin to improve your skin’s elasticity and reduce wrinkles.

The treatment began in a similar way to any other facial, with various lotions being smoothed and massaged on to my face as I lay back and relaxed – but then it all changed. A large, almost cage-like structure lined in hundreds of tiny lights was lowered over my face. I had been warned that it would be very bright, and I was aware of the lights even with my eyes shut and with the noise the experience initially felt quite over-bearing and I couldn’t understand how anyone could possibly describe it as relaxing. But within just a few minutes I stopped being aware of the lights, the buzzing just melted into white noise, I began to enjoy the warmth on my face, my mind cleared and I started to doze off.

It was only a short amount of time but I felt surprisingly rested as a result, my skin looked healthy and glowing, and the effects remained far longer than when I’ve had more traditional facials in the past.

The treatment menu at EF Medispa is unlike any I’ve seen before, but then it’s unlike any spa I’ve been to before either.

 For more information visit


Share this Post:

More Posts: