Jan 15, 2019 | By Sarah Housley
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Jul 14, 2017
If you’re lucky, a trip to the spa is a semi-regular occurrence, allowing you to relax and unwind from the hectic swirl of modern day life in a halo of scented candles, soft robes and the touch of an angel who unknots every last, persistent kink with shocking ease. If you’re unlucky, like me (yes, I know, spas should be my second home given my job but alas they are not) then this is a birthday treat. The kind of grand gesture you might be gifted for the joy of another decade milestone met. Or consoled with, depending on how aging sits with your psyche.
Whichever category you fall into though, it’s always nice to try something new isn’t it? Which is why we’re seeing the rise of these three emerging spa trends, which are set to take the wellness industry by storm.
That Himalayan pink salt we’ve been sprinkling all over our food in recent years is swiftly becoming a spa staple, with the rise of the salt cave – a room made from large blocks of the cherished seasoning that are stockpiled in and around zero-gravity recliners residing on a bed of sodium. A popular treatment in Asia, this salty immersion is known as halotherapy, and utilises a halogenerator to grind up salt into a dry aerosol that disperses it around the room and into the air. Benefits are said to include the relief of asthma symptoms and arthritis, the regulation of blood pressure and the easing off of stress and common cold symptoms. It’s basically a room that creates zen both inside and out, with the addition of lickable walls if you’re so inclined. (Don’t be – that stuff is frowned upon). As for places to test this out, New York seems to be the one, with multiple salt caves on offer – from Premier57’s salt sauna in Midtown Manhattan to the Montauk salt cave in the Hamptons.
As the wellness industry continues its steady domination of the world, it’s of no surprise that spa treatments are upping their wellness attributes by the minute. Already a key area for ‘getting back to your normal self,’ we’re now seeing mindfulness coming into play, with treatments that focus not only on soothing the body, but the mind too. Elemis’ new Mindful Massages are carried out in conjunction with their newly launched Life Elixirs – five aromatic blends that help you tune in to you, targeting calmness, clarity, fortitude, intimacy and sleep. A quick questionnaire before your treatment determines which oil will be used during the hour long, deep tissue massage, which then envelops the body, creating an aura of serenity – a true chance to switch off and focus on what’s important to you, not anyone else. At the end, it’s like a reboot for the entire self – the body has been moulded and sculpted, releasing built up tension and anxiety, whilst the brain is rewired, either kicking it up a notch with new found determination and confidence, or unwinding into a tranquil state that allows real thoughts to come through. No longer is the focus on that next deadline or upcoming presentation, now the focus is on you.
Sweat. That’s what normally comes to mind when someone brings up a sauna. A chance to push all toxins and residual alcohol out of the body in a hardcore session wrapped in nothing but a towel, ending with a hearty shower, then home. Hardly the most gripping of experiences but fruitful nonetheless, but for those who aren’t engaged enough with this past time to make it a regular occurrence, watch out for the rise of theatrical saunas, an idea being pioneered by the bathing culture of Europe. Known as Sauna Aufguss, this is all about entertainment, with the advent of sauna-meisters who use a series of towel rituals within the sauna itself to administer aromatherapy infusions, all played to lively audiences. But it doesn’t stop there. Some towel masters are taking their routines one step further, turning the movements into dance routines, wearing costumes, acting out scenes from plays and event utilising light, music, lasers and smoke for a full sensory experience. In areas across northern and central Europe, Aufgussmasters are becoming known for their special performances, with spas posting their upcoming show list much like a theatre. Places to hit include Austria’s Aquadome, a maze of pools and saunas including a three-tiered stadium, Oslo’s The Thief Spa and Tuscany’s Asmana Wellness World, who host shows in their Herbal Sauna and Wine Sauna.
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