Top 5 Alternative Spa Treatments
Next time you want to take a luxury wellness getaway in Barcelona, you might think of hitting the usual resort and having the standard massage, face mask and pedicure pick-me-up. Or you might prefer something new and interesting; an alternative spa treatment that explores ancient alternative medicine techniques, popular around the world for centuries.
There are tonnes of opportunities for the adventurous, both around the world and on the doorstep. If massages or bathing has limited appeal for you, these other types of relaxation could offer the restoration you deserve and provide an interesting and special new experience.
Sound therapy is an ancient, wide spread practice that stems from the scientific theory that all elements of the universe resonate when pattern energy, such as sound, is created. To demonstrate this, those who conduct sound therapy sessions use various musical instruments and tools such as tuning forks and Himalayan singing bowls to relax the human body. Himalayan singing bowls are chosen for their rich reverberating sound. It is thought that the sound waves resonate over the body and stimulate cells, helping to re-channel energy, unblock stiff muscles and provide rejuvenation. In addition, the distinctive and pleasant sound of Himalayan singing bowls will help relax your mind and enter you into a state of restfulness to provide you with a refreshing break from your troubles on a boutique spa break in Malta.
Cupping, Fire Cupping or Dry Cupping is an ancient Chinese alternative therapy designed to soothe discomfort from muscle pain, backache and headaches. Traditionally, it was also thought to help with fevers. The Chinese characters translate approximately as “pull with pottery”, as originally pottery bowls were heated slightly with flame and placed on soft skin, typically the lower back. After a few minutes, the rim would create an air tight seal over the skin and pull it into a partial vacuum. The suction from this vacuum brought blood to the surface of the skin and was thought to make the flesh suppler, softer and ease stiffness. Modern day techniques are similar, but use glass of plastic bowls or bells. Special wellness resorts in Shanghai will often use this method in conjunction with acupuncture.
Chakra Light Steam Therapy
Chakra light steam therapy is a form of ‘chromotherapy’, or the use of colour for healing purposes. Colour is considered by many to be an integral part of life, as it is in everything we do. As such, it is also deemed to be a great way to recover from stress. Chromotherapy has a few forms, but stems from the Eastern idea of seven major chakras, or energy centres, present throughout the body. Each part of the body can be stimulated shining a beam of the correct coloured light onto it. Chakra Light Steam Therapy takes the colours of natural white light, breaks it down into its separate components and channels the individual colours of the light spectrum to their designated chakra, located in its own area of the body; from red light on the spine to violet light on the head. The coloured light creates a balancing and calming effect on the mind, similar to that of meditation. They are combined with steam for that extra relaxing affect, which helps energise the body in a luxurious spa whilst providing a welcome break to the ever busy mind.
Moving further west, the Indian traditional medicine of Shirodhara, once used for healing, remains popular for its relaxing qualities. It incorporates massage techniques with the practice of pouring various kinds of warm and often pleasantly scented oils, such as sesame, continuously onto the forehead; considered to be “the third eye” or gateway to the Anja or sixth primary chakra. This in turn gives insight and enhanced consciousness. This use of oils derives from a belief known as Ayurveda or “the science of longevity” and is considered the best method to balance the mind, body and soul in order to attain a longer and healthier life; the perfect treatment for a luxury spa holiday in India.
Food makes up a part of everyday life and is integral to health. In keeping with the Taoist ideal of balance, one Chinese alternative therapy includes selecting foods in accordance with their perceived ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ qualities; cold foods such as lemons, melon or banana being beneficial for treating skin irritations and hot foods like ginger, cinnamon or chocolate being best for tackling or preventing colds. This idea of balance carries over into modern day health techniques. A food tasting spa involves trying different foods right for your tastes and needs and, if desired, starting on an enjoyable new diet, recommended by the resorts spa’s expert, who has the special skills to encourage you in your new and improved luxury lifestyle.
These are just five of dozens of alternative spa treatments to think about on your next planned visit to a wellness resort. There are many more treatments, some presented as alternative medicines and some purely for the purposes of rest and recreation. Check out all your options at your nearest or favourite spa to be sure not to miss out on some great opportunities to try something luxurious and fresh.
To sample award winning holistic spa therapies and Ayurveda techniques, visit the Mandala Spa and Villas in the Philippines.