By Elizabeth Lavis
Sure, we all love our pedicures, facials, deep tissue massages and other traditional spa treatments. But if you’re in the mood for something a little out of the box, spas everywhere are taking relaxation, rejuvenation, and plain old pampering up a notch. Try these fantastic new treatments that are picking up in popularity.
Using the ancient notion that breathing in salty air is healing, halotherapy (commonly known as salt therapy) is gaining traction in spas. Designed to purify your skin like nothing else, these tiny molecules give you a top-notch exfoliation treatment on top of their detoxifying and calming effects. The salt used in these procedures is medical grade, so it’s safe and completely undetectable.
Plenty of spas have noticed the importance of nature in our lives and will incorporate outdoor activities into their usual roster of treatments. Bathing Alfresco, or nature bathing, is a new trend that takes its notes more from skinny dipping than standard spa practices. In most cases, participants will be led into a secluded area where they will bathe in the nude. Sometimes the walk itself it incorporated into the experience, with visitors being asked to walk barefoot to realign themselves with nature. While some people might scoff at this treatment, others will find this connection to the outdoors uniquely refreshing!
Visit most spas and you won’t be treated to the thumping sounds of house music, but very few are totally silent. This is a new trend that acts as a backlash to the steady stream of media and stimulation that goes on in our lives. These spas are completely silent, requiring you to drop off your smartphone before entering and committing to a totally noise-free experience. You’ll experience deep breathing exercises and enjoy an enhanced level of self-actualization through meditative, silent experiences. Although new in the spa world, silent treatments take a page from the Far East, where monks regularly enjoy days of total silence on end as part of a journey towards enlightenment.
Soaking in Sound
When spas specialize in sound, they do it right. If total silence isn’t your thing, how about specific and deliberate sounds? You can actually soak in sound waves and Himalayan bath salts during some of these treatments, where any manner of instruments are plucked and tapped under water to give your luxuriating skin the full benefit of the waves. Spas are also experimenting with the restorative properties of different types of sounds on moods. Since stress and pessimism are huge culprits when it comes to aging poorly, this actually makes quite a bit of sense.
With the popularity of Bikram Yoga and saunas, we have long known about the restorative power of extreme temperatures. Now spas are capitalizing on the trend with very hot or cold rooms. When we say cold, we mean absolutely freezing. There are plenty of types of treatments that rely heavily on hot or cold elements. If administered by an expert, there is very little danger in partaking in them, so don’t worry about hurting yourself. Of course, you should never try to duplicate your spa experience by attempting to shock your skin with extreme hot or cold. These treatments have been tested and are designed to purify your pores by opening or shrinking them – but only in the hands of a pro.
This isn’t a new trend in Europe, where our beer-loving counterparts have been soaking in suds for a long time. But beer baths seem to be finally crossing the pond. Many products already contain beer, which is well known to give your hair a lustrous sheen. The secret is in the hops, which acts as a mild exfoliate and gives your skin a supple, youthful glow. The best part? Beer lovers can sip a glass of their favorite ale while enjoying their soak.