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What spas have taught me about wellbeing

As part of our Real Men Relax initiative this month, one man explains how joining the world of spa has given him a new perspective on wellness.

Going on a spa break just didn't really occur to me...

Before I joined I hadn't had a lot of involvement with spa experiences. Having worked in the golf side of the hotel industry, I had worked with a lot of destinations that had spas, but I had generally restricted my use to the pool, sauna and steam room. Having always exercised and played golf, I had the odd massage, but that was about it. I didn't feel as though I was excluded from spas or that they weren't for me, it just never really crossed my mind.

Since joining my eyes have been opened to the range of spa experiences available...

Since joining, I have had a number of treatments I wouldn't otherwise have tried. For example, we've had facials and hand massages in the office. I also took my wife to Down Hall Hotel and Spa for her birthday earlier this year, had a treatment and spent a couple of hours in the spa, which was a lovely, relaxed thing to do together. I was tentative about the facial, but afterwards I really noticed how relaxing it had been (it's basically a massage for your face), and also my skin felt a lot better. I definitely got a better understanding of what all the lotions and potions are for in my wife's bathroom cabinet too!

Going on spa breaks has given my wife and I more time together...

My wife and I both have busy jobs, and it can be hard to find time to spend together. We don't have the same hobbies, and weekends often involve socialising with friends, so we often only get a few hours together in the evenings. Spas offer an activity that we can enjoy together, focusing on quality time with one another, feeling relaxed, in the moment and away from all the white noise. It enhances our time together, so I think a really nice result of exploring the spa world is that I spend more time with my wife!

My go-to spa treatment is still a massage...

I play a lot of golf, I've always exercised and my job involves sitting hunched over a desk a lot of the time. As a result, my shoulders are often tight, so I always love a massage. I find that not only is it hugely relaxing but it also helps my body recover for the next time I want to play golf or have a workout.

I can definitely see the overall wellbeing benefit of a spa experience...

A lot of people might go on a spa break for a special occasion, but I can definitely see the wellbeing benefits of having a spa break or spa treatment on a regular basis. It's about downtime, and having a treatment that's good for your body is only going to make you feel better moving forward. I think it's good for mental health as well, helping to alleviate stress and resetting the mind.

The overriding feeling I have whenever I have a spa treatment now is 'it's been too long, why didn't I do this a few weeks or months ago?' You realise how tired you are, how stressed you are, and it always makes you realise it should be a more regular habit.

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