At the luxurious Galgorm Resort and Spa there are many unique and wonderful things to experience, but chief amongst them is the Celtic Sauna Ritual which supports the whole body and is overseen by their Celtic Sauna Master, Jack.
Having always worked in health and fitness, and formerly in the army for seven years, Jack started working at Galgorm Resort and Spa four years ago, and has a passion for discovering the next evolution of fitness knowledge in order to drive human potential.
The sauna ritual is a tradition practised in central and northern Europe, and Jack trained with a master in Austria where they use more than 100 natural oils in the experience each with different benefits when breathed in or absorbed through the skin during the rituals.
Jack describes it as being a bit like a performance in the dark. As you might expect, it all takes place in a sauna in the beautiful grounds of the Galgorm estate. The heat from the stones comes off in a vapour, which increases humidity in the sauna (85 degrees), so you feel the heat more and get more benefit from it.
Essences are added to the sauna to enhance the experience. As we speak they are using eucalyptus, sage and lavender. The eucalyptus is for breathing as it helps with lung capacity, the sage is an anti-inflammatory that’s great for muscle recovery and digestion, and the lemon and lavender that’s used at the end is refreshing, uplifting, calming and relaxing. In the winter they change the oils, perhaps using peppermint to improve mood and help fight viruses, and pine needle which is good for the immune system.
A gong strikes and you head in to spend up to 12 minutes in the sauna as the process promotes sweating and pushes out toxins. The first essence is added, then the second, and then you’re given crushed ice to take the edge off the heat. Then the third essence is added, and after the full 12 minutes you leave the sauna and are taken to the River House relaxation area, which is really picturesque location with the natural sound of the river filling the room. All other sound is turned off and this is your chance to enjoy the environment with a glass of cranberry juice and crushed ice.
The purpose of the treatment is multifaceted, and Jack is effervescent in his enthusiasm about it. It’s great for detox as it forces blood back to the organs and improves the immune system – he swears by it as the reason he is never ill. He recommends it if you’ve been working out to support muscle recovery and the cardiac and respiratory systems.
Being in a sauna, the ritual can normally include up to 10 people at a time. From the outset it has been proving extremely popular, and the fact that it enjoys the spectacular beauty of the Galgorm estate as well, simply adds to the experience.
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