Simon and Garfunkel sang of the haunting sound of silence, but as it happens, a little silence turns out to have many a benefit on a health spa retreat.
“Silence is a source of great strength”— Lao Tzu
A 2011 World Health Organisation report called noise pollution a “modern plague”, concluding that “there is overwhelming evidence that exposure to environmental noise has adverse effects on the health of the population.”
From music to the general noise of the environment around us, we are constantly besieged by noise, whether we like it or not. It’s not often we sit in proper silence, and it can often feel a bit odd to begin with, but there’s significant benefit to finding it and enjoying it.
Florence Nightingale is said to have commented, “Unnecessary noise is the most cruel absence of care that can be inflicted on sick or well.” It turns out she was onto something.
There are some links between noise pollution and high blood pressure, as well as impairing hearing and overall health, while loud noises are known to raise stress levels.
For example, a 2006 study published in the journal Heart found that two minutes of silence could be more relaxing than listening to ‘relaxing’ music. The findings were based on changes in blood pressure and blood circulation in the brain.
While we might go from the office to the gym to sitting in front of the TV or hanging out with friends, it turns out our brains need a little silence every now and again.
Getting away from sonic disruptions allows our brains to restore themselves rather than constantly focusing on high-order thinking, decision-making and problem-solving. In 2013, researchers found that two hours of silence each day led to the development of new cells in the hippocampus, associated with learning, memory and emotion. Basically, it gives the brain a little time to relax.
In a 2015 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, claimed that older adults experiencing insomnia found their sleep quality improved and they experienced less trouble during the day related to a lack of sleep after undergoing six weeks of mindfulness meditation. While it might not work for everyone, it surely couldn’t hurt to try, especially within the soothing surrounds of a health spa?
A health spa retreat is an excellent opportunity to embrace silence without being overwhelmed by it. They can provide the time and space to really stop, slow down and be in a beautiful environment that really allows us a chance to meditate in the moment. For example, on a Wellness Retreat at Swinton Bivouac Glamping Site (from £375 per person), which includes a silent forest walk.
The health spa break includes two nights bed and breakfast in a hand built, off-grid, wooden tree lodge in a woodland setting. It also includes dinner in the cafe bistro on both nights, lunch on the second day, a sunrise walk, the aforementioned silent forest walk, campfire and reiki drumming, an energising sound bath, and wind down sound bath in the long barn.
There are also group refreshments, a robe, towels and slippers provided as well as full use of the spa facilities at Swinton Country Club and Spa during your stay.
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