Most of us can agree that the prospect of a facial, a massage, time to ourselves, relaxing in a sauna or by the pool are all lovely things to do. However, sometimes the luxury side of the spa experience can make us forget that all these beautiful things spas offer are also really good for our health and wellbeing and in lots of different ways. Here are just a few spa health benefits…
Florence Nightingale is said to have commented, “Unnecessary noise is the most cruel absence of care that can be inflicted on sick or well.” In short, silence is healing, especially for those of us who are surrounded by so much noise and white noise all the time. 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.
Aside from being generally relaxing, massage has a wealth of wellbeing benefits. It’s a chance to get out of our minds and back into our bodies, take stock and unwind. Massage is touch therapy in action. It connects with our innate sense of being, and can be an invaluable tool in helping to ease everything from post workout muscle pain to tense shoulders from sitting at a desk, and even help ease symptoms of depression.
Aromatherapy is a big part of the spa experience, from candles and scents used in the treatment rooms to the oils used in our treatments. Spa treatments often begin with a scent test, which essentially operates on the principal that you will be drawn to the scent that your body needs at that time, and therapists will then use it to personalise your treatment. For example, you might be looking to relax or feel energised.
A lot of spas centre their practices around the healing powers of herbs and botanicals, incorporating them into products as well as the scents that add ambience to the space. From herbal teas to skincare products, herbs and botanicals can help you to relax and unwind or can even have more specific benefits. For example, cinnamon is said to help reduce inflammation, regulate blood sugar and alleviate nausea and basil is an anti-inflammatory.
A good thermal suite can provide the framework for a spa experience, helping you to prepare mind and body for spa treatments, but also offering lots of benefits in their own right. Basically a thermal suite is where you go through lots of different temperature changes to open the pores and encourage perspiration. Therapeutic effects range from boosting the body’s natural defences and relieving stress, coughs and colds to rejuvenating the skin, boosting skin cells and promoting healthy cells. That’s in addition to the general enjoyment and spa health benefits of a good swim in a beautiful pool.
If you go to a specialised destination, spa health benefits extend beyond the facilities and into the abundant knowledge of the spa therapists, including when it comes to nutrition and fitness. For example, at Grayshott Spa they are well known for their exceptional knowledge when it comes to food and nutrition, and the impact it has not only on our weight, but on our wider wellbeing. They are especially well known for their work on gut health, and its impact on mental, physical and hormonal wellbeing.
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