For much of the past two years, many of us have been craving human touch. It was one of the simplest things that the pandemic denied us – a hug, a handshake… a massage. However, at the same time, many remain cautious about touch in a post pandemic world. Could a touchless spa treatment be the answer?
For some that’s an anxiety about risk (although spa therapists are extremely cautious about risk management). For others, even in the best of times touch is something we’re not entirely comfortable with.
You may want the relaxing benefits of a spa treatment but are not entirely comfortable with being touched by a therapist. In any of these scenarios, so what are the options?
Combining ‘binaural acoustic and vibrational frequencies’ to relax the body and brain, the Welnamis bed is said to deliver ‘dynamic vibrational therapy through the body while [guests] listen to multilayered binaural acoustic audio programmes through headphones.’
The goal is to deliver specific brainwave frequencies, similar to meditation, to help slow down mental activity, rebalance the body’s chakras and encourage anti-inflammatory responses. It can be used in conjunction with other touch therapies or as a self-guided treatment.
The power of touch is something that most of us understand instinctively, that has been recognised in holistic treatments for generations, and is also something that we’re consistently learning more about.
Reader’s Digest wrote:
“The main hormone and neurotransmitter affiliated with human touch is oxytocin. Research has found that oxytocin contributes to levels of relaxation, trust, and psychological stability. In addition, brain oxytocin has been found to reduce stress responses, including anxiety.”
Meanwhile, the team at Jennifer Young, who provide therapist training in touch treatments for cancer patients, found through research that the short- and long-term benefits of touch, specifically relating to light massage, include:
Most traditional spa treatments hinge on the power of touch, but touchless treatments or self-administered treatments have been around for some time, ranging from the holistic to the high tech.
For example, some of our favourites include:
A mud treatment that’s self-administered or applied by a loved one who joins you, is essentially a dedicated steam room where you’re given different types of muds to apply to the face and body. The heat and team help the muds to work their magic, before you shower off and apply any finishing creams and oils. It’s a great one for sharing with a friend or partner.
Cryotherapy is literally ‘cold therapy’, a technique where the body is exposed to extremely cold temperatures for two to four minutes to deliver a number of health benefits. In the same way that you would go to a sauna. You might have heard of it in relation to top athletes. They have a particularly high tech option at Fairmont Windsor Park.
A good thermal suite is very much a spa treatment in its own right, generally featuring a range of saunas, steam rooms, a hydrotherapy pool and cold options as well to cleanse and rejuvenate the skin, help the body detox and relax, and prepare for touch treatments as well.
Otherwise known as a floatation tank, an isopod treatment is gentle and relaxing. You lay down in a water filled pod, usually with Epsom salts or similar in it, and float while coloured lights change around you and gentle music plays. It’s almost like being back in the womb!
The Oxygen Pod at Rudding Park is a wonderful part of their spa experience that helps to strengthen the immune system and slow down signs of ageing. It’s also great for the respiratory system. The experience takes 10-15 minutes and includes a dry salt mist, as well as pumping up to nine litres of concentrated oxygen into the room per minute. Normal air is about 21% oxygen but this is 27%.
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