When we seek relaxation, our bodies and minds intuitively connect with the energy of water. Our bodies are made up primarily of water and our planet is 70 percent H2O.  Much of life is created from water and life can be healed with water. It is for this reason that water has been used for thousands of years in religious ceremonies.

Evoking purity, clarity and calmness, water can be the ultimately relaxing way of cleansing and purifying your mind, body and soul. Using water as part of your hotel spa experience can help balance your body and mind, and bring to you the harmony that you seek. Here are just a handful of ways that water spa experiences that you can indulge in to heal your body, mind and soul.

ROMAN BATH

The Romans are most famous for the magnificent baths they built and were great believers in the therapeutic powers of daily bathing and massage with fragrant oils for optimum health.  At the Roman public baths, bathers would usually first soak in the warm waters of the Tepidarium bath to relax and unwind.  Once the body was relaxed, and the pores had started to open, the bather then entered into the pool of the Caldarium, where water temperatures could reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit, or 40 degrees Celsius or more, fully opening the capillaries.  And finally, a quick dip into the cold water pool of a Frigidarium was needed to close the pores. 

For the utmost relaxation experience, aromatherapy bath salts can be used during the Roman bath session. The ancient Romans also used medicinal baths of minerals, salts and herbal infusions for therapeutic purposes.  A bath of clay water or Epsom salts can draw toxins out of the body.  A bath in an infusion of Bay Laurel leaves or essence stimulates the circulation and relieves rheumatic aches and pains.  A bath in Lavender scented water soothes the nerves and helps one relax. 

 

HAMMAM

Also known as a Turkish bath, the hammam is a Middle Eastern version of the steam bath. The ritual is simple and involves several steps aimed at cleansing and relaxing. Typically, you pick a treatment that lasts a set period of time but are free to lounge the relaxation areas for as long as you like. As you enter the entrance foyer, you change out of your clothes before having a cup of tea or cold drink before or after your bath. Before entering the bath, a spa staff member will bring you to a transition area where you receive towels and adjust to the heat. From there you enter a private heated room that houses a large marble belly or navel stone, which you lay on.

You are doused with water, and then rubbed with mitts of coarse muslin cloth to rub off the residual dead skin.  After a thorough sudsing and rubdown lathered with soap, you are dowsed again and rinsed of the suds.  This is repeated once more. Afterwards, you soak in a hot tub, or lie on a warm marble slab to relax and chill out.  You can even choose to receive a massage with fragrant, scented medicinal oils.  Definitely after a hammam experience, you feel thoroughly refreshed, revitalized and thoroughly clean, as though you have been reborn.

SAUNA

Nothing is more reinvigorating than a deep, healthy sweat. Not surprisingly, sauna bathers most frequently cite stress reduction as the number one benefit of its use. Heat bathing in a sauna provides stress relief in a number of ways. It’s a warm, quiet space without any distractions coming in from the outside. The heat from the sauna relaxes the body's muscles, improves circulation and stimulates the release of endorphins.

Endorphins are the body’s all-natural "feel good" chemical, and their release provides a truly wonderful "after sauna glow.” Body temperature rising from the heat of the sauna causes blood vessels to dilate and increases blood circulation, speeding up the body’s natural healing process.

Many - if not most - of us do not actively sweat on a daily basis. Deep sweating, however, has multiple proven health benefits and can help reduce levels of lead, copper, zinc, nickel, mercury and chemicals - which are all toxins commonly absorbed just from our external environment. Also, through deep sweating, the skin is then cleansed and dead skin cells are replaced - keeping your skin in good working condition. Sweating rinses bacteria out of the epidermal layer and sweat ducts. Cleansing of the pores has been shown to improve the capillary circulation, while giving the skin a softer-looking quality. Research has also shown that a deeper, more relaxed sleep can result from sauna use.

 

PATRICIA SERRANO CHUNGSATHAPORN I 10/08/2017

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