crystals

Bringing Wellness Home

Life just gets busier and busier. Commuting, work, family, friends, gym, Love Island – when is there time to just sit back and relax?  And when we do find time, the majority of us invariably end up staring at a screen – on a tv, gaming machine or smartphone.

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Instead of having to factor in time to go to the gym for a workout, or book a spa day in advance to make time to relax, why not bring wellbeing and relaxation into the home? Encompassing wellbeing into your daily routine is becoming increasingly popular as everyday stress levels rise.

Shower in Hampshire bathroom by Dröm UK Ltd

Saunas and steam rooms are a great way of relaxing and offer exceptional health benefits and whilst many people have experienced thermal bathing at their local gym or health club, they probably don’t realise that having their very own facility at home is quite a simple matter. Residential properties can easily incorporate a sauna or steam room with space for one or more people. Even where space is tight, and cost an important factor, a steam shower can still be easily incorporated into the space of a normal bathroom shower and can be tiled to complement the existing surroundings.

The whole family can sauna bathe together, sharing quality time together without the need for screens.   The temperature between the top benches and lower ones can vary between 10 and 20 degrees centigrade making it easy for everyone to find their comfort level while they catch up on the day’s events with each other.   One of the benefits of having your own personal sauna is that you can bathe at a temperature that is comfortable for you, not for the whole gym community!

Infrared saunas are a very easy way to bring wellbeing into your home.   Most infra cabins can be plugged into a normal socket and the heat warms human tissue without raising the air temperature.  To enjoy, sit and relax in the warmth emitted by the infra red panels and feel the deep penetrating heat ease any tension in your muscles.   You can also benefit from adding chromotherapy lighting.  Grab a book and enjoy the peace in a single person cabin or go larger and have some company ….

Infra Red Sauna

Aromatherapy helps to calm or revitalise depending on your mood. Add a few drops of your selected essence to your sauna or steam room, or just add to a fragrance burner and let the aroma permeate throughout your home.

Bring home the benefits of halotherapy or salt inhalation by using Himalayan salt lamps, or candle holders around the house.   It is claimed that the negative salt ions released by heating can boost blood flow, improve sleep, increase levels of serotonin in the brain, and calm allergy or asthma symptoms.

Salt candle

So don’t stress unecessarily about fitting everything in, or never being at home due to work, travel and finding time to be at the gym – combine family and wellbeing at home and take the worry level down a notch or two.

 

AWAKEN YOUR SENSES

We are all aware of our 5 main senses: sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing.   We use each one in our daily life and they work together to help give us an all round view of the world around us.   When one doesn’t work for whatever reason, the others become stronger to compensate for it.   They help us to learn, they protect us and they help us enjoy our environment.   They can bring about instant memories for us and make us feel good in that moment.  And anything that can make us feel good is great.   However small – it’s something we can reach for when we feel sad or upset.

Thermal bathing awakens all of our senses, including our sixth sense, which can make us feel more alive both physically and mentally.

It also touches on some of our additional senses including temperature (obviously) and pain (alleviating it).

SIGHT:

Chromotherapy lighting in residential thermal suite

Apart from a feeling of enjoyment from taking in the beautiful surroundings of a spa, our sense of sight can be stimulated from chromotherapy lighting within a sauna or steam room.   Colour and light have been proven to have a positive effect on your mood and wellbeing with different colours having different benefits.  For example, red light energises your mind and body whilst green creates harmony and balance within.

Colour therapy can also help to heal and balance the chakras, as each chakra has a different colour associated with it.  Chakras also have a corresponding sense, for example your solar plexus chakra is associated with the sense of sight.  So visualisation would be a great way to heal this chakra.  This is slightly off-topic but is all related!

 

SMELL:

Lavender Essential Oil to relax and calm

What’s your favourite aroma? Adding certain fragrances to your bathing session can help boost your senses when you need physical or mental energy or just want to feel good.    It is believed that the inhalation of essential oils stimulates the part of the brain connected to smell which in turn sends a signal to the section of the brain that controls emotions and retrieves memories.  This causes the release of chemicals which can relax or invigorate you.

For example adding a few drops of Lavender essential oil is known to calm and relax you. To reinvigorate yourself try Eucalyptus or a citrus oil.

 

TOUCH:

Image courtesy of AreaSana as seen in ‘Dromology’

This sense is controlled all over the body by nerve endings and touch receptors in the skin. It helps us respond to stimuli such as heat, cold, pain, pressure, vibration and texture.  Massage is obviously a great way to experience the sense of touch.

Spa’s cater for this sense in many different ways.   One way would be feeling temperature, going from hot to cold and back again.   Touching ice and snow as you cool down, feeling the warmth of the steam in a steam room, experiencing the different water programmes within a feature shower are all different ways to open up the sense of touch and feeling.    Another great way to experience touch is to sit in a vitality pool or hot tub and feel the bubbles massage you.

Or relax onto a heated lounger and feel the warmth seep into your muscles – relaxing, reinvigorating, improving circulation and easing joint pain as it is absorbed.

 

TASTE:

 

Many spas will have a room where you can relax after your bathing rituals. This is where you can refresh yourself and cool down.   It is really important to rehydrate yourself after thermal bathing to replace the minerals the body loses through sweat, and here is where you can indulge in drinking herbal teas or flavoured water.

Using a salt room is another way of bringing your sense of taste into play in a spa as the salt in the air can leave a slight taste on your lips.  Salt inhalation (or Halotherapy) is 100% natural and can help alleviate respiratory ailments.    The floor of a salt room may also be covered in salt, giving the feet a gentle exfoliating massage, thereby including the sense of touch at the same time.

 

Salt wall and heated lounger, bringing the sense of taste and touch together.

 

HEARING:

Many spas and wellbeing areas play soothing music to help you relax while bathing or receiving a treatment.

The slower the beat of the music, the slower the heart rate becomes. The heartbeat synchronizes to the music tempo. Once the hearbeat is lowered you feel calmer and less stressed.  Tension eases.

The positive medicinal effects of music have been known for years. Ancient philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle and Socrates all saw the benefits of listening to music.   Plato put forward that music could treat anxiety and Aristotle categorized music as a therapeutic tool for those with volatile and heightened emotions.  Specific musical frequencies induce different states in our brains – mainly we work on Beta brain waves which help us stay awake and alert during the day while we work and play.  When we hear a more relaxing piece of music we move towards an Alpha state which infuses us with a sense of calmness.   This helps us to meditate and reach a higher state of awareness, which can also be related to your SIXTH SENSE. 

 

So why not head off to your nearest spa this weekend and awaken all your senses ………. feel alive 🙂

 

 

 

Global Wellness Day

“One day can change your whole life”

 

Global Wellness Day is a day dedicated to adopting a healthy lifestyle, hopefully leading to long term change.   It is usually held on the second weekend in June and has grown considerably since it was first introduced in 2012.

Being a wellbeing company, Dröm UK decided to encourage the employees to take part this year and to photograph their efforts.   Most of the staff are well aware of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and incorporate them into their everyday life anyway, but it was good to see them venture out of their normal wellbeing routines!

The basic manifesto for the day is simple:

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But not all of us do simple ………..

Our Director and Co-Founder Barry Smith headed off to  Prague for the  IAAF Kladno Decathalon.

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He was supporting Dröm sponsored decathalete Ashley Bryant and the GB team in their quest to qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio.    Athletes understand the importance that healthy living plays in their lives, enabling them to train harder and gain better results when competing.   As well as eating the right foods they also realise how beneficial it is to utilise ice baths and  thermal wellbeing bathing practices to help recover after exercise.    (See our previous post – Competitive Wellbeing).

Meanwhile Kev and Simon from our Projects team decided to head off to Oslo to experience all that renowned Norwegian spa The Well had to offer.

The Well

The Well is the largest Spa and Bathhouse in the Nordic region with both indoor and outdoor bathing experiences.    Here the boys could focus on their spiritual and physical wellbeing for the day.   They started off in the various thermal rooms, where they bathed with a Sauna Master.   They then moved on to the Urte sauna where rose petals were scattered on a tray above the heater filing the room with their scent.   Rose essential oil is an antidepressant and helps to reduce anxiety and everyday stress.   Perfect for their relaxing day!

They then ventured to the plunge pools and ice fountain area and performed a ritual of rubbing ice on themselves, delving into the plunge pool and then relaxing in the warm pool before doing the whole circuit again.  The benefits of this form of bathing are many, with the extreme cold directly after the warmth of the pool causing blood vessels to contract, stimulating blood circulation and oxygen intake, whilst boosting the lymphatic and immune systems.

We will cover their visit in more detail in next week’s blog.

Back home other staff members were taking part in their own way.   Many were supporting their children in outdoor activities.  It is important that children are encouraged to be active and understand how to live a balanced life from an early age.    Instill good habits early!    Zoe in our Accounts Department cheered on her daughter’s football team and our Projects Director Erin spent the day with her two young children whilst they went on an obstacle course in the woods!

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Sales Manager Lewis headed to the hot tub for some relaxation time with the family.

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Our CEO Kicki Carlsson indulged her love of meditation and mindfulness.  Whilst meditation is a personal journey, different for everyone, studies have shown it to be associated with reducing stress levels and anxiety and improving cognitive function and mental clarity.    Peace of mind can lead to better focus, better relationships and less worry.  We will cover this further in a future blog.

kicki meditation

And finally, our Office Manager Sarah, not known for her love of fruit, went strawberry picking at a local farm and made a fruit salad with her fresh produce adding some organic fruit from the farm shop, a lemon from a friend’s orchard in Spain and some homegrown mint from the garden!

Fruit Salad

All staff agreed that they would continue to pursue a healthy lifestyle, eating better, drinking more water, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep.   It doesn’t have to be boring, as we have all discovered.   That one little change can lead to bigger changes, which in turn becomes a habit.   Don’t wait until next year’s Global Wellness Day, start today!

 

For more information on Global Wellness Day and The Well, please click on the following links:

http://www.globalwellnessday.org/en

https://thewell.no/english

 

Complementary Wellbeing – Part 3: Crystals

At Dröm UK, we love a crystal 🙂  As well as displaying them in our beautiful roomsets in the Showroom, we also have them on our desks to help with our positivity and creativity on a daily basis.

People have known for centuries about the healing power and properties of crystals. Ancient civilisations used crystals to promote wellbeing, attract riches and love and also to ward off evil. In the modern world, scientists have looked for logical explanations as to how and why crystals work. Quantum theory suggests that everything is made up of energy which vibrates at a certain frequency. So in simple terms, when a crystal vibrates within our personal energy field (for example, if we are holding it), it creates a larger vibrational field within our frequency which can affect our physical health in a positive, healing way. (For more information on this please visit Stephanie Lucas’ excellent blog at http://www.QuantumStones.com).

Selenite and Rose Quartz

Selenite and Rose Quartz

 

Smoky Quartz

Smoky Quartz

Relaxing in a sauna or steam room without modern day distractions like smartphones and computers is the perfect time to incorporate a little meditation and holistic healing into your day. As well as chromotherapy and aromatherapy (as discussed in previous blogs) placing a crystal in the room has many healing benefits. Crystals can balance or stimulate energies, help relieve stress and depression, promote self-belief and encourage abundance in all things. They can give out positive energy and absorb negative energy.   Crystal points or wands can be used to direct this energy – when they are arranged pointing outwards it is directed away from the body and when pointing inwards they are drawing it in.   Crystal spheres or balls send energy in all directions equally.

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Sage smudge stick

It is always a good idea to cleanse your crystals regularly as they can store various emotions, not always positive, from being handled. There are several different ways of doing this. Holding the crystals under running water and leaving them in the sunlight or moonlight can both cleanse and energise them or cleanse them by ‘smudging’ which is passing them through the smoke of a bundle of sage or an incense stick. You can also use other crystals to cleanse stones – clear quartz is good for this, and citrine is excellent as it is a self-cleansing stone. Always check that your crystal is not porous before leaving it in water for any length of time as you don’t want to damage it. There are loads of websites that detail other cleansing methods. Find the one that works best for you.

Once your crystal is cleansed and energised, it is ready for use! Here is a brief list of some of the more commonly used crystals and their benefits:

Amethyst:   Calming, balancing, healing, promotes inner peace and emotional stability, relieves stress, aids sleep.

Beautiful Amethyst Geode

Agate: Balances universal forces, soothes, calms, builds self confidence, heals anger.

Citrine:  Emotionally balancing.  Dispels negative energy.  Brings good fortune.  Enhances communication.  Raises self esteem.  Useful for meditation.

Clear Quartz: Balancing, calming, promotes harmony and healing, amplifies energies, encourages clarity.

Labradorite: Reduces stress and anxiety.  Calming.  Enhances intuition and dispels negativity. Stimulates the imagination.

Lapis Lazuli:  Harmony, clarity, self confidence.  Relieves stress and helps alleviate feelings of depression.

Orange Calcite:  Helps to relieve feelings of depression.  Restores mental & emotional equilibrium.  Promotes laughter and happiness.

Rose Quartz:  Opens the heart chakra. Strong energy, friendship, love.  Restores trust. Lowers stress, eases feelings of guilt.

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Rose Quartz Sphere with Amethyst

Selenite:  Promotes mental clarity and honesty.  Dispels negativity.

Sodalite:  Boosts self-esteem and trust.

Clear Quartz can be used to increase any of the energies of other crystals.   Another way of amplifying crystal energy is to create a grid – this can be more powerful than just using a single stone.  Place crystals in a geometric pattern so that they work together to direct vibrational energy towards fulfilling a specific goal.  Some examples of grids can be found at http://meanings.crystalsandjewelry.com/free-crystal-grids/.   We have created some grids in our wellbeing rooms to create an even more peaceful, relaxing ambience within.

Always buy a crystal that resonates with you.  Hold it, feel it, meditate lightly with it.   If it doesn’t do anything for you then leave it in the shop.

There are many excellent websites to explore that will go into more detail about a wider variety of crystals and how they can be used to benefit our personal wellbeing.