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).
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 🙂