Wellness

Breathe it in ….

HALOTHERAPY – WHAT IS IT AND WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

 

WHAT IS HALOTHERAPY?

Halotherapy (or salt therapy) is a 100% natural therapy that has grown steadily in popularity in recent years. It is believed to aid in relieving respiratory ailments and has a positive effect on many skin conditions. The treatment is passive with the client relaxing on a lounger whilst breathing in the salt particles.

When the salt is inhaled, the tiny particles penetrate deep into the lungs. As the particles dissolve they attract positively charged impurities, which can then be coughed up or leave the body during metabolic processes via the bloodstream.

Medical studies have proved that salt inhalation can help to alleviate asthma symptoms, as well as helping with a variety of skin issues including decreasing itchiness, drying small fissures/scratches and helping to reduce dermatitis symptoms. When combined with a complementary thermal treatment such as heated loungers, Halotherapy can also help reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety too.

 

WHY OFFER HALOTHERAPY?

Halotherapy can offer a significant return on investment for spas and wellness centres, requiring little if any labour costs while adding value to customer wellness experience.

  • Relatively inexpensive option to offer an effective wellness offering
  • Not a niche market.   The target audience equates to around 95% of the population.
  • Minimal labour, start up and ongoing costs
  • A shift towards more ‘natural’ remedies versus pharmaceuticals
  • One of the fastest growing wellness therapies
  • Appropriate for all areas of health and fitness, wellness and sports facilities
  • Safe for children

Children in salt room. Image: mydailyfind.com

 

WHAT AREAS BENEFIT FROM HALOTHERAPY?

Respiratory Conditions / Immunity improvement (with regular use): Salt therapy also strengthens the respiratory functions and breaks up and clears moisture and mucus.

Asthma, Allergies, COPD, Cystic Fibrosis, Cold & Flu Symptoms, Sinusitus, Bronchitis

Respiratory conditions are improved by the salt drawing out the impurities in the upper and lower airways.   It stimulates the body’s internal processes for cleansing      and removing build-up of foreign particles.   Halotherapy is also anti-inflammatory, opening bronchial tubes in the lungs and reducing inflammation in the sinuses.

Salt therapy also strengthens the respiratory functions and breaks up and clears moisture and mucus.

Skin Health / Beauty:  

Psoriasis, Eczema, Acne, Dermatitis, Rosacea, Dry Itchy Skin, Ageing Skin

Halotherapy naturally triggers the skin microcirculation and membrane activity and enhances protective and reparative properties.   It is anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory, therefore kills any germs on the skin and helps with any inflammation of the skin.

Sporting Performance:

Increased Strength, Lung Function, Oxygen Saturation

Sporting performance can be enhanced through Halotherapy.   Airways are expanded for increased lung function, oxygen saturation and exchange is increased and abdominal wall muscleas are strengthened which helps increase lung capacity and oxygenation.  Halotherapy can also help with muscle endurance and recovery.

Mental Health:

Stress Reduction

Improved breathing technique induces calm and relaxation.

Halotherapy paired with other Wellness Therapies

Yoga, Massage, Reiki, Meditation, Infrared therapy, Heated Loungers

Halotherapy is the perfect partner across many wellness therapies and disciplines to enhance the experience and increase revenue without adding any labour costs.

 

WHY IS HALOTHERAPY BECOMING SO POPULAR?

Allergies and respiratory illnesses are chronic and growing epidemics as the world becomes more and more toxic every day. 1 in 4 people have some form of skin disease/condition.  Salt therapy is an easy, accessible therapy to help with this.   It is also an all-natural therapy which appeals to people looking to limit/minimise use of pharmaceuticals.

It also appeals to athletes who are looking for that additional edge.

 

WHAT DO THE EXPERTS SAY?

According to industry experts, Halotherapy continues to be one of the top 5 growing trends in wellness although it is still in the early stages of its growth. It is a safe and effective alternative wellness modality, backed by approx. 50 years of science.

The prestigious Global Wellness Institute has recently created an initiative with leading experts from across the world, including our own Managing Director, to ensure there is one digital location to collect and share the vast amount of research and media coverage of Halotherapy.

Halotherapy is booming because of its efficacy and speed of results for consumers. It is also a financially viable business add-on service for Spas, Wellness Centres and Health Clubs.  Halotherapy can be an automated Spa service so facilities can earn extra revenue without adding extra staffing costs.  With some of the new booth style equipment, space required is also minimal.  The salt generator takes up minimum space and can also be installed into an infra red sauna cabin, or an existing room, for additional wellness benefits.

 

To find out how Halotherapy can work for you and your clients, call Dröm UK on 01932 355655.

 

 

Thermal Wellbeing through the Ages – Part 2 Early Adulthood

Life priorities tend to start changing as we reach our early 20’s.  The time has come to make some fairly large life decisions.   It’s time to forge a career and consider future progression while thinking of leaving the security of home which brings its own anxieties regarding finances and mortgages.  As we progress into our 30’s, many of us have families which involves added responsibilities as we find ourselves being depended upon.   Weddings and children take centre stage and as well as being a fulfilling and busy period in our lives, it can also come with financial worries and problems!

But in recent times, we have become more aware of the importance of the work/life balance and of taking time out to concentrate on ourselves to escape from everyday stresses. It’s an age where we can often afford some sort of gym or spa membership and we can also aspire to adventure further and visit destination spas to experience more holisitic and spiritual rituals in relaxed surroundings.    Yoga and meditation are well known to help rest the mind and centre the body, bringing focus back onto mental and physical wellbeing.

Thermal wellbeing plays an important part in helping to alleviate everyday stress, with sauna bathing known to help reduce blood pressure. Medical evidence has found that people who take regular saunas have lower rates of cardiovascular disease and fewer problems with everything from lung disease to mental health issues.

Thermal bathing can also improve circulation as the blood cells dilate, increasing the oxygen levels around the body. High temperatures in saunas release endorphins in the body which are the body’s natural painkillers, sometimes referred to as happy hormones!  As well as making you feel good in general, they can also help ease aches and pains and relieve muscle soreness after intense exercise.    Adding fragrances to the sauna or steam can also help change your mood, helping to relax or reinvigorate, calm or refresh.   Some fragrances can also help to relieve coughs and colds as well as headaches and migraines.

Taking a sauna or a steam bath with a friend, a partner or with family offers quality time together with a chance to put your phones and tech away and have a digital detox.   Putting down your phone in this age when we are constantly available by text, whatsapp and email, means that we can switch off.

Kelo Sauna Room by Dröm UK

So whilst we are living a more stressful life these days, making use of warmth and water, like our ancestors have done for years, can help us to relax and concentrate on what is truly important. It helps to ease stress and allows us to live our lives to our best ability.

image courtesy of Pennyhill Park Spa, Bagshot, Surrey

 

Thermal Wellbeing through the ages: Part 1 – Toddlers to Teens

As we start to become more aware of the importance of physical and mental wellness, the benefits of thermal wellbeing and the ways it can be incorporated with complementary therapies are starting to be realised.   Thermal wellbeing is seen in the mainstream as geared to adults with a gym membership or access to a spa.   But actually, wellness begins from birth.  In this series we take a look at the 4 stages of life and show how wellbeing can be incorporated into your lifestyles to ease each transition ….

 

Toddlers to Teens

This is probably the most stressful and confusing, yet delightful age for both children and their parents.   There is so much to deal with as screaming babies turn into toddlers and then into teenagers and all the angst which that can bring!   Children are learning to deal with the world in general, growing independence, school, friends, exam stress, adolescence, and social media.    If ever there was a life stage that required a way to achieve mental peace and physical awareness it’s this.

So how can thermal wellbeing and general wellness help?   Well, it can start as early as a few months old with baby yoga, baby massage and swimming being the most commonly sought therapies to encourage sleep and relaxation.   Babies and toddlers can also benefit from using salt rooms, especially if they suffer from respiratory problems such as colds and asthma.   Salt is 100% natural and safe for children.    Combine it with sensory play for babies, and for older children, let them relax with a book lying on heated loungers.   This ‘time-out’ can be essential for mental health.

Halotherapy Room in Dröm UK’s stunning Showroom in Byfleet, Surrey

Younger children can also use a sauna or steam room safely, as long as they are accompanied by an adult.  Sauna’s do not have to be set on a fierce heat, set the temperature lower and let children sit on the lower benches where the heat is less intense.   This is great for family time too, a time to set aside phones and talk together.  The heat of thermal rooms and/or heated loungers can also help with the discomfort of period pains and aid restful sleep.   Add essential oils to saunas and steam rooms to help revitalise or relax and again, help get a good night’s sleep.  And don’t think that you can’t make it fun – play funky music to keep them interested and install colour changing lighting!  Loud music has it’s place within wellness – see our previous post Techno Spa  Chromotherapy is proved to help improve your mood – always useful with a teenager!

Chromotherapy Sauna & Steam Rooms – Bespoke Installation by Dröm UK Ltd

The digital age is informative but can be cruel too. There is a higher number of young people with mental health problems than ever before in a world where you can never really be disconnected.  How many young people do you see that never put their phone down or venture far from some kind of screen?  Too many.    This can have a really damaging effect on mental health and wellbeing from the pressures that always being connected can bring.   Bullying, peer pressure, pressures to look a certain way, searching for validation and approval.   Children should be encouraged to get out and exercise, even just walk for half an hour a day, and to try a digital detox every day, especially before bed.   Easier said than done, but maybe we need to lead by example. Healthy eating should also be encouraged alongside exercise to help beat childhood obesity which is an increasing problem.

Social media places increased pressure on mental health in children and teenagers

Mindfulness for children and teenagers is a great way for them to become more aware of both themselves and their emotions, and the world around them.  Schools are starting to pick up on the importance of this and the Mindfulness at School Project in the UK partner with parents and youth organisations to bring this form of wellness to a wider youth audience.

Helping children to understand wellness from an early age will hopefully promote a healthy, balanced less stressed future generation.

 

 

Hang up the Phone …..

By Erin Lee – Managing Director, Drom UK Ltd

 

 

Having always been someone who switches my phone off when I go to bed, I saw this cosy little mobile phone pouch as an opportunity to encourage myself to put my phone away when I get home from work until my children go to bed. As a working mum, too many times have I found myself still answering emails, taking calls, reading the news or surfing social media while the children are trying to get my attention and then end up watching tv. This time is special, they are young, they need me and I don’t want to miss it anymore!

I’ve decided to ‘hang up my phone’ and reconnect with my children during this short time and make the most of it. Those emails can wait a couple of hours until they are tucked up in bed. I’m still trying to convince myself of this, but then realised that if I had a 2 hour drive or was on a plane I wouldn’t be able to answer them either! I can’t even remember what a 9-5 job is, which I imagine most of you can relate to as well.

The first couple of days that I tried this I found it pretty tough, actually probably the first week was tough and I still get a little anxious that there might be an urgent email I could be responding to. So I now give myself 10 minutes when I get home to check if there is anything urgent and then ‘hang up the phone’. We don’t put enough emphasis on quality family time and are always running around responding to emails to show that we are dedicated to our work responsibilities. We are stressing ourselves out and inadvertently damaging relationships.

Ok, so there are ‘digital detox’ holidays that you can go on, but as a family a small amount of quality time every day is way more valuable than a weekend/week away a couple of times a year. We are supposed to be setting examples. I don’t want my children to disappear into a digital world and not know how to have fun, engage, play outdoors or even just tell me about their day.  My family now calls it ‘hang up your phone’ and everyone knows the rules. There is always going to be the odd exception, but I think we can deal with that!

Why don’t you join me in reconnecting with your loved ones and ‘hang up the phone’? If you have children who have their own phones, get them to do it too!

Here’s to making a positive change.

#hangupthephone #restyourtech #wellness #reconnect #engage #wellbeing #digitalsilence #digitaldetox #digitalfreedom #wednesdaywellness #wednesdaywisdom #childrenarethefuture #nophone

Banya No. 1: A Russian treat in the heart of London

Dröm UK have never been afraid to go that extra mile to give customer satisfaction, so when one of our consultancy clients told us that he wanted an authentic Russian Banya in his project, and that he was a member of the famous Banya No 1 in London, we knew we had to go and experience it for ourselves so that we could fully understand his requirements …

Image courtesy of Banya No. 1

Now even though I work for a wellbeing company, relaxation and massage and generally getting hot and sweaty is really not my thing.  So it was with some trepidation that I accompanied Erin, my enthusiastic MD, up to London to be treated to the full Russian Banya treatment.

The Banya itself is located in the basement of an apartment block in Micawber Street in North London.  Erin had booked us in for the 3 hour Gold Package.   This did nothing to calm my apprehension as it included a Parenie treatment, a honey and salt scrub, a 25 minute massage (no seriously, not my idea of fun) and a mud décolletage/footbath treatment.  But descending down the glass staircase, smelling the sweet aroma of eucalyptus and hearing the soothing sound of running water, I started to feel a sense of excitement, a sense of something different.

Here we go …..

Once we were changed we were guided to a booth in the lounge/dining area which acted as a bit of a base for us.   This was a place to leave our phones and magazines (and bikinis at times!!) and relax with herbal teas and beetroot kvass throughout the morning.

Then it was time to start!  We were accompanied by one of the therapists, a lovely lady called Rasa, who turned out to be our guide and therapist for the whole session.    Before we started she let us take photos of us posing with the veniks (the bunches of eucalyptus branches used for the Parenie massage).   Then she told us to sit in the Banya for around 5 minutes to get acclimatised whilst wearing a less than flattering sauna hat to protect our head from the heat.   Then, once we had time to cool down and have some tea, it was time to start.

Tea for Two

First up was the Parenie massage.   Our Banshik for the morning was called Boris, who didn’t speak much English.   You lay on a pillow of eucalyptus leaves and then another venik is laid over the head so you are enveloped inside a sweet smelling darkness.   I have to admit that the sound of Boris building up the steam was quite intimidating without being able to see, with lots of loud hissing and banging going on!   Once the steam is hot enough the veniks are fluttered over the body to create a hot air flow.  Then they are raised up into the warmer air, shaken to gather the heat and then pressed firmly against the body.   This was a weird sensation – it almost felt as though it was too hot to bear but just as you think you are going to have to say something, the sensation cools.   Then he slapped the veniks over the body (quite hard lol) before declaring ‘we are done!’ The treatment stimulates blood circulation, improves metabolism and relieves stress and muscle tension. Well, it didn’t help with my muscle tension as I was tensed waiting for the next time the hot leaves were pressed onto the skin!

Afterwards he leads you to the drench bucket where he (quite gleefully) showers you with a bucketful of cold water and then Rasa guides you to the plunge pool.   The pool is at a temperature of between 7-10 °C which comes as a shock for the body, releasing adrenaline and serotonin leading to a feeling of rejuvenation.   Blood vessels contract stimulating blood circulation and oxygen intake and also boosting the immune and lymphatic systems.

Parenie Treatment – image courtesy of Banya No. 1

Afterwards it was time for the honey and sea salt scrub treatment.   You lay naked on a marble hammam table and get covered – and I mean covered – in honey and sea salt. When Rasa asks you to turn over, be aware that it is not easy as you slip and slide all over the place!   The salt absorbs toxins and removes dead skin cells and the honey moisturises and nourishes the skin with vitamins and minerals.   Then it’s back to the Banya, to let the heat help open your pores, helping with the detox.   After about 5 minutes, we washed off the scrub to leave our skin feeling as soft as a baby.

I have to say the Banya was really clean which I thought was because we were the first guests there, but as the day went on it was obvious that cleanliness was very important and everywhere was cleaned after every treatment.

Back to the lounge for some more tea – and beetroot kvass which has many benefits including reducing mild causes of high blood pressure, cleansing the liver and speeding up metabolism.

Then it was massage time. Rasa was the perfect masseuse and for once, I could feel myself truly relaxing.

Finally it was time for the mud décolletage and footbath treatment.   Mud from the Latvian marshes which is rich in minerals and vitamins was slathered all over our faces and neck and we sat and relaxed with our feet in soothing, warm water for about 10 minutes before heading to the shower to wash it off.   The skin felt toned and tightened and absolutely fabulous!

Would I do it again? Yes. Definitely. I have to admit I loved every minute (even the naked bit which I wasn’t expecting!)   There were only 4 other people at the banya that morning which helped with the feeling of space and exclusivity.  It was great to have others there to chat too about the experience as it was the first time for everyone.

If you don’t fancy mixed bathing, the Banya offers single sex sessions. See their website for details. http://www.gobanya.co.uk/

And before you leave, you MUST try the food – absolutely delicious.

Dröm will be back!

 

 

 


									

World Spa & Wellness Industry Focus – Thermal and Wet Facilities.

Dröm were recently asked to contribute to the World Spa & Wellness Industry Focus article on thermal and wet facilities.

Our newly appointed Managing Director, Erin Lee is a leading proponent of the benefits of thermal wellness and jumped at the opportunity of helping to educate readers and clients on what’s new in wellbeing and help advise Spa’s on the best ways of incorporating wellness into their budgets.

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.

amomknowsbest.com

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 🙂

 

 

 

WELLNESS FOR THE NEXT GENERATION

Why do so many spa’s say ‘No Children’?  Why can’t children experience the same wellbeing benefits as their parents?

Children today live increasingly stressful lives.   There is a pressure to do well in exams, to fit in, to make friends.   More than ever they are expected to attend after school clubs as their parents are working long hours and dealing with manic rush hour traffic.  With this and homework  they don’t have time to play creatively or even just to sit and relax and get the proper rest and nutrition they need.  They also listen in to the conversations of their parents about money troubles, work, life, divorce etc.

So we should be helping children to find a way to manage this stress and to understand the benefits of everyday wellbeing.

This can start almost from birth!   The Baby Spa franchise hold hydrotherapy sessions, a natural sensory experience that calms babies from as early as 2 days old!  Regular visits to the spa floatation pool can benefit the cardiovascular system and their movement through the water has a positive effect on the digestive and circulatory systems.   Babies also enjoy massages including gentle exercises to build flexibility and strength.

In Scandinavian countries, thermal bathing with the family is an accepted way of life.  Children bathe with their parents from as early as 5 years old, although it is important to remember that children cannot regulate their body heat as efficiently as an adult.   It is a great idea to introduce children to the heat by setting it lower than usual (for example around 45 degrees) and letting them sit in the room while it warms up, gradually acclimatising to the temperature rather than walking into a blast of heat.   The heat in a sauna isn’t as intense at lower levels so to start with let children sit on the lowest bench.

Don’t let them stay in for very long to begin with either – 5 mins is perfectly adequate.   Or bathe in a ‘soft’ sauna – this has a lower temperature due to increased humidity which provides a gentler form of sauna bathing therefore can be enjoyed for slightly longer.  Again let them sit in the room as the steam starts to circulate so their body temperature increases slowly.

It is also important for adults to remain in the sauna with children to teach them bathing etiquette and to make sure there are no accidents with them burning themselves on the heating elements.   After bathing, try to avoid rapid cooling – have tepid showers rather than cold showers, especially if they are going to jump into a cold pool.   Cool down slowly and gently.

Tylo ‘Harmony’ Sauna Room. Contact Dröm UK on 01932 355655 for details and pricing.

Another benefit of family bathing is that it gives everyone a chance to talk with each other without the distractions of phones, tv’s and outside distractions.   This is incredibly important for children’s wellbeing as it will encourage an open relationship where they will be comfortable talking about their life from a young age through to their teenage years and beyond.  It helps to build their confidence and self-esteem as others listen to what they have to say.

A great way to introduce younger children to sauna bathing is to use an infrared sauna as the heat is at a much lower temperature.   Infrared saunas can also have music systems installed so they can listen to their favourite music whilst they relax increasing the feeling of calmness.

Tylo ‘Infra’ Sauna Room. Contact Dröm UK on 01932 355655 for details and pricing.

Saunas (and steam rooms) are great for helping with respiratory ailments in young children and skin conditions which can beset the teenage years.  Research also shows that sauna use leaves you less susceptible to depression and neuroses and the soothing effect of thermal bathing can also help to get rid of aggression within the bather.  Salt rooms are also beneficial to youngsters with respiratory and skin problems and is 100% natural.  Children can play within a salt room and even watch movies on TV as they breathe in the tiny salt particles.

It is really important to ensure that bathers rehydrate after thermal bathing to replace the lost minerals and fluids lost through the sweating process.

One problem facing the wellness industry is that it is not seen as accessible to all – especially those in ‘poorer’ areas.   To combat this, schools have jumped on board with the wellness factor and have started to incorporate mindfulness and yoga into their PE lessons and after school offerings.   Mindfulness and meditation helps the younger generation to control and guide their own thoughts, handle stress better and develop skills to help handle their emotions.   The Mindfulness at School Project in the UK partner with parents and youth organisations to bring this form of wellness to a wider youth audience.

Many spa resorts are now starting to realise that wellness is a family affair and offer more tailored spa treatments for children and teenagers such as massage therapy (both for injuries and to help with sleep issues) alongside yoga and mindfulness classes.  Six Senses Laamu are actively encouraging their younger guests to appreciate the importance of good health and how to integrate wellbeing into their everyday lives through specially designed classes and interactive games.  They also teach children how to make music using singing bowls 🙂   The Schlosshotel Fiss in Austria is another example of where families can spend quality time together in the spa.

Helping children to understand wellness from an early age will hopefully promote a healthy, balanced, less stressed future generation.

So why do so many spa’s say ‘No Children’ ………

 

For more information visit:

http://yourbabyspa.com/

http://www.sixsenses.com/resorts/laamu/destination

http://www.dromuk.com/tylo/sauna-infra.html

https://mindfulnessinschools.org/

https://mindfulnessinschools.org/research/

http://www.schlosshotel-fiss.com/family-spa-wellness-holiday-with-children-austrian-5-star-hotel-in-tyrol

 

Digital Silence and Mental Wellbeing

We are all very aware of the importance of everyday physical wellbeing. Most of us try and exercise regularly and eat well and we understand the benefits of using a spa to relax and reinvigorate our bodies.  Indeed the global wellness industry was estimated to be worth $3.72 trillion in 2016.  But it is only fairly recently that the correlation between physical and mental wellness has been highlighted.  The importance of mental wellbeing has almost been forgotten in the past.

In today’s world of portable technology, such as smartphones, tablets and laptops, it is very difficult to switch off our brains.   We are bombarded with images, news, sport, videos, texts, status updates, and emails all day, every day.   And very few of us actually switch off our phones, let alone our brains.

 

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This digital noise has a detrimental effect on our mental health.   The line between work and home becomes more blurred as we are constantly connected to our emails.   This can lead to lost sleep as we worry about how to reply, or about a meeting that has suddenly come up, which in turn creates higher stress levels and greater anxiety.

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We mindlessly scroll through social media, worrying about other people’s status updates – how are they so thin/rich/happy/beautiful?   Why don’t my posts get as many likes as others?   Social media makes a lot of people feel inadequate and as if they don’t match up to social expectations.   Before getting stressed about it, we need to take some time out to remember that people only portray what they want people to see.   Most of it is completely fake, or at least only true at that one moment in time (hence the need to boast!).   We never post the really bad things, the rows, the money and drink problems.   We just put up photos of perfectly dressed children in impractically neat houses in front of that perfect roaring fireplace!   The pressure that people feel trying to keep up is incredibly stressful.   But still we scroll.

(In a recent survey it was found that young girls take around 40-50 selfie shots of themselves before they see one they like.   Once uploaded, if it doesn’t reach a certain amount of likes they feel as if they have failed, as if they’re not beautiful and they take down the picture and start again).   Rates of depression in young people have increased by 70% in the past 25 years and it is estimated that around 80,000 children and young people suffer from severe depression.  Online bullying has a huge impact on this and we must ask how much is social media to blame?

So how do we combat this digital noise? We need to help the digital generation switch off more and we all need to re-train ourselves back to a time before we relied so heavily on looking at a screen 24/7!

Constant looking at a screen before bedtime interferes with sleep patterns, and as we have highlighted in a previous blog (Goodnight, Sleep Tight ….) sleep is essential to mental and physical wellbeing.   So make a point of turning the phone off an hour or so before bedtime allowing your mind to relax.  Read a book or have a soothing bath, leaving the phone out of reach!

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Start to interact with others more.   All too often we text or email rather than actually using the phone to talk to people.  Even at checkouts in shops we are too involved with screens to interact with the people serving us.  Face to face interaction also reduces misunderstandings that can arise from reading a text or email in the ‘wrong’ way and putting meanings into it that weren’t intended.  Any issues can then be cleared up quickly, not allowing us to fester and stress over them.   Instead of using free time connected to a pocket computer – get out and socialise with friends.   Take up a hobby that stops you looking at your phone for an hour or two!

Beth McGroarty, Research Director at the The Global Wellness Institute has recognised a growing demand for digital silence in the world of spas and travel, with the Mandarin Oriental spa group holding a global silent Spa evening last December.   Silence, both digital and physical, is becoming more popular with spas even being developed in former religious spaces such as monasteries and abbeys.    These spas have a no mobile rule and offer absolute disconnection along with noiseless bathing and treaments.   This offers the opportunity to re-connect with your inner self through contemplation, mindfulness and a truly peaceful environment.    Spending time in true silence can improve memory, aid restful sleep, reduce stress and stimulate brain growth.

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Eremito eco-retreat and spa, Umbria, Italy

More industries are realising the benefits of switching off from the digital world with trains offering mobile free zones and even restaurants, gyms and some airport lounges having quiet zones.

So take some time out to think through how you interact with your smartphones and tablets.   Set some boundaries, especially with work, and let everyone know when you are and aren’t available.  Make time for socialising with friends and family and switch off screens well before bedtime so that you can benefit from a decent night’s sleep. Your mental and physical wellbeing will thank you for it.

http://www.eremito.com/en/

http://www.mandarinoriental.com/london/luxury-spa/

https://www.globalwellnessinstitute.org/