Are you looking for the perfect respite to reinvigorate your life? How about a spa vacation, but with the natural environment as your spa?
A Sandy Bath
You’d be forgiven for thinking this was a scene out of a horror movie – human heads strewn along the beach. In actual fact, these heads are very much attached to the bodies of (well and alive) patrons that are buried in the sand, out of sight.
Sand bathing has become a popular health fad. Ibusuki in Japan offers the only natural sand bathing experience in the world! How in the world does one bathe in sand, you may ask. Basically, sand bathers lay in shallow ‘graves’ that will then be filled with sand to cover their entire body. After that, you just relax to the soothing rhythm of the ocean waves dancing on shores.
This centuries-old practice is purported to possess a wide array of health benefits. The sand, which is heated by subterranean hot springs that run into the ocean, acts as a sauna of sorts; its comfortable weight and cosy heat facilitating perspiration. This increases body temperature & blood circulation and rejuvenates the body. The underground hot springs contains sodium chloride that is also said to help with rheumatism, arthritis, gastrointestinal problems and female disorders.
Nature’s Hot Tub
Hot springs occur when geothermal forces heat underground water sources and bring them to the surface. They have become a popular destination for tourists in general, particularly those looking for a natural spa therapy.
What are the health benefits of hot springs exactly? As a hot bath, hot springs helps relax muscles and joints, promotes blood circulation & purification and accelerates body metabolism, providing a relaxing and invigorating ‘pick me up.’ But much more than that, most hot springs are also loaded with mineral substances such as calcium, potassium and radon that also possess therapeutic entities.
And then of course, there’s the added bonus of being able to enjoy the gorgeous views of the surrounding great outdoors as you luxuriate in your nature-made hot tub! For an off-the-beaten-trek experience, try the Duer Hot Springs in Bhutan. Well-known for its healing properties, the hot springs is also arguably the most beautiful natural hot springs that can be found in the Himalayas. The trek can be rather demanding, but if you persevere, you will be handsomely rewarded with spectacular views of the lush forest and its inhabitants that include musk deer, the Himalayan deer and blue sheep herds.
More than just a Pinch of Salt
The therapeutic benefits of the Dead Sea have long been acknowledged, as can be attested by the wide range of spa and wellness products containing minerals and salt of the Dead Sea available. While it is great to be able to enjoy these benefits in the comfort of your home or local spa, have you thought about going right to the source itself?
Located in Western Asia (bordered by Jordan in the east and Israel in the west), the Dead Sea is actually a salt lake that happens to be the lowest elevation point on earth, at 422 metres below sea level. With 33.7% salinity, it is also one of the saltiest bodies of water, and is 8.6 times as salty as the ocean. Although the high salinity means that no animals thrive there (hence the name ‘Dead Sea’), it has attracted visitors since thousands of years ago and continues to be a popular health centre today.
The water and its surrounding’s mineral composition, low pollen and allergen content, weakened UV radiation and higher atmospheric pressure not only tout healing properties, but also provide an ideal avenue for the ultimate rest and relaxation.