All posts filed under: Wellness

Soak Steam Dream Roca Gallery

Soak, Steam, Dream: Reinventing Bathing Culture

Soak, Steam, Dream: Reinventing Bathing Culture 16 September 2016 – 28 January 2017 Admission free Soak, Steam, Dream: Reinventing Bathing Culture is a new exhibition that explores a new communal bathing culture through the work of contemporary architects and designers. The exhibition is part of the 2016 London Design Festival and features international bathhouse projects by Peter Zumthor, Skene Catling de la Peña, H3T architekti and Kengo Kuma. These all re-imagine the bathhouse as a social space, factoring in smart water use for the 21st century. This is particularly exciting for The Spa Man, as it’s rare that spa and bathing culture receives this kind of public platform. This is especially interesting given that we are witnessing a return to traditional forms of bathing and a renewed interest in communal bathing traditions. Curator Jane Withers says, ‘There has been an extraordinarily rich architecture and culture associated with communal bathing since ancient times. With the arrival of the private bathroom and a more clinical approach to sanitation and wellbeing, we have lost this leisurely sense of the …

Chiva Som Healthy Eating Cookbook - The Spa Man

Healthy nutrition from Chiva-Som as it launches new cookbook

Chiva-Som is one of the world’s very best retreats for spa and wellness. It was recently voted ‘The World’s Best Destination Spa’ for the third time in the Condé Nast Traveller magazine (UK edition) Readers’ Travel Awards 2016 too. Renowned for its integrated health programmes and unique blend of advanced treatments and authentic spa therapies, health and nutrition play a central role in any stay at the resort in Hua Hin in Thailand. Whilst you may not be able to make an annual pilgrimage to the property to enjoy the healthy nutrition at Chiva-Som, now you can at least recreate the healthy and nutritious meals using the innovative recipes in the inspiring new e-cookbook. Chiva-Som’s Exciting New Recipe Collection by Chef Paisarn “Cooking with Light” eCookbook is designed for iPad, tablets and smart phones with a new collection of recipes from the Director Chef and his team. This cook book offers both inspiration and guidance on recreating some of the iconic dishes at home. A blueprint for eating well, this long awaited fourth cookbook offers …

Corinthia Life Mindfulness - The Spa Man

New mindfulness therapies at ESPA Life at Corinthia

Award-winning ESPA has embraced the mindfulness movement by launching new mindfulness therapies at ESPA Life at Corinthia. They feature in a suite of six unique mindfulness therapies, all under one roof. The six mindfulness therapies comprise: ESPA Mindful Massage, ESPA Mindful Facial, Mindful Breathing & Meditation, Mindful Sleep, and two Mindful Fitness sessions. This series of treatments is putting mindfulness at the core of wellness because our mental state is equally as important our physical health and wellbeing. I’m a huge fan of mindfulness, which is the mental state achieved by focusing your awareness on the present moment. Mindfulness can bring about long-term benefits and positively affects levels of happiness and well-being. Scientific studies have shown that mindfulness not only prevents depression but that it also directly impacts the brain patterns underlying day-to-day anxiety, stress, depression and irritability. ESPA Life wants to ensure their guests get the maximum restorative effects mentally and emotionally, as well as physically, from their time at the spa. Laura Vallati, Spa Director at ESPA Life at Corinthia says, “I have …

Global Wellness Day 2017

Celebrate Global Wellness Day 2016

First celebrated in 2012, Global Wellness Day was established in Turkey as the “first” day dedicated to living well, and has now been accepted world-wide, and it is officially celebrated in 73 countries in 2015, reflecting its success. It’s one of the starve, common values of the world that all of us would like to be healthier, to look better, and to live well both physically and spiritually. Living well is the shared dream across the globe. The thinking behind Global Wellness Day is to embrace and celebrate our health and wellbeing, but also to promote this. Highlighting the benefits of living well, there is a team of ambassadors who are the guiding lights of the event. Many spas are actively participating in the global day of celebration with events and activities promoting healthy eating, fitness, meditation and wellness in general. This year the event is dedicated to a passionate campaigner for wellness, Charlene Florian, who sadly passed away earlier this year. I had the pleasure of meeting her a few years ago and she was …

Chiva-Som Personal Training - Watsu The Spa Man

Longevity retreats at Chiva Som

Five new longevity retreats at Chiva Som have been launched, designed to tackle a wide range of health issues. With wellness and longevity at the core, the world renowned health and wellness resort in Thailand has launched programmes support treatment of specific conditions. These include cancer (Cell Vitality), migraines (Cranial Relief) and high blood pressure (Tension Release). As well as assisting in the management of stress (Emotional Wellbeing) and excess body weight (Sustainable Slimming) – all of which can often be managed through diet and lifestyle interventions. Chiva-Som’s ‘retreat’ concept now offers 13 collections of treatments and therapies with specific health objectives, which give guests a foundation on which to build a personalised programme. The following five brand-new longevity retreats require 10 night’s minimum length of stay:   Cell Vitality This retreat has been carefully created to support guests who have recovered or are in remission from cancer, with the programme fine-tuned by wellness experts for each individual guest. A selection of nurturing and non-invasive treatments is accompanied by a gentle exercise programme to promote physical and mental …

2016 Global Spa & Wellness Trends Forecast

Spafinder Wellness 365 has announced its 2016 Global Spa & Wellness Trends Forecast. The 13th annual trends forecast of its kind, it provides a definitive guide to the top ten spa trends for 2016 poised to shape the wellness, hospitality, travel and spa industries and chart new territory in wellness for consumers in the new year. The 2016 Forecast is unique for taking a detailed look at not just what, but why, where, and how, new directions in wellness will evolve in the year ahead. The full report can be read here. This year’s trends show wellness stepping in to meet the challenges of major societal crises, including a rising generation of children who are stressed, anxious and overwhelmed at unprecedented and alarming levels (“Parenting Well: Serious Spa & Wellness for Kids”), and adults who are suffering the effects of a hyper-connected workplace, demanding hours, and sedentary habits (“Workplace Wellness Wakes Up”). Another emerging issue? Healthy sexuality, as providers eschew the extremes of sensationalism and shame to shape new models for exploring and developing individual …

Goodbye 2015

Wow, what an amazing year 2015 has been. More travel, lots more spas and some fabulous adventures across the globe. I’ve been lucky enough to travel home to Australia visiting two impressive properties in my homestate, Tasmania. Saffire Freycinet was outstanding and Cradle Mountain Lodge was homely and really takes you back to nature. Both have compact spas, with the latter offering views from the private outdoor hydro pool to the native forest. Heavenly. En-route to Australia I stopped off at Banyan Tree Bintan. The second of the Banyan Tree Resorts to open and picture perfect. It’s exactly how you would imagine a tropical getaway to be and only 45 minutes from Singapore. It’s my top tip for a stopover en-route to Australia. But it’s not all been overseas and this year I checked out the Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa in Bath, Spreadeagle Hotel and Spa in Sussex and also the Park House Hotel in Sussex. Each unique in its own right, they are great places for a weekend away and highly recommended. Now …

The world needs a little healing

In a world of uncertainty, instability, hate and terror, there can be no doubt about the need for healing. More than a band aid to plaster over the problem, the issue goes to the heart of our existence. I’m not going to proclaim that the world can be fixed, but each and everyone of us could benefit from some time to ourselves, to heal, to repair, to regenerate and rejuvenate. This goes deeper than a spa facial or massage, and it was made clear to me at a breakfast event recently where I was present with a group of inspirational women who have a clear vision of life, the universe and our place in it. With talks by the founders, the event featured a health breakfast and a wonderful meditation, guided by Shelley von Strunkel. It was organised by Healing Hotels of the World, a network of health and wellness hotels that meet strict criteria to be part of the group, where the main focus is on healing. From Ayurveda to meditation, spiritual healing and …

25 things I’ve learned as a spa writer

I’ve been writing about spas since 2007 and visit around 30 spas every year. I’ve been poked, prodded, pampered, bathed, scrubbed and dried more times than I can remember. And I’ve experienced the best and worst of spa around the world. I try to seek out the newest and most unusual men’s spa treatments and am always on the hunt for the best spa around. Here’s a snapshot of what I’ve learned so far. 1. A therapist can make or break your spa experience 2. A spa needs, by definition, to have water 3. There nothing better than relaxing post treatment looking out across the sea 4. There’s nothing worse than being cold on a treatment bed 5. Every skincare brand thinks that their way is best 6. Expensive facilities do not mean you’ll have a good spa experience 7. A limp massage is worse than having no massage 8. I’ve never heard whale music in a spa 9. and, I actually quite like spa music 10. You can’t beat a proper Turkish hammam 11. …

Think twice about the plastic water bottle

A story that has appeared in the papers today comes as a timely reminder about our reliance on plastic water bottles. As Selfridges takes a stand (it’s about to stop selling single use plastic water bottles) and the city of San Francisco banned their sale, it’s time to think twice about grabbing a single use water bottle from the shop/supermarket/convenience store. The amount of plastic we consume (and throw away) as well its effect on our oceans and marine life is staggering. A few statistics 3 million – plastic water bottles sold daily in the UK 13 m tonnes – of plastic enters the oceans each year 5 trillion – pieces of plastic are floating in the ocean, weighing 250,000 tonnes 1kg – amount of plastic in the oceans for every 3 kg of fish (by 2025) More than 13 billion plastic bottles are produced annually in the UK and it’s thought that only half are recycled. This is frightening stuff because plastic breaks down into small fragments in the sea which can be ingested …

Global Wellness Day

Global Wellness Day – 13th June 2015

Most of us would like to be a bit healthier, to look better, and to live well both physically and emotionally. It’s about living well. It’s so important that a special day has been dedicated to wellness – it’s Global Wellness Day. With the slogan “One day can change your whole life,” you too can celebrate Global Wellness Day which takes places on the second Saturday of June every year as an international day dedicated to living well. Founded in Turkey three years ago, Global Wellness Day is an international non-profit making movement created by volunteers dedicated to living well. In order to make Wellness a lifestyle, Global Wellness Day aims to adopt the following seven simple steps. What is important is not to implement all of the steps all at once, but to incorporate at least just a few of them into your daily life on a regular basis. Here in the UK, the UK Spa Association has become an official ambassador for Global Wellness Day. Global Wellness Day is supported by lifestyle oriented …

30 Days to a Better Brain: a step-by-step programme

So, a book that promises you will have a better brain in 30 days. That’s exactly what the iconic wellness resort, Canyon Ranch is proposing in its new (ish) book 30 Days to a Better Brain. Issues of forgetfulness and brain degeneration are high on my list of concerns and I supplement my diet to maintain brain function and am very keen on brain training, so this is perfectly pitched. It begins with an overview of how the brain actually functions – it’s in these first few chapters, which set the scene for the rest of the book that most people might get lost. It’s a touch heavy on the science, but it is necessary, and the chapters are well written and accessible, which makes it interesting and informative. You begin to realise what an amazing organ the brain actually is. This is followed by a practical step by step programme for improving memory, concentration, mood and overall wellbeing. I read the book in stages and found it fascinating. It addresses the gap between increased …

The Growth of Mindfulness

Mindfulness appears to be everywhere and, in some instances promises to solve pretty much every problem there is. It’s growth continues and everywhere you look a spa, health expert or mind guru is offering tips, techniques, sessions, course and online apps to help you on your way. I have written about it before and you can read “What is mindfulness medition” here The Huffington Post has it’s own dedicated channel to mindfulness and it’s well worth taking a look for the latest reseach, tips, advice and comment. I’m a big fan and it’s helped me resolve stress and anxiety issues. The whole month of May is devoted to the project – Mindful in May. Which combines regular practice, joining people across the globe to help raise money to bring clean water to commnities who need it most. They say “It takes just 10 minutes a day to bring more focus and effectiveness into your daily life. Join a global community of people bringing mindfulness meditation into their lives and making a positive impact on the lives …

Dormy

Saunas cut the risk of heart problems for men

A new study has shown that men who use saunas regularly reduce their risk of heart attack by nearly two thirds. So guys, it’s time to head to the spa and sweat it out in the sauna. The study, by scientists from the University of Eastern Finland monitored 2,315 men aged between 42 and 60 for a period of 20 years. The remarkable findings, published in the latest edition of Jama Internal Medicine, a journal published by the American Medical Association, revealed that those who had visited saunas the most frequently – and most notably – for longer periods – were the least likely to have died from heart attacks. And the results are impressive. It discovered that middle-aged men who use a sauna four to seven times a week can cut their risk of a heart attack. And not just by a slim margin – by nearly two thirds, compared with those who never use a sauna. Using the sauna two to three times a week reduces the risk of death by heart attack …

Read all about it: spa culture from the Baltic to the Black Sea

Sophie Benge has teamed up with researcher Alla Sokolova to write a most impressive book that looks at the spa and wellness cultures of Eastern Europe. Beautifully presented with stunning photography,  Healing Sources: Spas and Wellbeing from the Baltic to the Black Sea is part travel guide and an historical reference book presented as a coffee table centrepiece. It takes the reader on a journey through the lesser known holistic cultures of Eastern Europe  from the Art Nouveau spas of Hungary to the traditional pirts sauna rituals of Latvia. Offering a glimpse of the spa culture in each country, it’s a fascinating way to see the role that spa has played in the country’s psyche and in its historical development. The architecture, the use of local ingredients and traditions reveals that spa is not a 20th Century fad that took hold in the 1990’s but is part of the way of life for so many people. And it really gets to grip with the holistic and natural approaches of each region such as respiratory healing …