virtuoso communities How to Switch Up Your Spa Routine

How to Switch Up Your Spa Routine

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Wellness travel is having a moment: According to the Global Wellness Institute, the wellness industry is now valued at $4.2 trillion. In 2018, immersive and holistic spa experiences continued to gain appeal with travelers looking for more than the standard massage or quick facial. As we all look to nourish our minds, bodies, and souls on vacation – self-care, yes please! – a growing number of hotels, cruise lines, tour operators, and destinations are specializing in wellness travel. As they find new ways to evolve their offerings, you’ll likely be seeing more of the following treatments on spa menus worldwide. Make a resolution to give one of them a try.
Infrared Saunas 
The cedar sauna, with its heated rocks and buckets of water, is a timeless form of serenity – but the infrared version is catching on, too. Although set at a lower temperature (around 150 degrees) than a classic sauna, invisible infrared light penetrates skin more deeply. One session can allegedly boost metabolism and help shed weight while suffusing skin with a radiant glow and drawing out toxins from muscles.
Plunging into an icy bath after a heady sauna session is a time-honored spa ritual. Full-body cryotherapy, however, takes those frigid temps to another level. Inside a futuristic-looking chamber sometimes cooled to as low as minue 280 degrees, participants donning merely undergarments, socks, and gloves spend a few minutes shivering amid frosty plumes of liquid nitrogen. What’s so alluring about this deep freeze? Originally designed for rheumatoid arthritis patients, and now beloved by athletes, cryotherapy purportedly tames joint and muscle pains while unleashing endorphins.  
Channel Arctic conditions in a cryotherapy chamber. 
Channel Arctic conditions in a cryotherapy chamber. 
Photo by Jacob Lund/Getty Images
CBD Spa Treatments
Cannabidiol – better known as CBD – is the non-psychoactive compound in cannabis that reportedly provides a slate of health benefits, from reducing inflammation to easing anxiety. Spas and wellness retreats are incorporating CBD oils, lotions, and tinctures into massages, facials, and foot scrubs, championing a new form of all-natural stress relief. (While recreational marijuana use is only legal in some states, CBD falls under a different blanket of state-by-state regulations; a Farm Bill recently passed by Congress removed hemp from the banned substances list. Travelers should know that hotel spas using the compound in their treatments are doing so legally.)
Sound Healing
Detoxing from an onslaught of emails and social media by surrounding oneself in silence is certainly therapeutic. But the right sounds – not intrusive notifications, of course – may elicit a powerful sense of calm as well. Sound healing, also known as a sound bath, is a meditative practice heightened by gongs, Tibetan singing bowls, and chimes. Lie down and succumb to vibrations that aim to elicit a state of relaxation and invigoration.
Sound healing in action.
Sound healing in action.
Photo by kzenon/Getty Images
Ayurveda is not a revolutionary new wellness trend – the centuries-old Indian health system has illuminated the connection between mind and body since long before the onset of modern medicine – but a number of spas are introducing new Ayurveda-based treatments and detox programs. The ancient science revolves around three doshas based on the five elements of nature: space, air, fire, water, and earth. Personalized regimens – typically best experienced during a multiday retreat – feature breathwork, gut-cleansing diets, plenty of herbs, and soothing spa therapies.