Natural

Silvotherapy – the art of Tree Hugging in Italy

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Hugging a tree could seriously improve the quality of your life as demonstrated by a new package offered by Adler Dolomiti’s “Yoga & The Healing Power of Trees”

This three-night half-board package includes two sessions of outdoor yoga amid the natural beauty of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Italian Dolomites that will help to re-charge guests’ batteries, while helping to establish inner harmony and peace. During the walk guests will be introduced to the theory of silvotherapy (the art of healing the body by harnessing the energy of the trees). It also includes access to the hotel’s spa and wellness programmes. This is available for one weekend only, from 21 to 24 September.  To book this unique package, visit:www.adler-resorts.com/en

Adler Dolomiti is accessible by flying to either Innsbruck or Verona, then to Ortisei by private transfer, rail or airport coach.

In the early 1980s, Japanese scientists discovered that simply inhaling the aromas produced by trees could immunise the body against disease. Phytonicides, which trees emit to protect themselves from harmful insects and germs, have strong anti-bacterial and anti-fungal qualities when inhaled by humans. American medical research has also proved that just being among trees is good for well-being, with stress levels and blood pressure lowered within three minutes of being in a green space.

Touching, stroking, leaning on and, above all, hugging a tree is beneficial to your health, with individual tree species having different effects on people. Among the trees that are prevalent in the Dolomites, beech improves concentration and well-being, will help ease a sore throat and improves kidney function, while pine is good for the respiratory system, helps to treat depression and restores balance, while reducing fatigue.

Many pharmaceuticals are derived from trees: aspirin comes from willow bark and Pycnogenol, which protects against deep vein thrombosis, is made from pine tree bark.

The Medicine of the Forest

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Walking on stones, smelling the trees, lying on log beds and gazing at leaves- this is Shinrin-yoku, meaning “forest bathing”, a medicine derived from simply being in the forest.

The concept was developed in Japan during the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine.

With many forests coating a green landscape, walking tours in designated forests are popular in Japan. And with the growth in healthier lifestyle attitudes and natural therapies, Shinrin-yoku has taken root with walking tours for groups led by specialist forest therapists. These tread along ancient pilgrim routes such as the Kii Peninsula in Wakayama, home to the Kumano Kodo and its network of Unesco-protected pilgrim routes dating back thousands of years.

Forest Bathing involves gazing at trees, deep green breathing, mindful walks through lush green valleys, listening to birdsong and the appreciation of the beauty of a wild flower. This sensory immersion in a natural healing environment promises mental and physical rejuvenation.

Researchers, primarily in Japan and South Korea, have conducted studies on the health benefits of spending time amongst the trees, demonstrating that forest bathing positively creates calming neuro-psychological effects through changes in the nervous system, reducing the stress hormone cortisol and boosting the immune system.

Japan is also renowned for other natural therapies:

Hot spring bathing in a natural hot spring onsen in Japan. Here it is the tradition to bathe naked in these popular springs. Japan is home to 10% of the worlds active volcanos

Rui-katsu (tear seeking) involves groups of people watching sad movies and crying together to release stress.

Moss Meditation (philosophical meditation) involves staring at green moss for positive mantras.

Alternatively, closer to home in the UK, the New Forest is following the same path. From your base in a luxury forest cabin or tree house you can sample this ancient art of re-connecting with nature.

Forest Bathing sessions will start in September 2017, http://www.forestholidays.co.uk/things-to-do

Or you can practice Shinrin-Yoku in your local park. Here are a few tips to help you bathe in the forest…..

If you have to take your phone, put it on silent and hide it in a pocket – you need to be completely present in the moment.

Wear low shoes or preferably bare feet to feel “at one” with the earth – you will be more aware of the earth and nature beneath you.

Walk aimlessly, don’t plan your journey – this will help to empty your mind and appreciate what’s around you.

Don’t rush, use all your senses – breathe slowly, notice the aromas around you,  the colours, shapes of leaves, flowers and trees. Look and see in all directions, hear the sounds. Pause to hear your heart beat and feel at peace.  Enjoy!

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Asia’s Emerging Spa, Vietnam

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The JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay in Vietnam has announced that the Chanterelle – Spa by JW has been named South East Asia’s top Luxury Emerging Spa in the 2017 edition of the World Luxury Spa Awards.

As a leading spa, Chanterelle – Spa by JW presents an exclusive range of holistic and locally-inspired therapies based on four pillars: Calm, Indulge, Invigorate, and Renew. The treatments are personalized, allowing guests to shape their own wellness journey. The spa spans seven couples’ treatment rooms, one exclusive suite (which includes a luxurious VIP body treatment room, dedicated bath with separate steam and sauna), two reflexology rooms, as well as a salon room providing hair styling and nail services for both ladies and gentlemen.

Chanterelle – Spa by JW has a menu of intuitive offerings such as Thai Yoga Stretching, a body and spirit exercise combining classic Thai movements and controlled breathing to refocus the mind; DIY classes teaching guests to create their own scrubs, bath salts, and facial masks; and a Private Bath Ritual. Available in all room types, the Private Bath Ritual allows guests to experience a taste of the spa in the comfort of their rooms. Choosing from four themes – Detox Bath, Phu Quoc Signature Bath, Home Sweet Home, and Touch of Romance – the Bath Butler can deliver the ingredients and set up everything needed for a pampering soak in the oversized jetted tubs. Additional touches such as take away pocket guides and a comprehensive retail counter allows guests to continue the surreal spa journey at home.

JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay is the flagship of JW Marriott Hotels and Resorts in Vietnam. JW Marriott Phu Quoc offers a selection of 244 artistically unique well-appointed rooms, suites, and villas with Bill Bensely’s whimsical touches.

www.jwmarriottphuquoc.com

 

Watsu – Water Massage in the thermal waters of Bath

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Watsu, otherwise known as water shiatsu, takes advantage of the therapeutic mineral-rich waters of the Thermal Bath Spa. This the new massage treatment in vogue and the latest addition to the wellness landscape.

This signature treatment is performed in the historic Hot Bath by a specially trained therapist who gently supports, stretches and guides your body through a series of flowing movements in the warm thermal waters.

This relaxing treatment combines elements of shiatsu massage and acupressure while using the buoyancy to manipulate muscles and unravel those stress knots!

www.thermaebathspa.com

 

Four Signature Therapies at The Grand Resort Bad Ragaz in Switzerland

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The five star Grand Resort Bad Ragaz is regarded as one of the top medical health and wellbeing resorts in Europe. Hiding in the Heidiland area of the Swiss Alps, with memorable views, a tranquil setting and  thermal pools, it provides the ideal place for recuperation and recharging.

The Grand Resort Bad Ragaz offers a wide range of wellness treatments ranging from caviar skin treatments, magnesium-centered therapies, signature stress treatments and a therapy inspired by redwood trees.

The Caviar Spectaculaire treatment utilizes La Prairie’s Skin Caviar Collection and takes advantage of the Skin Caviar Luxe Cream specifically to enhance the tone, elasticity, and suppleness of skin.

The Transdermal Magnesium Ritual focuses on releasing muscle and joint tension to reduce stress levels. This 90 minute treatment combines a detoxifying magnesium massage and a rejuvenating, aromatic bath to stimulate the limbic system.

Integrating the local resources, The Sequoia Ceremony, is inspired by the redwood tree, found in the Resort’s own grounds. This signature treatment starts with a foot bath and reflexology followed by a full-body massage using local herb-filled massage stamps dipped in warm oil.

The latest additional to the extensive therapy list is the new Haki Flow Deluxe treatment which aims to relieve stress by creating pressure in the head and feet, either in thermal water or on the massage table. (This treatment was developed by Harald Kitz, a musician and therapist and recognised by the European Health & Spa Awards).

The Grand Resort Bad Ragaz is just one hour from Zurich.

Visit: www.resortragaz.ch

 

 

UNIQUE THERAPY: Laughing Yoga at Amankila, Bali

Proving that laughter is the best medicine, Amankila in Bali, offers guests Hasya or laughing Yoga, a practice based on the belief that voluntary laughter provides the same psychological and physiological benefits as spontaneous laughter. This also strengthens all immune functions, bringing more oxygen to the body and brain, and fostering feelings of positivity.

Sessions are offered three times a week and are led by Pak Eka, a natural Hatha and Hasya yoga teacher, and begin with warm-up techniques which include stretching, clapping and body movements (asanas) all of which help break down inhibitions and trigger happy feelings and thoughts. Breathing exercises are followed by a series of laughter exercises that combine methods of acting and visualization techniques with playfulness. The session concludes with laughing meditation, a period of unstructured laughter where participants sit or lie down and allow natural laughter to flow from within, which in most cases leads to real and contagious laughter.

Hasya yoga is available at Amankila three times a week, throughout the year.

UNIQUE THERAPY: “Song of the Rainforest” Ritual Langkawi, Malaysia

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The Andaman Resort is tucked between a 10 million-year-old rainforest and the tranquil Datai Bay on Malaysia’s Langkawi Island. Styled in a Malaysian contemporary design are 178 rooms and suites which enjoy sweeping views over the Andaman Sea and ancient rainforest.

The Resort’s V Botanical Spa is set within the natural surroundings of the rainforest hillside, offering a number of unique treatments and rituals.

The “Chi Nei Tsang” treatment is rooted in the ancient Taoist tradition. It aspires to heal the body from within by removing unprocessed emotions that manifest themselves in the form of energy blockages. Blockages impair the body’s vital functions and constrict the flow of the life-force Chi. Upon reading the navel, the therapist works on the knots (carefully) and tangles in the abdomen, stimulates the intestines, abolishing toxins, improving digestion and metabolism and revitalising the entire body.

Its signature “Song of the Malay Rainforest “Ritual is designed to evoke the rainforest spirits with a unique ritual that focuses on a sensory journey. It aims to revive the body mind and spirit into a deep meditative state. It uses villages remedies, blended with traditional home-made treatments and herbal remedies potent for purification, balancing and regeneration. It draws inspiration from the Malay healing practices and uses ingredients from the rainforest to capture the healing powers of plants and medicinal herbs.

“The Holistic Gemstone Facial” uses selected gems for specific purposes. Jade drains toxins from the facial tissues, Jasper improves microcirculation, Aventurine calms the skin, Obsidian balances uneven skin tone and Unakite regenerates skin affected by free radicals. When heated these precious stones relax the jaw area, open the pores to allow antioxidants and organic essential oils to penetrate and nourish the underlying tissue.

 

UNIQUE THERAPY: Local herbs, flowers, seaweed and salt treatments, Cornwall, UK

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Mentioned in the Domesday Book, the ancient Trelowarren Estate lies on the Lizard peninsula of Cornwall, close to the River Helford. It offers eco-luxury, yoga sessions, an outdoor heated ozone pool as well as an Organic Spa in the old Walled Garden.

A range of signature treatments use locally harvested products from seaweed, salt as well as handpicked flowers and herbs gathered from Truro. Treatments include a Detoxifying Cornish Seaweed Wrap, and a Cornish Sea Salt scrub

Daphne du Maurier felt the peace and calm here more than eighty years ago, likening Trelowarren Manor in its landscape to “a jewel in the palm of your hand” as she took it as inspiration for Navron House in her novel Frenchman’s Creek. 

UNIQUE THERAPY: Mindfulness therapies, London, UK

London’s Corinthia Hotel is offering new lifestyle programmes, incorporating complementary and alternative medicine and targeted fitness and rehabilitation services that focus on sports training, detox, sleep, weight loss and general vitality.

ESPA Life at Corinthia is the first UK spa to launch a suite of six unique mindfulness therapies, all under one roof.

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.

The six mindfulness therapies are offered in the form of massage, facial, sleep, breathing & meditation.. Mindful Fitness includes guided exercise through St. James Park or along the River on South Bank

Spread over four floors, ESPA Life at Corinthia features 17 treatment rooms, a private spa suite, nail studio, indoor swimming pool, vitality pool, amphitheatre sauna, ice fountain, marble heated loungers and private sleep pods. Revolutionary lifestyle programmes have been developed, incorporating complementary and alternative medicine and targeted fitness and rehabilitation services that focus on sports training, detox, sleep, weight loss and general vitality.

UNIQUE THERAPY: Thermal Spring-Water Spa, Bad Ragaz, Switzerland

Overlooking the Tamina Gorge, The Grand resort Bad Ragaz is a Thermal and Medical Spa that has access to a medical expert in almost every field. The clinic offers medical aid and treatment for mammograms, health screenings for the eyes and lungs, nutrition, and even insomnia. The resort features suites for in-patient rehabilitation. However their Wellness & Thermal Spa is their most unique feature offering a multitude of treatments involving the thermal spring-water at a temperature of 36.5°C.