SPECIAL: PLAN YOUR ESCAPE 2017
TRAVEL & RETREAT Planner 2017
EXPERIENCE THE NEXT GENERATION IN SPA TREATMENTS The future of spa therapy has arrived at endota spa. Spanning two years from genesis to invention, we offer the experience of five new treatments designed to transform you on a spiritual, emotional and cellular level. Our therapists have been trained to deliver world’s best protocols in high performance treatments and wellness massage; so while you sink into the stillness, alone with your thoughts, they are busy healing, restoring and rejuvenating you –– mind, body and soul. Book one of our new generation treatments today and let us take you to a place you have never been. Introducing two of our five new signature treatments: New Age Light Therapy Facial This clinically tested high performance facial uses the latest technology to deliver collagen stimulating anti-ageing results. Market leading light therapy (LED) deeply hydrates and stimulates cell regeneration by boosting collagen and elastin production. Then endota spa’s New Age collagen is infused to further plump and tone skin. Leave feeling rejuvenated and looking more youthful.
Surrender Spa Package Give yourself over to 75 minutes of organic surrender! Let go completely while your skin is nourished with powerful antioxidants and calm is restored. Let us bring balance to your body and mind with this nurturing sensory experience combining elements of our Organic Infusion Facial and Organic Relax Massage. For more information go to endotaspa.com.au
TAKE ME THERE
FROM THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
pas and retreats offer myriad benefits. They provide you with the opportunity to get out of your daily rut and be nurtured while practised hands knead those tense muscles, receive advice from trained and caring practitioners and indulge in nutritious, consciously prepared food. But have you ever wondered if it’s really worth experiencing a spa or retreat? What can come from relaxing in hot springs, saunas and carefully designed treatment rooms? There’s no denying that spas and retreats are wonderful experiences that most people would enjoy. However, perhaps the question is whether the effects are lasting and real. It is understandable to think that the benefits of a spa retreat may begin when you arrive and end when you leave. This, however, underestimates what a spa is all about. A study published earlier this year in the journal Religion, Brain & Behaviour examined people before and after a two-day religious retreat. The analysis showed that following the retreat, there were maintained levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. Dopamine is associated with thinking and emotion while serotonin is associated with emotion and mood. At the brain chemistry level, there are real changes that come from a retreat that persist beyond the retreat itself. While that’s all well and good, are the changes that arise from a retreat worth it? This can be answered by contemplating what a retreat or spa experience is all about. A retreat or time spent in a spa offers a way for you to acknowledge to yourself that you matter. It is recognising that you can’t continuously give or perform without taking time to refill the reservoir from which that giving and performance derive. It’s not indulgent to take time for a retreat; it is responsible. Of course, we are all different and not every spa or retreat will suit every person. In this publication, we have gathered information from some of the highest-quality retreats and spas for you to peruse. Think about how long you would like to spend, what you want from your retreat and what form of regeneration you require. Read through what the retreats and spas here have to offer and choose the one that appeals to you most and embrace that reset button. It will be time well spent.
& RETREAT Planner 2017
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Terry Robson Ph +61 2 9887 0320 MANAGING EDITOR Kerry Boyne DEPUTY EDITOR Kate Duncan DESIGNER Martha Rubazewicz NATIONAL ADVERTISING MANAGER Kirsti Rae (Couper) Ph +61 2 9887 0369 QUEENSLAND ADVERTISING CONSULTANT Amy Frank Ph +61 488 424 232 SOUTH AUSTRALIAN SALES & MARKETING Sandy Shaw Ph +61 8 8342 5989 VICTORIAN ADVERTISING MANAGER Tracey Dwyer Ph +61 3 9694 6403 RESOURCE GUIDE SALES Chris Middleton Ph +61 2 9887 0629 ADVERTISING PRODUCTION CO-ORDINATOR Kathleen Freeman Ph +61 2 9887 0325 ADVERTISING ART DIRECTOR Martha Rubazewicz MARKETING CAMPAIGN EXECUTIVE Kye Blackett Ph +61 2 9887 0326 PUBLISHER Janice Williams COVER CREDIT Getty Images
CHAIRMAN/CEO Prema Perera PUBLISHER Janice Williams CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER Vicky Mahadeva ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Emma Perera ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Karen Day CIRCULATION DIRECTOR Mark Darton CREATIVE DIRECTOR Kate Podger EDITORIAL & PRODUCTION MANAGER Anastasia Casey MARKETING & ACQUISITIONS MANAGER Chelsea Peters SUBSCRIPTION ENQUIRIES 1300 303 414 CIRCULATION ENQUIRIES to our Sydney head oﬃce: +61 2 9805 0399
WellBeing Spa, Travel & Retreat Planner 2017 is published by Universal WellBeing Pty Ltd, Unit 5, 6–8 Byfield Street, North Ryde NSW 2113, Australia. Phone: +61 2 9805 0399, Fax: +61 2 9805 0714. Printed by KHL Printing Co Pte Ltd, Singapore. Distributed by Network Services, Phone: +61 2 9282 8777. Editorial advice is non-specific and readers are advised to seek professional advice for personal problems. Individual replies to readers’ letters by consulting editors are not possible. The opinions expressed by individual writers in WellBeing are not necessarily those of the publishers. This book is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any process without written permission. Enquiries should be addressed to the publishers. The publishers believe all the information supplied in this book to be correct at the time of printing. They are not, however, in a position to make a guarantee to this effect and accept no liability in the event of any information proving inaccurate. Prices, addresses and phone numbers were, after investigation and to the best of our knowledge and belief, up to date at the time of printing, but the shifting sands of time may change them in some cases. It is not possible for the publishers to ensure that advertisements which appear in this publication comply with the Trade Practices Act, 1974. The responsibility must therefore be on the person, company or advertising agency submitting the advertisements for publication. While every endeavour has been made to ensure complete accuracy, the publishers cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. This magazine is printed on paper that comes from a mill that satisfies the requirements of ISO 14001. *Recommended retail price ISSN 0812-8220 Copyright © Universal Magazines MMXVII ACN 003 026 944 universalmagazines.com.au IMPORTANT: This magazine is intended as a reference volume only, not as a medical manual. While the information is based on material provided by researchers, the magazine does not presume to give medical advice. Be sure to consult your physician before beginning any therapeutic program. We are a member of
Terry Robson, Editor-in-Chief
4 | WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017
This is why we are
the No. 1 Spiritual Healing Grief-repair Self-empowerment Sabotage-busting Positivity and Mindfulness Retreat for thousands of people across Australia New Zealand & the world:
$995 For 5 days
Credit cards welcome. Retreats held every fortnight 10 Years of service-over-profits â€˜where only Kindness mattersâ€™
Contents INTERNATIONAL NEW ZEALAND 32 Millbrook Resort Set across 500 acres of beautiful Central Otago countryside, Millbrook Resort is a unique New Zealand spa destination. Surrounded by green fairways, gentle streams and spectacular mountains, it offers visitors the chance to enter a world of relaxation.
ARTICLES Some light yet inspiring reads to assist you as you embark on your spa and retreat journey.
Your spa and retreat destinations in Australia and New Zealand. VICTORIA 8 Aurora Spa Located in the heart of St Kilda, Aurora Spa was established with a vision to create a high-performance wellnessfocused spa in an urban locale that delivers maximum results. 10 Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa Nestled within the Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve near picturesque Hepburn Springs and Daylesford, Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa draws mineral waters directly from the original spring to offer a unique experience. 12 Hepburn Spa Retreat Hepburn Spa Retreat offers contemporary and elegant five-star villas designed for complete indulgence and comfort. This luxurious accommodation provides the ideal base for you to relax, unwind and explore the healing and restorative offerings at the nearby Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa. 14 Saltair Day Spa Saltair Day Spa is the region’s original destination day spa, situated in a coastalrural setting but only a few minutes from Torquay. Although you are just moments from Torquay’s famous surf shops, you wouldn’t know it as you sit in the main relaxation lounge of Saltair, taking in the stunning views of Spring Creek Valley and blue ocean waters. 16 Wellineux Urban Retreats Located within the heart of Melbourne (or created globally in a city near you), this one-day, inner-city urban retreat takes place in the penthouse of The Olsen Art Series Hotel, with captivating city skyline views providing an outward contrast to your moment to look within.
18 The White Spa and Onsen Retreat + Spa The raw beauty and serenity of Victoria’s alpine region naturally inspires you to shake off the city stress and leave your inhibitions behind. To enhance your mountain experience, relax and restore your mind and body at The White Spa, the ideal mountain retreat. Off the mountain, unwind at the Japanese-inspired Onsen Retreat + Spa in nearby Dinner Plain. 20 Yarra Valley Health Retreat Set on 40 acres of natural bushland and landscaped gardens and nestled among rolling hills at the foot of the Great Dividing Range, the Yarra Valley Living Centre provides a picturesque backdrop and a tranquil environment for a diverse range of healing and wellbeing programs.
24 Divine coconut oil Virgin coconut oil, one of South-East Asia’s long-held beauty secrets, comes of age. 30 Thai Massage and Yoga Thai massage shares Ayurvedic roots with yoga and is known in some quarters as “the lazy person’s yoga”. 34 Sweat it out Sweating is a natural healing process of the human body and regular sauna use has a range of health benefits. 38 Hand therapy When we look for healing, we often overlook our hands but your humble hands can thrive from modern spa treatments. 40 Weekend spa detox Keep that refreshed feeling alive with tips to relive your spa experience at home.
22 Yoga Australia Annual Retreat If you are seeking an inspiring retreat that will nourish your body and mind and reconnect you with the true spirit of yoga, then this annual event is a must for your calendar.
44 Sore muscles Following your luxurious spa treatment, your muscles are soothed and relaxed. To help you maintain those happy muscles, we’ve put together a list of ingredients and recipes you can whip up at home.
NEW SOUTH WALES
48 Ancient skin secret Commonly used in many spa treatments, almond oil nourishes the skin and has a host of health benefits.
26 Golden Door Elysia Health Retreat & Spa Located in the beautiful Hunter Valley, the Golden Door Elysia Health Retreat & Spa is a sanctuary from day-to-day life. It is surrounded by picturesque views of the Hunter Valley wine country, Broken Back and Barrington Tops mountain ranges, allowing guests to breathe fresh country air each day. 28 Byron Bay Yoga Retreats From the amazing beaches to the incredible hinterland, Byron Bay emanates a sense of peace and wellbeing. Byron Yoga Retreat Centre reflects this raw natural beauty and sense of healing and tranquillity. Take time to relax and recharge, kick-start healthy habits and enjoy an affordable all-inclusive yoga and health retreat.
6 | WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017
52 Beauty and the bean Coffee is a potent, multipurpose ingredient that can add zing to your home spa routine by bringing lustre to your hair and smoothness to your skin. 54 Natural exfoliants Exfoliating treatments may be popular the world over, but how do they work and which ones are right for you? 58 Retreat reads Your retreat experience will include plenty of opportunities to indulge in some books that will nourish your mind and soul. Here are a few suggestions that you might like to toss into your bag as you head off for some R & R.
Photography: Getty Images
BE A SKINCARE PROFESSIONAL.
BACHELOR OF HEALTH SCIENCE (AESTHETICS) DIPLOMA OF BEAUTY AND SPA PRACTICE
LEARN IN REAL CLINICS WITH TORRENS UNIVERSITY AUSTRALIA
• • •
LEARN A RANGE OF DERMAL TREATMENTS ACCESS TO STATE OF THE ART EQUIPMENT PRACTICE ON REAL CLIENTS
1300 575 803 | WWW.TORRENS.EDU.AU
AURORA SPA Aurora Spa is located in the heart of St Kilda on the ﬁrst level of The Prince, a boutique ﬁve-star hotel. It was established by Lyndall Mitchell 20 years ago with a vision to create a high-performance wellness-focused spa in an urban locale that delivers maximum results for clients. It oﬀers visitors a place to relax and unwind and is a retreat for the senses. THE FACILITIES Aurora Spa spans two levels. The first is reception and the ASPAR boutique, which features a pristine water wall creating an instant calming effect on arrival. A curved staircase then leads you to the heart of the spa. Here, there are spacious, separate female and male change and shower room areas, where a white robe and slippers await. Before your treatment begins, a Relax Spa tea is offered, and there are inspirational books to browse through as well as beautiful ASPAR products to try. Before and after your treatment, you can enjoy gazing at the Melbourne skyline while in the sanctuary of the chill-out room.
THE TREATMENTS All treatments at Aurora Spa utilise a combination of results-focused techniques,
age-old wisdom and spa expertise, combined with powerful and effective botanically active formulations that address skin, body and lifestyle concerns and allow you to relax and revive. The Aurora Spa therapeutic treatment menu includes signature steam treatments, advanced facials, body massage, and hands and feet treatments, as well as spa retreat packages of two hours or more. All treatments use botanically active products that work in harmony with your body and allow you to relax and unwind. Perhaps the most famous and popular treatment offered is the award-winning Kitya Karnu steam room treatment — a deeply relaxing, total body experience in your own private steam room. Aromatic ASPAR body oils and pure mineral salts
8 | WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017
are applied for a full-body exfoliation, followed by a massaging application of rich and creamy Wattleseed & Walnut Resurfacing body scrub. ASPAR’s Olive Leaf Replenishing hair mask is applied along with a hydrating facial cleanse and mask. A cool river stone ritual that helps clear and revive energy centres completes the treatment. When you emerge from this unique experience, you’ll feel nourished from head to toe and be amazed by the softness of your skin. Aurora Spa is the birthplace and original home of the ASPAR skincare range and the full product line is available at the spa boutique where you will be guided by skilled therapists in choosing the right products for your self-care rituals. The collection of 25 products was originally fashioned exclusively for Aurora Spa
Aurora Spa | VICTORIA treatments, though after much demand, the range became available to the public and has garnered a loyal following ever since. Using a combination of age-old botanical wisdom and modern global technology, ASPAR ingredients are sourced with the highest therapeutic benefits in mind. The formulas of the retail range remain spa strength, just as they are in treatments, and have been created to deliver the maximum results for clients both in the spa and at home. The formulations feature botanically active extracts, are free from synthetic fragrances, colours, sulphates and parabens and are never tested on animals. For the regular spa goer or as the ultimate gift for someone special, Aurora offers an exclusive Club Spa program to help you achieve and maintain balance and live a more relaxed, happy and stress-free life. A Club Spa membership gives you up to 12 treatments a year, a $350 supply of ASPAR products and further discounts on vouchers, products and treatments for your friends and family, all for $1599, a saving of $741. Treatments can be enjoyed monthly or seasonally.
THE FOOD From 10am to 3pm, a healthy range of delicious food and cold-pressed juices is available to purchase, provided by Il Fornaio, a local restaurant and small-batch bread and pastry bakery. We suggest preordering and enjoying post treatment, as some food items will take up to 20 minutes.
HOW TO GET THERE Aurora Spa is located just a 15-minute drive from downtown Melbourne and is located on the first floor of The Prince Hotel in St Kilda. Tram numbers 3, 16 and 96 are a short 100m walk on Fitzroy Street. Entry is via The Prince Hotel reception or from level two of the hotel carpark. The Prince carpark charges $8 per hour to a maximum of $25. There is some free, all-day street parking available in the neighbouring streets, but be sure to arrive with plenty of time before your appointment and check the parking signs carefully.
THINGS TO REMEMBER All guests are asked to arrive 15 minutes prior to their treatment commencing, otherwise treatment time will be shortened.
CONNECT WITH AURORA SPA W: auroraspa.com.au P: 03 9536 1130 E: email@example.com A: 2 Acland Street, St Kilda Vic 3182
WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017 |
VICTORIA | The Loft in the Mill
HEPBURN BATHHOUSE & SPA The historic Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa has been welcoming visitors since 1895 to bathe in the region’s mineral waters. Nestled within the Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve near picturesque Hepburn Springs and Daylesford, the bathhouse and spa draws mineral waters directly from the original spring to oﬀer a unique experience. THE MIRACLE OF MINERAL WATER Balneotherapy, bathing in mineral water, has been practised for centuries in spas throughout the world to treat many ailments. Increasingly used for workrelated conditions such as back problems and stress, balneotherapy is also proven very effective as an element of the rehabilitation process for conditions such as gout, arthritis, depression and stress-related illnesses. It’s a great way to relax the body and mind before going into a treatment. The heated mineral water relaxes your muscles and allows your pores to open so you can absorb a variety of minerals the water has to offer, through the skin and directly into the bloodstream. The beneficial minerals include silica, which is great for skin, hair and bone formation; magnesium, good for muscles and essential for kidney function; and potassium, for all-round mental health.
THE EXPERIENCE The Bathhouse offers private and social mineral bathing options and welcomes adults and children for a total sense of wellbeing. The relaxation pool is a mineral water blend heated to 34°C. This bath is designed
for peaceful relaxation and rejuvenation and is also suitable for gentle water exercise. There is an access ramp, seating and a separate lounge zone beside the entry stairs. A hoist is available for accessibility if required. A spa pool heated to a warm 37°C is also available in the Bathhouse. The Sanctuary welcomes those aged 16 years and older to relax on an underwater spa couch in the healing waters and enjoy a hydro massage. The Sanctuary also features a salt pool heated to 38°C, filled with concentrated salt and mineral water to stimulate circulation, hydrate and detoxify the skin and help relieve irritated skin, muscle soreness and joint pain. A tunnel of natural light directly feeds into the circular pool. The walk-in cool-down pool enables you to cool your body down gradually at your own pace, to comfortably extend your time in the naturally heated mineral baths. The outdoor creek-side spa bath opens to the natural environment, so you can soak among the lush and tranquil Hepburn landscape. The aroma steam room is highly humid and is heated to 39°C. Clear the mind while inhaling a gentle aromatic mist blend. This facility is great for sore, tired muscles and
10 | WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017
stiff joints, lymph detoxification, improving blood circulation, easing respiratory ailments and boosting the immune system. The newly opened Hammam features a continuous flow of hot, humid air and has heated seating, in a luxuriously designed Moroccan-style room, created specifically for an authentic Moroccan ritual experience. Bathing and early-bird bathing is available for up to two hours. Sanctuary bathing includes full use of the Bathhouse and the Sanctuary. Twilight bathing is for one hour before closing time. Private Mineral Wellness Bathing is also available for one or two people where the pure mineral waters can be enjoyed in a private environment for 30 or 45 minutes.
THERAPIES Unique therapies have been designed to complement your bathing experience and target various health, beauty and relaxation needs. The signature therapies and ritual packages are sumptuous and are the ultimate in luxury. Facial therapies include Vitamin Radiance Renewal, Pure Replenishing, Rejuvenating Renewal, Benefit Refresher, Organic Essentials and Signature therapy options. Massage therapies feature Volcanic Hot
Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa | VICTORIA Stone, Muscle Focus, Remedial, Pregnancy Pause, Back to Nature and Moroccan Remedy options. Body therapies include full-body Aromatic Enzyme Renewal and Pure Mineral options, as well as Foot Focus and Hand Focus therapies. There is also a men’s therapy range and options in water elements and spa steam therapies.
REFUEL AND REPLENISH After taking in the waters at the Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa, go for a leisurely walk through the park and fill your water bottle from the natural springs. Complete the wellness journey at the Pavilion Cafe where Devonshire tea, warm or iced Hepburn tea and antioxidant-rich beverages are on offer alongside lunch and dessert, with glutenfree options available. The Pavilion Cafe is housed in a beautiful, original Edwardian heritage-listed building constructed in 1908 and has been a meeting place in Hepburn Springs for more than a century. It features magnificent stained-glass windows and an intricately tiled floor and vaulted ceiling, which create a unique step back in time and warm welcoming environment.
YOUR VISIT Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa is dedicated to relaxation and tranquillity, and is a mobilephone- and smoke-free environment. Appropriate swimwear is required in the bathhouse. Towels are available for hire from the lower-deck reception if necessary. Children under the age of 16 years must be supervised by a responsible adult at all times. A robe, towel and locker are provided in the Sanctuary. A minimum age of 16 years is required for entry to the Sanctuary and the spa treatment area. Bookings for the Bathhouse, Sanctuary or private bathing are recommended and can be made online.
GETTING THERE Hepburn Springs is approximately a 90-minute drive from Melbourne’s CBD, located in the heart of Australia’s spa country, 4km north of Daylesford. Travelling via car is recommended; however, public transport is possible by catching a train from Southern Cross to Woodend, then a bus from Woodend to Daylesford, followed by a taxi from the town centre to Hepburn Springs.
CONNECT WITH HEPBURN BATHHOUSE & SPA W: hepburnwellness.com P: 03 5321 6000 E: firstname.lastname@example.org A: Mineral Springs Reserve Road, Hepburn Springs Vic 3461
WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017 |
VICTORIA | The Loft in the Mill
HEPBURN SPA RETREAT Hepburn Spa Retreat oﬀers contemporary and elegant ﬁve-star villas designed for complete indulgence and comfort. All villas have magniﬁcent, serene views over native bushland and each is ﬂanked by a balcony and ﬁlled with natural light. This luxurious accommodation provides the ideal base for you to relax, unwind and explore the healing and restorative oﬀerings at the nearby Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa. THE EXPERIENCE Hepburn Spa Retreat is a picturesque village, featuring 10 luxury villas, and is located directly opposite the iconic Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa at 20–22 Mineral Springs Crescent. The villas are designed to complement your bathing and spa journey, so you can
discover more of Hepburn’s offerings at your own, relaxed pace. Bring back some award-winning local produce from Hepburn and neighbouring Daylesford, and while away the evening with a gourmet cheese platter complemented by local wines on your balcony or in front of the gas log fire. Or
12 | WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017
experience the fine or casual dining options in town late into the evening, many of which feature fresh, seasonal ingredients from local farmers and producers. The accommodation options at Hepburn Spa Retreat are designed for a luxurious getaway, romantic weekend or glamorous girls’ weekend.
Hepburn Spa Retreat | VICTORIA
YOUR VILLA Step inside the architecturally designed villa into a sophisticated space built of natural stone, glass and wood. Each villa features a balcony, harmonised with the local landscape and overlooks uninterrupted native bushland views. All villas have kitchenettes, king-sized beds, double spas and double showers. Gas log fires take the chill off winter nights and reverse-cycle air-conditioning keeps you cool in the warmer months. A wellness hamper welcomes visitors upon arrival, bathrobes are provided and luxury bathroom products are supplied. Villas are non-smoking and come with a car space, Wi-Fi, Foxtel, surround sound and 24-hour on-site access. Another 10 luxury villas located hillside are currently under construction, each set to feature the same, fully appointed facilities and warm welcome as the existing village.
RETREAT AND SPA PACKAGES Hepburn Spa Retreat offers spa packages with Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa (featured in this publication), located just across the road. Whether you’re looking for a midweek escape or luxurious weekend away, there are packages that embrace everything the natural mineral springs has to offer, including bathing, therapies, massage and other wellness offerings. Visit hepburnbathhouse.com/packages to find out more about the latest available packages.
GETTING THERE By car, Hepburn Springs is approximately a 90-minute drive from Melbourne’s CBD, located in the heart of Australia’s spa country, 4km north of Daylesford. The best mode of transport is via car; however, public transport is possible by catching a train from Southern Cross to Woodend, then a bus from Woodend to Daylesford, followed by a taxi from the town centre to Hepburn Springs. Check in at Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa upon arrival.
CONNECT WITH HEPBURN BATHHOUSE & SPA W: hepburnwellness.com P: 03 5321 6000 E: email@example.com A: 20–22 Mineral Springs Crescent, Hepburn Springs Vic 3461
VICTORIA | The Loft in the Mill
SALTAIR DAY SPA Saltair Day Spa is located a few minutes from the beachfront town of Torquay, 22km south of Geelong at the beginning of the Great Ocean Road. Although you are just moments from Torquay’s famous surf shops, you wouldn’t know it as you sit in the main relaxation lounge of Saltair, taking in the stunning views of Spring Creek Valley and blue ocean waters. Saltair is the region’s original destination day spa, situated in a coastal-rural setting but only a few minutes from Torquay, 15 minutes from Geelong and an easy one-hour drive from Melbourne’s West Gate Bridge.
THE EXPERIENCE Once you arrive at Saltair and make your way up the 300m driveway, taking in the outstanding vistas towards the Great Otway National Park, you soon realise this isn’t going to be an average day-spa experience. On your way towards the entrance, you pass four stunning water features, before being welcomed by exceptional therapists as you enter the main relaxation lounge that features a huge Romanian crystal chandelier, floor-to-ceiling mosaic tiles, floral arrangements, glass walls and soft music. Here, guests feel cosseted and embraced by luxury.
The Saltair experience embodies true relaxation, where guests receive specialised care and are indulged with the best natural products. There are two relaxation lounges, four dual treatment rooms, five single treatment rooms, a spray-tan room and change-room facilities. Throughout, Saltair Day Spa retains a boutique feel with Indigenous-themed wall hangings and centrepieces.
INDULGE AND HEAL Saltair’s Signature massage is widely renowned and has placed the day spa at the top of TripAdvisor’s Spa & Wellness
14 | WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017
Australia category. Oil blends developed by Saltair are used and are named after ideals and beliefs of what a day spa should represent: “Inspire”, “Freedom” and “Signature”. These emphasise that Saltair is more than a place of business; rather, it’s an oasis of tranquillity that will transform and bring positive change. The main spa product range is LI’TYA, which is derived from naturally sustainable and sourced Australian ingredients and used throughout Saltair’s menu. LI’TYA’s Kodo massage is an Indigenous-inspired rhythmic massage widely enjoyed by guests. Saltair is one of the oldest LI’TYA
Saltair Day Spa | VICTORIA
day spas in the country and has received multiple LI’TYA Spirit of Spa awards. Products from Australian spa company Heritage Healers are also offered in facial treatments, combining medical-grade oxygen gas with personalised Australian wildflower essences (derived from Western Australia). Globally renowned and multi-awarded skincare company Nimue is used for all derma-cosmeceutical facial treatments, incorporating collagen needling and advanced peels. Nimue is known for its combination of natural acids that are results-driven. For hair removal, Alexandria Professionals sugaring is used, the next generation in the removal of body hair. It utilises no chemicals or heat and has a philosophy of healing the skin during the hair-removal process.
FOOD Outdoor gourmet catering for small and large groups is available and can be incorporated into group packages under Group Bookings on the website. Any additional costs will be clearly outlined by staff at the time of booking and confirmed prior to the appointment.
GETTING THERE Travel from Melbourne to Saltair Day Spa is as simple as driving straight along the Princes Freeway (including Geelong Ring Road), verging onto Anglesea Road, turning left onto Grossmans Road, right onto Ashmore Road and then you’re there. It’s an easy one-hour drive. Transport is your own vehicle or by arrangement with the spa’s transport partners. You can find more information on the website.
THINGS TO REMEMBER General spa etiquette applies, including turning off mobile phones, no loud noise and, sorry, no children within the day spa complex. Disposable underwear is provided where appropriate and bathing attire is optional in the private single-use hydrotherapy spa.
CONNECT WITH SALTAIR DAY SPA W: saltairspa.com.au P: 03 5261 9977 A: 50 Ashmore Road, Torquay Vic 3228
VICTORIA | The Loft in the Mill
WELLINEUX URBAN RETREAT Located within the heart of Melbourne (or created globally in a city near you), the one-day, inner-city Urban Retreat takes place in the penthouse of The Olsen Art Series Hotel, with captivating city skyline views providing an outward contrast to your moment to look within. THE EXPERIENCE Located at the peak of Melbourne’s prestigious Chapel Street, The Olsen is not your ordinary hotel. With walls filled with the art of revered Australian artist Dr John Olsen, chandeliers adorning high ceilings and an in-hotel wellness spa and sanctuary, this is an environment that will inspire and mesmerise you. Enter your penthouse Urban Retreat experience and the positive energy continues. Wellineux’s Affirmation Cards on mantles, notes of gratitude on coffee tables, candles decorated with thoughtful messages and the warmest of welcomes from the Wellineux team who greet you as you enter the double doors.
URBAN RETREATS: FOR THE CORPORATE AND THE INDIVIDUAL Wellineux will work closely with you to tailor your experience to the outcomes you hope to achieve. The Corporate Urban Retreat Whether you’re an executive looking to improve your leadership skills, or a working team invested in moving towards a state of peak performance, this day will provide you with:
The techniques to inspire creative thinking and innovation breakthrough The courage and tact to broach courageous conversations Increased emotional intelligence The tools to foster resilience and emotional strength Techniques to reduce stress, increase mental clarity and create space in times of overwhelm The perspective to embrace and capitalise on the uniqueness of every individual within your team. Did you know organisations that successfully implement wellbeing programs to support a happy and productive workplace can expect a significant return on investment? For every $1 spent, you can expect $2.30 gained. What a wonderfully impactful way to spend a team day. The Personal Urban Retreat On a personal level, you might need some time to kick-start a new healthy lifestyle, to set intentions for your personal growth, or to create space away from the busyness of everyday life for self-discovery, to rediscover the “you” within. Rooted in the teachings of positive psychology and mindfulness, the
16 | WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017
workshops in the Personal Retreat are aimed to help you find out more about yourself. The Personal Retreat will guide you to true connection with yourself and a precious moment of rejuvenation and calm. Rediscover the energy and vitality that flows through you and refill your bucket, with the convenience (and affordability) of not needing to jet off to a tropical location. Whether you are a corporate, a team or an individual, your Urban Retreat experience starts with: Morning yoga or stretching Mindfulness and meditation techniques Discovery and creativity workshops Nourishing wholefoods, refreshments and snacks A packed wellness box that will further support you on your unique wellness journey Plus your choice of any of the spa and wellbeing options to follow
THE TREATMENTS Massage, kinesiology, acupuncture, reiki, chiropractors, nutritionists, naturopaths and personal or professional mentoring sessions are all on the wellbeing menu, as Wellineux calls upon its team of experts to customise the Urban Retreat experience unique to you.
Wellineux Urban Retreat | VICTORIA On a personal level, this is your opportunity to explore a modality that may be foreign to you. Perhaps you’d like to work with a nutritionist on your nutrition goals? Or work with a chiropractor on a niggling injury that has been bothering you. On a professional level, whether you are a local or on an international or interstate business trip, this is your moment to consult with a mentor who will push your career to the next level. (If you do develop a meaningful relationship with that mentor, they are available to you via Skype or in person into the future.) That said, you might also like to take a mindful moment with a massage, to reset and refocus before the meetings ahead.
THE FOOD Dine on a healthy and plentiful banquet of gluten-free and refined-sugar-free meals, snacks and refreshments throughout the day — all created by Wellineux’s in-house wholefoods catering company. Indulge in food that will nourish and energise you from the inside-out and will leave you feeling amazing. Food intolerances are catered for. Rainbow quinoa, avocado and beet salad, creamy green smoothies with apple and mint, raw peppermint cream slice … yes please! And that’s just the beginning.
HOW TO GET THERE The Olsen is easily accessible via tram (via Chapel Street), train (via Toorak Road) and car (or perhaps a helicopter via the helipad if you’re feeling extra VIP!). Underground in-hotel parking is available as well as parking on street.
OPTIONAL EXTRA If you choose the optional overnight stay with colleagues or friends, you are in for a treat. The Art Series signature bedding, late-night bar and restaurant, gas open fireplace, room service, outdoor sunlounge and outdoor spa await. On top of all that, the sunset view from the penthouse is truly something else.
THINGS TO REMEMBER Please ensure you let the team at Wellineux know whether you would like to attend a personal or a corporate Urban Retreat, so they can best tailor the outcomes unique to your needs. For those who are travelling internationally or interstate, or for those who’d simply like the Urban Retreat experience not to end, you are welcome stay overnight with Wellineux’s special discounted rate. Please contact Wellineux before making an overnight booking.
CONNECT WITH WELLINEUX W: wellineux.com P: 0400 927 031 E: firstname.lastname@example.org A: 51 Brady Street, South Melbourne Vic 3205
WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017 |
THE WHITE SPA AND ONSEN RETREAT + SPA The raw beauty and serenity of Victoria’s alpine region naturally inspires you to shake oﬀ the city stress and leave your inhibitions behind. To enhance your mountain experience, relax and restore your mind and body at The White Spa, the ideal mountain retreat. Oﬀ the mountain, unwind at the Japanese-inspired Onsen Retreat + Spa in nearby Dinner Plain. THE EXPERIENCE Step inside tranquil treatment rooms at The White Spa and take in the sweeping views of Swindlers Valley and High Plains. The White Spa is located in the Hotham Central building in the Village Centre. Nearby, in Dinner Plain, escape into Onsen Retreat + Spa’s heated indoor pool and outdoor onsen for a relaxing bathing experience among the natural mountain landscape.
mountain and restore balance and harmony to your body’s systems. Facial therapies Moisture boosting, anti-ageing and deeply cleansing, facial therapies revitalise and calm the skin, combat dehydration, improve skin texture and counteract the signs of unbalanced, devitalised skin. Using vitamin-enriched botanicals, the spas’ products strengthen and restore your skin’s natural defences.
TREATMENTS The White Spa and Onsen Retreat + Spa offers relaxing, revitalising and replenishing therapies for men and women, using vitamin-enriched botanicals, customised aromatic oil blends and restorative massage techniques. Recover and repair from a day on the mountain with their range of rejuvenating face, body and aqua therapies. Aromatic and enriching, the therapies use luxurious products inspired by the beauty and nature of Victoria’s high country. Massage Combining the best massage techniques from around the world, signature massages relieve aching muscles from a day on the
Body exfoliation and wraps Choose from a range of aromatic, enzyme renewal and pure mineral options and retreat into a whole-body therapeutic experience. With a blend of aromatic oils customised to your needs, the cleansing, exfoliating and hydrating treatments available will soften and strengthen the skin, leaving you polished and primed. Hand, foot and scalp treatments Signature hand and arm exfoliation treatments prime the skin for the vitaminenriched oils to be massaged deeply into the major channels of the arms and reflex points in the hands. The invigorating foot treatment
18 | WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017
includes a salt mineral soak and hot stone massage to activate reflexology points for the relief of fatigue, swelling and fluid retention. Experience the botanical re-mineralising hair and scalp treatment to deeply nourish, repair and naturally condition with enriched salt minerals warmed and massaged into the scalp and hair.
ONSEN RETREAT + SPA FACILITIES The facility features an outdoor onsen heated to 39°C, an indoor lap pool, plunge pool, a sauna in each change room and a health club. Group fitness and wellbeing classes are held in the health club and include power vinyasa flow yoga, Onsen Signature yoga, yoga for children and Off the Hill, a slow, rejuvenating stretching class to relax tired muscles from a day on the slopes. Casual bathing and swimming costs $45 per visit, and discounted monthly and seasonal memberships are available for regular guests. Fitness classes are only $15 per person.
SPA ETIQUETTE AND CANCELLATION Please check in at The White Spa or Onsen
The White Spa, Mt Hotham and Onsen Retreat + Spa, Dinner Plain | VICTORIA Retreat + Spa reception at least 20 minutes before your scheduled appointment, ensuring adequate time for you to prepare for your treatment. Please understand that if you arrive late, your treatment time may be reduced accordingly. Some guests choose to undress completely for body treatments, while others prefer to wear underwear. Choose what makes you feel most comfortable. During body treatments, you are draped with warm towels, only exposing the specific area undergoing treatment. Please wear swimwear when using communal bathing facilities. Male and female professional therapists are available. If you have a preference, please advise the spa when making your reservation. If you need to change or cancel your booking, please advise at least 24 hours before your appointment time. Cancellation within 24 hours requires full payment of treatments booked. Both sites are open seven days a week during the ski season, from 9am until late.
GETTING THERE Hotham Alpine Resort is located in the heart of the Australian Alpine National Park in Victoria. The Great Alpine Road runs from Wangaratta in the north of Victoria to Bairnsdale in the south and passes through the Hotham Alpine Resort. You can access the resort by car, coach or catch a train to Wangaratta and take a bus to the resort. Mount Hotham also has its own airport, which means you can book a charter plane to get on the slopes faster. The White Spa is located in the Hotham Central building in the Village Centre. The free village shuttle bus stops out the front of Hotham Central. Onsen Retreat + Spa is located in Dinner Plain village on Big Muster Drive. Parking is available in the village or you can catch the Dinner Plain-to-Hotham bus that runs in the winter season from Hotham Central.
CONNECT WITH THE WHITE SPA AT HOTHAM W: hepburnwellness.com P: 03 5759 4488 E: email@example.com A: Hotham Central, 1 Higgi Drive, Mount Hotham Vic 3741
CONNECT WITH ONSEN RETREAT + SPA AT DINNER PLAIN W: hepburnwellness.com P: 03 5150 8880 E: firstname.lastname@example.org A: Big Muster Drive, Dinner Plain Vic 3898
VICTORIA | The Loft in the Mill
YARRA VALLEY LIVING CENTRE Set on 40 acres of natural bushland and landscaped gardens and nestled among rolling hills at the foot of the Great Dividing Range, the Yarra Valley Living Centre provides a picturesque backdrop and a tranquil environment for a diverse range of healing and wellbeing programs. The rustic natural bushland setting and beautiful ornamental gardens oﬀer a wide variety of spaces in which to enjoy nature, and the biodynamic and organic vegetable gardens provide ample seasonal fare prepared in the retreat kitchen.
ake a leisurely stroll along the walking trails, explore the labyrinth down by the Little Yarra River, take in the mountain views from the gazebo at the highest point of the property or find a bench in your favourite part of the gardens to rest and just be — there is so much to discover and enjoy at the Yarra Valley Living Centre.
THE EXPERIENCE The Yarra Valley Living Centre offers double, twin or dormitory-style accommodation. Double and twin rooms include a private ensuite and dormitories have two attached bathrooms. Shared areas of the centre include a large communal dining room, conferencing room, lounge/break-out area and two purpose-built meditation sanctuaries. In addition, the centre operates
therapeutic rooms that offer body therapies and counselling services (subject to availability), as well as a resource centre, which houses a large variety of books, CDs, DVDs, meditation stools and juicers.
SERVICES Whether you’re faced with a cancer diagnosis, living with multiple sclerosis or simply want to reach a greater level of wellbeing, the Yarra Valley Living Centre offers quality education, guidance and support throughout its retreat programs. The centre promotes a whole-person (holistic) and integrative approach to health, healing and wellbeing and for more than 30 years has been helping people improve their recovery outcomes from serious ailments such as cancer and multiple sclerosis as well as find a better quality of life through education and the
20 | WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017
implementation of The Gawler Cancer Foundation’s Seven Essential Elements. Regular meditation, good nutrition, power of the mind, emotional healing, quest for meaning, moderate exercise and effective support are all research-based practices widely recognised for their health benefits, and form the backbone of the centre’s educational retreat programs. During your retreat stay, you will receive expert education and tailored support in the practical implementation of these practices, designed to encourage your body’s own innate healing potential and help you connect to your natural state of wellbeing.
FOOD You will be nourished with delicious, organic, plant-based wholefoods carefully prepared according to the Gawler method by the retreat kitchen.
Yarra Valley Living Centre | VICTORIA
The majority of the produce used is seasonal and grown in the Yarra Valley Living Centre’s expansive organic vegetable and herb gardens and fruit orchards. Additionally, a bottomless herbal tea and dandelion coffee station is set up in the dining room and can be accessed all day and night. The kitchen caters to all allergies, so please advise at the time of booking if you have any special dietary requirements.
GETTING THERE The centre is located in Yarra Junction, Victoria, which is approximately 70km and 90 minutes by car from Melbourne’s CBD. Travel directions can be provided at the time of booking. Transfers from Melbourne Airport or Melbourne’s CBD can also be arranged when booking.
THINGS TO REMEMBER As caffeinated tea or coffee is not provided, it is recommended that you minimise or eliminate your intake of these drinks a few weeks before the program so that you can avoid withdrawal symptoms and gain the most out of your experience. The Yarra Valley Living Centre offers a great range of herbal teas, dandelion coffee and juices to complement the delicious menu. Both participants and staff value the delightfully clean and fresh country air and the smoke-free environment of the centre. In recognition of this and in accordance with the principles of the centre, smoking is not permitted anywhere on the 40-acre property.
FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR CANCER RETREAT PROGRAMS The centre understands that high medical expenses and/or the inability to work can result in financial hardship for people living with cancer. For this reason, it has a Foundation Bursary Fund, from which the centre can allocate funds towards the cost of your attendance at a cancer retreat. The amount offered is dependent on individual financial circumstances and is determined upon application.
CONNECT WITH YARRA VALLEY LIVING CENTRE Visitor’s tours can be arranged (by prior appointment) between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday. Please call to arrange a time to take a look around. W: gawler.org P: 03 5967 1730, 1300 651 211 E: email@example.com A: 55 Rayner Court, Yarra Junction Vic 3797
WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017 |
VICTORIA | The Loft in the Mill
YOGA AUSTRALIA ANNUAL CONFERENCE RETREAT If you are seeking an inspiring retreat that will nourish your body and mind and reconnect you with the true spirit of yoga, then this annual event is a must for your calendar. Arranged by the peak body for yoga in Australia, sessions featuring expert and dedicated yoga instructors will guide you through a range of yoga experiences in a location that will touch your soul.
YOGA AUSTRALIA Yoga Australia is the peak professional body for yoga in Australia and is a not-forprofit association of members dedicated to the tradition of yoga. The avowed mission of Yoga Australia is to promote the values and benefits of yoga and to support teaching yoga as a profession. As part of its commitment to the Australian yoga
community, each year Yoga Australia holds a conference retreat designed to inspire.
THE 2017 EXPERIENCE Yoga Australiaâ€™s 2017 retreat was a wonderful reconnection with the heart of yoga. The retreat was held in Joondalup, WA, and was a holistic, regenerative experience for all who attended. Featuring
22 | WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017
fantastic facilities, the Joondalup Resort created a feeling of being away from it all yet was still convenient for many. The retreat opened with a traditional homa â€” a fire ceremony led by Anthony Zafer. This was followed by a welcome message from Yoga Australia president Leanne Davies and the opportunity to meet and greet other practitioners and teachers.
Yoga Australia annual retreat | VICTORIA
The weekend included a variety of activities that were themed to help finetune the experience that teachers and students were looking for. Whatever level of yoga you practise, the retreat is catered for you. Whether participants desired a morning vinyasa flow on the beach or a lecture on Yoga for Trauma, The Eight Limbs of Yoga or iRest, there were many options to choose from. There was also a presentation on The Art of Adjusting. Adjusting in yoga asana is an art form as book knowledge alone is not enough to learn how to adjust safely and mindfully. A diverse array of people attended the retreat in 2017. Women and men of varying ages, a range of religions, people who communicated verbally and those who communicated through sign language and with AUSLAN interpreters were all present. It is an experience in itself to be among a group of open-minded people seeking to learn to continue to support their students in class via hands-on work. The diversity was evident and the depth was felt. This was no mere group of Instagram â€œyogalebritiesâ€?; these were people dedicated to the practice of yoga and who, in some cases, had decades of experience behind them. Those who attended felt connected and peaceful. This retreat will renew your faith in yoga as a spiritual practice of which asana is an important element, but only part of the story. The retreat also provides opportunities to reconnect with people you may not see often but to whom you feel connected by a shared passion for living with awareness. It is also a wonderful opportunity to meet the Yoga Australia staff, who work tirelessly for the yoga community, and to meet the volunteers, who make events like this retreat possible. Together, volunteers and staff work hard to encourage and maintain the professionalism of yoga teaching as a passion and profession.
THE 2018 RETREAT The Yoga Australia annual conference will be hosted in Melbourne in late March 2018. For more information, visit yogaaustraliaconference.org.au
CONNECT WITH YOGA AUSTRALIA W: yogaaustralia.org.au P: 1300 881 451 E: firstname.lastname@example.org A: 125A Chapel Street, Windsor Vic 3181
WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017 |
DIVINE COCONUT OIL From Maldivian coconut scrubs to sublime oil massages, virgin coconut oil is one of Southern Asiaâ€™s long-held beauty secrets. Words / Judy Chapman
Photography: Getty Images
People living in the coastal areas of Sri Lanka bathe in warm water after applying coconut oil all over their body and leave it in for an hour or so to soften their hair and skin.
24 | WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017
coconut | ARTICLE
irgin coconut oil, the purest form of coconut oil, is extracted from fresh coconuts and is one of the earliest oils to be used for therapeutic purposes. The topical virtues of coconut are bountiful. Rich in vitamin E and antioxidants, coconut-infused skin and hair products are celebrated in spas around the world, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. It’s said that people in this region have lived off the health-giving properties from coconuts for centuries in the name of health and longevity. Coconut oil as a spa treatment has a long and revered history. In countries such as India and Sri Lanka, it has long been used as a soothing hair and skincare ingredient. People living in the coastal areas of Sri Lanka bathe in warm water after applying coconut oil all over their body and hair. In Ayurvedic medicine, coconut is revered for its cooling qualities that help pacify pitta (hot and fiery) body conditions, the milk often used to help heal burns and scars. The Filipinos, who use coconut oil regularly in their diet, are known for their fabulous skin, even though there’s sun all-year-round. For generations, they have been making virgin coconut oil by hand and, in fact, coconut reportedly constitutes seven per cent of their total export income. The texture of coconut oil is non-greasy, light and easily absorbed into the skin and the cooling qualities make it an effective anti-inflammatory oil. Rich in lauric acid, virgin coconut oil is luxurious in soap, massage oils, scrubs and hair treatments. In the Maldives, the native coconut, Kurumba, is plentiful and is often the primary ingredient in scrubs and massage oils. It’s said that coconut oil became a popular hair and skin product in this region during a time when no soap was available.
Soon enough, islanders noticed that those working in the coconut oil business possessed healthy and shiny skin and thus a new beauty ingredient was born.
½ cup (125mL) coconut oil 2 tbsp coconut cream 5 drops each eucalyptus, rose & rosemary essential oils
COCONUT & ALOE BODY OIL The ultimate soothing body oil to keep your skin hydrated on humid days.
Heat the coconut oil until warm, remove from heat and add the coconut cream. Stir well. Add the essential oils. Apply to hair by massaging the scalp and hair with firm fingertip pressure. Press the scalp and make small circular movements. Wrap a hot towel around your head and leave to absorb for half an hour. Rinse well with shampoo and conditioner.
2 tbsp coconut oil 1 tbsp aloe vera gel 5 drops each jasmine, sandalwood & neroli essential oils
TROPICAL COCONUT & GINGER SCRUB A gentle exfoliator enriched with the skin-soothing properties of soybean oil to leave your skin fresh and rejuvenated.
Mix all ingredients together and massage into your body after showering or bathing.
½ cup (125mL) base oils, such as almond, macadamia or soybean ½ cup (40g) desiccated coconut flakes 1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated
Try it yourself. Here are four easy home spa recipes for skin, body and hair that employ the wonders of coconut oil.
BALINESE MASSAGE OIL Think warm tropical evenings amid Bali’s abundant landscape.
Blend all ingredients together and massage into the skin in circular motions.
Grind the coconut flakes finely in a coffee grinder. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Before showering or bathing, rub the blend over your body, massaging vigorously to stimulate circulation. Step into the shower or bath and allow the water to moisten your skin. Massage the treatment further into the skin for a few moments. Rinse well.
INDONESIAN COCONUT HAIR CREAM BATH A classic treatment found in most spas across Indonesia and beyond. Recommended for shoulder-length hair, the eucalyptus stimulates and cleanses the scalp, the rose tones and soothes while rosemary stimulates circulation and helps prevent hair loss.
Judy Chapman is the former editor-in-chief of Spa Asia magazine and author of four bestselling books on spas. For the past 20 years, Judy has travelled the world consulting and creating award-winning spa concepts, beauty products and treatment experiences. She is the founder of The Chapman Guides (thechapmanguides.com), a curation of the best in retreats and wellness travel destinations.
1 tbsp coconut oil 2 drops each sandalwood, ylang-ylang, black pepper & ginger essential oils
EAT YOUR SPA TREATMENT Coconut oil is edible and has been consumed for thousands of years in healthful cuisine — think curries and coconut desserts. While the oil is a solid butter when the temperature is below 25°C, when heated, it becomes a nourishing liquid oil. Now that good fats are back in vogue in the western world, coconut oil has become a popular choice for cooking. It consists of 90 per cent saturated fat and healthy fatty acids and is the most stable of all oils. Unlike other oils, coconut can be cooked at high temperatures without oxidising.
WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017 |
BYRON YOGA RETREAT CENTRE This tranquil eco-haven is just a 20-minute walk from Byron Bay’s beautiful beaches and vibrant town centre. Byron Bay has long held a reputation as a place of healing and of outstanding natural beauty. From the amazing beaches to the incredible hinterland, Byron Bay emanates a sense of peace and wellbeing. Byron Yoga Retreat Centre reﬂects this raw natural beauty and sense of healing and tranquillity. While it is not a luxury resort, it is comfortable, aﬀordable and authentic in its sustainable approach, to both the environment and to your health. Take time to relax and recharge, kick-start healthy habits and enjoy an aﬀordable all-inclusive yoga and health retreat. THE FACILITIES Just a short walk or cycle from the town or beach, Byron Yoga Retreat Centre is situated in a large clearing surrounded by trees, providing a wonderful sense of seclusion. The single-storey buildings offer a variety of accommodation options to suit your budget, including budget four-share cabins, twin-share rooms with share bathrooms and private ensuite rooms. There are four yoga spaces, a 20m heated mineral salt swimming pool and a lovely dining area with a massive verandah overlooking the pool, organic gardens and natural forest.
to create this classical alignment-focused variation of hatha yoga with intelligent sequencing. Purna, meaning integrated or complete in Sanskrit, represents the holistic approach to yoga — integrating the physical postures with philosophy, meditation and pranayama. This accessible and comprehensive style is suitable for beginners to more experienced students as variations are given for all levels. For some guests, the retreat is an introduction to starting yoga for the first time. Retreat programs include morning flow classes, purna yoga sessions and yin and restorative classes. All sessions are optional.
THE YOGA Byron Yoga Retreat Centre is the home of Byron Yoga Centre. Founded more than 30 years ago by John Ogilvie, it has grown into Australia’s pre-eminent yoga teachertraining academy and retreat centre. Ogilvie developed the style of purna yoga, combining his many years of experience
WELLBEING PROGRAMS Retreats at Byron Yoga Retreat Centre are designed to give you space to relax and recharge and to increase your sense of wellbeing. Choose a signature eight-, five- or three-day all-inclusive retreat or perhaps join a Women’s Health Retreat or
26 | WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017
a Surf and Yoga Weekend. Nourish your body and spirit with a combination of yoga and meditation classes, massage treatments, holistic wellness sessions and fresh, organic, vegetarian meals.
The wellness sessions Key features of the programs are the morning and evening wellness sessions. These include nutrition and cooking classes, yogic philosophy, guided meditations and workshops on the principles of alignment in yoga poses and the fundamentals of Ayurveda, the ancient Indian science developed to achieve optimum health. To gain maximum benefits, it is recommended to sign up for the eight-day retreat. However, both the five- and three-day options offer a selection of these sessions and all retreats provide guests with the essential ongoing wellness advice to enable you to continue your wellbeing journey when you return home.
Byron Yoga | NEW SOUTH WALES Relaxation time There is plenty of time to relax and reflect at Byron Yoga Retreat Centre. The afternoons offer free time to chill out by the pool, at the beach or to explore the local area. Included in the package prices are personal massage treatments and there is also the opportunity to select additional program options such as surfing, kayaking (with the opportunity to see dolphins or whales up close) or take a trip to the unique hinterland oasis Crystal Castle.
THE FOOD Prepared using the freshest ingredients, with much of the produce from the on-site organic gardens, meals at the Byron Yoga Retreat Centre follow the principles of SLOW food: Seasonal, Local, Organic and Without processed foods of any kind. Produce either comes from the organic gardens or is sourced where possible from local, organic suppliers. The meals are not only good for you, free of toxins and naturally detoxing, but they also taste amazing. Retreat guests are offered a fresh juice in the morning break and coffee, chai, cold drinks and sugar-free sweet treats are available for purchase. There are gluten-free, vegan and dairy-free dining options available and allergies can be catered for. Meals are vegetarian (eggs available at breakfast) and, as well as following the principles of SLOW, menus are prepared according to Ayurvedic sattvic principles to promote healing and to lighten the body, mind and spirit.
GETTING THERE Byron Bay is just a 20-minute drive from Ballina airport, 45 minutes from the Gold Coast airport or two hours from Brisbane. All three airports are serviced by frequent shuttle buses that can be booked in advance and will drop off at (and pick up from) Byron Yoga Retreat Centre. If you are coming from Byron Bay town, it is a five-minute taxi ride.
THINGS TO REMEMBER This is not a luxury resort and the sustainable policies include rainwater tanks and solar heating for the swimming pool. The retreat packages offer an incredibly affordable way to experience a holistically healthy and healing holiday in Byron Bay. There is also the option to book a few additional nights at Byron Yoga Retreat Centre either side of your package. Retreats and teacher-training courses at Byron Yoga Retreat Centre are affordable, comfortable and take place in a sustainable and tranquil environment.
CONNECT WITH BYRON YOGA RETREAT CENTRE W: byronyoga.com P: 02 6685 8327 E: email@example.com A: 50 Skinners Shoot Road, Byron Bay NSW 2481
GOLDEN DOOR Located in the beautiful Hunter Valley, Golden Door Elysia Health Retreat and Spa is a sanctuary from day-to-day life. Guest accommodation is surrounded by picturesque views of the Hunter Valley wine country, Broken Back and Barrington Tops mountain ranges, allowing guests to breathe fresh country air each day. THE FACILITIES As a purpose-built health retreat, Golden Door is not simply a lifestyle resort, but rather a retreat offering an exceptional health and wellness program that has proven results with a skilled team of professional staff and practitioners. The accommodation at Golden Door features 74 stylish villas with one, two or three bedrooms. Golden Door’s world-class retreat facilities include a gymnasium, indoor and outdoor pools, indoor activity centre, tennis courts, three yoga and fitness studios, male and female steam rooms and spas, meditation hill, wellness centre, relaxation lounges, theatrette, library and more. The day spa has more than 24 treatment rooms including a purpose-built Watsu pool, where you can indulge in Golden Door’s signature treatment. Golden Door Elysia Health Retreat and Spa is a place for you to take time to reset your mind and body and gain a wealth of knowledge for a healthier, happier and more motivated you. The wellness programs at Golden Door have been developed to motivate change and give you the tools you need for lasting
results. Your stay will include everything from informative seminars to a huge range of activities, spa indulgences, relaxation and nutritious meals.
THE TREATMENTS Golden Door is where you can connect your mind, body and spirit, try new activities or treatments and discover a balanced life. It is a great place to learn about health and wellness and its benefits, kick-start a fitness and healthy eating program and relax in the tranquillity of the venue’s world-class spa.
THE PROGRAMS The retreat offers three-, five- or sevennight all-inclusive programs or you can try a two-night healthy lifestyle weekend for a taste of Golden Door. A full program of activities takes place each day such as empowering workshops, low-, medium- and high-intensity fitness activities, cooking demonstrations and mindfulness classes that guests can choose to participate in. Guests also have the option to book one-on-one wellness sessions with some of Australia’s most skilled practitioners in the fields of
28 | WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017
naturopathy, physiotherapy, acupuncture, hypnotherapy and Feldenkrais. If your stay is more about relaxation and winding down, you can choose to restore in the day spa for some much-needed you time. Here, you can indulge in massages, facial and body treatments and the signature Watsu water treatment. Evenings are spent at your leisure and you can choose to read by the open fire, play board games, solve puzzles or borrow a DVD from the library. Guests return to their rooms each night after a nutritious dinner to Golden Door’s signature turndown. All villas and suites provide a sanctuary in which guests can completely relax with all the five-star amenities you would expect from a worldclass resort.
ELYSIA DAY SPA Elysia Day Spa is a haven of relaxation, beauty and healing located within the health retreat. Elysia Day Spa is also open for guests and locals who would like to enjoy an hour or two — or even a full day — of relaxing and rejuvenating spa and wellness treatments.
Golden Door | NEW SOUTH WALES THE FOOD The Golden Door believes food is one of lifeâ€™s greatest sources of pleasure and that embracing and eating the right kinds of foods, exploring new tastes and textures and preparing foods in the healthiest possible way is essential to wellbeing. At Golden Door, you will be eating sensibly portioned, healthy, nutritious wholefoods at well-spaced mealtimes. A stay at Golden Door gives your body a rest from red meat, alcohol, caffeine, sugar and saturated fat. Guests are less likely to go back to their usual excessive levels once they have had the opportunity to have a break from these foods and will then reintroduce them sensibly and in moderation. By sharing meals in a communal environment with fellow guests and without the distractions of technology and day-to-day life, mealtimes are a chance to enjoy the simplicity of food and life. Mindful eating is also encouraged to help you appreciate what you have, to slow down and to be more in the moment. Nutrition, exercise and relaxation are the cornerstones of the Golden Door philosophy and combined, they deliver a holistic approach to health and nutrition.
THINGS TO REMEMBER Golden Door is a smoke- and alcohol-free environment. Only guests over the age of 16 are accommodated. With the exception of the two-day weekend taster program, all programs start on a Sunday.
GETTING THERE Golden Door Elysia Health Retreat and Spa is located in the beautiful Hunter Valley, two-and-a-half hours from Sydney or an hour from Newcastle airport. There is car parking available for guests on the grounds. Golden Door also offers a shuttle from Newcastle airport, Sydney airport and Chatswood train station on Sundays. Private transfers can also be arranged by the retreat. At the time of publishing, transfers are $50 per person one way to/from Newcastle airport and $75 per person one way to/from Sydney airport or Chatswood. Transfers are complimentary for sevenday program guests.
CONNECT WITH GOLDEN DOOR W: goldendoor.com.au P: 1800 212 011 (toll free Australia), 0800 775 779 (toll free NZ) E: firstname.lastname@example.org A: 165 Thompsons Road, Pokolbin NSW 2320
WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017 |
THAI MASSAGE AND YOGA Thai massage shares Ayurvedic roots with yoga and is known in some quarters as “the lazy person’s yoga”. Words / Judy Chapman
SPA YOGA “Now, this is yoga,” I thought as I lay upon a massage bed peering down into the translucent Maldivian waters. As part of a three-hour signature spa treatment at a destination spa, I was led through a sequence of postures prior to a heavenly massage. Likewise at another spa in Malaysia, the three-hour ritual consisted of a one-hour yoga session followed by a sensual shirodhara treatment. Meanwhile, a beautiful Ayurvedic yoga centre in Bangkok offers a four-hour session that starts with meditation followed by gentle yoga stretches, a Thai massage and warm-oil therapy. The beauty of taking yoga at the spa is that classes are tailored to both the novice and aficionado. After all, yoga was never meant to be for the select few and was originally developed to empower the masses. In the words of yoga master O P Tiwari, “Yoga teaches us to listen to the voice within.”
MASSAGE YOGA In Thai massage, you can experience a yoga and massage session all in one. Not unlike Chinese massage, it’s also regarded by many as a medical treatment. With its roots in Indian Ayurveda, Thai massage was reportedly introduced to Thailand more than 2500 years ago by a travelling Ayurvedic and Buddhist physician. It’s said that the massage style was originally developed for monks to increase their flexibility and promote circulation after sitting for hours in meditation. And it works. The benefits are incredible and long lasting. Circulation is improved and your mind feels soothed. Like yoga, Thai massage has its roots in Ayurveda and perhaps some links to Chinese and Tibetan medicine, too. Similar to the philosophies behind yoga, Thai massage is about compassion and giving. It is said the purpose of the massage is to create a harmonious balance for the body, mind and spirit and achieve the Four States of Mind: loving kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity. There are countless similarities between yoga and spa treatments. Both are centric practices, designed to bring the mind and body into perfect balance. Both can help bring you into a state of delicious rest where deeper healing happens. And the beauty of this style of massage is that you feel as if you are exercising
…yoga was never meant to be for the select few and was originally developed to empower the masses.
30 | WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017
during the treatment. Afterwards, you emerge feeling alive and rejuvenated, as if you have been to a wonderful yoga class. For those interested to discover more about the origins of Thai massage, I recommend a trip to Wat Pho in Bangkok, an ancient Buddhist temple known as the “Temple of the Reclining Buddha”. Not only is this temple one of astounding beauty, it is where you can still experience a therapeutic Thai massage for a song. Along the temple walls are ancient drawings of Ayurvedic herbal recipes and there are some wonderfully joyous yoga sculptures dotted around the grounds. Seek further inspiration? You can gain a certificate and learn the skill of Thai massage at a nearby training school. Ask most Thai massage therapists where they trained and many will reply “Wat Pho”.
Photography: Getty Images
one are the days where yoga conjures up hours of naval gazing, brown rice and rustic surrounds. Thanks to resorts and spas, there are stunning backdrops for one to stretch and meditate before including yoga bales overlooking sacred rivers in Bali and sea-facing pavilions. Even better, book a Thai massage, also known as the lazy person’s yoga, and you’ll feel as rejuvenated as if you’ve emerged from a yoga session — without doing too much at all.
Thai massage and yoga | ARTICLE
THE THAI MASSAGE EXPERIENCE Slip into loose cloth pants and a top and get comfy. As with Japanese shiatsu and Chinese tui nai massage, you remain fully clothed during this bodywork treatment. There’s no oil, either; just you and the practitioner working in union. Normally given on a mattress on the floor, a Thai massage can also be experienced in an open-air situation, as is often the case at spas and resorts. Therapists normally start with the feet using firm but soothing reflexology-style movement to send you immediately into the zone. After this, a variety of passive yoga-like techniques are used to pull and stretch the body into shape including acupressure, elbow pressing, gentle rocking and pulling of the legs, arms and wrists. All parts of your body are given love and attention. The stretching and pulling of your ears can help ease headache and tension and the gentle fingertip pressure on the face feels deliciously relaxing. Even the simple technique of finger pressing is enough to get the blood and chi flowing well throughout. If you want to continue your spa experience at home, here are some Thai spa recipes for you to create: THAI HONEY POLISH This exfoliation recipe is easy to make and will make your skin feel sensational.
… Thai massage was reportedly introduced to Thailand more than 2500 years ago by a travelling Ayurvedic Buddhist physician.
body and sit in a steam room for 5–15 minutes. Rinse in the shower or bath. THAI HERBAL BALL Also known as the herbal poultice, this heated ball of steamed herbs is often pressed onto the skin after a Thai massage or can be given as a stand-alone treatment. Once used on soldiers during Thailand’s Ayutthaya period (14th–18th century) to alleviate wounds and bruises, the heat from the herbs easily penetrates the skin, helping to alleviate muscle tension, and is recommended for inflammation and tightness in the neck and shoulders. A large piece of natural cloth Mixed chopped fresh herbs of ginger, Kaffir lime, turmeric, lemongrass & camphor
Fill the cloth with the mixed herbs (should weigh roughly around 400g) and steam in a hot pot or steamer for around 5 minutes. Test the ball on the skin lightly first to ensure it’s not too hot. When the temperature is right, press the poultice gently but firmly along the body for around 30 seconds to 1 minute, including the legs, feet, back, arms and buttocks. Judy Chapman is the former editor-inchief of Spa Asia magazine and author of four bestselling books on spas. For the past 20 years, Judy has travelled the world consulting and creating award-winning spa concepts, beauty products and treatment experiences. She is the founder of The Chapman Guides (thechapmanguides.com), a curation of the best in retreats and wellness travel destinations.
1 cup runny honey ½ cup sesame seeds Handful dried herbs such as lavender & mint Mix the ingredients together and smooth the sticky paste over your skin. Leave on for 5-10 minutes. Rinse in the shower or bath. THAI FACE & BODY HONEY STEAM Honey contains humectant properties and acts as a natural moisturiser to soften and heal the skin. 1–2 cups runny honey Simply apply honey over the face and
Not unlike the philosophies behind yoga, Thai massage is also about compassion and giving.
WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017 |
VICTORIA | HEPBURN BATHHOUSE & SPA
MILLBROOK RESORT Set across 500 acres of beautiful Central Otago countryside, Millbrook Resort is a unique New Zealand spa destination. Surrounded by green fairways, gentle streams and spectacular mountains, it oﬀers visitors the chance to enter a world of relaxation. THE EXPERIENCE Life is busy. Work, traffic, crowds, time restraints, responsibilities … the world is an ever-revolving door of activity, which is great for progress, but not so much for your mind and body. Millbrook provides you with the opportunity to escape it all and focus on you. Just a 20-minute drive from Queenstown, and two minutes from historic Arrowtown, Millbrook Resort is conveniently close to everything yet feels like a world away. Queenstown itself is renowned as the adventure capital of the world, although the region is equally famous for its awardwinning wines and beautiful eateries. Combine these experiences with a retreat
at Millbrook and the outcome is a holiday with something to offer everyone — young and old, relaxed or adventurous. The Spa at Millbrook offers a range of restorative treatments to help guests achieve optimum levels of health and ultimate relaxation.
THE HEALING With 10 treatment rooms and a team of highly skilled therapists, The Spa has something to suit all ages. The team at Millbrook strive to create a welcoming and tranquil space and understand the importance of consistency and professionalism to ensure their services not only meet your expectations, but exceed them.
32 | WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017
Using only the finest products from brands including Elemis, The Spa offers world-class facials, massages and fullbody treatments, in addition to specialised men’s treatments, manicures, waxing and tinting. Spa manager, Michelle Batchelor, is proud of the spa’s consistent service, and aptly so, as it has been named New Zealand’s Leading Spa Resort for the fourth consecutive year at the World Travel Awards. The Spa at Millbrook is also one of only a handful of spas in the country to offer Vichy treatments. Utilising a stunning 150-year-old acacia wooden table, this treatment is considered by many the ultimate in spa treatments and is bound to be one for the bucket list.
Millbrook Resort | NEW ZEALAND
The combination of award-winning spa treatments and jaw-dropping scenery makes The Spa at Millbrook a truly unique experience that continues to fulfil local and visitor expectations alike. As more direct flights from Australia are introduced every year, Queenstownâ€™s popularity as a holiday destination continues to grow and special accommodation and resort credit packages are ideal for those people looking to get away for a long weekend and revive. In addition to the spa treatments on offer, there is also a health and fitness centre, indoor lap pool, outdoor hot spas and 27-hole golf course available to visitors. Many make a trip to Millbrook for a half- or full-day experience, utilising a number of the facilities on-site and simply enjoying the stunning rural surrounds and the chance to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
THE FOOD While at Millbrook, there are plenty of opportunities to indulge in delicious food and refreshments, with three dining venues on-site from a casual cafe through to contemporary dining. Your food choices include everything from freshly baked muffins and pastries to great coffee, freshly caught salmon, sashimi, dumplings and yakitori. Each of the restaurants at Millbrook offers a different cuisine, ambience and character and is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
GETTING THERE Complimentary shuttle services are available from Queenstown or Arrowtown, so guests can hop on a shuttle and begin to relax right from the start of their Millbrook journey, as the shuttle guides them safely along a stunning scenic rural path to Millbrook Resort. You can also drive the 20-minute trip from Queenstown, or only two minutes from the quaint neighbouring village of Arrowtown. The team at Millbrook suggest you arrive 15 minutes early for your treatment, so you have plenty of time to unwind, have a cup of tea and enjoy the relaxing lounge area.
CONNECT WITH MILLBROOK RESORT W: millbrook.co.nz P: 0800 800 604 (toll free NZ), 1800 450 626 (toll free Australia), +64 3 441 7000 (international) E: email@example.com A: 1124 Malaghans Road, Arrowtown, New Zealand
SWEAT IT OUT Sweating is a natural healing process of the human body and regular sauna use has a range of health beneﬁts. Words / Sarah Luck
our skin is your body’s largest organ and is as important to maintaining health as your liver and kidneys are. In fact, your skin is often referred to as your third kidney, so similar are their roles in detoxification. As off-putting as it may seem, your skin is designed to sweat. Sweat is as essential to good health as eating and breathing. Besides helping to regulate body temperature, sweat has two other functions that are critical to good health: the removal of toxic wastes and keeping the skin clean, supple and disease-free. Ayurvedic scripts dating back to 568 BCE show that sweating was considered so important by Ayurvedic physicians in maintaining good health that there are more than a dozen different methods prescribed to induce sweating. Synthetic clothing, air-conditioning, antiperspirants, petroleum-based moisturisers and lack of exercise all inhibit the proper functioning of your skin. A simple and highly effective way to reactivate your skin and experience the health benefits of sweating is with regular sauna use.
ANCIENT ROOTS The sauna is an ancient form of heat
therapy found in many cultures around the world. It’s known as hamman in Turkey, mushi-buro in Japan, temescalli by the Aztecs, thermae in ancient Rome, bania in Russia, American Indians referred to it as a sweat lodge and, of course, the Scandinavians use sauna. The sauna or equivalent was not only used as a therapeutic activity to clean the body and heal it from illness, it was also regarded as an important community gathering place for social interaction and a place to conduct religious ceremonies and aid in spiritual development. The sauna is such an important part of the Finnish lifestyle that they have conducted a range of studies to ensure that regular sauna use does not affect the metabolism of commonly prescribed medications, so that the sauna is safe to use by all in the community. Finnish settlers in America would often build their saunas first; it would serve as a temporary
A simple and highly eﬀective way to reactivate your skin and experience the health beneﬁts of sweating is with regular sauna use.
place to live while they built their house. Saunas were used by the Finns not only for weekly family baths, but also as a place to cure meats and fish, do laundry, malt barley, nurse the sick and as a birthing chamber. The Finns are also firm believers that sauna bathing purifies the mind and cleanses the body. Emerging from the sauna is seen by some as akin to rebirth, emerging relaxed and peaceful from the warm womb of the sauna. Children are taught sauna etiquette from an early age. Similar to behaviour in a church, loud talking, sexuality and indecent behaviour are forbidden. Nakedness is considered the norm for sauna use and while families may share a sauna together, public saunas have separate sections for men and women. There is often confusion around saunas and steam rooms. A sauna uses dry heat, whereas a steam room has very high humidity, often around 100 per cent. In a sauna, a heater or wood-burning stove heats the room to 75–90°C, in some, small amounts of cold water are sprinkled on the heater or rocks on top of the sauna stove to create a brief burst of humidity, which makes the sauna feel temporarily hotter. The temperature of a steam room is much lower than that of a sauna and is usually around 45°C. Both are effective at inducing sweating; however, some people find the dry heat of a sauna irritating to their sinuses and respiratory tract and prefer the humidity of a steam room. The higher temperature of the sauna is believed by many to have a more beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system.
There are two basic types of sweat glands in your skin. Apocrine sweat glands are located in your armpits and pubic area and are activated by emotional stimuli. Eccrine sweat glands are the most abundant and they are located over all body surfaces including your hands and feet. Their chief function is to cool the body by the evaporation of sweat from the skin. In a typical day, the average sedentary person loses about 0.5–1.5L of sweat. Spend 15 minutes in a sauna and you’ll expel roughly 1L of sweat, the equivalent to 24 hours of
34 | WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017
Photography: Getty Images
SWEAT’S HEALTH BENEFITS
sauna therapy | ARTICLE
Sweat is as essential to good health as eating and breathing.
WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017 |
Emerging from the sauna is seen by some as akin to a rebirth, emerging relaxed and peaceful from the warm womb of the sauna.
detoxification by your kidneys. Ninety nine per cent of sweat is simply water, the other one per cent consists of a variety of watersoluble waste products including salt, lactic acid, urea and heavy metals including copper, lead and mercury. A special type of sweat, known as insensible perspiration, works its way up to the surface of your skin, judiciously collecting toxins as it passes through all of your body’s tissues. It evaporates from your skin before you even realise that your skin is damp. Sweat glands also produce and excrete a potent antibacterial compound called dermcidin, which is effective against E. coli, Staph aureus and Candida albicans. If you’re prone to skin infections, including athlete’s foot, regular saunas to stimulate your sweat glands may help your skin resist further infection. Many people with chronic skin conditions, including dry, flaky skin, note an improvement in their skin’s health and appearance with regular sauna use.
EFFECTS ON CIRCULATION As the temperature of your skin rises, blood vessels dilate and the circulation to your skin increases dramatically in an attempt to keep your core body
Ten to 15 minutes is believed to be the most eﬀective period of time to spend in the sauna to achieve maximum health beneﬁts. temperature stable. The increased flow of blood to your skin causes your blood pressure to drop as the resistance to blood flow in your veins and capillaries decreases. Your heart is then forced to beat faster and harder in order to keep your blood pressure normal. While you relax in the sauna, your organs, heart and circulation are as active as if you were taking a jog around the block.
SAUNA THERAPY Below are just some of the benefits of a relaxing sauna.
Enhanced endurance Clinical trials have shown that as little as three weeks of post-exercise sauna use produced a significant improvement in endurance running performance due to an increased blood volume. (Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport)
Cardiovascular health A widely held belief is that anyone with high
36 | WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017
blood pressure or heart disease should avoid using saunas. Clinical trials have in fact shown the opposite to be true — saunas have a positive effect on cardiovascular health and appear to be particularly beneficial for chronic heart failure and high blood pressure. Regular and repeated sauna use has been shown to improve ventricular arrhythmias in patients with chronic heart failure and has a positive effect on the health and function of arteries. (See “Effects of Repeated Sauna Treatment on Ventricular Arrhythmias in Patients with Chronic Heart Failure”, Circ J. 2004;68(12):1146–51. “Repeated Sauna Therapy Reduces Urinary 8-epi-prostaglandin F”, Jpn Heart J. 2004;45(2):297–303. “Repeated Sauna Treatment Improves Vascular Endothelial And Cardiac Function in Patients with Chronic Heart Failure”, J Am Coll Cardiol. 2002;39(5):754–9.) Saunas have also been shown to have positive effects on blood pressure and circulation in patients suffering from high blood pressure. If you suffer from
sauna therapy | ARTICLE
cardiovascular problems including high blood pressure, it’s always best to check with your physician before using a sauna. If given the go ahead, it’s important to ensure that the temperature is kept to below 90°C and avoid exposure to sudden cold such as diving into a swimming pool after using a sauna.
Immune function Regular sauna use has been shown to reduce the incidence of the common cold. Your immune system will also benefit from the enhanced detoxification prompted by sauna use.
Weight loss Just like a jog around the block, spending time in a sauna results in extra calories being burnt for energy as your body and heart are forced to adjust to the heat. Regular sauna use may assist in weight loss and maintenance. The key here is to make it regular, just like exercise. A single sauna session will not result in any kilos being shed, only short-term fluid loss.
Spend 15 minutes in a sauna and you’ll expel roughly 1L of sweat, the equivalent to 24 hours of detoxiﬁcation by your kidneys. to the sauna. You can repeat this cycle of heating and cooling as many times as you feel comfortable. Very sick or very frail people should limit themselves to a single session of 10 to 15 minutes and gradually increase the time spent in the sauna over a period of weeks to months. If you have a chronic health condition, avoid shocking your body with extreme cold after spending time in a sauna. Wait until your body has returned to its normal temperature before showering or dressing otherwise you’ll continue to perspire in your clothing. Remember to drink plenty of pure, filtered water after your sauna in order to rehydrate. Saunas are not recommended if you’re already running a temperature, have consumed alcohol or other drugs that may impair your ability to regulate body temperature.
FAR-INFRARED SAUNAS Detoxification By helping to remove toxins from your body via your skin and sweat glands, you’re doing your body a huge favour. Detoxification through your skin means that toxins do not have to re-enter your blood stream with the potential to cause further damage before being excreted via your kidneys. We live in an increasingly toxic world and you are exposed to toxins every day through air, food, water and even substances applied to your skin. Toxicity is associated with a range of health issues including fatigue, skin problems, hormonal imbalances, immune disorders and even cancer.
A relatively new type of sauna is the infrared or far-infrared sauna. Far-infrared, part of the sun’s invisible spectrum, has the ability to easily penetrate human skin and tissue to depths of up to 5–7cm. Unlike ultraviolet radiation, far-infrared heat is very safe; you can be exposed to it for several hours without any risk of burning. In fact, infrared heat is used in hospitals to warm newborn babies. The human body also produces and emits far-infrared waves. These saunas are often built to mimic more traditional saunas to provide the same sense of ambience and allow multiple users. For maximum health benefits, the ideal infrared wavelength frequency is the
far-infrared waves of between 7 and 14 microns. This is the frequency at which water vibrates or resonates. When you consider that your body is around 70 per cent water, the health benefits of farinfrared waves make complete sense. Far-infrared waves are believed to provide many of the benefits of sunlight exposure without the risk of unwanted and damaging UV radiation.
SIMPLY SAUNA Many of the nastier toxins, including heavy metals, pesticides and dioxins, are kept hidden away in your fat cells to prevent them from damaging vital organs. If your toxic burden is high, you may find it difficult to lose weight as your body will fight hard to prevent a sudden rush of toxins entering the blood stream as body fat is broken down. Releasing toxins through your skin is a much safer way to detoxify than having them released into your blood stream. By reducing the levels of toxins stored in your body, together with an increase in metabolism, regular sauna use may assist with weight loss. Whether you choose to use a sauna, steam room or far-infrared sauna, the key to lasting health benefits is to make it regular. Shorter, regular sessions are far more effective than a single marathonlength session in a sauna. Sarah Luck is a naturopath, herbalist and nutritionist with a passion for using food as medicine. You can read her blog, Good Health Naturally, at sarahluck.wordpress.com.
Aches and pains The warm, dry heat of the sauna is relaxing to both your muscles and nervous system. By easing muscular tension and improving circulation to muscles and joints, saunas are often very effective in reducing a range of aches and pains.
Pregnancy According to the Finnish Sauna Society, sauna use is safe for pregnant women provided the temperature is kept to below 70°C.
Regular sauna use may assist in weight loss and maintenance. The key here is to make it regular, just like exercise.
TIMING Ten to 15 minutes is believed to be the most effective period of time to spend in the sauna to achieve maximum health benefits. After you exit the sauna, allow your body to cool down by taking a cool shower, a swim or simply spending some time in the cooler environment outside the sauna before returning for another 10 to 15 minutes. The Finns are famous for plunging into icy water or rolling in the snow to cool themselves before returning WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017 |
HAND THERAPY When we look for healing, we often overlook our hands but your humble hands can thrive from modern spa treatments. Words / Judy Chapman
HAND TREATMENTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD On a spa pilgrimage through the Czech Republic, I experienced my first ever paraffin hand treatment, which is a classical beauty
tradition in Europe. Here, amid clinical surrounds, I dipped my hands into sizzling hot wax that almost burned me alive. It was left on for around 20 minutes until the wax had cooled and hardened and, once peeled, my hands felt and looked silky smooth. Over in the East, there’s a reason why reflexology spas are open until midnight across Asia. From Shanghai and Hong Kong to Bangkok via Singapore and Malaysia, there are countless centres offering treatments to not only remedy the feet but also the hands. Indeed, acupressure massage on your hands not only promotes healthy skin but creates a deep sense of
38 | WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017
relaxation and is as good a stress reliever as the much-loved foot massage.
HAND HEALING Author of The Indian Spa, Kim Inglis explains that certain points on the hand are associated with various organs and systems within the body. “For instance, pressing gently into the centre of the palm stimulates the kidney area, while a massage between the thumb and index finger can help with digestion. “Hands are a vulnerable part of the body and are subject to premature ageing, so need daily attention,” he says. “A hand massage is an excellent way to stimulate the marma points and energy meridians, thus releasing toxins and invigorating ojas.” According to Ayurvedic texts, when ojas, also known as the sap or life force, is flowing freely, we look dynamic, vigorous and attractive. Inglis reports that Ayurvedic doctors often suggest regular nail inspection and daily or weekly hand and nail care. Physicians and experts from other disciplines including traditional Chinese medicine also study the hands as part of their diagnostic procedures. At a spa in the Maldives, a local elderly healer pressed my fingertips to see the colour and thickness of my skin before prescribing me a series of therapies. He said he could gauge the temperature of my body through this method, which informed him if I needed to take warming or cooling treatments, food and exercises. Indeed, many modalities seem to
Photography: Getty Images
hen it comes to external beauty, it’s not only your face and body that needs attention but also the extremities where the sun hits first, such as your beloved hands. Some of the hand treatments you can indulge in at spas around the globe include hand baths, scrubs and massages. Yes, hands benefit from spas, too!
hand healing | ARTICLE 2 tbsp rosewater 3 tbsp oatmeal 2 tsp almond oil Mix all ingredients together and heat in a double saucepan until warm. Apply the warmed mask to hands (not the palms), wrap in cling wrap or warm towels and leave for 10 minutes. Rinse. Follow with moisturiser or oil. GREEN TEA & AVOCADO HAND MASK This is a very good once-a-week ritual to revive dry, wrinkled and rough hands. It’s also excellent for use on elbows and knees. Results include softer, nourished and hydrated skin. 2 tbsp fine oatmeal 1 tbsp avocado oil or 2 tbsp mashed fresh avocado 1 tsp vegetable glycerin or honey 2 tsp steeped green or white tea (use 1 tsp green or white tea with 200mL hot water & steep for five minutes, take out 2 tsp & drink the rest) 6–8 drops lemon or lime essential oil or 1 tsp fresh lemon juice Mix all ingredients into a bowl. Find a comfortable spot and gently massage this mixture into your hands (and feet). Leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse in cool water. SANDALWOOD & ROSE OIL HAND LOTION While sandalwood and rose are wonderfully earthy and nourishing, you can select your own essential oils for this easy-to-make home spa recipe.
… the appearance of your hands not only reveals clues as to your nature but also the state of your health and wellbeing.
6½ tbsp natural lotion such as vitamin E cream 5 drops each rose & sandalwood essential oils Blend the essential oils into the lotion. Apply over your hands daily to keep them moisturised. SOFTENING HAND OIL 2 tbsp wheat germ oil 3 tsp rosehip seed oil 1 tsp fresh lime juice 5 drops each rosewood & palmarosa essential oils
believe that the appearance of your hands not only reveals clues as to your nature but also the state of your health and wellbeing.
COCONUT HAND SCRUB
NOURISHING YOUR HANDS
Combine ingredients. Rinse hands. Apply scrub to your hands using circular movements. Rinse well.
Some of the most popular nourishing ingredients that work well on hands include avocado, coconut, rosehip oil, jojoba oil and vitamin E oil and cream. Aloe vera is hydrating and great for sun damage and the allantoin from aloe can help heal and renew the skin’s texture. Here are a handful of recipes to help you retain well-cared-for hands at home.
2 tbsp freshly grated coconut 2 tbsp coconut cream or coconut powder
ROSEWATER HAND MASK Apply once a week for dehydrated skin. The oatmeal gently exfoliates while the almond oil nourishes, leaving your hands smooth and hydrated. Discard ingredients after use.
Blend all ingredients together. Rub into your hands and leave in. Judy Chapman is the former editor-in-chief of Spa Asia magazine and author of four bestselling books on spas. For the past 20 years, Judy has travelled the world consulting and creating award-winning spa concepts, beauty products and treatment experiences. She is the founder of The Chapman Guides (thechapmanguides.com), a curation of the best in retreats and wellness travel destinations.
WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017 |
WEEKEND SPA DETOX Keep that refreshed feeling alive with tips to relive your spa experience at home. Words / Judy Chapman
lavender work to restore and relax. On Sunday morning, take a long languid walk through some gardens or by the beach. Walking is one of the most spiritlifting exercises and works on the whole body to energise and inspire. If you have the time and money, book in for a reflexology foot massage at a Thai or Chinese massage house. Reflexology encompasses the gentle yet firm pressing and massage of acupressure points, which, in turn, help detoxify corresponding organs in the body. This ancient healing modality works to improve circulation and energy flow throughout the body. Alternatively, fill up a bowl of warm water and place pebbles in the bottom and create your own little reflex session. What else? Surround yourself with pure thoughts and experiences over the weekend. Buy, borrow or steal some meaningful books that will enlighten and expand the brain. Watch quality movies to expand your happiness or practise creative visualisation techniques, gratitude and put together an action-plan list. Spend time massaging your partner’s feet and making them feel good — after all, giving is a way to send good vibes throughout your home. Create some soothing at-home spa recipes to indulge your sense. Here are some you can try. DETOX SHOWER SCRUB Awaken the body with this body scrub, which is an ideal morning blend. 3–4 tbsp fine sea salt 2 tbsp macadamia or sweet almond oil 4 drops each grapefruit, orange & juniper essential oils Blend all ingredients into a paste. Stand in the shower and apply to the body in circular movements. Rinse in cool water to further boost circulation. Depart invigorated. EPSOM DETOX SCRUB Epsom salts, or magnesium sulphate, are considered one of the best and most affordable purifying ingredients for a home
40 | WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017
Photography: Getty Images
eeling a little impatient and sluggish lately? Find yourself swinging from low energy to resentment or even a slight dose of depression? Maybe it’s time to rid your body of accumulated toxins and return it to its natural state of wellbeing. A range of life-shaping detox experiences are on the menu at reputable spas and resorts. Forget sterile, white clinics. From five-star luxury hotels to ecochic and ashram-style destinations, detox experiences are increasingly luxurious — after all, pleasure is integral to the cure. You will feel so good after your time at a spa that you will want to maintain that feeling. To build on the detox you experience at a spa, why not transform your home into a detox health spa for a weekend? Begin your detox on a Friday evening. Instead of going out with friends after work, book a massage and go to bed early. Massage releases stress hormones from the body and increases endorphin “happiness” hormones. You’ll wake up on Saturday morning feeling sensational. Start the day with a liver-cleansing drink made from freshly squeezed lemon, warm water and a dash of extra-virgin olive oil. After this, a dry loofah brush massage will stimulate the lymphatic system to expel toxins through the skin. Blood circulation is increased to the internal organs, which, in turn, promotes oxygenation and healing. A body salt scrub made from sea salt, oil and purifying essential oils such as juniper, fennel and lemon will further exfoliate and leave your skin feeling silky smooth. Check in for a gentle yoga class. Twisting your body helps squeeze toxins from various parts of the body while deep, long, full breaths oxygenate the brain. Together, blood circulation is improved and rejuvenation kicks in. Come Saturday night and it’s time for an aromatherapy bath. Put on some soulful music, light a candle or aromatherapy burner and get into the groove. A soak in a tub filled with cleansing essential oils such as grapefruit and juniper will enliven while ylang-ylang and
spa detox | ARTICLE
spa. They contain numerous minerals that work to draw toxins from the body and relax the muscles.
pour mixture into the bath. Soak for around 15–20 minutes. CLAY BATH WRAP
Handful Epsom salts 1 tbsp olive or base oil
¼ cup sea salt 1 cup bentonite or green clay 2 tbsp olive oil 2 cups water
Combine ingredients into a paste. Massage into damp skin in circular motions and leave on for 2 minutes to absorb. Rinse body in cool water. EVENING DETOX BATH 2 tbsp base oil blended 3 drops grapefruit, rosemary &/or juniper essential oils Mix ingredients together. Make yourself a bath and pour mixture in. Relax in peace. PURIFYING BATH
… detox experiences are increasingly luxurious — after all, pleasure is integral to the cure.
1 cup Espom salts Handful sea salt 2 tbsp almond, olive or sesame oil Combine ingredients. Make yourself a bath and as it is filling up with warm water,
Boil water and add sea salt until dissolved. Blend in remaining ingredients and stir to form a moist paste. Smooth over the entire body and then wrap yourself in a sarong, cotton sheets or fine towels and relax in a warm bath for 15–20 minutes. The heat will aid the cleansing process as nutrients are more easily absorbed into the skin. Rinse in cool shower. Relax afterwards. Judy Chapman is the former editor-in-chief of Spa Asia magazine and author of four bestselling books on spas. For the past 20 years, Judy has travelled the world consulting and creating award-winning spa concepts, beauty products and treatment experiences. She is the founder of The Chapman Guides (thechapmanguides.com), a curation of the best in retreats and wellness travel destinations.
WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017 |
Photography: Getty Images
Bathing has always been an important part of human life. The ancient Egyptians believed that being cleaner and better oiled got them closer to the Gods. For the ancient Romans, bathing served a vital social function. Even in medieval times, although the church disapproved, bathhouses still existed and could be the scene for dinner parties. Today, we know that bathing, particularly in mineral-rich thermal spring waters, has many healing powers.
42 | WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017
WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017 |
HOME-MADE MUSCLE SOOTHERS Following your luxurious spa treatment, your muscles are soothed and relaxed. To help you maintain those happy muscles, we’ve put together a list of ingredients and recipes you can whip up at home. Words / Anne-Marie Cook
here could be many things that led you to take your aching muscles to seek out a healing spa experience. Maybe it was shopper’s shoulder, data entry arm or even treadmill glutes. It could even just have been all your stress and tension being held in those poor muscles. So you’ve been for your spa treatment and now your muscles are feeling wonderful but unless you take steps to keep them happy, it will be all too easy for those muscle problems to return. So here are some DIY home remedies for sore muscles from cultures around the globe. Mix them up, sit back and breathe a long sigh of relief; you can maintain those spa benefits using these reliable ingredients.
and helps to heal sprains and injuries by increasing blood flow to the muscle tissue.
TRY IT Add 20 drops of eucalyptus oil to hot bath water, massage directly into the skin or make an ointment with the following recipe.
INGREDIENTS 2 tbsp jojoba oil 4 tsp shea butter 1 tsp beeswax pellets 25ml eucalyptus oil
Melt jojoba oil, shea butter and beeswax on the stovetop in a small saucepan. When it becomes liquid, mix in eucalyptus oil. Take off heat and pour into a small container with a lid. Allow to set. Rub the ointment into sore muscles or after exercise as a preventive measure.
Traditionally, Indigenous Australians used eucalyptus branches in spiritual ceremonies where they were often burned to purify the air and spirit. They referred to the eucalypt as the “fever tree”, as the oil from the leaves was used to treat a range of illnesses as well as to heal wounds and injuries.
Take advantage of eucalyptus’s antiseptic and immune-boosting power by using it throughout the winter in an air diffuser.
3L water 2 large ginger roots 1m cheesecloth or other natural fibre Natural fibre string
HOW IT WORKS The leaves of the eucalyptus tree contain a pungent oil that has a powerful, relaxing aromatherapeutic quality. When absorbed into the skin, eucalyptus oil acts as an analgesic, diminishing the sensation of pain,
HISTORY For centuries, farmers in Thailand have applied ginger and rice topically to relieve muscle soreness and tension as well as using it to flavour their iconic cuisine.
HOW IT WORKS Research has found that ginger’s active compounds work as a potent antiinflammatory, similar to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that are readily purchased at the chemist. The juice of freshly grated ginger massaged into joints and muscles will generate heat due to its vasodilatory effects, increasing circulation, which has been proven to promote tissue and muscle repair.
Boil 3L water in a large pot. Drape the cloth over a bowl and finely grate the unpeeled ginger into the cloth until you have approximately half a cup. Bring the four corners of the cloth together to enclose the grated ginger, twirl it to make a neck and tie the neck with string to hold it together. Once the water has boiled, take off the heat and let the water settle. Place the ginger compress in the pot and pour in any excess ginger juice as well. Cover your bed, floor or couch with an old blanket or sheet and place the pot nearby. Pull the compress out of the pot with tongs and let it cool enough so that you can wring out the water, then press onto the area of soreness. When it cools, put back in the pot to warm up again and repeat. (You can make two compresses to keep the heat continuous.)
BONUS EFFECT TRY IT Apply ginger as a hot compress in the Thai tradition.
44 | WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017
Add plenty of fresh ginger to stir-fries or tea to enhance circulation throughout the body and increase heart health.
Photography: Getty Images
sore muscles | ARTICLE
Infusions made from the leaves and ﬂowers of the puriri tree, a native New Zealand evergreen, were used for bathing sore muscles, backache and sprains.
Turmeric is used throughout India to flavour and add yellow colouring to many dishes. For muscle soreness, practitioners of Ayurveda (the 5000-year-old Indian science of life) prescribe massage with Mahanarayan oil, which contains a combination of nearly 30 muscle-soothing ingredients, including turmeric.
HISTORY Rongoa Mãori — traditional Mãori medicine — utilised a holistic approach that included mauri (spark or life force), wairua (spirit) and tapu (natural law). Infusions made from the leaves and flowers of the puriri tree, a native New Zealand evergreen, were used for bathing sore muscles, backache and sprains.
HOW IT WORKS Puriri is said to act as a relaxant, though few formal scientific studies have been performed.
The scent is also said to balance hormones so if you’re feeling a little pre-menstrual, a puriri flower in your hair may be a sweet uplifter.
INGREDIENTS Handful fresh or dry puriri leaves 1m natural cloth
The active ingredient of turmeric, curcumin, has been widely studied as a natural anti-inflammatory when taken internally as well as applied to the skin — reducing inflammation in muscles and joints will ease pain.
Turmeric can be purchased in capsule form or applied externally as a paste but for a tasty approach, build turmeric into your diet by cooking curries, soups and rice with the spice, or try this delicious turmeric chai latte.
DIRECTIONS Wrap the leaves in the cloth and tie at the top. Fill a bath a quarter of the way with very hot water (use water from a kettle if your tap water is only warm). Steep the puriri bag in the water for 15 minutes. Fill the rest of the bath with water as warm as you can bear, leaving the bag in the water. Lie back in the puriri-infused water for half an hour, placing the bag on any sore spots if you wish.
Bring water to the boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat, add spices and simmer for 5 minutes. Add milk and heat just to boiling point. Strain tea into a cup or teapot and sweeten with honey if desired.
HOW IT WORKS
TRY IT Make a puriri bath teabag.
INGREDIENTS ½ cup spring or distilled water ¼ tsp turmeric powder 3 cardamom pods 3 cloves ½ cinnamon stick (or ¼ tsp cinnamon powder) Grind of black pepper ½ cup milk Honey to taste
The second-longest-living population in the world, the Japanese from the island of Okinawa, drink turmeric tea daily, so regularly including it in your diet may boost your longevity.
TRADITION American Indian, European, Russian
HISTORY Arnica grows copiously across both North America and northern Europe and is used to heal wounds and bruising in traditional medicine on both continents. It was traditionally made into liniments and ointments for external use as it is toxic if ingested.
HOW IT WORKS Recent studies have detected that arnica can be absorbed into the skin, where it protects damaged blood vessels, reducing and preventing bruising. Arnica is also a popular ingredient in homeopathy (in which case it can be ingested due to the extreme levels of dilution).
… arnica can be absorbed into the skin, where it protects damaged blood vessels, reducing and preventing bruising.
WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017 |
Rub this arnica-infused oil into bruises or sore spots, but be sure to avoid any broken skin.
5 tbsp Vaseline 1 tbsp cayenne powder
Melt Vaseline on the stovetop or by leaving in warm sun. Thoroughly blend cayenne into the soft Vaseline. Seal in a container and store in a cool place until recongealed.
Mix mint and water in a small saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. With the lid on, bring to a boil then take off the heat. When completely cool, remove the lid, being sure to return any condensation collected on the lid back into the pot. Strain out the leaves through a fine sieve or clean natural cloth then pour liquid into the bottle.
Cayenne is a potent hypoglycaemic agent, which means type 2 diabetics or anyone with high blood sugar will benefit from adding a pinch of cayenne in cooking.
Double-blind tests have proved that rubbing peppermint oil on the temples is as effective at relieving headaches as aspirin.
DIRECTIONS INGREDIENTS 50g fresh or dried arnica flowers 25ml ethanol 350ml olive oil
DIRECTIONS Break up the flowers and place in a 500ml jar. Pour the alcohol over the flowers and allow the mixture to sit for one hour. Add oil and stir, then seal the jar and leave in sunshine or a warm place for 2 to 3 days. Strain the oil through a fine sieve or cloth; this should yield approximately 300ml oil. Store in an airtight glass container in a cool place out of sunlight.
German chamomile TRADITION
BONUS EFFECT Infusing arnica blossoms into water can make an effective mouthwash to treat swollen gums and mouth ulcers, but be sure not to swallow.
Dried mint leaves have been found in Egyptian tombs dating back to 1000 BC. The Egyptians are known to have used the herb to flavour food and wine as well as for multiple medicinal uses — a practice they passed on to the Greeks and Romans. In the Islamic world, it is still traditional to offer mint tea to visitors upon their arrival.
HOW IT WORKS
This incredibly spicy red fruit is often referred to as chilli, which is its Aztec name. The Aztecs and other Central American cultures revered it as a medicine and combined it with cacao as a ritual beverage. Christopher Columbus is said to have taken cayenne with him to Europe, where it gained popularity as a remedy for rheumatoid arthritis.
This cooling, relaxing herb contains a high percentage of menthol, a crystalline alcohol that has been proven to reduce inflammation and act as an anti-spasmodic (calming muscle spasms or cramps). The evaporative nature of menthol brings a cooling sensation to the skin as well a mild anaesthetic effect. When ingested, especially as a tea, the herb’s sedative effect can also relieve stress-induced muscle tension, and the scent has a similar aromatherapeutic effect.
HOW IT WORKS Capsaicin is the most active ingredient in cayenne. Studies have shown that topical application temporarily depletes substance P in the sensory nerve cells, inhibiting the body’s ability to relay pain signals to the brain. Cayenne is also a powerful circulatory stimulant, which aids healing.
TRY IT Make this super-easy cayenne ointment and rub it into sore muscles or arthritis-affected areas once or twice a day.
TRY IT Peppermint can be used in its raw leaf form as a topical poultice or as a refreshing addition to food or drinks. You can take advantage of its healing benefits all day by carrying a revitalising peppermint hydrosol and spraying it into the air or onto the skin.
INGREDIENTS 1 cup fresh mint leaves (or ¼ cup dried mint) 1 cup spring or distilled water Bottle with fine spray (mister) top
46 | WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017
The white and yellow daisy-like flowers of chamomile just scream “the hills are alive” and the German variety (as distinct from the Roman or English) is aptly prized as a spirit lifter. German chamomile has been taken for digestive problems and applied to injuries and burns since at least the first century.
HOW IT WORKS The German Commission E, regarded as an authority on herbal treatments, recommends chamomile to combat inflammation and stimulate the regeneration of cell tissue. Chamomile contains flavonoids (the anti-inflammatory effects of which are being studied), salicylates (also found in aspirin), spiroether (an antispasmodic that relaxes tense muscles) and the phytochemical apigenin (which has been found to mildly depress the central nervous system, aiding whole-body relaxation).
sore muscles | ARTICLE elemental ingredients — magnesium and sulphate — found fame under the name Epsom salts and soon became common ingredients in bath salts designed to alleviate muscle soreness and cure skin conditions.
HOW IT WORKS
The German Commission E … recommends chamomile to combat inﬂammation and stimulate the regeneration of cell tissue.
Studies have shown that magnesium sulphate is able to be absorbed through the skin. Magnesium performs multiple functions in the body and is a key electrolyte involved with muscle relaxation — calcium is required for muscles to tense. Magnesium deficiency is a common cause of cramps. Adequate intake of the element is also required for the body to convert food into energy. Sulphates are essential to the production of protein in joint tissues, potentially explaining why Epsom salts assist in relieving arthritis pain.
TRY IT It’s easy to get into chamomile as a tea, steeping fresh or dried whole flower heads or a tea bag for five to 10 minutes (German authorities recommend using a heaped tablespoon of the flowers for every 150ml of water) but for topical application along with aromatherapy benefits, try making your own herbal heat pad.
1m flannel or cotton 3 tbsp dried chamomile flower heads 10 drops chamomile essential oil 2 cups linseed (flax seed)
2 cups Epsom salts 20 drops essential oil 3 tbsp dried lavender, chamomile blossoms or rose petals
Cut the fabric into a square of about 40cm (or a U shape for your neck). Fold in half (inside out) and sew the long side and one short side closed with very tight stitches. Break up the flower heads, evenly distribute the essential oil onto them and then mix with the linseed. Turn the pillow right side out and fill about halfway with the linseed mixture. Sew the open end closed. Spray pad lightly with a water spritzer and then heat in the microwave for a couple of minutes before applying.
Pour Epsom salts into a large metal or glass bowl (plastic and wood are too porous). Evenly distribute the essential oil slowly over the salts, constantly stirring with a metal spoon. Continue mixing until the oil is evenly distributed. Add the dried flowers and mix through. Store mixture in an airtight glass or metal container or pour straight into a warm-to-hot bath and allow to dissolve.
BONUS EFFECT Lift blonde or light brown hair a shade by using a strong brew of chamomile tea as a final rinse after shampooing. Don’t wash the tea out, just towel dry and give it some sun exposure for a few minutes.
You can reap the benefits of deep relaxation along with a magnesium sulphate infusion by soaking in a bath of Epsom salts spiked with essential oils that are known for their calming aromatherapeutic properties — try lavender, chamomile, geranium, jasmine, rose, ylang ylang, sandalwood or marjoram.
Wintergreen TRADITION American Indian
HISTORY North American tribes, including the Sioux, Penobscot and Nez Perce nations, have long used wintergreen, making it into tea to treat colds, a poultice to treat arthritis and chewing the leaves to relieve toothache.
HOW IT WORKS In the 1800s pharmacologists discovered that the plant’s essential oil is composed of approximately 90 per cent methyl salicylate, a chemical closely related to aspirin, which acts as both an analgesic and anti-inflammatory.
TRY IT Wintergreen is commonly available in overthe-counter ointments for temporary pain relief, but in North America wintergreen is most often enjoyed in root beer (their version of ginger beer). This refreshing soft drink will hit the spot after summer exertion and help relieve pain without a drop of alcohol.
INGREDIENTS 5L water 1kg molasses 2 tbsp dry yeast 2 tbsp wintergreen leaves ½ cup sassafras root
BONUS EFFECT Magnesium may also help reduce insomnia and anxiety — studies show that women deficient in magnesium have more excitable nervous systems. If you ever needed an excuse for a relaxing bath, this has got to be it.
Combine water and molasses in a large pot and heat just to the boiling point. Remove from heat and allow to stand for two hours. Stir in yeast, wintergreen and sassafras root. Allow to sit at room temperature overnight. Strain and refrigerate. Enjoy as a refreshing brew at your leisure.
OTHER BENEFITS Some herbalists claim wintergreen oil to be a potent cellulite reducer, probably because it boosts blood circulation locally. Try combining 1 tablespoon wintergreen oil with 5 tablespoons sweet almond oil and massaging it into any affected spots. Anne-Marie Cook is a writer, runner and certified personal trainer. Follow her on Instagram at @runinspo.
Epsom salts TRADITION English
HISTORY In 1695, Nehemiah Grew published an article describing the medicinal properties of salt crystals derived from natural mineral water in Epsom, England. The WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017 |
ANCIENT SKIN SECRET Commonly used in many spa treatments, almond oil nourishes the skin and has a host of health beneﬁts. Words / Shannon Dunn
Used alone or as a carrier oil with essential oils such as sandalwood or castor, this nourishing oil has been known to promote hair growth … Greek mythology tells of a reverence for the humble almond and its mighty oil, which has been used in Greece and Italy for centuries, despite being native to the Middle East. Today, it is celebrated worldwide, with its benefits known across the globe. The United States, Spain and Syria lead the way in extracting the oil — predominately from the sweet almond over the bitter variety — to be used in beauty products, treatments and foods. Almond oil is particularly popular in massage therapies, soaps and as a base oil for cosmetics. Rich in vitamins D and E, it is deeply nourishing and a key ingredient for manicurists and pedicurists, pre- and post-treatment, thanks to its nailnourishing and cuticle-soothing effects. Almond oil is well-tolerated by the skin and easily absorbed. It has a high content of unsaturated fatty acids, protects the skin from drying by slowing transepidermal water loss and improves the skin’s natural barrier function. Almond oil
is also very stable and does not oxidise or deteriorate as easily as other oils primarily because of its high omega-9 content.
SWEET VS BITTER It’s the oil from the sweet almond, the amygdalus variety of the Prunus dulcis tree — a descendant of the rose — that is used in topical applications such as in carrier oils. Meanwhile, the broader and shorter bitter almond, from the amara variety, is traditionally known as a “fixed” oil, used widely only for its scent, making it an ideal essential oil. While topical use of the sweet almond oil isn’t known to have any contraindications and is safe to use on the face and body, it’s the bitter almond — which contains prussic acid — that has resulted in adverse reactions, similar to that of cyanide poisoning, when consumed. Therefore, it’s important to recognise the difference when opting to add almond oil to your treatments, or your lunchbox.
oils such as sandalwood or castor, this nourishing oil has been known to promote hair growth, likely due to its rich vitamin E content, as well as calcium and magnesium. Almond oil is also great for strengthening the hair and minimising hair loss.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR When choosing an almond oil to apply topically, or as a culinary addition, be sure to look for an oil that is cold pressed. This protects and maximises the healthgiving, skin-softening unsaturated fatty acids in the oil. It’s also critical to look for a pure oil, one that is grown organically, extracted without chemicals, prepared without being subjected to heat or added to any additional toxic ingredients that negate the oil’s beneficial properties. If the label doesn’t spell it out for you, it’s worth investing time to contact the cosmetic manufacturer to find out what standards it sets for its almond oil harvesting and production.
INTERNAL HEALTH, EXTERNAL GLOW
TOP TIPS FOR USING ALMOND OIL
If your gut is clean, your skin will glow. Adding almond oil to your salad can have beneficial effects, as it works to gently cleanse and nourish the digestive system, due to its vitamin, mineral and omega-9 content. However, be sure to keep the oil raw to reap most of its benefits. Eating the almond itself is also beneficial to the skin; however, it’s important to soak the nut first to remove the outer, hard-todigest, brown husk. This also activates the almond’s enzymes while neutralising the almond skin’s enzyme inhibitors.
ALMOND OIL FOR HEALTHY HAIR
Apply almond oil on damp skin, immediately after washing and lightly drying. Damp skin is able to absorb the oil more readily. Use as a hair mask. Apply oil from roots to tips and massage into the scalp. Cover with a shower cap and leave for 20–30 minutes. Rinse, wash and lightly condition. Rub two drops of oil onto acne and dry skin. The oleic acid (omega-9) cleans and moisturises. Use almond oil over soap when shaving. You’ll be guaranteed a smooth shave and soft skin. To relieve stress, add a drop of almond oil to your forehead, while lying down to rest.
While chemical conditioners and treatments only work to damage your hair in the long term, almond oil is a natural hair moisturiser that softens the hair shaft and creates shine. Used alone or as a carrier oil with essential
Shannon Dunn is a journalist specialising in women’s holistic health and natural beauty. Visit her website at mama-eco.com and follow her on Instagram at @mamaecowellness.
48 | WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017
Photography: Getty Images
lmond oil has been used for centuries as an all-over beauty treatment that fosters healthy skin, hair and nails. Now, this beauty therapist favourite is appearing in more retail products, as consumers learn the benefits of this humble yet powerful natural moisturiser. Of all the oils used in therapy treatments, almond oil is a favourite thanks to its rich skin- and hair-moisturising properties, low odour and clear appearance. Tried and tested since pre-biblical times, today’s almond oil is still widely used for the same purposes: to achieve supple skin and silky hair.
almond oil | ARTICLE
Rich in vitamins D and E, it is deeply nourishing and a key ingredient for manicurists and pedicurists, pre- and post-treatment, thanks to its nail-nourishing and cuticle-soothing eďŹ€ects.
â€Ś almond oil is a favourite thanks to its rich skin- and hair-moisturising properties, low odour and clear appearance.
WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017 |
Photography: Getty Images
50 | WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017
MASSAGE Massage dates back at least 5000 years and was practised in many ancient cultures from China and Egypt to Japan. The Greeks and Romans, of course, loved a massage. In Greece, a combination of exercise and massage was believed to treat and heal the entire human being.
WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017 |
52 | WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017
Photography: Getty Images
Actress Gwyneth Paltrow attributes her dewy glow, from top-to-toe, to regular application of coï¬€ee grounds, olive oil and honey, which she removes with a warm towel and follows up with aloe vera gel, straight from the plant, to hydrate.
coﬀee treatments | ARTICLE
BEAUTY AND THE BEAN One of the world’s favourite brews has many more beneﬁts than a mid-morning caﬀeine kick. Coﬀee is actually a potent, multipurpose ingredient that can add zing to your home spa routine by bringing lustre to your hair and smoothness to your skin. Words / Shannon Dunn
hile the health benefits, or lack thereof, of drinking coffee may always be a hot topic for debate, the topical uses of this caffeine-fuelled brew, and the aromatic beans from which it’s derived, offer benefits that can’t be denied. From giving gloss to over-stressed locks to minimising dark circles from lack of sleep, naturally grown, organic coffee offers antioxidant properties that have been loved and utilised by many cultures, from England to India, for centuries. While it’s not clear when the beauty benefits of the herb were discovered, the bean itself has been revered and consumed since the 13th century, originating in Ethiopia before being adopted in Egypt and Yemen. The rest of the world soon began its love affair with the popular drink that some researchers warn raises blood pressure and heart rate by 11 per cent, all the while making the drinker more alert and reducing the body’s ability to absorb iron. Today, commercial beauty companies are adding the ingredient to creams, scrubs and lotions, with the promise of better skin, less cellulite and shinier hair. However, it’s not necessary to spend hundreds of dollars to give your skin a coffee boost or make use of its powerful deodorising properties. Simply buying fairtrade, organic beans or grounds is all you need to begin experimenting with coffee face masks, body scrubs and toners. In fact, adding grounds to other accessible products such as olive oil and flax seed oil is not only better for your skin, but also your health, as many commercially made products contain harmful preservatives and additives that should be avoided. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow attributes her dewy glow, from top-to-toe, to regular
application of coffee grounds, olive oil and honey, which she removes with a warm towel and follows up with aloe vera gel, straight from the plant, to hydrate. Meanwhile, actress Jennifer Love Hewitt also sings the praises of a strongly brewed cuppa and says her shiny brunette mane is thanks to religiously applying a coffee rinse each time she washes her hair.
Simply buying fair-trade, organic beans or grounds is all you need to begin experimenting with coﬀee face masks, body scrubs and toners. While external use of coffee is gaining in popularity, the liquid has also become known for its use in enemas — a form of colonic irrigation that is said to help detoxify the body by stimulating the liver to increase bile production, enabling the organ to eliminate toxins more quickly. When the body’s organs, and in particular the liver and gut, are working efficiently, the skin benefits, creating even skin tone and a glow that can’t be bought in a jar, tube or bottle. However, it’s important to seek well-informed practitioner advice before performing the procedure at home. Taken internally, there are considerable contraindications to be aware of with coffee, from negative effects of mixing with overthe-counter prescription drugs to increased risk of hypertension; however, there is little research to determine possible risks by using coffee externally. As with all topical treatments, use sparingly in the first instance to determine if you have any aversion or allergy to the ingredient.
… naturally grown, organic coﬀee TREATMENTS oﬀers antioxidant properties that BODY DEODORANT Fill a muslin bag with a fistful of coffee have been loved and utilised by tying the end into a knot. Knead many cultures, from England to grounds, and rub over the body during a bath or India, for centuries. shower to deodorise naturally.
FACE TONIC For brighter skin, brew a strong pot of coffee, pour into ice trays and freeze. Wipe over forehead, cheeks and chin, being gentle around the eyes. TONER Use this to tone pores and wipe away make-up residue. After your cleansing routine, soak a cotton pad with freshly brewed fair-trade, organic coffee and wipe over the entire face as you would with a commercially bought toner. ANTI-AGEING FACE MASK This mask tightens pores and hydrates with omega-3 fatty acids. First, brew strong coffee and allow to cool. Add to one tablespoon of rye flour and one heaped tablespoon of ground flax seeds to make a thick paste. Apply evenly over the face and wash off after 15 minutes. CELLULITE-SOOTHING BODY WRAP Cellulite is a complex body condition and there is no simple “cure” for it. However, the caffeine from coffee can have some local effects to get the skin in an area affected by cellulite into good health. Caffeine has the dual effects of stimulating circulation and removing excess fluid. To make your coffee body wrap, start by heating coffee grounds until very warm. Mix with olive oil and spread over celluliteprone areas and make a body wrap by winding cling wrap around the treatment area. Relax for about 20 minutes and then wash off. Alternatively, use the mixture as an invigorating body scrub one to two times per week. HAIR HELPER Add glossy lustre to your dark locks by brewing strong coffee, allowing it to cool and then combing it through from roots to ends. Style as usual. Shannon Dunn is a journalist specialising in women’s holistic health and natural beauty. Visit her website at mama-eco.com and follow her on Instagram at @mamaecowellness.
WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017 |
NATURAL EXFOLIANTS Exfoliating treatments may be popular the world over, but how do they work and which ones are right for you? Words / Carla Oates
HOW DOES IT WORK? The skin, when the body is fit and healthy, is very good at looking after itself, including turning over cells. It happens like this: a cell is born at the basal or germinative cell layer of the epidermis (the outer layer of
The desquamation (or exfoliating) process usually takes about four weeks; however, it can take as long as 75 days depending on the age and condition of the skin. Blood vessels in the dermis, below the birthplace of the cells, supply nutrients to support this active growth of new cells, (making diet and lifestyle important for the quality of the cell produced). It is the perfect set-up when running to plan — as dead skin cells are whisked away, new cells are born.
AS WE AGE, WE ALL NEED A HELPING HAND As the cells move up and away from their blood supply, their cell content and shape change; they become older and more irregular in shape. The cells begin to die and accumulate a substance called keratin. The outer layer (horny layer of stratum corneum) is the layer we see from the outside. Cells here are flat and scale-like in shape and impart a tough and waterproof character to the skin’s surface. The longer it takes for the cells to reach the surface, the older and flatter they are when they get there. This is one reason that older skin loses its radiance. By stimulating the skin through exfoliation, you help emerging cells get to their destination faster, at the same time stimulating the production of new cells.
By stimulating the skin through exfoliation, you help emerging cells get to their destination faster, while at the same time stimulating the production of new cells. skin made up of many layers) and begins its journey upward to the outermost layer of the skin (the stratum corneum made up of an impressive 25–30 layers) until it is shed. It doesn’t travel alone, as it is adhered to other cells by intercellular glue-like cement. Their travel is hastened by impatient dividing cells pushing up beneath them. It is believed that cells are programmed when they are young — each cell has an internal clock that ensures the cell is linked for a certain period of time. Cell cohesion decreases allowing them to slough off — this weakening action is accelerated by enzymes.
As we age, the glue-like intercellular cement holding the cells together also becomes denser, causing a build-up in the layers of cells, and natural exfoliation becomes more difficult resulting in skin that appears dull, thicker and with less tone. (Wrinkles also look deeper when old skin cells accumulate either side of them.) This may be exacerbated by environmental factors (exposure to sunlight), hormonal influences and deficiencies in various vitamins (A and D). Toxins become trapped in skin with accumulated debris and it’s difficult
54 | WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017
for a moisturiser to penetrate. Gentle and regular exfoliation is very helpful, especially as we age. It can also be helpful for skin suffering pigmentation, scarring, uneven skin tone, oily, lined and wrinkled skin, and for the prevention and removal of blackheads as well as acne.
HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH The skin serves as the body’s protective barrier to the myriad of other regulatory functions it performs. It’s also the body’s interfacing to the world and organ of sense and sensuality. The brain invests a lot of energy into the skin with millions of sensors feeding information back to the brain. Therefore, it’s important we look after our skin, for both physical and emotional health. Excessive exfoliation can remove the skin’s protective substances, fats and oils, including skin lipid and melanin. Melanin is a pigment that is absorbed into the dividing skin cells to help protect them against damage from sunlight (ultraviolet light). Overdoing exfoliation can dry out the skin, remove these protective substances and render it more photosensitive and vulnerable to environmental assault. Mild inflammation can promote rejuvenation, but again in moderation. Regular and excessive exfoliation can cause a deeper inflammation and trigger free radical activity, causing damage. The general rule is that the more layers removed from the skin, the greater the risk of damage, especially with harsher methods such as dermabrasion and chemical peels. After exfoliating the skin, use a moisturiser preferably with antiinflammatory ingredients.
SLOW SKIN Unless you are under the treatment of a dermatologist for acne scarring, pigmentation or deep wrinkles, slow it down. Exfoliation is a great tool, especially as you age, but take it easy. The skin removes dead skin cells that would eventually separate of their own accord. Slowing down the cell’s lifespan buys time to repair damage. With more time to conduct natural repair processes, skin cells can perform at optimum levels. A good balanced diet with lots of organic fruits and vegetables,
Photography: Getty Images
ethods of exfoliation haven’t changed much since the Romans bathed in milk and wine. It is only been in the last 15 years that scientists have put a chemical name to these coveted acids that gave Cleopatra her fine complexion. Mechanical exfoliants have similarly been around for as long: the Egyptians employed pumice and alabaster to remove imperfections, while the Japanese have ritualistically ground up grains to beautify and rejuvenate the skin for thousands of years. Exfoliating is instantly satisfying — just a few scrubs to a smoother, more radiant complexion. Over the centuries, everything from minerals and clays to plants and acids have been used to help remove or dissolve dead skin in pursuit of a more youthful, glowing facade. Recently, more profound methods of exfoliation have become popular including both dermabrasion and chemical peels. But as more layers are peeled back, there is controversy over how much is too much? The jury is out: go gentle.
natural exfoliants | ARTICLE
Overdoing exfoliation can dry out the skin, remove these protective substances and render it more photosensitive and vulnerable to environmental assault.
lean protein such as fish, chicken, turkey, legumes, beans and nuts, alongside regular exercise will assist the skin renewal process, help normalise keratinisation and improve the skinâ€™s health and appearance.
METHODS OF EXFOLIATION Regenerative ingredients In nature, there is a plethora of plants that boast regenerative and wound-healing benefits. Essential oils from plants are made of tiny molecules easily absorbed in the deeper layers of the skin where they can provide profound rejuvenation by stimulating
cell turnover as well as help normalise the keratinisation process. These oils include rose absolute and otto, everlasting, carrot seed, lavender, frankincense, sandalwood, calendula, chamomile (both German and Roman) and rosewood. Rosehip oil contains trans-retinoic acid and, unlike retinoic acid that can irritate the skin, it gently refines, nourishes and rejuvenates the skin. Any ingredients that are moisturising such as aloe vera, seaweed, lipids and fats found in unrefined vegetable and nut oils assist the process of exfoliation as the skinâ€™s natural exfoliating enzymes wonâ€™t work unless the skin is properly moisturised.
Clays Australian or French clays make wonderful gentle cosmetics to heal, refine, draw toxins from the skin and smooth the complexion. Weekly masks make impressive rejuvenating treatments. Mix with water, milk, yoghurt or juice and add one drop of essential oil. Green clay is suited to oily and acne-prone skin, while pink clay suits sensitive and mature skin types.
Mechanical exfoliants Mechanical exfoliants help eliminate surface stratum corneum cells. Mechanical exfoliation uses a tool to physically exfoliate
WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017 |
The brain invests a lot of energy into the skin with millions of sensors feeding information back to the brain. Therefore, itâ€™s important we look after our skin, for both physical and emotional health. the skin. Shaving and waxing naturally exfoliate the skin. Using a flannel or cotton cloth to remove your cleanser daily is an effective and gentle form of exfoliation. Finely ground ingredients such as rice bran, fine oatmeal and micro jojoba beads help loosen the outer dead cells that make up the stratum disjunctum layer when friction and abrasion are applied. They also help unblock congested pores. The results will vary, depending on the ingredient used and the pressure applied. Avoid any sharp granules such as crushed shell, which can cause irritation, micro-wounds and infection. Mechanical exfoliation is not suited to skin that is highly sensitive, with broken capillaries, unless you are using an extremely gentle and soft method, such as fine-oatmeal-soaked milk.
Chemical exfoliants Chemical exfoliation utilises chemicals including alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) (including malic acid found in apples, tartaric acid in red wine and tomato, citric acid in citrus, lactic acid in milk and yoghurt), beta hydroxy acids (salicylic acid in willow bark), retinol (a derivative of vitamin A), enzymes and phytic acid (found in rice bran). Alpha hydroxy acids exfoliate the skin differently to mechanical exfoliants. Studies indicate that AHAs dissolve the intercellular glue holding the keratin cells together and that low pH levels associated with active AHA solutions cause a burst in skin exfoliation. AHAs help normalise cell turnover in the epidermis; this stimulates the formation of normal, healthy skin, which includes a sloughing of the stratum corneum, a decreased formation of dry scales on the skinâ€™s surface and stimulation of the cell cycle. Alpha hydroxy acids have the added bonus of improving moisture within the layers of the skin. Salicylic acid is particularly helpful to acne-prone skin types. However, moderate to high
concentrations of these acids in cosmetics (that have been extracted from foods or synthetically replicated) can remove layers from the skin and, although this can be very helpful for those suffering acne, scarring or pigmentation, they are best used as a short-term treatment. Using alpha hydroxy acids in fresh food masks are a great way to refine the skin and reap the benefits of the various nutrients found in the food. Fruits provide a superficial treatment and boast antiinflammatory agents that help balance the harshness of the acids. Nature provides the perfect balance to rejuvenate and protect. Lactic acid found in milk and yoghurt has the unique ability to help synthesis of collagen. Constant use of low to moderate levels of AHAs, particularly lactic acid, has shown to increase the thickness of the skin. Some dermatologists think this is beneficial, especially for ageing skin that is thinning. Enzymes from papaya (papain) and pineapple (bromelain) are also impressive exfoliants, while vitamin A (retinol) can be very helpful in accelerating cell turnover. More recent studies have demonstrated that enzymes from bacillus ferment (a bacteria-produced enzyme) act as proteolytic agents digesting keratin protein and assisting in the exfoliation process.
Professional chemical peels Chemical peels are an extreme and invasive method of resurfacing the skin by inducing a controlled wound to the skin. These peels remove the top layers of skin to help induce collagen remodelling and can improve sun damage, pigmentation, wrinkles, scarring and the overall appearance of the skin.
56 | WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017
These include AHA peels (at higher concentrations that you get in over-the-counter cosmetics), retinoic acid peels, Jessner peel (a combination of salicylic acid, resorcinol and lactic acid), trichloroacetic acid and phenol, among others. The different types of chemical peels are each suited to different skin problems and types. Chemical peels vary in strength and are classified as superficial, medium and deep according to the level of skin they reach. The deeper the peel, the higher the rate of complications and the longer the recovery. Complications can include scarring and for those with darker skin, a higher risk of pigmentation. It is important to remember that acid peels simulate first-degree skin burns. Their aim is to burn away the epidermis. If not administered precisely, the treatment can continue to burn through to the dermis, which can cause deep tissue scarring. Sun exposure post-treatment should be avoided as it can lead to pigmentation. Some people with keloid or immune disorders should avoid
natural exfoliants | ARTICLE
Exfoliation is a great tool, especially as you age; however, take it easy. usually fades within 12 weeks. It is used to treat acne scarring, superficial skin growths and for the removal of tattoos. It gives scarred skin a more uniform appearance. Again, like chemical peels, this is an invasive and extreme method. Risks include scarring, pigmentation, increased sensitivity to sunlight, tissue damage and redness.
NATURAL EXFOLIATING RECIPES BASIC SCRUB MIX All skin types (remove the rice flour if you have broken capillaries) INGREDIENTS ¼ cup rice flour ¼ cup very fine oatmeal 1 tbsp cosmetic clay DIRECTIONS Combine ingredients together and store in an airtight container in the fridge. To use, mix 2 tsp scrub with 1 tsp wet ingredients such as yoghurt, milk or apple juice. PAPAYA ENZYME FACIAL All skin types
Green peel these peels. It’s important to discuss all of these issues with a dermatologist.
Dermabrasion Dermabrasion is a technique that uses a wire brush or a diamond wheel with rough edges (called a burr or fraise) to remove the upper layers of the skin. The brush or burr rotates rapidly, taking off and levelling (abrading or planing) the top layers of the skin. Factors that affect the depth of the resurfacing include how coarse the burr or brush is, how quickly it rotates, how much pressure is applied and for how long, and the condition and features of your skin. This process injures or wounds the skin and causes it to bleed. As the wound heals, new skin grows to replace the damaged skin that was removed during dermabrasion. The procedure requires local or general anaesthetic. Again, the recovery time is long — skin regrowth begins between five to eight days after and the new pink skin
A green peel is a natural plant- and herbbased peel that increases blood flow to the skin and deeply exfoliates the skin. The peeling action is done by the micro particles in the herbs themselves. These particles gently polish the skin’s upper layer or epidermis, while other active ingredients penetrate the deeper layers. For 48 hours post-treatment, they release a variety of vitamins, enzymes and plant hormones that cleanse and revitalise the skin. The results are similar to that of a chemical peel, but apparently without the side effects. Green peels were developed in Germany in the early 1950s and have been used successfully since. They do not contain any chemicals or synthetic peeling agents and can be used to treat oily skin, skin with a rough appearance, skin impurities, fine lines and wrinkles, pigmentation and sun spots. They gently peel the outer layers of skin while providing the sensitive, newly growing skin with nutrient-rich protection. Green peels do not cause burning or tears if they come in contact with the eyes. The skin peels away after three to four days post-treatment.
INGREDIENTS Papaya DIRECTIONS Rub the inside of the papaya skin or mashed-up flesh over your face and leave for 20 minutes. Option: mix with live yoghurt. Yoghurt contains skin-refining acid and bacteria. AHA HYDRATING, SKIN-CLEARING MASK All skin types INGREDIENTS 2 tbsp apple juice 2 tbsp lemon juice 1 tbsp tomato juice 2 tsp citrus pectin DIRECTIONS Mix the juices together. Slowly whisk in the pectin until you reach a gel-like consistency. Apply to clean skin on face and décolletage. Carla Oates is a natural beauty expert and author of Feeding Your Skin.
WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017 |
ARTICLE | books
RETREAT READS Your retreat experience will include plenty of opportunities to indulge in some books that will nourish your mind and soul. Here are a few suggestions that you might like to toss into your bag as you head oﬀ for some R & R. Reviews / Kate Duncan & Danielle Kirk
BRENÉ BROWN, VERMILION Brené Brown is a researcher, mother, selftitled “story catcher” and listener. She asks deep questions, listens to people’s stories and makes sense of them by applying a rigorous methodology, known as grounded theory. For more than 13 years, Brown has been researching vulnerability, courage, worthiness and shame, and Rising Strong is the product of her learnings: a personal and practical guide to embracing fear and failure. In it, Brown reveals how you can challenge your stories, revise your “shitty first draft” and rewrite your future. Using light-hearted words and honest, personal accounts, she looks at the vicious cycle of fear, self-doubt and regret. She also discloses her 10 rules for rising strong and offers a roadmap to embracing vulnerability and living a more courageous life. KD
DESTINATION SIMPLE BROOKE MCALARY, BLACK INC We wear badges of stress and exhaustion like they’re status symbols these days. But, really, we’re overworked, overstressed and overconnected. Sound familiar? Maybe it’s time to simplify. Brooke McAlary’s new book is your travel companion for a slower, simpler life. In just 114 pages, you’ll learn the power of daily rituals and how slowing down can land you gently into a world where health, energy, clarity, calmness and passion become the norm. Separated into three sections — rituals, rhythms and checking in — and designed to fit
in your back pocket, it will help you minimise stress, sleep better, empty your mind, unplug from distractions and prioritise daily tasks. KD
THE HIDDEN LIFE OF TREES PETER WOHLLEBEN, BLACK INC Trees are essential for life. Among their many human-friendly qualities, these beautiful giants supply us with oxygen, collect the water we drink and filter pollutants from the air and soil. They also, as German forester and author Peter Wohlleben illuminates in his remarkable book, have a rich, social life of their own. Drawing on scientific discoveries and his own decades-long experience managing woodlands, Wohlleben describes how trees communicate via a “wood wide web”, live and thrive in families, support each other as they grow, share food with the sick and struggling, and even warn others of danger. The Hidden Life of Trees interlaces science and nature masterfully to explain why forests matter on a global scale. As the author writes, “Forests hold wonders that we are only just beginning to explore.” DK
YOU ARE ENOUGH CASSIE MENDOZA-JONES, HAY HOUSE “I used to find it so hard to accept myself and — those scary words — love myself. Even just the concept of self-acceptance seemed completely foreign to me.” Do those sentences by kinesiologist and naturopath Cassie Mendoza-Jones ring true? If not,
58 | WELLBEING SPA, TRAVEL & RETREAT PLANNER 2017
that’s wonderful. However, if you nodded in agreement like I did, You Are Enough could be helpful. In this purse-sized paperback, Mendoza-Jones shares her story of overcoming perfectionism and self-doubt as a young woman and offers beautiful self-care tools that you can use to cultivate self-love and abundance. While I find her writing a little light, there’s no denying that MendozaJones radiates enthusiasm, warmth and authenticity, leaving you feeling supported, uplifted and inspired. And that seems a good way to begin a self-love journey. DK
REST ALEX SOOJUNG-KIM PANG, PENGUIN LIFE It was on a research sabbatical that Silicon Valley futurist and business consultant Alex Soojung-Kim Pang started to think seriously about rest. About how much he enjoyed time out, about how little rest is valued in many modern societies and about how critical it is for both human wellbeing and good, productive, fulfilling work. It wasn’t late-night TV binges or Facebook sprees that Soojung-Kim Pang had in mind; rather, the deliberate rest valued by the Greeks and Romans and enjoyed by many of history’s great thinkers and doers: daily time spent sleeping, reading, playing sport or luxuriating in nature. Rest is the ultimate result of his musings, a discussion of how switching off shouldn’t be viewed as an addendum to an 80-hour work week but as integral to creative achievement. DK
Photography: Getty Images
Let WellBeing #169 be your nourishing, cosy companion this winter. Discover soul music, labyrinths, ethical fashion and ways to cultivate se...
Published on Nov 29, 2017
Let WellBeing #169 be your nourishing, cosy companion this winter. Discover soul music, labyrinths, ethical fashion and ways to cultivate se...