Who doesn't like to sit back, relax and leave ourselves in the hands of professionals to help us look and feel great?
That's exactly why spa and facial treatments will always be an indulgence we all splurge on every so often.
When it comes to treatments, I love me some relaxing Swedish massage strokes and facials that deep cleanse and replenish my skin – the classic stuff, nothing out of the ordinary. So when I got to try these two unusual treatments, I was out of my comfort zone, but pleasantly surprised. Read on for my experiences with floatation therapy and halotherapy.
What it is: It sounds unreal and the experience is exactly that. You lie in a futuristic-looking pod with water that's loaded with Epsom salt. And for an hour, you float in a silent meditative state that supposedly clears your mind.
The lowdown: You get your own private room with a float pod and shower. Start by rinsing down from head to toe, and if you have any nicks or cuts on your body, there's Vaseline for you to cover them so that the salt water doesn't sting any wounds. Wear a bathing suit or go in your birthday suit – your choice here.
Get yourself into the pod, close it from the inside and you're in total solitude. Lie on your back and spread out your limbs, the salt content ensures you are buoyant. There’s soft lighting inside the pod that changes colour, but you are encouraged to turn it off via a button inside the pod so you can float in total darkness which is ideal for the sensory deprivation experience. But it is up to you... I left my light on.
Soft instrumental music plays for the first 15 minutes then fades off to ease you into the session and I didn't really realise when it did.
After getting used to the unusual environment I was in, I found myself with nothing but my own thoughts, which were easier to put aside and just focus on the experience because there were absolutely no distractions. There's literally nothing you can do inside the pod but float. I moved my limbs about and really enjoyed the sensation of the water against my skin. It wasn't claustrophobic, to me at least, because I know I could open the pod whenever I wanted to. Zen, clarity, meditation – these words all came to mind as I was floating.
Ten minutes to the end of the session, the soft music is turned on, signaling for me to prepare to exit. Surprisingly I found myself wanting it to last longer as I was just getting used to the floating state and feeling comfortable, relaxed and away from it all. They say you either love it or you don't but either way I think floatation therapy is definitely one experience worth trying.
Where: Palm Avenue Float Club, visit palmavefloatclub.com.
Price: $90 for 60min and $110 for 90min
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What it is: The term “Halotherapy” comes from the Greek word for salt, “halo”. It refers to the use of salt vapor to ease respiratory ailments like asthma, skin irritations like eczema, and combat mental lethargy. Here you sit in a salt cave (or room that’s totally covered with salt) while a medical grade salt diffuser sprays air with fine salt particles into the room. This salty air settles onto your skin and you can also inhale it safely.
The lowdown: Before entering the salt room, I had to remove my shoes and put on disposable feet and hair covers. I could still wear my own clothes. The salt room looks really cool and is really covered in salt from the floor to the walls and the ceiling and the soft lighting that changes colour gives the place a very out-of-this-world vibe.
The salt slabs and coverings are all pink Himalayan salt and were all brought in from India. There are reclinable chairs and even a corner for children to play as Halotherapy is reportedly safe for everyone of all ages. People with very high blood pressure, kidney problems, cancer and tuberculosis should avoid this treatment.
I sat on a chair and reclined it into a comfortable position. I requested to bring my phone in so I was given a plastic bag to keep it in as I was told the fine salt could easily cause damage to my electronic device. The salt diffuser was turned on and as I was sitting right in front of the nozzle, I felt the cool air with its spray of salt being sprinkled all over me. I was told the salt was beneficial for my skin topically as it has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. And I could safely breathe it in too as it can help to clear the airways. I could taste the salt when i opened my mouth and when I licked my lips.
After a while, I moved away from the nozzle as I was feeling a bit cold and also drenched in salt. It left a fine layer of white on my skin. I used my mobile phone for a while but because of the silence and soft lighting, I was lulled into a short nap and before I knew it, my 60 minutes were up.
I was dusted off with a fluffy duster when I exited the room and left after putting on my shoes. I felt salty and powdery all over but apart from that, I did feel that my sinuses were a bit clearer and that I breathed better.
Where: Breathya, # 03-09 Parkway Centre, 63230408
Price: 1st Trial Session at $60; then $650 for one month unlimited sessions, and subsequently $30 per session.