Hot 5 Stress Free Zones

Hot 5 Stress Free Zones

Welcome to the world’s most niche spa treatments.

The internet is full of people telling you to "treat yo' self". And we're not any different.

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Travelling can be hard work. From lugging 25kg suitcases up Italian villa staircases to catching colds on long-haul flights, going on holiday can wreak havoc on the body. To cure all that ails you, here's our top five weirdly therapeutic spa treatments from around the world. They're an adventure in their own right:

Hot Sand Onsen

Some people might find this particular practice comforting, others might find it claustrophobic. Either way, the Japanese swear by it. If you’d like to get buried up to your neck at the world’s only natural sand bath, get yourself to Ibusuki Onsen. Stat.

Now, this is not your standard sand—this is volcanic black sand. And this is not your standard beach—this beach has natural, geothermally-heated spring water flowing underneath it. Meaning the black sand is steamed at a warming 55 degrees celsius. Why go for the full burial? Apparently, it can improve blood circulation, help eliminate toxins and provide relief from ailments like rheumatism.

Click and BURY ME

Wilderness Sauna

It’s no secret that the Finns, much like the Swedes and the Norwegians, love a sauna. They also love an ice cold lake plunge (we’re not so sold on that one). But why the cultural obsession with the sauna, and why in particular do they like it smokey? It’s a traditional thing.

In Finland they like to sauna as their ancestors did—in a small hut with no chimney so that the smoke stays trapped inside. The smoke is released through the door immediately before sauna-goers enter, but the scent and heat remains. Sauna-ing in general is known to improve heart health, reduce inflammation, detoxify the body and boost your mood, while the added benefit of the smoke is to preserve and purify the sauna space. If you want to go full Viking, we recommend a trip to the Lapland wilderness where you can alternate between a hot sauna and a frozen lake (if you’re brave).

Click to LIGHT 'ER UP

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Knife Kneading

Welcome to the wild world of ‘daoliao’ or ‘knife massage’ as it’s known in Taiwan. This spa treatment is exactly what it sounds like—being repeatedly chopped on the back and neck by real (albeit dull) meat cleaver blades.

But this tradition looks more dangerous than it is. While it’s said to have first been practiced in China more than 2,000 years ago, the people of Taiwan are keeping daoliao well and truly alive in modern times. Probably because Daoliao is believed to have physical and emotional healing powers when done correctly.

Click to CARVE UP

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Serpent Massage

This has got to be one of the world’s most unorthodox ways to chill out. At this spa in Cairo you can be pampered, and slithered on, by a bunch of different non-venomous snakes. Like the small Abu Sweir, which makes light tracks across your back, and the big python whose heavy body squeezes and presses.

Snake massage isn’t just popular in Egypt though, you can find salons across Russia and Thailand, the Philippines and the USA offering some form of boa relaxation. Terrifying or relaxing? We’re unsure.

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Milky Way Lagoon Spa

A natural mud bath set amongst Palau’s 300 idyllic islands? Count us in. Jump on board a boat and cruise over to Milky Way Lagoon where the seafloor is caked with a very special type of white clay. Scoop it up, rub it all over your body, wait for it to dry and then rinse it off in the crystal clear waters.

Why bother? The locals reckon it will rejuvenate your skin and leave you looking younger. Even if it doesn’t, you’ve just spent a day exploring one of the world’s most pristine corners. It’s a win-win, really.


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Words Get Lost

Tags: egypt, finland, japan, Palau, sauna, spa, taiwan, treatment, unique

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