Archive for December, 2011

Full Circle: From Ancient Swedana to Modern Steam Showers

Friday, December 30th, 2011

Swedana steam therapy

Steam therapy dates back thousands of years to numerous ancient cultures all over the world, among the oldest being India. Though we’ve made technological strides in the “steam” field, all the way up to the most modern steam showers designed and manufactured by companies like ThermaSol, it’s always fascinating to look back.

Swedana is an ancient Ayurvedic healing technique that was first mentioned in holy Indian texts. Still practiced today in India and spas all over the world, the treatment involves sitting in an enclosed, herbal-infused steam box or tent for around 30 minutes. The custom herbal preparations, created by an Ayurvedic physician, stimulate oxygen flow through the body as the steam opens up the pores and triggers the body’s natural sweating process.; once the pores are open, deep seated toxins can be released. Other immediate benefits of swedana include: enhanced skin, increased circulation, ease of muscle pain, and a state of relaxation. In Ayurveda, the larger purpose of swedana is to relieve excess doshas from the body – one of three bodily humors that make up one’s constitution – establishing a state of balance that promotes general health.

Building upon the knowledge of ancient cultures that utilized steam therapy on a regular basis, today we have modern steam shower manufacturers who bring a high level of design and technology into peoples’ homes with their products. ThermaSol, the leader in the steam shower industry, offers customers the only 100% digital networked steam systems in the world – the safest and most reliable technology. They go the extra mile, offering customers a combination of quality and value, with standard features like: FastStart™ Technology, providing steam in seconds; whisper quiet functionality; constant steam at a constant rate, meaning no interruptions in steam; all metal controls with advanced PVD lifetime finishes; superior style, including matching controls, remotes and steamheads in traditional and contemporary styles; a lifetime warranty; and all the green benefits of steam.

Modern steam shower by ThermaSol

Modern steam shower by ThermaSol

Steam therapy, in combination with an overall healthy lifestyle, is a method of achieving and maintaining a state of well being that has been proven over the course of thousands of years. With modern steam shower technology, it’s also a method that is easy to bring into the home bath environment.

Spa Fit for a Sultaness: Ananda Spa

Friday, December 9th, 2011
Ananda Spa

Ananda Spa

In Talk Spas’ “Spa Fit for a Sultaness” series, we profile the most luxurious and lavish spas in the world.

The profound allure of India is well known to many Westerners; with its exotic culture, deep spirituality, it’s yogic and Ayurvedic traditions and of course, its dynamic cuisine, it’s no surprise that so many want to experience the country. India is also notable for its spa traditions, many of which utilize the aforementioned Ayurvedic tradition as the basis for their healing treatments. Perhaps no spa in India embodies the healing properties of Ayurveda more than Ananda Spa.

Situated in close proximity to the mythological cities of Haridwar and Rishikesh, overlooking the flowing Ganges and surrounded by the Sal Forest, there could be no more an ideal location for Ananda Spa. The road to perfect health begins within the enchanted walls of Ananda, where lifestyle is redefined through the wellness regimes of Ayurveda; this is the ultimate place to bring about the union of the mind, body and soul. When staying at Ananda Spa, guests have a variety of choices in regards to accommodation including Deluxe rooms and suites, the Ananda Suite, the Viceregal Suite, and the Villas. The Villas are named after the great mountain ranges Himalay and Shivalik, as well as the river Ganga, which sustains the people of the Valley; all rooms at Ananda Spa offer a color scheme that echoes nature and enhances serenity. Undoubtedly, the Villas satisfy the needs of even the most discerning guests. The two bedroom villas and the one 1-bedroom villa are each elegantly appointed with a living room, a pantry for the butler, a dressing room and a huge bathroom featuring a private sauna and views of the swimming pool. Of course, it’s the “spa” in Ananda Spa that is the main draw and with 24,000 square feet of space and a spa menu that boasts over 79 body and beauty treatments, guests never want for anything here. Integrating Ayurvedic healing with a more modern Western spa approach, Ananda Spa strives to help clients achieve harmony between their physical and mental realms. For those individuals who are seeking to reduce and eliminate stress, cleanse and detoxify, lose weight, reverse aging, or simply to experience a deep state of relaxation, they could not choose more wisely than Ananda. Onsite Ayurvedic physicians and nutritionists guide each client through a thorough evaluation and treatments based on their wants and needs. The ultimate goal is to bring each client’s Vata, Pitta, and Kapha doshas – the three vital energies in the body – into balance. How is this achieved? A typical stay for a guest might include and Ayurvedic and Wellness Consultation to help understand their unique energy and current imbalances. Based on the physician’s findings, he will create a diet, yoga and treatment program to bring the client more balance and energy. Treatments may include: Sirodhara, where luke warm herbal oil is poured in an even stream on to the forehead to pacify and revitalize the mind and the body; Abhyanga, a traditional synchronized full body massage given by two experienced Ayurvedic therapists using sesame oil; Pizhichil, an indulgent, rejuvenating experience, during which lukewarm herbal oils anoint the entire body; and/or Choornaswedan, where therapeutic sweating is induced by the application of warmed herbal poultices. Whatever the treatment may be, it is certain to be custom designed to maximize the client’s needs.

The ancient healing traditions of India offer an alternative to modern medicine; modern medicine can at times be hard on the body and administered in an impersonal way. Ananda Spa brings an unrivaled personal touch to their guests and anyone who pays a visit will undoubtedly leave with their body, mind and soul feeling refreshed and renewed.

Relaxation Quotations: Wise Words to Inspire Wellbeing & the Spa Lifestyle

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Spa Relaxation

There’s nothing like a good, solid quote to help inspire you to do good things; and if that quote happens to inspire you to rest, soak in a bath or relax at the spa, all the better.

American poet Sylvia Plath, known for works like Winter Trees and The Bell Jar, once said, “There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.” Undoubtedly, anyone who has spent a half hour soaking in a tub or relaxing in a steam shower knows the rejuvenating effects of a bath on the body and mind. In fact, Captain J. A. Hadfield, a writer who wrote The Psychology of Power, among other books, said, “This art of resting the mind and the power of dismissing from it all care and worry is probably one of the secrets of energy in our great men.” Now who of you out there couldn’t stand to engage in some restful activity, dismiss a little extra care and worry, and enhance your energy level? Especially those of you who feel extra work pressures? Dr. Joyce Brothers, a world-renowned psychologist and television personality, has said, “No matter how much pressure you feel at work, if you could find ways to relax for at least five minutes every hour, you’d be more productive.” That means stepping outside, breathing some fresh air, massaging yourself or exchanging massages with a coworker, or a plethora of other relaxing activities to divert your attention from the stresses of your job to the betterment of yourself. Natalie Goldberg, an author on Zen practice, said, “Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency. Nothing is that important.” Remember that the next time stress is telling you to work late rather than pay a relaxing visit to the spa.

Perhaps nobody extolled the virtues of relaxation better than physicist Fritjof Capra, who said, “During periods of relaxation after concentrated intellectual activity, the intuitive mind seems to take over and can produce the sudden clarifying insights which give so much joy and delight.” Could there be a better reason to draw a bath, turn on your steam shower, or make an appointment at your neighborhood spa today?

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