Floating Saunas

July 16th, 2009
Kaluga Floating Sauna

Kaluga Floating Sauna

I don’t know where, how or why this new phenomenon began, but it seems like the Floating Sauna just might be the next big trend in spa culture ;-) . Here’s the research that supports my hypothesis:

1) The Kaluga Floating Sauna: This sauna was designed by Finnish architecture firm Rintala Eggertsson for the festival of landscape objects, held in Russia in July 2008. The theme behind the festival was houses built on water. Their floating sauna, they said, could provide shelter for up to six people for several days. The Kaluga did make it down the Ugra river in Russia and later made it into a permanent Museum exhibit, before it reached its final state as a guest house.

SS Silla

SS Silla

2) SS Silla: This impressive floating sauna scored the title of World’s Fastest Floating Sauna at 18 MPH at Match Cup Sweden.

Chunky Monkey

Chunky Monkey

3) Floating Sauna Company: A Canadian based family company that introduced the Chunky Monkey using two surplus fuel tanks from an F-18 fighter for flotation back in 1997. Although Company Owner Don Toporowski’s Floating Saunas have evolved, he still uses the Chunky Monkey. He says, “there is nothing better than taking a hot sauna session and then jumping off the rooftop diving platform into the cool lake water.”

Health Benefits of Aromatherapy

July 9th, 2009
Lavendar Field

Lavender Field

Aromatherapy is actually known as a type of herbal medicine because it uses herbs as the base, but unlike other herbal treatments, Aromatherapy only uses the “essential oil” contained in the plants. Many different essential oils are used as fragrances for perfumes, fragrance oils, soaps, lotions and other bath and body products.

Essential oils are used for a number of different medicinal purposes, from everything to the oils used in Vicks VapoRub, to essential oils that are digested or applied to the skin. We are more familiar with the more popular form of aromatherapy of combining the oils with the steam from a steam bath. This form of aromatherapy has shown promising results when used to:

  • Help ease the agitation that patients with dementia may feel (Lavender)
  • Reduced need for pain medications following gastric banding surgery (Lavender)
  • Help with the symptoms of insomnia (Lavender)
  • Aid in respiratory problems (Eucalyptus)
  • Used as a mild sedative (Lavender)
  • Colds, sinus infections, and acute bronchitis (Eucalyptus)

Many aromatherapy oils are also used as oral herbal medicine. Some common uses of essential oils as oral medicine are used to:

  • Help aid with a variety of stomach pains (Peppermint, Caraway Oil)
  • Combating gingivitis and plaque (Eucalyptus)
  • Helping with the symptoms of Irritable Bowl Syndrome (Peppermint)

Many people also use essential oils topically to help treat and aid with a variety of symptoms. Some of the ways these oils are used are:

  • Various forms of viral infections (Tea Tree Oil)
  • Fungal infections such as athlete’s foot and fibromyalgia (Tea Tree Oil, Bitter Orange)
  • Hair loss (Thyme, Rosemary, Lavender, and Cedarwood)
  • Repelling mosquito bites (Eucalyptus)
  • Sun block (Coriander oil)
Essential Oils

Essential Oils

Aromatherapy, when inhaled is thought to work in a number of ways to relieve stress, depression, anxiety and insomnia. It is thought that the chemical ingredients from the plants are inhaled, causing these herbal chemicals to be absorbed by the body. The other way it can work is through the olfactory centers of the brain (smell), where a nice  soothing, refreshing, calming, stimulating smell will bring about the desired effects.

Be careful when using essential oils for the first time because they can cause an allergic reaction. Also, never digest any essential oils without first consulting a doctor or herbal specialist, as many can produce unpleasant and even deadly effects when ingested. Pregnant or nursing women, young children, or people with severe liver or kidney you should avoid the use of these oils because the potential negative effects are not known.

Music for the Spa – The Best Songs To Listen To At The Spa

July 7th, 2009

Music is an excellent stress management tool for not only your senses, but also your health. It can bring on actual physical changes to your brain waves, breathing, heart rate and state of mind. Music can be a great way to release stress and tension, and one of the best ways to use music to its full benefit is to listen to it when you’re at the spa, or relaxing in your own home spa or bathtub.

Music Therapy is a great form of therapy, but what type of music is the best to listen to while you’re at the spa? Many experts agree that soft, soothing, New Age music gives the listener the most health benefits when they are listening to it at the spa. This type of music is very soothing, and in a sense puts you to sleep, which is perfect for your psyche. In this state of mind your heartbeat and breathing is at its most natural rhythm and you also feel secure, safe and comfortable. If you have been overworked and feel burnt out then we suggest some soothing New Age music such as David Arkenstone, Paul Lawler, Secret Garden, Rachel Kamps, Vangelis, LMT, or Robin Spielberg. Here is a list of some Grammy Awards winners for the Best New Age Album:

Enya New Age

Enya New Age

2001- Thinking of You, by Kitaro

2002- A Day Without Rain, by Enya

2003- Acoustic Garden, by Eric Tingstad

2004- One Quiet Night, by Pat Metheny

2005- Returning: Pieces for Guitar 1970-2004, by Will Ackerman

2006- Silver Solstice, by Paul Winter

2007- Amarantine, by Enya

2008- Crestone

Fun Music

Fun Music

If you are looking for something more upbeat or get you out of a sad, depressed funk, then you should consider listening to something that makes you tap your foot, sing in the shower or want to dance. Music that will help promote a positive mood could include tunes that take your mind off of what is stressing or depressing you. This type of music will even continue to help you from getting as stressed and depressed in the future. Some suggestions for music to fill this need in the spa include oldies, 80’s music, or even current music like high-energy hip-hop, or pop. Really any music that at makes you happy and picks you up when you’re feeling down.

When you have spent all of your brain power and just need to rejuvenate your mind it would be wise to subscribe to classical music while indulging in your spa treatment. It has been a well known myth called the “Mozart Effect” that listening to classical music will make you smarter. There is even an album titled “Bach for the Brain: Classical Music to Make You Smarter!
This myth originated from the psychologist Frances Rauscher, in 1993 who published a study titled “Music and Spatial Task Performance” where he noted that students who had listened to Mozart showed a significant IQ improvement. Regardless of what the findings tell us today, Classical music does have it’s proven benefits. It is very intricate and mathematical while at the same time soothing and relaxing. We suggest listing to the classics of Classical, including: Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Bach.

Healing Arts

Healing Arts

Although healing physical ailments and disease through the use of music and relaxation is not a proven method, many people do subscribe to this idea and there is a lot of spa music designed for healing purposes. Some of these albums include: Sound Healing- The Definitive ‘Best of Soundings’ collection,  Healing Waters by Dean Evenson, Tao of Healing by Li Xiang-Ting and Dean Evenson, and Music for the Healing Arts by Dean Evenson and Soundings Ensemble. These collections are similar to the New Age music, but these have been written and compiled with guidance from health practitioners for the specific goal of healing.

We’d love to hear about your favorite spa music, so please share with us by typing your message in the comment box below.

Weekly Spa Tweets On Talk Spas

July 3rd, 2009

Basics of Designing A Home Spa

July 2nd, 2009

Today’s bathrooms are becoming a place that homeowners are using as their own private retreat, where the only rules are the rules of relaxation. The days of the utilitarian bathroom are in the past, and now bathrooms are being transformed into a destination spot where one can go to treat themselves to the home spa.

Many of the features that are being included in the home spa have been inspired from day spas and spa resorts, as explained in the article: New Bathrooms take Cues From the Spa, but in this segment we will look more closely at some of the intricate details that go into designing a home spa.

Steam Shower

Steam Shower

One of the main things that home owners are using to create a home spa is of course the Steam Shower. The steam shower is such a beautiful luxury to have in the home. Homeowners are justifying this purchase by equating how much each steam bath would cost if they were to use one in a paid spa. By using your own steam shower just once a week, it would pay for itself in a matter of a few months if you are an avid spa enthusiast.

Another hot item that has really become popular in the past few years is the rain shower. This JACLO shower head produces both a rain shower and waterfall shower for double the pleasure. The sensation you get from a beautiful rain shower is unlike any other shower experience, and this is why it has become so popular as of late.

Read the rest of this entry »

Soaking Tub or Whirlpool?

June 30th, 2009
Whirlpool Soaking Tub

Whirlpool Soaking Tub

When it comes to the bathtub, people can pretty much get anything they want. From whirlpools offering various massage cycles to colorful chromatherapy, the bathtub has become automated and can even be operated via remote control. However, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal, homeowners may be trading their high-tech whirlpools for something a little more simple: the soaking tub.

“The trend began in the mid-1980s with the physical fitness and health craze, as well as the cocooning trend,” said a source from the Wall Street Journal. “In the ‘90s, we saw the trend surge and evolve into an interest in yoga and day spas. Now the trend is moving into the home.”

With wellness and alternative medicine becoming more popular, several studies reveal the many health benefits of soaking tubs. For instance, they are said to reduce stress, alleviate insomnia, and lower blood pressure. A recent study by the Mayo Clinic showed that soaking in hot water reaps the same benefits as exercise. And the National Sleep Foundation found that soaking in a bathtub filled with 104 degree Fahrenheit water for 15 minutes before bed is helpful in promoting restful sleep. The warmth and buoyancy that soaking provides can also help alleviate arthritis symptoms.

Bathtub manufacturers have introduced several different styles of soaking tubs for Zen peacefulness in the bathroom. From the deep, full body immersion models in sleek stainless steel inspired by the Ofuro bathtubs of Japan to the ones that allow you to float chin-high – there is something for everyone. Some soakers even feature a unique overflow design, allowing the bather to be fully immersed, with any displaced water trickling over the sides of the tub, creating a haven for relaxation and therapy.

Master Bathroom Remodel in Simi Valley California

June 28th, 2009

Here is an excellent project that was sent by a Talk Spas visitor that shows their Steam Shower with bench seat built in, vanity, whirlpool tub, tile job and more. Click any picture to see a larger version!

Steam Shower

Steam Shower

Built In Shelves

Built In Shelves

Shower Controls

Shower Controls

Whirlpool Tub

Whirlpool Tub

Vanity & Sinks

Vanity & Sinks

New Vanity & Sinks

New Vanity & Sinks

His & Her Vanity and Sinks

His & Her Vanity

Steam Shower

Steam Shower

Master Bath Project

Master Bath Project

Weekly Spa Tweets On Talk Spas

June 26th, 2009

Elements of the Stylish Home Spa

June 26th, 2009
Spa-Like Shower

Spa-Like Shower

Aside from an exotic array of treatments, therapies and fitness sessions – influenced by everything from cutting-edge medicinal studies to far-off foreign cultures – spa-goers make repeat visits to a specific spa for its soothing ambiance. Today  spa enthusiasts are looking at their spa’s décor and trying to recreate these stylish designs in their own home as previously described in the article:  “New Bathrooms Take Cues From Spas“.  Just as resort and day spa owners ensure that their retreat is a stylish and soothing sanctuary, home owners are now doing the same with their own bathrooms, transforming them into their own amazing home spa. With spa architecture and décor ranging from cool and classical to modern and minimalist, there are several must-have furnishings that bring design and functionality full circle.

The Immersive Shower Experience: When you are planning out your own home spa, you should expect a powerful shower with jets galore. JACLO® creates custom shower environments that feature body jets, hand showers, rain bars and large rain canopy shower heads.

Read the rest of this entry »

New Bathrooms Take Cues From the Spa

June 24th, 2009
Spa-like Bathroom

Spa-like Bathroom

As you can see in our Featured Spa Project of the month, the master bath is quickly moving towards the way of a home spa. Families and individuals that are renovating and updating their bathrooms are trending towards a much more luxurious and spa like atmosphere according to a recent study by the National Association of Home Builders’ survey “Home of the Future”. This survey predicts that more elaborate bathrooms with dual vanities and walk-in showers will be common in new homes homes by 2015.

Read the rest of this entry »


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