Unique, Unusual Spa Treatments Around the World3 min read
To truly immerse yourself in a new culture, you can try foods that are staples in that country, and visit historic sites to gain context and understanding. You can explore the paths less traveled in international cities to see how everyday people live, and you can get to know the locals at restaurants and bars, or even in local parks.
But if all of that seems exhausting, you can try taking a break at a spa while you’re traveling abroad. Relaxing massages are on the menu at nearly every spa, but to get a feel for the culture, try a spa treatment unique to your locale. Here are just a few unusual spa treatments that we found.
Soak Up the Waters of the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. If you’re headed to Iceland, visit the Blue Lagoon Spa to bathe in geothermal (hot spring) waters and cover your skin with the silica mud. The water, which contains silica, algae and minerals, is said to have healing properties that will leave your skin feeling smooth and healthy. While you relax in the 100-degree water, apply the white mud to your face and body and leave it on for at least five minutes. Then, rinse it off to reveal smooth, supple skin. You can also indulge in services like in-water massages and a muscle-relaxing manmade waterfall.
Enjoy a Cactus Massage in Mexico. The Hakali service, or cactus treatment, in Punta Mita, Mexico, is more relaxing than it sounds. At one spa in Mexico you can relax while a meringue of cactus, tuna (the cactus blossom), and pulque are applied using parts of the actual cactus and massaged into your skin. The treatment is known for its healing properties, removing toxins and leaving you feeling rejuvenated.
Experience Cupping in China. Visit any number of spas in Beijing to experience a traditional Chinese cupping treatment that treats swelling and muscle pain and releases toxins, opening up the body to healing. During this treatment, glass cups are heated with a flame and placed on the skin—often on the back or shoulders—creating suction and lifting the skin. That lift relieves muscle pain, releases toxins and even aids in healing respiratory conditions like a common cold or bronchitis. The cups are left on the skin for five to ten minutes and then removed.
Balance Your Chakras in Bali. At spas in Bali you can balance your seven main chakras—root, sacral, navel, heart, throat, third-eye and crown—which govern the circulation of energy throughout the body. Through these experiences your chakras will be cleansed and balanced so you can function at your peak physical, mental, emotional and spiritual condition. To start each session, a chakra is pinpointed and treatments ranging from yoga, to body wraps, scrubs and light massages with oils are used to cleanse and renew your body, mind and spirit.
Bathe in Hay in Italy. Yes, you read that correctly—hay. If you’re visiting Northern Italy stop by Hotel Heubad for this “bath” that farmers and visitors alike have been taking since 1903. Farmers who slept on the hay every night first discovered its revitalizing and purifying effects. Today, the hay is brought from an unfertilized meadow where 40 different types of grass and flowers grow. During this spa treatment, which is said to treat arthritis, digestive problems and sleeping disorders, you’ll be wrapped in warm, damp hay for 15 to 20 minutes and encouraged to finish your treatment with a light massage.