We’ve heard the latest health buzz from the Birmingham spa scene, and the chatter involves “floating in a pod,” “breathing salt-infused air” and “freezing your body in a subzero temperature chamber.” Naturally, we were curious! We looked into these three new-wave spa treatments, and each of them promises to deliver relief, relaxation and rejuvenation, among other tempting health and beauty benefits. Whether you are a spa treatment junkie or simply seeking peace, read up on your new options in local therapies!
Floating. The word conjures up feelings of weightlessness and calm. Increase focus, reduce stress, eliminate fears and let your worries float away. If this sounds like something you need in your life, you will love a treatment at Elements Float Spa. When you walk into this oasis, you are immediately put at ease as you speak with owner Victoria Robbins and her fiancé, Daniel Ferguson, both of whom are passionate and eager to talk about floating. The spa has two float pods, each with 10 inches of water and 1,000 pounds of Epsom salts for a clean, comfortable float. And because we know you’re wondering, each pod contains a self-contained filtration system and goes through an in-depth cleaning to remain sanitized from session to session.
You are in control of your pod experience from music and lights to whether the pod is open or closed. Victoria recommends beginning your first session with the lights and music off, then tailoring the experience from there. As you quiet your mind, you will become calm and truly float between wakefulness and sleep, a state of relaxation that is typically achieved within 15 minutes.
What to bring & know:
- Towels, earplugs, a neck pillow and hygiene products are all provided.
- Beauty products are provided for use after your float, but bring your own brush.
- Bring a device to plug in music in case you want it.
Every float experience is different, but these are the key benefits that may be received from a float session:
- Improved focus and increased creativity
- Deep rest
- Decreased fatigue
- Improved ability to handle stress by lowering cortisol
- Pain reduction by relaxation
- Increased production of endorphins
- Improved circulation
- Boost in immune function
If you want to give floating a try, Elements Float Spa is located at 4851 Cahaba River Road, Birmingham, AL 35243. Hours are Tuesday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Learn more at (205) 518-0800.
California native Loretta Wendel and her business partner, Lee Bruno, have transformed Family Share Massage in Mountain Brook into Alabama’s first dry-salt aerosol therapy spa. Salt therapy, also known as halotherapy, is a safe, therapeutic treatment for children and adults. A natural, detoxifying treatment that dates back hundreds of years to salt mines in eastern Europe, halotherapy is historically used to relieve respiratory issues. And modern technology — specifically a halo generator — has made it possible to replicate salt caves above ground in a spa-like atmosphere. As clients relax in a treatment room, the dry, salt-enriched air travels into the lungs, which loosens mucus and reduces inflammation, allowing for deeper, more rejuvenating breathing. What’s more, the treatment couldn’t be more delightfully simple. If you like relaxing in a lounge chair under an umbrella on a private beach, you’re the perfect subject for a salt therapy session!
What to bring & know:
- Salt can be corrosive to metal, so do not bring jewelry or electronic devices into a salt room.
- Children can play with toys, read books and interact with other children during salt therapy.
Salt has powerful properties. After a single session you may notice:
- Relief from coughing by reduced inflammation and loosened mucus
- Improved breathing
- Improved skin elasticity, normalized pH levels, reduced redness and a natural, healthy glow
- Reduced inflammation
- Strengthened immune system
- Reduction of toxins
- Stress relief
- Replenishment of electrolytes
Spiro Salt Room & Massage Therapy is located at 2816 Culver Road, Mountain Brook, AL 35223. Hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Learn more at (205) 445-0448.
Maybe you think of a futuristic sci-fi scene when you hear the word cryotherapy, but this cutting-edge treatment is more complex than that. Cryotherapy is a natural procedure using subzero temperatures to stimulate the functionary systems of the body in a fast and effective way. Think of it as a three-minute ice bath using cold air instead of ice to reduce inflammation and detox the body with fresh, nutrient-rich, oxygenated blood. A favorite of athletes to help them perform, look and feel their best, this alternative therapy is often used before and after intense workouts, as well as for postsurgery recovery. If you love a deep-tissue massage, then you will love a cryotherapy session.
What to bring & know:
- Come as you are. Special socks and boots are provided for each session.
- Runners, chronic pain sufferers, CrossFit lovers and golfers may enjoy a cryotherapy session.
After a three-minute session, your body is re-exposed to room temperatures and the process is reversed. After a treatment, you may notice:
- Rejuvenated muscles
- Reduced fatigue
- Reduced soreness
Glacier Cryotherapy is located at 1360 Montgomery Hwy., Vestavia Hills, AL 35216, with two additional locations scheduled to open in Mountain Brook and Greystone. Hours are Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Learn more at (205) 332-2395.
Cryotherapy Birmingham is located at 1816 28th Ave. S., Ste. 3, Homewood, AL 35209. Call (205) 414-0404 to schedule and appointment or to learn more.
We found these three spa treatments intriguing, but with anything having to do with your health and wellness, always do your homework! Research new wellness treatments, ask your girlfriends and, most importantly, get an OK from your physician. Drop by these businesses to talk to a trained staff member and find out more, and then decide if it’s the right treatment for you.
Bottom line: We all need to find a way to relax and destress while also figuring how to manage our bodies for a long and healthy life. So if one of these treatments doesn’t work for you, don’t give up, keep searching (use our SB App to find a great spa near you!), and let us know what you love to do to recharge, unwind and achieve your zen-like state!
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