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January offers us a chance to start the year off with a renewed sense of balance — be it mental, physical, spiritual or all of the above. So, what’s the first thing that pops into your head when you think of heading to the spa for a little rest, relaxation and body nurturing? If you’re anything like us, your brain immediately leaps to some of the typical go-to self-care treatments such as deep tissue massage, manicures and facials. But there’s a world of unique options out there just waiting to be experienced. Here are a few unconventional wellness treatments, found locally, that you should consider trying. Trust us. Your body will thank you!

Unique Self-Care Treatments You Should Try

Infrared Sauna

As far as saunas go, the infrared is not your average heat treatment. It’s the Royal Queen of saunas if you will — a medical-grade heat therapy that, according to Pure Sweat Sauna Studio owner Candice Bruder, “safely warms the body on a cellular level and raises core body temperature for an abundance of health benefits.”

Pure Sweat’s cabins offer three infrared wavelengths targeting various areas of the body, and each has focused health benefits. “Your traditional sauna solely heats the air around you at extreme temperatures versus infrared, which warms within your body at a more enjoyable, milder temperature,” Candace adds.

Each color in the chromotherapy spectrum has a different vibration to address distinct symptoms or garner desired results, such as deep detoxification, weight loss, reduced inflammation, pain relief and radiant skin. You can also choose between various preset programs, which range in heat intensity and run the gamut from relaxation to cardio.

Try their chilled eye masks and face sheet masks to up your experience, supplying cool relief and elevating the pampering. The cabins even have screens with music and meditation features, which can, alternately, provide distractions such as Netflix — just in case you need to giggle over an episode of “Schitt’s Creek” while you sweat out the toxins.

Pure Sweat has locations in 12South, Belle Meade, Cool Springs and Brentwood (opening soon). And while the 12South location concentrates exclusively on sauna, their other locations also offer floatation therapy, if you’re feeling adventurous.

SB TIP: Another popular option among SB readers is CYL Sauna Studio: The Sweat House, which is located in Green Hills. There, you can enjoy individual sauna pods within luxury sauna suites for a different sort of private sweat experience.

Reception lounge at Pure Sweat

The reception lounge at Pure Sweat Sauna Studio in 12South provides a calm and welcoming waiting space. Image: Studio Buell for Pure Sweat Sauna Studio

Deluxe Cabin at Pure Sweat for unique self-care treatment

The Deluxe Cabin seats two to four, making it the perfect place to connect with friends while simultaneously reaping health benefits. Image: Studio Buell for Pure Sweat Sauna Studio

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Sinus & Allergy Relief Facial Massage

Middle Tennesseans know that seasonal allergies are real, as many of us suffer from them as well as frequent sinus infections. And given our routinely fluctuating weather patterns here in Nashville (Mother Nature is clearly having an identity crisis), many of us are looking outside of the typical countermeasures to cure our ills. The menu at Wax Pot Studio boasts a Sinus and Allergy Relief Facial Massage, and we’re all about it. Using a combination of essential oils such as eucalyptus, they gently massage your face while putting pressure on specific points to decrease congestion and stimulate lymphatic drainage. Christina Folger, office specialist at Wax Pot Studio, says, “The Sinus and Allergy Relief Facial Massage focuses on improving and increasing lymphatic drainage. As drainage occurs, toxins are released from the body, which helps to rejuvenate the immune system. A lymphatic facial massage can help improve circulation, relieve cold or allergy symptoms, and reduce fatigue, while also being very soothing and relaxing.”

More energy and the ability to breathe during the throes of allergy season? Count us in!


Waking up our senses through cryotherapy — the progressive technique of exposing one’s body to frigid temperatures for several minutes — can be an effective way to reduce inflammation, increase circulation and even gain a little mental perspective. Despite the initial shock to the system, immersing your body in the arctic temperature has health benefits beyond what you may have considered. According to Nashville’s Hydralive Therapy, the treatment not only helps alleviate muscle and joint pain but also promotes weight loss, relieves anxiety and depression, and improves sleep patterns.  Other benefits include increased energy, an immunity boost, a spike in metabolism and even tightened skin.

With the whole experience taking only two to four minutes, even anxious first-timers can see the light at the end of the (very cold) tunnel. Josh Rogers, of CoolSpot Cryotherapy, says, “You can do anything for 180 seconds! During your session, a technician is in the treatment room with you, cheering you on throughout the whole procedure. The burst of energy and the amazing endorphin rush, not to mention the many benefits, make the experience unlike any other and keeps you coming back for more.”

With other facilities offering cryotherapy, such as Ona Skincare in both Belle Meade and East Nashville, as well as Restore in Brentwood, there are plenty of location options if you are looking to take the plunge!

Cryotherapy lounge at CoolSpot Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy offers your body health benefits such as decreased inflammation and a boost in circulation. Here, the CoolSpot Cryotherapy lounge is calling our name! Image: Marqos Maldonado for CoolSpot Cryotherapy

Woman in Cryotherapy chamber, experiencing uniques self-care treatment

The cryotherapy chamber achieves subzero temperatures. Image: Marqos Maldonado for CoolSpot Cryotherapy

Body Contouring

In our quest to shed a few unwanted pounds amid an increasingly busy schedule, one possible solution is Apropos Day Spa’s Pure Light treatment, an LED-based system designed for body contouring without pain or invasive techniques such as surgery. It reportedly reduces fat cells by targeting specific areas of the body such as your waist, hips and arms. “Pure Light is composed of 10 pads that are strapped directly to fatty areas that are resistant to diet and exercise. The fat cells are drained of their contents, therefore reducing inches,” owner Robin Haney tells us. “The lymphatic system, which is ‘powered’ by muscle movement, is responsible for transporting fatty acids to the circulatory system for metabolism.”

Immediately following up the Pure Light treatments with cardiovascular exercise is strongly encouraged, with caution that without that next step, some of the lost fat is at risk of being reabsorbed. Look out, treadmill, here we come!

RELATED: What ‘Eating a Plant-Based Diet’ REALLY Means (& How to Get Started)

IV Therapy Treatments

By now, you’ve probably heard that IV therapy treatments make for a solid hangover cure — or at least they help combat those pesky symptoms by restoring hydration to your body. Nevertheless, IV therapy treatments afford a multitude of other health benefits you may not know about. Christy R. Johnson, marketing director for Hydralive Therapy (which specializes in IV therapy “cocktails” and treatments), tells us, “IV therapy treatments are highly sought-after because of their ability to restore hydration, combat cellular aging and enhance the immune system. It’s an effective therapeutic tool to help support overall health.”

She continues, “Our services take into account the whole person, so you might experience better mental clarity and focus, increased energy, muscle and joint relief, improved sleep and much more. Because nothing is quite one-size-fits-all, before the start of each treatment, our RN will conduct a medical assessment, and can create a treatment specifically targeting your needs/area of focus.”

Hydralive offers both custom treatments and “predetermined” IV Therapy Cocktails, with the “Beast Mode” and “Carlos” topping their list of most popular. “With such a large fitness/wellness community in Nashville, our ‘Beast Mode’ IV therapy cocktail has become a crowd favorite. It’s specifically designed to support athletic prep and recovery,” Christy says. “Coming in at a close second, and because there is no shortage of places to have a good time in Nashville, ‘Carlos’ is also very popular. It’s designed to combat hangovers, which are compounded by dehydration. Fun Fact: ‘Carlos’ is the name of the baby in The Hangover.”

Whether you’re looking to ease some muscle tension or recover from a rowdy night at the honky-tonks, Hydralive Therapy is the place to indulge in a little body maintenance and take a few steps forward in the pain relief process.

Kati Basti

Sure, you’ve experienced a massage. Maybe you’ve even indulged in a hot stone massage, reiki or something a little more exotic. But this massage moves beyond the norm, introducing a ring of sticky dough to your back, and pooling medicated oil inside of it. Talk about outside-the-box! With so many of us actively seeking ways to deepen our wellness treatment experiences with heightened mindfulness and a more holistic approach, Kati Basti is the perfect solution.

A traditional Ayurvedic healing treatment, Kati Basti focuses on healing your lower back, hips and sciatic nerve. The Lotus Room studio owner Jenna Wolf explains, “Kati marma is an energetic center on the low spine and ‘basti’ means ring of dough. A ring of sticky dough is formed and placed on the spine, just above the hips. Your healer then gradually pours warm medicated oil into the dough dam and applies gentle acupressure to the points around the spine. The treatment concludes with warm towels and a therapeutic massage focused on the low back, hips, thighs and belly.” She goes on to say, “Ayurveda is Indian Holistic Medicine, which we honor wholeheartedly, but it’s really so much more than that … the health benefits of living an Ayurvedic lifestyle are all-encompassing and extend beyond just the body and mind. Our favorite part is Ayurveda’s accessibility to people of all walks of life, making the medicine available to anyone willing to listen.”

Unique self-care treatment Kati Basti, at The Lotus Room

The Lotus Room‘s Kati Basti offers an exotic, healing massage. Image: Justin Rearden of The Reardenstein Collective

Kati Basti treatment- oil being poured into dough ring

In Kati Basti, medicinal oil is poured into a sticky dough ring to create an exotic self-care treatment. Image: Justin Rearden of The Reardenstein Collective

A little “me-time” isn’t something to scoff at, no matter what form it takes — especially when it means focusing some much-needed attention on our physical wellbeing. Be it a massage, a trip to the gym or simply a long, hot bath, we can all afford to give a little extra love to this complex frame that carries us around on a daily basis. And while we aren’t looking to leave behind our old standby treatments, we can’t wait to up our 2020 wellness game with some of the intriguing self-care treatment options out there. We hope we’ve inspired you to do the same!


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