Soaking in a warm bath is one of the most calming ways to relax your body and mind. Spas have taken note of this and added water-based treatments to their menus to create the ultimate environment for hydration and relaxation.
“The word ‘spa’ comes from a little town in Belgium, renowned for its thermal mineral waters,” says Donna Shaffer, director of Willow Stream Spa at The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn. “It is allegedly an acronym for Roman Emperor Nero’s phrase ‘salus per aquam’ (health by water), which he stated upon seeing the magnificent fountains of Rome. Throughout history, the people of Europe and beyond have recognized the health benefits of bathing in mineral waters. Minerals and trace elements are integral components of the human body and play an important role in our skeletal structure, internal physiochemical composition and cellular makeup.”
To that end, Willow Stream offers a number of water-based treatments. Among them are Kurs, which combine several restorative activities into one treatment. After dry brush exfoliation, a deep-cleansing scrub and a body wrap, guests are immersed in a mineral bath, rich in magnesium to promote health benefits, relax the muscles and reestablish the essential mineral balance of the body.
At Rancho La Puerta Spa, guests can immerse themselves in a one-hour WATSU session. Partially submerged in 96-degree saltwater (the same temperature as the skin) WATSU participants are cradled by a practitioner and taken through a series of stretches that gently strengthen muscles, while increasing flexibility and range of motion and bringing vital blood and nutrients into the body to promote immediate healing. Because your ears are underwater, this relaxing treatment helps you to shut out the world. The treatment has also been known to have a healing and calming effect on those who try it.
At the Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa, guests can experience the Valencia Vichy, a signature treatment that begins with a vitamin C body polish to regenerate and exfoliate skin, followed by a rejuvenating Vichy steam and shower massage that is combined with the spa’s incredible body balm. It’s the pinnacle of relaxation and a great option for spa-goers looking to reap the relaxing benefits of water without being submerged in it.
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