If there’s one thing more enjoyable than a ski holiday, it’s a ski holiday incorporating relaxing spa treatments. There’s nothing like a massage or a stint in the sauna to help you rediscover your Zen, especially after a day on the freezing slopes. But did you know that prolonging the chill could be great for your body?
The temperatures around us cause our blood vessels to expand and contract, affecting our circulation and metabolism. Cold spa treatments use this to their advantage, promoting not just physical health, but great mental wellbeing. And who could say no to that?
Here are just some of the spa treatments inspired by the ice and snow of the slopes, and that are well worth the chill.
Snow angel massage
Thankfully, this relatively new massage trend isn’t as intense as it sounds, but there’s still an element of adrenaline! Rather than stripping off and rolling in the snow, a snow angel massage involves traditional massage techniques, but in a tent at high altitude, in stunning locations such as Chamonix. The tent is surrounded by walls of snow, but you’ll soon forget the cold as you relax and listen to the sound of the Alpine breeze.
Now, we wouldn’t recommend shocking your body by jumping into a cold plunge straight away, but after steaming away your worries in the sauna, it’s the perfect follow-up. Hop in, and the icy temperature will invigorate your muscles while stimulating circulation. It can also help with inflammation and detoxify the skin, so what are you waiting for? Take a deep breath and jump right in!
Cold stone massage
You’ve probably heard of hot stone massage, but cold stone massage? This lesser-known spa treatment is a great circulation booster: easing inflammation, calming muscle spasms and reducing swelling. After the initial shock you’ll feel your tension ebb away, replaced by a feeling of revitalisation. Heaven!
If reclining in a bath filled with ice isn’t your idea of relaxation, don’t fret! This treatment is more suited to serious snow sport enthusiasts. After an intense session on the slopes, this sub-zero recovery treatment flushes lactic acid from the muscles. This encourages your body to recover faster and can even prevent injury.
Cryotherapy is taking the spa world by storm. This up and coming treatment takes inspiration from the most Arctic of temperatures, and is said to help with fatigue, joint pain and muscle problems. There’s just one hurdle… cryotherapy involves stepping into a freezing chamber for up to three minutes. And by freezing, we mean freezing. Temperatures are set between minus 100ºC and minus 135ºC, but with devotees claiming that cryotherapy encourages your body to release healing endorphins, for many, the benefits outweigh the chill!
If you’re partial to a facial, this cold spa treatment may be for you. Techniques vary, but a process proving popular with celebrities involves 20 minutes of exposure to liquid nitrogen. A device full of the freezing mist is placed next to nerves that control the facial muscles that can cause wrinkles, aiming to firm the skin and leave you positively glowing.
Ice fountains are a common fixture at many spas, and often come in the form of a bowl filled with ice, which tumbles in from a pipe. Simply grab a handful of ice and rub it all over your body to stimulate circulation. This is particularly beneficial for your lymphatic system, boosting immunity.
Would you stomach the cold to reap the benefits of one of these spa treatments? Maybe you’ve already experienced one? Let us know below!