Autumn Spa: Fall In Love With Thermal Treatments
Crisp air, whirling leaves and the cold crunch of the first frosts. Like Halloween and Bonfire Night, late autumn has a bewitching magic. A season for smoke and mirrors: earthy spices, ghost stories, mulled cider. Dark skies that start and splatter, filled with the crackle and flare of neon thunderstorms.
Between the festivities and pumpkin spice lattes, the cold creeps in. It’s scenic, sure. But a lot of what comes with it isn't: dry skin, chapped lips, and all sorts of sniffly bugs.
This year more than ever we want to sail through the season feeling happy and well. That is where the warm, cosy and immune-strengthening benefits of spas come in.
Here are some thermal spa experiences that were made for autumn chills.
No doubt about it, Scandinavia is colder than the UK. It is also far happier, according to the UN. The Scandinavian countries consistently hit the top ten in their index for the happiest country, despite their long dark winters of sub-zero temperatures. So, why the sunny disposition?
Scandi culture embraces wellness to its core. From the cosy conviviality of their hygge tradition, to their progressive ‘work to live’ philosophy. Perhaps the most famous symbol of Scandi wellness is the sauna, a feature of most people’s homes.
Saunas are an ancient Finnish invention. Fragrant, pine-scented wombs of dry heat that warm the cockles. They are traditionally quiet spaces. There is something sacred, church-like about them. It is normal for Finnish people to have a sauna session once a week. They are places to tune into your body’s rhythm and sit in silence with yourself.
The Science Behind Scandinavian Saunas
Saunas take warmth a notch higher than most non-desert environments- even reaching 100 degrees celsius. Sitting in a sauna raises your core body temperature by 1-4 degrees. The safe, induced fever is part of the benefit of the sauna. It activates the immune system by altering surface proteins on immune cells, like lymphocytes, to make them better able to travel via blood vessels to reach the site of infection. Over time this is thought to strengthen your immune response.
Afterwards, Finns might roll in fresh snow, Viking style. Or more often plunge into cold water, such as a bucket shower. Alternating between extreme heat and cold builds resilience, strengthening the body’s ability to adapt to different temperatures. Being unable to do this makes us more susceptible to disease.
The cold water is also immensely refreshing, giving a feel-good rush of endorphins and a healthy glow to your complexion.
Aromatherapy Steam Room
Steam rooms are the ideal microclimate to counteract the drying effect of cold weather. Bracing autumn winds might decorate the streets with artful leaves, but they draw the moisture out of our skin. Chapped and raw extremities are not so aesthetic.
Within the steam room, the heat and humidity gently heal your skin. This begins on a micro level, as the heat eases each muscle. We stiffen in the cold, often only realising we have in the moment of relief when we sink into a hot bath. While our muscles relax and rest, our pores also open to release any built up oils and toxins. This detoxifying cleanse is what gives that characteristic post-spa glow.
Steam rooms also improve blood flow which helps to ease inflammation, particularly alleviating joint and muscle pain in conditions like arthritis.
The Ancient Art of Aromatherapy
Our steam room uses a special blend of essential oils. A base of coconut is lifted with the citrussy floral notes of orange blossom, balanced by pure eucalyptus and warming vanilla. Aromatherapy is an ancient art that stimulates the limbic system in the brain, which is responsible for emotion and memory. The evocative scents are soothing at any time of year, but the nostalgia of autumn make it an ideal time to enjoy aromatherapy.
The benefits are diverse. Orange blossom, eucalyptus and vanillin (in vanilla) are all anti-microbial and have the power to strengthen the immune system. Indeed, the main component of Eucalyptus is 1,8-cineole, a remarkable phytochemical with proven benefits to respiratory health. It therapeutic properties are exhaustive, it's: anti-microbial, analgesic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, antispasmodic, antioxidant, antiviral, hypotensive, mucolytic.
The health and wellness benefits of forest bathing are due to the benefits of breathing in phytoncides including 1,8-cineole.
Soak or Swim in the Hydro Pool
The sea is beginning to cool again— not that it was ever balmy. Wild swimming is an incredibly invigorating and fun activity. With that said, by November British waters preclude proper swimming in skins- a hefty wetsuit is required if you want more than a brief, teeth-tingling dunk.
In our indoor pool and our 34 degree Hydro Pool you can float around for as long as you wish. Swimming is a fantastic way to gently tone whilst releasing tension. The supportive weight of the water relaxes your muscles and eases your joints.
Hot Stone Massage
If you are hankering after the summer sun, why not enjoy a blissful retreat to the heat with a Hot Stone Massage?
Our Rocks of The Mediterranean massage uses warm basalt stones to massage your body from head-to-toe. Feel the weight of warm stone upon your body as the thermal technique massages your energy points, relaxing your muscles and rebalancing your body. It’s a cosy yet uplifting experience, perfect if you are missing long warm days in the sun.
Rocks of The Mediterranean is just one of the extensive range of treatments we offer at Lincombe Hall, 75 mins for £110.