Alternatives for safely relaxing and eliminating stress in times of Covid.
Combining ‘social distancing’ with safely having an anti-stress massage is complicated, however many safety measures and protocols are applied to prevent any contact. In 2020, massage centres experienced their worst year ever and the outlook for 2021 is not good. A survey by the American Massage Therapy Association reveals that only 19% of Americans admitted to having had a massage last year, a devastating figure if compared with the 48% of 2019. To counteract this trend, new services are proliferating, offering this experience without any contact at all.
One of the most popular options is the hyperbaric chamber, which consists of the medical use of 100% pure oxygen in a pressurised room. Customers can book sessions in a room with an air pressure that is three times higher than normal, which allows more oxygen to enter the body. This treatment, always prescribed by a doctor, encourages relaxation and concentration.
Cryotherapy is another alternative on the rise. This involves the use of extreme cold to tackle skin lesions, but it is also used in booths for relaxation, increasing vitality and generating a feeling of recharged energy. The contrast between heat and cold provides relaxing properties, an essential aspect for fighting against insomnia or stress.
Another option is the so-called salt caves, spaces that replicate the normal conditions in a salt cave and invite users to breathe easily, in a natural, pure, saline environment. The result is a feeling of total relaxation. The same pleasure is produced by floatation tanks, where the user baths in a gravity-free booth that holds water and a high level of Epsom salts. The combination allows the user to float, and even sleep, effortlessly.
Finally, so-called ‘infrared saunas’ exchange the traditional steam bath for the application of direct heat thanks to infrared lamps. This technique allows users to sweat much more at lower temperatures, and therefore eliminating more toxins during the experience. The greatest benefit is that it helps to calm anxiety and reduce stress levels because sweating is important for levelling out cortisol, the main hormone released as a response to stress.