This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
THERAPY


A step machine session (left) and ‘respiratory gymnastics’ class (right) provided a workout for the lungs


FIRST-PERSON EXPERIENCE: SOPHIE BENGE


G


etting ‘high’ at a spa sounds inappropriate, but my experience at the Wieliczka Salt Mine Resort


gave me the giggles, not only because this spa is situated 150m below ground, but also because it’s been developed within an old salt mine, where the air is so clean and naturally high in humidity and mircroele- ments – which stimulate the respiratory system – that I felt light-headed for the 11 hour duration of my stay. During the travels for our book (see p70), photographer Christian, researcher Alla and I took a picnic and warm pyjamas for overnight therapy at the Polish health resort near Kraków. Essentially it was a sleepover in a rock salt chamber which felt like a ‘natural inhaler in 3D’. We joined an exercise class, took part in a 20-minute step machine session, relaxed by a brine pool and ate our picnic before settling down for the night. At first, the surroundings felt cavernously


dark and eerily silent but, surprisingly, not claustrophobic because the atmosphere in the salt mine made breathing easier than normal. Most visitors to the resort come to relieve some kind of bronchial condition but we, being free from respiratory issues, felt supercharged by the natural conditions: a double hit for physical and mental harmony.


72


“At first, the surroundings felt cavernously dark and eerily silent but, surprisingly, not claustrophobic because the atmosphere in the salt mine made breathing easier”


The ‘respiratory gymnastics’ class was a


first for me. The 30-minute session involved blowing a fluffy pink feather between participants to keep it afloat; then we tried to keep a pinwheel spinning in the air with our breath. Once our lungs were working like bellows, we did group exercises with balls. Following the exercise, we relaxed by the


salty water fountain, wrapped up in blankets, to inhale the salty spray and climbed under several more blankets to sleep in the group dormitory, partitioned into cubicles. Interestingly, our sleeping quarters were converted stables once used by the horses that worked in the mine. I don’t know what the exact temperature


was, but it was certainly a little nippy down there. But this didn’t detract from a deep


sleep and memorable experience. The next morning, once back up on the surface, we felt clear-headed and full of energy. Millions of tourists visit the actual mine each year – but those who come specifically for health purposes descend to the part of the site that’s designated as a health resort. It is usual to spend several hours per day down there as part of a three-week treatment programme, prescribed by doctors. I can only imagine the results from these longer programmes given our sense of wellbeing after just 11 hours.


Sophie Benge is the writer of Healing Sources Email: sophie@sophiebenge.com Tel: +44 7951 056609


Read Spa Business online spabusiness.com / digital Spa Business 3 2014 ©Cybertrek 2014


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116  |  Page 117  |  Page 118