The Water Wellness Journey You Deserve

By Brenna Kehew Sculley

by ELYSIAN Magazine

I’d had a hectic week when I headed to Newport, Rhode Island, for a good friend’s bachelorette party. We are not in our 20s anymore, so these days these events seem to have less tequila and more spa. I had responded yes to all of the activities ages ago, and when I finally made it to town I couldn’t remember what exactly I had in store for the weekend. 

Following along with the group, I was excited on a brisk but sunny Sunday as we headed to the Bodhi Spa for a water journey. I had heard of a water journey and had very basic knowledge to know it involved hot tubs, so I was in.

The check-in experience is similar to any massage appointment you have had upon arrival, but then you enter the glistening spa chamber. It’s another world. 

There I learned about the system. It begins in a 98-degree pool, your body temperature, and then follows a circuit of hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms and cold plunges.

Hydrotherapy is the art of healing through the application of water in any form; hot, cold, steam or ice. Hydrotherapy has been used by cultures around the world for thousands of years. Many historians believe Egyptian royalty were the first to indulge in its health benefits, while others believe it dates back even earlier to Asia, where therapeutic waters were used to cleanse the body and soul of impurities.

Hydrotherapy is known to have many benefits, including reducing muscle tension and relieving pain, boosting the immune system, and relieves stress.

Similarly, cryotherapy is the use of extreme cold to freeze and remove abnormal tissue. Prevalent now in some facials, or to treat specific joint pain, this technology is on the rise, harnessing the power of cold temperatures to have an impact on your body.

At first many in my group followed the cycle showcased exactly as directed on the wall, but by the end we were all hopping in and out of whatever suited us, catching up in quiet conversations, drinking fruit infused water, and enjoying the day.

The cold plunge was intimidating but at 55 degrees, it wasn’t that bad. This was a group of Rhode Islanders. We’ve had beach day dips in May that were colder. Still, the cozy warm feeling of a hot tub immediately stripped away as pins and needles make you lose your breath. I was able to walk right in but didn’t stay long. Once in, a friend fully dipped her head and sang the clear-headed invigorating praises of a full and proper plunge, the whole group followed suit.

It was a truly unique and enjoyable experience. I would fully recommend it to anyone.

There are hydrotherapy spas across the country and the world. Plan an event with a group or go with a spouse or friend. You won’t regret the way you feel afterward.

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