Whether you love a bit of woo-woo wellness or are all about the straight-shooting basics, many alternative therapies that have made their way into the mainstream have been around for millenniums and have some practical applications, offering relaxation, mindfulness and general soul food. From sound healing to gua sha massage, learn a little more about some of these on-trend therapies ahead.
Sculpt, cool and mend with gua sha massage
Chances are your social media scrolling has led you past curious videos with stone tools in elegant shapes being scraped across smooth faces (if you haven’t, type #guasha in the search bar now).
Gua sha is having a moment, but it isn’t exactly new. With a centuries-old history, this freshly glamorous Chinese practice was initially used to treat heatstroke, viruses like colds and chronic pain, using whatever was to hand – spoons were popular.
Of course, the polished jade versions now available make a pretty addition to the bedside table and feel great on the skin. Gua sha for the face is also a more recent application to the medicinal uses of old. The use of pressure points in the face to treat ailments in the body in therapies like acupuncture led to discovering its facial rejuvenation benefits, kicking off the gua sha movement as we know it today.
Gua sha is thought to reduce fine lines, relieve muscle tension, promote lymphatic drainage and reduce puffiness, making it the ideal natural approach to refreshing tired, busy faces. At a minimum, this relaxing ritual will bring a little yin to your life and keep you feeling chill (literally).
Experience pro gua sha massage through an No. 11 advanced facial therapy or pick up a gua sha tool for some at-home self-care from the No. 11 shop.
Restore your chi with sound healing
Want to vibrate on a higher frequency? Consider sound healing, a practice turning up everywhere from the yoga studio to the spa.
Music as therapy has long existed – think of the power of songs to energise, elate or otherwise influence your mood, and it makes a lot of sense. Sound healing is a type of music therapy that employs sound and vibration, drawing on the spiritual and meditative practices of regions like Tibet, India and Nepal.
The No.11 Sound Bowl Relaxation Therapy is a sensory journey using Peter Hess Sound Bowls of various sizes, strategically designed to emit low tones that radiate down and into the body. The bowls are played on the dressed body front and back, and their gentle vibrations create an intense feeling of relaxation. No. 11 Spa founder Jill Palmer explains the unique sensation.
“We like to use the analogy of a pebble thrown into a lake and the smooth ripple it creates. Like a lake, the body is made up mostly of water, and this same ripple is happening in the body with each gong. It sends you into a meditative state without even trying – you have to feel it to believe it,” she says.
Relax with ear candling
Ear candling has a murky history, varyingly said to have roots in cultures from China to Egypt, Greece and North America. And, contrary to what you might think, its primary advantage isn’t ear-wax removal.
This soothing ritual creates a calming, focused state of mind, the crackle of the flame amplified through the cone for a satisfyingly cosy sound.
With claims to everything from clearing the sinuses to relieving tension and, of course, removing impurities, the hands-down best benefit of ear candling is how amazingly relaxing it is – and that alone makes it worth experiencing.
Improve well-being with aromatherapy
Aromatherapy might seem relatively tame in the scheme of alternative remedies. But given how accessible and therapeutic it can be, and how the space has grown to include so many appealing ways to use it day-to-day, we think it’s worth a closer look.
If you’re a No. 11 regular, you know there’s a high degree of customisation in therapies that extends to scent, with your favourite aromas selected and saved to your profile. That’s because fragrances are thought to light up the brain’s limbic system, the region responsible for emotion and behaviour, and those you respond to are likely to be the most beneficial for you.
Aromatherapy using high-quality essential oils can help everything from sleep to pain, anxiety and depression. Of course, we love a good candle or diffuser, with the latter offering loads of room to play with blending a personalised scent. But one of our favourite applications seeing renewed interest is aromatherapy roll-ons tailor-made for different needs. Their compact size makes them the perfect handy fix when on the go or to keep by the bed for some pre-sleep Zen.
Boost immunity and more with medicinal mushrooms
Fungi are a life form that has been widely underappreciated, given their remarkable properties. Today, however, that’s changing, with mushroom-based products popping up everywhere and available as teas, powders, supplements, extracts, coffee alternatives and even skincare.
Again, the power of mushrooms to heal is something Eastern cultures have long been savvy to, turning to fungi for a wide range of medicinal purposes. The Western wellness movement is only just catching on to the benefits for immunity, focus, energy and gut health, to name just a few.
The Reishi mushroom, in particular, has grown in popularity for supporting the immune system, fighting fatigue and assisting with healthy ageing. It stars in the Age Quencher Reishi Immune Elixir alongside five other active ingredients, and it’s as easy to work into your routine as stirring a teaspoon into your morning water – try it from the No. 11 shop.
Ready to test a few of these? Browse our services or come see us at the No.11 beauty boutique.