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Stretch Out on Hot Sand to Relax, Reboot

Psammotherapy, or hot sand therapy, is a practice rooted in the deserts of the Middle East and the Mediterranean coast, practiced in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome.

Those who received it usually were either covered up to their neck in warm sand or massaged on top of a bed of heated sand.

Continued in many parts of the world, this therapy has been adapted as a treatment used in some of the world’s most luxurious spas.

Clients are invited to lie on a customized table filled with quartz sand often mixed with such minerals as amber or Himalayan salt, which are thought to have healing properties.

The table has a continuous heating system and can be tilted upward or downward for different therapeutic effects. The body is cocooned by the sand, supported by the granules as they filter into its curves and crevices to promote relaxation.

White handheld bags, or poultices, filled with more heated sand often are used by the masseuse for added pressure and release.

Depending on the spa, the experience can be heightened by add-ons including aromatherapy, music and ambiance lights.

Tibetan singing bowls might be rung and placed on different sections of the body so vibrations can reverberate throughout.

A wealth of wellness

The combination of the sand and massage therapist leaves most people feeling soothed yet rejuvenated. Hot sand therapy can alleviate pain and discomfort from several conditions.

  • Joint pain relief — The heat from the sand is believed to have a soothing effect on joints, potentially benefiting conditions like arthritis.
  • Detoxification — Sweating induced by the heated sand is thought to promote the elimination of toxins through the skin.
  • Improved circulation — The heat from the sand may enhance blood circulation, potentially leading to improved oxygenation of tissues.
  • Skin health — Sand therapy, especially when involving exfoliation, may contribute to improved skin health by removing dead skin cells and promoting a healthy complexion.
  • Reduced back pain — Slight inversion of the table to raise the legs upward creates a stretch that can improve low back pain by rehydrating discs and realigning the spine.
  • Improved sleep — Reduced stress and muscle tension can contribute to a more restful sleep.

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