7 Hong Kong Wellness Ideas To Start 2018 On The Right Foot
As you waltz out of holiday mode and dive right back into the everyday grind, it’s easy to lose sight of your New Year’s resolutions. After all, in non-stop Hong Kong, it’s common to feel pressure to check off every item on the to-do list, but just make sure one of those to-dos is dedicated to you.
To keep you feeling fresh, fit and well-rested through 2018, we’ve rounded up a list of out-of-the-box wellness experiences that will have you on your way to a transformative new year:
Where: Fivelements Hong Kong
Opened at the ritzy new Hong Kong Golf & Tennis Academy in Sai Kung last year, Fivelements Hong Kong arrived with a slew of wellness-oriented activities. The Balinese retreat (which also has a location in Bali) offers peaceful gardens, professional consultants, an impressive vegan restaurant, and a tome of a treatment menu.
One of the most intriguing offerings is Watsu—this blend of flotation therapy and shiatsu (Japanese massage) takes place in a specially built pool, complete with body-temperature water (about 35°C) and underwater speakers that stream soothing spa music.
Throughout the therapy, a trained watsu bodywork professional will hold your head above water while they pull, rock and cradle you gently in various directions to stretch your spine, neck and shoulders. The therapist will also use shiatsu massage techniques to prod tired muscles, making this a relaxing and meditative experience that will leave you feeling clear-headed and feather-light for days to come.
2/7 Sound therapy
Where: Grand Hyatt Hong Kong
Late last year, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong’s Plateau Spa teamed up with the French audio wizards at Devialet to create an aural and sensory journey through Hong Kong. Accompanied by two gold Devialet Phantom speakers and a custom-created soundtrack of Hong Kong sounds, the “Voyage des Sens” spa experience combines a relaxing 60-minute massage with meditative audio.
When thinking of Hong Kong sounds, honking horns and pounding drills likely come to mind, but Devialet scoured the coastline for less obvious—and much more relaxing—“noises”, such as lightly lapping waves, a muted horn of the Star Ferry, heavy rainstorms and the clink of teacups.
The synchronisation between the massage strokes, internal vibrations and the audio’s rhythm works wonders on the mind, clearing it out for a deep meditative experience or an extraordinarily deep snooze. One catch: You’ll have to hurry to experience this one—the treatment runs through March.
Always admired the agility of Hong Kong’s top gymnast Angel Wong Hiu-ying but never quite made it to those asymmetric high bars yourself? A four-week Tumbling course at Trybe—Hong Kong’s first dedicated acrobatics and movement gym—could provide the motivation you need to kick-start a healthier 2018.
At the 325-square-metre space in Wong Chuk Hang, amateurs will learn to tumble like a trained acrobat—in turn improving your day-to-day focus, spinal health and overall mobility. In addition to tumbling, beginners are welcome to book classes on handstands, acrobatics, rings, callisthenics and more—all supervised by qualified instructors.
4/7 REST therapy
Where: Float On Hong Kong
REST Therapy (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique)—also known as sensory deprivation therapy—is one of those things that sounds a little kooky at first mention. But don’t knock it ‘till you try it: Sensory deprivation can aid in relaxation, boost creativity, decrease stress, release muscle tension and even help with chronic pain.
At Float On Hong Kong, the city’s first sensory deprivation centre, a calming white and blue palette welcomes visitors. Before your first float, a staff member will explain the steps: In a private room, you’ll disrobe, pop in earplugs, shower, and climb into your own REST chamber, dubbed a “DreamPod”.
See also: 10 Wellness Trends To Watch In 2018
Inside, the white pod is filled with body temperature water, Epsom salt and magnesium to create a zero-gravity sensation. Throughout the 60- or 90-minute sessions, a sense of weightlessness and soothing green, pink and blue lights carry your mind to far-off places (though there’s also an option to turn the lights off). Some people use it to meditate, others to enhance muscle recovery or simply promote better sleep management.
5/7 Tibetan singing bowls
Where: Four Seasons Hong Kong Spa
We all know the award-winning Four Seasons Spa is a sanctuary of serenity, but the spa team has been branching out in recent years to diversify the experiences. Last year, the spa welcomed meditation and wellness gurus such as Guru Jagat—author and yoga guru to stars like Kate Hudson and Alicia Keys. More events to come through 2018, including a Masters of Wellness series through January and a visit from “Spiritual Intuitive” (aka astrologist) Justin Andrie in February.
See also: Sesame Grinding Meditation At Four Seasons Hong Kong
But if you can’t wait for another visiting guru, the spa offers a year-round treatment that's packed with energy-cleansing, immunity-boosting treatments. Spanning half a day, a "Nourish the Soul" journey includes a sage smudging ritual to cleanse negative energy, a citrus- and chamomile-infused bath, a Tibetan singing bowl session (the vibrations are meant to quiet the mind), and a full-body massage accompanied by healing crystal techniques.
After the pampering portion of the morning winds down, guests are invited to linger over a vegan lunch at the Pool Terrace, before finishing up a relaxing morning with a meditative tea ceremony.
6/7 IV therapy
Where: Reviv Hong Kong
IV drips are no longer reserved for the doctor’s office or celebrities. You can tap into the hydration and immune-boosting health benefits right here in Hong Kong at REVIV, where a shortlist of IV cocktails deliver thirst-quenching, skin-saving, immune-boosting vitamins straight into your veins. Why shoot vitamins into your arm? It's simple, really: An IV will provide 100 percent absorption, whereas when you consume vitamins via food and supplements, a portion is lost during digestion.
The wellness IV therapy clinic opened up in 2016, offering comfortable and stylish “cannulation rooms” (where you relax with an IV) in the middle of Central, though there’s also a VIP room and an at-home call service, should you’d prefer more privacy.
See also: Join The IV League At Reviv
On the menu? You can try a Megaboost to help you stay healthy and energetic through the germ-ridden winter months, sit down for a Hydromax to boost hydration and athletic performance, or plump for the Royal Flush—a mix of premium vitamins and antioxidants that promise to cleanse your system and relieve extreme dehydration. Regardless of which drip you choose, the effects are meant to last about three days.
7/7 Aerial yoga
Where: Yoga BamBam
Yoga is practically synonymous with “wellness,” known to improve strength, patience, posture, mental health... the list goes on. But if you’re a little tired of the same-old downward-facing dogs, Yoga BamBam’s lineup of intriguing classes could put a spring in your Vrksasana (that’s “tree pose” in Sanskrit for newbies).
Among the creative yoga options, you’ll find aerial yoga, where poses are practices in a silky hammock to help participants stretch, bend and hang in all kinds of unprecedented ways. Particularly beneficial are the inverted poses, which help to alleviate back pain, increase blood flow to your brain, and lengthen your posture. Even beginners can try this floaty form of yoga, as the hammock supports the body and makes it easier to control poses.
Been there, done that? With two locations—Sheung Wan and Central—the yoga studio also offers empowering sessions, such as “Sexy Aerial”; gentle yoga (accompanied by crystal singing bowls); and aerial yoga with live music, featuring upcoming performances from opera singer Etta Fung and trumpet player Kai Djuric.
See also: 15 Hong Kong Yoga Teachers To Follow Right Now