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Blending spectacular indoor and outdoor environments, the spa at Rockliffe Hall is a truly exceptional experience. With floor length windows enjoying views of the surrounding countryside, the 50,000 square foot spa comprises a host of wellness facilities.
These include a hydropool with its beds of tiny air bubbles and jets to massage your body as well as the 20-metre pool, a thermal bathing suite complete with a tepidarium, salt steam room, roman and infrared saunas, tropicarium, and an igloo. Outdoors there is a hot tub, drench bucket shower, decking and lounging areas. Within the landscaped gardens with views across the grounds is the spa garden with its outdoor infinity edge pool, juniper lined, glass fronted sauna, warming fire pit and heated loungers. Read on to find out some of the hidden benefits to using some of the facilities within the spa.

Hot and Cold therapy

There are surprising wellness benefits of alternating hot and cold water on the body, known as thermotherapy.
It is believed that the word 'spa' is an acronym for salus per aquam meaning health through water. It is not known if this is a historical truth or just a nice story, but the great news is that we have some fantastic facilities to reap these benefits in the spa at Rockliffe Hall.

Foot Spa

When we consider the amount of time spent standing, walking and running over the course of a day, week, month or year, it is obvious that our feet could do with some care and attention! The foot spa (located next to the hydrotherapy pool) is a great way to ensure your feet are receiving the TLC they deserve, and provides some surprising benefits in addition to making your feet feel better. The Foot Spa is a great addition to your wellbeing programme, make sure you don’t neglect those feet any longer!

Repeatedly switching the feet from hot to cold water causes tissue temperature to change quickly, expanding and constricting blood vessels and therefore increasing circulation. Air pumped through the base of each bath provides an invigorating massage to further aid this process and helps to release tension in the muscles and tendons of the feet.

These processes also help the body cleanse, as the increase in blood and lymph circulation moves unwanted toxins through the body allowing them to be processed and removed rather than being allowed to build up and cause potential illness. The Foot Spa can also be used to alleviate symptoms of specific conditions such as plantar fasciitis and arthritis, with the combination of contrast therapy and massage having proved helpful in the management of pain in this area.

Experience Showers

These are not your ordinary showers; these showers offer both an intense and a gentle way to get the health benefits of alternating hot and cold.

Lights housed in the showerhead work their way through the colour spectrum, two settings unwind and invigorate for a warm or cold drench shower. The experience shower offers a gentler contrast of temperatures, the tropical monsoon or the cooler rainforest mist, which is a gentle way to embrace thermotherapy (hot and cold) recommended for the more elderly and those recovering from illness.

To use: Ideally cycle between hot and cold, depending on fitness levels, a session for a person in good health may look like: 5 cycles of alternating 1 full unwind and 2 full invigorate while a person recovering from illness may just do 1 cycle in the experience side of 1 full tropical monsoon, 1 rainforest mist finishing on a final tropical monsoon.

If the thought of full immersion leaves you cold (pun intended), try just running arms or legs under the cold until you build up the resistance to the cold temperature.

Infrared Room

The Infrared room uses light rather than heat to warm the tissues and generate a deep sweat. Infrared is part of the natural light spectrum and its rays warm everything they touch.

A conventional sauna uses warm air (convection) to heat the space to around to 80/85°C, which in turn heats the body. The Infrared Room is much cooler as the infrared rays penetrate the skin, warming the blood which is then pumped around the body by the heart. This warm blood raises the body's core temperature by around 1°C which mirrors the effects of passive cardiovascular exercise. Infrared provides lots of health benefits, including improved circulation, pain relief, detoxification, blood pressure reduction and muscle recovery.

As the temperature of the Infrared Room is lower, it is easier to stay in for longer. It is best to build up to longer sessions of up to 30 minutes. Start slowly and take care not to overheat, if you feel lightheaded or queasy terminate your session and drink plenty of water.

From the Alzheimer's Society:

“Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland followed 2,315 men aged 42-60 years for 20 years as part of the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Study. Men who reported taking a sauna 4-7 times per week were 66% less likely to receive a diagnosis of dementia than those who only sauna once a week. They were also 65% less likely to receive a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease".

Differences in age, blood pressure, alcohol use, smoking, blood cholesterol and other health conditions between the groups were accounted for in the analysis.

Top tip – doing gentle stretches while in the Infrared Room will boost flexibility and help break down tension.

Find out more about the spa and all it has to offer. Why not treat yourself to a spa day and discover all of these hidden benefits?

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