June 18th 2014
Having suffered the most polluted day of the year on June 8th, Hong Kongers are once again feeling the effects of the city’s smoggy skies. While it’s unarguably unpleasant for all, those with respiratory problems and allergies have an even harder time than most when the Air Quality Index goes through the roof. In a bid to ease her woes (and keep the office quiet), we sent our persistently sneezing intern Yasmin Hingun down to a Hong Kong spa that thinks it has the solution.
Although growing up in the vibrant, fast-paced city of Hong Kong is certainly a reason to feel fortunate, it doesn’t take a seasoned local to notice the less-than-fresh-air. As a result, I’ve suffered from respiratory issues ever since my toddler days – allergies, sneezing, an unforgivably blocked nose; trust me when I say it’s no fun.
So when I first heard about halotherapy (aka salt therapy), my curiosity was naturally piqued. First touted as a treatment in the mid-1800s when a Polish health official observed that the country’s salt mine workers rarely suffered from colds and respiratory ailments, halotherapy is said to ease a wide variety of afflictions.
Keen to try it out, I booked a session at Hong Kong’s Deep Sea Cosmetics Salt Spa, which uses a machine called a halogenerator to pump salt particles into the surrounding air while guests undergo a wide array of spa treatments.
Hong Konger Spark So opened the spa after stumbling upon the benefits of salt therapy and realizing the potential for its synergy with city life. “Halotherapy really is what makes salt spas unique,” he explained. “While other spas deal only with what’s on the outside – your skin – halotherapy starts from the inside, clearing bacteria from your lungs, curing respiratory diseases and healing allergies triggered by breathing in polluted air.”
Stepping out of the hustle bustle of Tsim Sha Tsui’s streets and into the spa was like entering a sea of calm. Soothing music played as I padded my slippered feet into the treatment room, where I really began to feel like I was in a peaceful little oasis under the sea. The walls and floor were covered entirely with soft white salt, and the room was lit up by an ethereal blue light.
The halogenerator was switched on as my treatment, the Black Diamond Deep Cleansing (priced at $1,200), began. Following cleansing and a quick peeling gel mask, my gentle beautician Bobo applied the Black Diamond Magnetism Mud Mask, a signature product of sister skincare gurus Deep Sea Cosmetics.
But it was the way the mask was removed that proved particularly novel for a spa rookie like me; a magnet was briskly waved over the face, attracting the magnetic particles in the mask and popping it right off without any wiping or smearing. This magnetic removal is said to, “increase blood flow, bringing in more oxygen and nutrients and flush away waste products”.
The 90 minutes of pampering came to a perfect, albeit all-too-soon, end with a magnificent upper body massage. Upon exiting the spa, I felt lighter, fresher and more relaxed than I ever thought I could upon emerging back into the heat and humidity of Hong Kong’s streets in the summer.
Black Diamond Deep Cleansing Treatment
And like icing on a cake? My nose was actually working as it should for once and wasn’t blocked in the slightest. Having achieved both relaxation and a physical relief, I really did find this treatment a breath of fresh air (pun intended).
Deep Sea Cosmetics’ Salt Spa is located at 12/F, Kam Lung Commercial Centre, 2 Hart Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui. Call (+852) 2723-4878 or email via their Localiiz Page to book an appointment.