You know what they say about Australia and how there are 1,000 things that can kill you? The same thing can be said about Beijing for the ways it can stress you out. There are the traffic and population issues that come along with living in a city this size, the health concerns raised when the AQI skyrockets, and let’s not forget the noise! But, fortunately for us all, there are ways to counteract this stress, such as with the treatments that are being offered by AWA Health.
AWA Health, located at The Place, has a reputation for being one of the few places in Beijing with a sensory deprivation tank and a salt room, both of which are currently trending services that are gaining acknowledgment for their physical and mental health benefits. Luckily, on our visit, we were able to try both.
If you’ve never heard of sensory deprivation, this type of therapy helps to give you the feeling of weightlessness while floating in room temperature salt water. In complete darkness, and with no noise, you are able to quickly enter a meditative state. It’s here that your mind is free to roam and explore, without interruption (obviously you can’t bring your cell phone). We loved getting away from WeChat for an hour. Though we were a bit nervous about spending upwards of an hour floating in complete darkness, we were surprised how the time flew by. We felt lighter mentally, after the session, and could have spent even more time if we were able.
While we had some experience meditating in the past, we had never had the privilege of doing it in our birthday suit, in a shallow tub of saltwater and absolute silence. It was truly an unforgettable experience.
If you come to AWA with children, it’s their Salt Therapy (RMB 388 for 45 minutes, one adult, and one child) which will be their main attraction. Here you can sit on reclining chairs in their serene, dimly lit rooms filled with medical grade salt. The salts are continuously being pumped into the air in addition to being fixed on the walls and covering the floor. You are surrounded by the stuff.
This room is in a way a delivery system for the salt, to act as a cleaning agent for your body and lungs. For years in Europe, salt rooms have been recognized for their potential health benefits including relief from respiratory ailments such as asthma, allergies, and bronchitis, as well as skin conditions like acne, eczema, psoriasis, rashes, and rosacea.
Unlike the sensory deprivation tanks which are available to only adults, the salt rooms are for kids and adults alike. Just sit back breathing in the salty lung-cleansing air, and get a massage or facial treatment while your kids play with a decent selection of salt shoveling toys. Not a terrible way to spend an afternoon, in our opinion.
AWA Salt and Floating Therapy
L411, 4/F, Bldg 1, The Place, 9 Guanghua Lu, Chaoyang District (137 1618 2745) 朝阳区光华路9号世贸天阶1号楼南街4层L411
Photos: Dave’s Studio; Courtesy of Jon Otto
This article appeared on p26 of beijingkids April 2018 issue