Atlanta is known for a lot of things, such as being a great place for self-care, especially when it comes to top-notch spas. Every major hotel has one, some even winning awards, and that doesn’t include familiar massage venues. But if you’re looking for something a bit more unusual, there are options. All of these treatments are beginner-friendly, so don’t be intimidated. Just relax.
Sensory Deprivation and Float Spas
Float spas are a new trend, with sensory deprivation tanks that come with a variety of benefits. Assuming you aren’t claustrophobic, studies suggest that this type of spa causes muscle relaxation and lessens anxiety. Some look like pods where a door closes behind you while others take the form of a small room. All are darkened and filled with salty water that allows you to float and forget your surroundings. The sensation resembles floating in space; some people even fall asleep while floating. Flo2S and Phoenix Wellness Center, both in Little Five Points, offer these treatments that last for more than an hour.
This traditional form of Eastern medicine involves small needles placed at pressure points throughout the body. Acupuncture is believed to aid in pain relief, digestion and sleep. The needles are so small you barely feel them, so don't worry about the sensation you've experienced at the doctor's office. Now a common method of alternative treatment, acupuncture is readily available in Atlanta. Buckhead Acupuncture and Herbal Center is one such establishment.
Common in Middle Eastern countries like Turkey and Morocco, the hammam, or Turkish bath, is a steam bath ritual involving dry and wet elements. Exhale at the Loews Atlanta Hotel in Midtown features this type of spa, as well as traditional massages and steam rooms. The hammam area is co-ed and is a great way to unwind after a workout class like barre or yoga, which are offered both to the public and guests of the hotel.
Visiting the sauna can be a highlight of any spa visit. But Perspire Sauna Studio in Buckhead focuses solely on this element at a lower cost than the traditional full spa day. You are given access to a private infrared sauna where you spend 45 minutes sweating out toxins. Chromotherapy, or color therapy, provides different colored light for different health benefits while you are inside the sauna. There’s even a television equipped with streaming services to keep you entertained while you burn between 200 and 400 calories.
If you deal with dry skin and respiratory issues, the salt room might be the treatment you need. Intown Salt Room in Grant Park has two different salt room experiences that last 30 minutes each. In the meditation room, guests rest on a recliner with a blanket and headphones that play relaxing music. The lounge chairs provide pulses that match the sounds. The breathing room has a wall of Himalayan salt bricks along with crystals at your feet. Lean back in the zero gravity chair and unwind.
Traditional Korean Spa
Located in suburban Duluth is Atlanta’s only traditional Korean spa, Jeju Sauna. The state-of-the-art facility was built using the methods found in Korea, including multiple saunas with elements like jade and gold. Separate gender areas have hot pools and treatments like body scrubs. There is also a swimming pool plus a Korean restaurant, fitness center and a nail salon. Best of all, admission is good for 24 hours so you can spend the whole day there.
No matter how you decide to treat yourself, Atlanta has an option for you.
Caroline Eubanks is a writer, author, and metro Atlanta native. You can see her work on ThisIsMySouth.com and CarolineEubanks.com.