| HEALTH >
Time to relax
Written by: Monika Mudranincová
Between the stress from work, the
weather, and the pressure one often feels around the holidays,
a bit of relaxation is more valuable than ever. Here are a few
unique indulgences available locally that can provide an oasis
of calm and healthy-well being.
With the Power Plate - exercise is a cinch!
Nicely defined muscles and a slim body - that's everyone's dream.
But the road to this goal is long, and requires hours in the
weight room and dozens of sweaty T-shirts. But today chronically
busy people have another alternative for looking and feeling
great without lifting weights. How? By using Power Plate technology,
which was introduced into the Czech Republic by the Holmes Place
fitness chain. The revolutionary nature of Power Plate lies in
the fact that a training session takes ten minutes but equals
1.5 hours of training. Furthermore, you barely perspire, so you
don't have to change clothes. Power Plate operates on the basis
of involuntary physical reflexes evoked by special vibrations
that act on a large number of muscle fibers that can't be affected
during ordinary training. These stimuli produce stretching reflexes
that result in intensive contraction of muscle fibers. This allows
easy, safe, and highly effective training focused on strengthening
and stretching. My personal impression? Great. Even a couch potato
can learn this, even though the first three sessions require
an instructor to teach you the right exercises. It isn't difficult,
you just alternate various positions and let the pleasant vibrations
work on you. It even seems like nothing much is happening. "But
that's a mistake," says Jan Hnilička, the manager of, and
instructor in, the Holmes Place weight room. "You'll see
tomorrow," he laughs, adding by way of explanation that
long-term Power Plate use indisputably increases muscle strength,
helps with rehabilitation and osteoporosis, breaks up cellulite,
and improves blood circulation. Power Plate has received four
prestigious awards in the area of anti-aging and wellness, and
has found its way into the health regimens of celebrities like
Karl Lagerfeld and Annie Lennox.
Power Plate: Three introductory 30-minute sessions under with
an instructor: CZK 1,290
Holmes Place, Nový Smíchov, Plzeňská 8, Praha 5, tel.: 257 313
Caves, moxa, and beauty express
Those who can't stand saunas and steam finally have an alternative
- something in between. It's called Stonebath, a unique steam bath
where steam is generated by means of lava stones heated to 650°C
and placed in a steam bath. The temperature in the room, which
is permeated by aromatic essences, never exceeds 56°C. Where can
you try it? In a 15th-century cave that was accidentally discovered
by workers during the reconstruction of the Prague hotel Hoffmeister.
Stone vaults, subdued lighting, a fireplace, and beds that beg
you to relax. This is an enticement to cancel your next appointment
and stay as long as possible. Especially when you know that the
steam bath is an ideal introduction for the massage and beauty
treatment. Besides classic and Chinese massages, Richard Haken
will also offer you moxa, an herbal stick that is widely used in
Chinese medicine. It looks a little like a cigar, but when burned
and applied to various acupressure points, it relaxes the organism. "Moxa
use is a somewhat mythical experience," claims Haken, adding
that according to an ancient saying, when needles won't help moxa
will. By way of explanation - it doesn't hurt, because this wormwood
stick is applied a few centimeters from the surface of the body
and client states what is pleasant and what isn't. And for a glowing
appearance in a few minutes, go for immediate skin rejuvenation
with Sisley cosmetics, which the Lily wellness facility in the
hotel Hoffmeister uses exclusively. In 30 minutes, cosmetician
Eva Plicková will do what would take a traditional treatment an
hour. The cleaning, toning, exfoliation, calming, intensive care,
express massage, express masque, moisturizing, and the final treatment
are super-fast, thanks to intensive Sisley products that are rich
in minerals and vitamins.
Stonebath: 30 minutes for CZK 670 per person
Back massage with elements of Chinese pressure massage and moxa:
45 min. for CZK 1,800
Sisley immediate skin rejuvenation: 30 minutes for CZK 1,570
Wellness Lily, Pod Bruskou 7, Praha 1
Raining scent and
A hard day, if you're looking forward to cascading water gradually washing
away your tension and stress, go to the hotel Le Palais in Vinohrady and take
an aromatic shower. The Relax and Wellness there offers two variants. One has
water enriched with essential oil of lemon or passion flower. Suddenly you
find yourself in a yellow geyser that stimulates your senses and "awakens" your
body, which hungrily absorbs the oils through every pore. In the other variant,
you'll feel like you're in a dream - the water doesn't cascade down, it sprinkles
slowly and gently like a summer shower. The blue vapor and enticing aroma are
due to menthol or mint. You won't want to leave, and perhaps you'll jump from
one shower to the other until you've had enough of this unusual attraction,
which perfumes you with 100% natural oils that don't contain any chemicals.
You don't use soap in an aromatic shower - your skin not only cleans itself,
it "impregnates" itself, so there's no need to apply any body milk
after you bathe either. "People leave us so exhilarated and relaxed," says
Kamil Trmal, the manager of the Relax and Wellness Centrum, adding that an
aromatic shower is ideal after exercise, a sauna, or a steam bath in the center,
which also offers relaxation therapy with lava stones. These deep volcanic
rocks, which Hotel Le Palais gets from far-away Indonesia, are heated to 50°C,
and during a relaxing Hawaiian massage they provide wholesome heat and minerals.
Try it! You won't regret it. Personalities like Prince Albert of Monaco and
model Adriana Sklenaříková already swear by it.
Aromatic shower: CZK 400, included in a day visit to Health Cub(also
available: weight room, sauna, steam room, whirlpool)
Hot lava stone massage: 30 minutes CZK 1,200, 60 minutes CZK 2,200
Le Palais Hotel, U Zvonařky 1, Praha 2, tel.: 234 634 670
Freeze your ailments!
Just imagine voluntarily crawling into a room where it's -150°C!
This therapeutic cure called cryotherapy has an amazing effect
on your body and soul: it improves the effectiveness of your
immune system, increases the concentration of many hormones (gentlemen
may find that their sexual appetite rises), has a positive effect
on your psyche, improves your endurance and the resistance of
your nervous system to fatigue and stress, and accelerates your
metabolism and the flushing of harmful substances. It helps with
inflammatory ailments of the motor system and rheumatic diseases
of soft tissues.
But that's just a fraction of the list of miracles that the "polarium" offers.
How exactly does it work? After you place your order and a doctor
examines you you are issued clogs, knee socks, cotton gym shorts,
gloves, a headband, and a face mask. Women also get a light T-shirt.
And into the frost. Step quickly into the chamber and close the
door. You are staggered by the -60°C temperature. Walk slowly in
a circle without breathing a word. After a minute you're directed
into another little room where it's a shocking -150°C. Fear not
- so far everyone has been able to stand it, and many come back
for more. Your core body temperature doesn't change much, and only
the surface of your body is cooled and active hyperaemia lasts
a few hours during which you feel almost no pain.
There is only one Polárium in the Czech Republic for frost treatment.
It's in the heart of Beskydy, in the village of Čeladná, which
offers a sought-after golf and riding complex as well as the "ice
house" and other rehabilitation procedures.
3 min. (10 visits recommended), CZK 270 for the procedure + special
clothing - CZK 350 for men, 430 for women
Léčebný dům Polárka, Beskydské rehabilitační centrum Čeladná, Hlavní
42, Čeladná, tel.: 558 603 333, Pražské zastoupení/Prague representative:
agentura Golding, Fügnerovo nám. 3, Praha 2, tel.: 222 514 839