Travelers in search of innovative wellness therapies that promote a sense of wellbeing and vitality should consider Costa Rica as their next travel destination, as many have already discovered.
Costa Rica is the perfect setting for detoxification from stress and the daily grind and now offers visitors’ inventive opportunities that extend beyond classic spa services and traditional yoga retreats.
Innovative wellness therapies such as Earthing put participants in direct contact with nature and are popular in the Central Valley, Caribbean and the Pacific regions. Earthing, which involves physically touching the ground with your hands or bare feet, can be practiced with a short barefoot walk along any one of its many pristine beaches or deep in the mystical rainforests of Costa Rica.
Studies have shown that this method of connecting with the earth allows the body to absorb free electrons which enter the body and act like antioxidants—to neutralize the damage caused by free radicals. Out in the surrounding highlands of the Central Valley region, visitors can discover earth’s natural energy with a visit to Irazu, one of two active volcanoes, or to Braulio Carrillo National Park. It has been shown that this type of communion aids in diminishing chronic pain and inflammation, combats fatigue and improves sleep. Visitors to the Osa Peninsula in the South Pacific region, will find a haven of unspoiled beauty, perfect for practicing Earthing.
Go to a Forest. Walk slowly. Breathe. Open all your senses.
Forest bathing is a preventative healthcare and healing technique that continues to grow in popularity. It is not actual bathing but the practice of taking a leisurely stroll through a forest as a way to clear the mind and open up the senses. Enthusiasts who visit Costa Rica’s magnificent volcanoes, rain forests and tropical landscapes will find plenty of options to put mind to nature.
Arenal Volcano National Park, found in the Northern region, is home to 75 percent of Costa Rica’s bird population and provides visitors with endless opportunities for connecting with nature. Unlike traditional nature walks or hikes through a park or forest, Forest bathing therapy involves using the senses to bond with the natural environment. The technique simply puts an individual in the moment, by asking the participant to “be here now.” A number of studies have shown a significant positive impact from Forest bathing, indicating benefits such as lowered cortisol levels (the stress hormone), lowered blood pressure and reduced depression.
Monteverde, which sit amongst the clouds high above the Caribbean and Pacific coastlines of Costa Rica, is another tranquil location for Forest bathing. The area has been recognized worldwide for its conservation and preservation efforts, in large part due to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve which border the region. Similarly, Atenas, which is located in Alajuela, is surrounded by lush mountains and coffee plantations—a serene location for calming the mind and taking in the moment. With year-round warm climates and a biodiverse terrain, Costa Rica is the ideal backdrop to be present for this holistic practice.
In addition to novel remedies like Earthing and Forest bathing, visitors will also find alternative choices such as silent retreats, mud baths and thermal mineral hot springs therapy. Visitors interested in experiencing the benefits of mineral baths will find 72 individual hot springs throughout Costa Rica, with the largest concentration found throughout Northern Guanacaste, Central Valley, the Caribbean and Pérez Zeledón in the South. It’s been reported that the ancient healing powers of a soak in mineral-rich waters helps improve circulation, boosts the immune system and detoxifies.
Whether it’s letting the forest guide you into experiencing the moment with all the senses or it’s blocking out the noise with a temporary vow of silence, travelers seeking new ways to heal body, mind and soul will find an endless selection in beautiful Costa Rica.
SOURCE: Costa Rica Tourism Board, visit www.visitcostarica.com