THE WATER ELEMENT
2 November 2022
The wet spa at our Cotswolds Wellness Spa harnesses the tranquillity of the water element in state-of-the-art facilities. The three areas of The Spring – a Herbal Sauna, Steam Room and Hydro Pool – pay tribute to the ancient heritage of spas as spaces at the heart of social life, born from a collective understanding of what it means to be well in one’s body, and to be well as a community.
THE WATER ELEMENT
Although we spend most of our time on land, we have more in common with water than we might think. Water is within us: the human body is 70-80% water (this varies depending on age), and the concentration of salt and other ions in our blood is surprisingly similar to that of the sea water we find in our precious oceans. What’s more, 70% of the earth’s surface is covered in water so not only do we find ourselves sustained by the element in our bodies, we are quite literally surrounded by it, too.
LIFE IN US IS LIKE THE WATER IN A RIVER.
– HENRY DAVID THOREAU
OUR WET SPA
There is a particular experience that washes over us like a wave of calm when we are in the presence of water. It is this tranquillity we have sought to capture in our wet spa areas in the Cotswolds, inviting the water element into the space in three ways.
The state-of-the-art pool invites guests to immerse themselves in its heated waters. Two air loungers and two floor mounted volcano pads can be stood over, sending oxygen past the body to support circulation. Alternatively, stand under the swan neck massage jets to the side to experience a water-powered massage.
Retreat into the steam room to experience the respiratory benefits of the salt brine solution that is diffused into the steam. Salt inhalation encourages healthy breathing and can absorb irritants, including allergens and toxins; this can be a particularly beneficial therapy for asthmatics.
Located at the rear of The Spring, the sauna offers breath-taking views across Daylesford Farm and the surrounding countryside. The sauna regulates the humidity within the cabin for a pleasant heat, and features a crystal at its centre to serve as a focal point for personal reflection or meditation.
THE EBB AND FLOW OF SPA THROUGH HISTORY
The origin of ‘the spa’ as we know it has been traced back to Ancient Greece with bathing sites identified in Knossos however, it is thought that the practice of bathing extends back even further than that. The Ancient Egyptians were connoisseurs of scent, often combining their pursuit of aromatherapy with bathing. The Romans are said to have brought the spa with them to what we now call Britain, in 43AD. Spa bathing became a widespread tradition of the Roman civilisation, with natural thermal spa sites like the Aquae Sulis in Bath acting as a place to conduct business and to participate in society.
Fast forward to the Twenty-first Century, the spa continues to attend to the healing and well-being needs of individuals and communities alike. While its form and function has ebbed and flowed across time - evolving from a communal space where groups would take to the healing waters together, to the more targeted rituals offered and enjoyed in the privacy of a treatment room today - a conscious pursuit of what it means to be well in mind, body and spirit has persisted through time and has renewed relevance as we strive to emerge from a time of collective crisis.
The therapeutic properties of water have been believed for centuries – the long history of spa bathing is a testament to that, and it continues to be prescribed today for the treatment of physical injuries and ailments. Hydrotherapy is commonly used to treat injuries and pains, often alongside other traditional medicines and methods, harnessing the natural resistance of water against the body to strengthen and tone muscle, facilitate low-impact aerobic exercise and increase joint flexibility. Water-related activities, such as cold-water swimming, are also sought for the mental and emotional benefits they bring to the individual, and the spiritual significance of water is manifest in rituals across religions, often signifying a moment of deep cleansing and purification. Truly, it is hard to conceive of wellness in any sense without appealing to this miracle element.
WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING AT THE MOMENT?
The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller. I’ve always got a tapestry on the go which can occupy valuable reading hours!
WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO SPEND TIME THIS SUMMER?
I love France, particularly the south. It’s a place I’ve visited for as a long as I can remember – from family holidays as a child onwards. The smells, the sights, the sounds – it’s all pure nostalgia. So I’ll be in Provence, doing my usual market trawling and hunter-gathering, and also lavender buying. I’m also going to Lake Como which I can’t wait to explore.
WHAT ARE YOUR SUMMERTIME ESSENTIALS?
Baskets! And plenty of them. In all their forms. I am endlessly mocked for my basket obsession and vast collection. I buy one in almost every single place I visit. Vintage dresses are another essential, plus reams of ribbons and trimmings which I use for belts and hair ties. And lots of SPF and oversized sunglasses.
ANY BEAUTY AND WELLNESS TIPS TO SHARE?
My morning routine is very basic, as is my getting-ready-to-go-out regime. My lifelines are relaxing baths with lavender-y or eucalyptus-y oils, Ross Barr Calm and Healing patches, lots of fresh (out of town) air, and Classic FM to restore calm when life overtakes (which it does and far too often). And a wild swim, sea swim or cold swim whenever possible! It’s unparalleled in its rejuvenation and invigoration.
I’m about to embark on a course on how to breathe properly – as ridiculous as it sounds, it's not something I do at all and I’m endlessly told about how bad my shallow non-breathing is for the soul. So I’m going to learn how to breathe! According to Wim Hof it’s truly game-changing if you get it right.
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP THREE APPS?
Instagram. I love the photo sharing element and album-like nature of it. I haven’t yet moved into reels or TikTok. It’s classic stills photography for me, forever.
I also love photography associated apps – either for editing, or transferring from my Leica camera to my phone, or a framing app for Instagram. They are all photography related as that’s my favourite hobby and always has been. And then BBC Sounds. I am plugged into radio 4 and iplayer for many hours of the day, and night. It’s a trove of wonderful things to listen to, old and new. Not to mention The Archers…!
WHO’S IN YOUR FAVOURITES LIST ON YOUR PHONE?
My parents, my siblings, and my lifelong Swedish best friend who’s on my speed dial even though she’s quite far away in Stockholm and may not be able to tend to me that swiftly in an SOS situation!
YOU MAY ALSO BE INTERESTED IN
BOOK VIA APP
Download the Bamford Wellness App to book spa days, treatments or classes through your phone
Our team are on hand to answer your queries - please check opening times before calling
Brompton Cross Spa and the team will get back to you as soon as possible
COTSWOLDS WELLNESS SPA
The architects worked with the original features of the building when designing our wellness destination, to allow natural light to flood the spaces. There is an emphasis on the use of natural materials throughout to reflect the rural surroundings, referencing the four natural elements: fire, water, earth and air.
For romantic ambiance
If you're looking for a home fragrance solution that is less overpowering and wish to create more of a romantic or welcoming ambiance, candles may be the better option - especially when considering the added glow of a softly burning candle. If you like the smokey scent of incense but prefer using candles, our