Unconventional therapies and wellness treatments to help you reset and recharge

From hydrogen spas to sound baths, these relaxing services will leave you pampered proper.

Beacon’s spa uses technology from Japan, whose people have long touted the benefits of hydrogen water (Photo: Beacon Resort Spa)

Step into the real comfort zone by exploring these unconventional but no less holistic therapies and treatments for inner and outer wellbeing.


Sound therapy

Founded by Jojo Struys and established seven years ago, OhanaJo is a meditation, yoga and sound healing centre situated at Plaza Arkadia in Desa ParkCity, Kuala Lumpur. Struys, who is a wellness personality, TEDx speaker, accredited sound healer and regional TV host, has been practising breathwork for more than 25 years and received her yoga certification from Rishikesh, India.

“I’ve been studying meditation for more than 25 years and I was doing stress management training and mental health talks with multiple MNCs (multinational companies) as an HRDF (Human Resources Development Fund) trainer.

“However, the power of breathwork, mindfulness and sound therapy was something I wanted to share with the public, beyond the work I was doing with corporates, so I decided to start OhanaJo.”

Focusing on transformative healing experiences, OhanaJo — a portmanteau of the word ohana, meaning “family” in Hawaiian, and the first syllable of her name — offers a wide range of yoga classes as well as meditation and breathwork sessions to encourage people to build a connection with themselves and discover their emotions.

“Sometimes, you have to slow down in order to speed up. When we slow down, we become more present and self-aware. We are also able to connect with our hearts, and access every area of our life with more clarity, harmony and balance,” Struys affirms.


Struys has been practising breathwork for more than 25 years (Photo: OhanaJo)

One of the therapies available at OhanaJo is sound bath. Using a combination of instruments such as crystal bowls, gongs, chimes and the rustic Himalayan singing bowls, sound baths can alleviate anxiety, chronic pain, insomnia, hypertension and improve the quality of your sleep and the body’s immune system.

“Sound therapy is as old as the earth itself. Music and sound healing waves are restorative to the nervous system, and they resonate deep within our cells. Sound travels through water four times faster than the air, so this element easily passes through our body as human beings are made up of 60% [water].

“When we let go of stress and surrender to this deeply relaxed state of consciousness, physical, mental and emotional healing occurs right down to the cellular level. Endorphins, which are the body’s happy hormones and natural painkillers, are triggered by the state of joy, and studies have claimed that they can expedite healing and reduce pain.”

Although it is better to do the activity under professional supervision, one can definitely practise sound bathing at home, even beginners. “You can receive sound healing anywhere but you need a sound healer to play the instruments to generate the sound waves across your body. For a full experience, you would want to be lying down in a relaxed state.

“It is essentially a vibrational massage. Some people play their own Himalayan bowls as part of their self-meditation practice. It has a really therapeutic effect on the mind and the senses. Moreover, sound waves are often used to cleanse physical spaces and even jewellery items. So, some find it beneficial to play singing bowls in their homes to clear any stuck or unwanted energy lingering in their living space.” 


OhanaJo serves around 100 classes comprising different therapy programmes per month (Photo: OhanaJo)

Plaza Arkadia, Block H, Hutton, 1-3A Desa ParkCity, KL. (017) 696 8895. See here for more info.


Float therapy

The human nervous system is not built for near-constant stimulation, yet such is the reality of the world we live in. Technology has evolved so rapidly that our brains and bodies rarely have the opportunity to fully disconnect and relax. As a result, physical and mental deterioration, exacerbated by stress, become increasingly rampant.

Float therapy, also known as REST (Reduced Environmental Stimulation Therapy), works in the form of sensory deprivation, where an individual floats on a bed of water — usually in a tub or pod — intensely saturated with Epsom salt for an hour. These specially designed pools are built in environments with minimal sound and light, while both the water and air are calibrated to match the skin’s temperature.

Because of salt’s density, the body floats effortlessly on the surface. Without the burden of gravity pulling you down, joint pressure lightens. And as the spine elongates, there is a significant reduction in muscle tension and back pain. On the other hand, as all external stimulation is removed, the mind experiences relief, which can lead to reduced levels of stress and anxiety.

Melissa Ng’s first encounter with float therapy happened in Thailand. “I wasn’t expecting much for my first experience. I just knew Epsom salts are really good for you and wanted to experience floating,” she shares. “After the first time, I felt super relaxed and very light. Like all the tension left me. It was amazing because I’m not a massage person and at that period of time, I was also very stressed. I did three floats back-to-back while I was in Bangkok for four days.


The Dreampods at ZeroGravity are filled with 500kg of Epsom salts in about 12in of water (Photo: ZeroGravity)

“On my third float, I had an epiphany and understood what meditation and mindfulness were all about. And I didn’t even meditate back then. I had a really good experience, which prompted me to do a lot of reading up on float therapy. Later, I decided to open a centre myself.”

Established in 2017, ZeroGravity at Plaza Damas is the first of its kind in the Klang Valley. Ng has two Dreampod float tanks filled with 500kg of Epsom salts in about 12in of water. Also known as magnesium sulphate, Epsom salts have, for centuries, been used to treat ailments of all kinds, including muscle soreness and swelling. Others have raved about its detoxification benefits and lauded Epsom salt baths as a method to absorb magnesium, an essential mineral for multiple bodily processes, including blood pressure regulation and nerve function. Magnesium is mainly absorbed from our diets as the body cannot produce it.

“The shallow water is highly saturated, so everyone can float effortlessly — no swimming experience needed,” Ng shares. “My clients here float for different reasons: to relax and de-stress. For those with spine issues, it’s also good for spinal decompression. Some clients float to treat their insomnia.

“I’ve always been in the service industry and I realised the majority of us are either stressed or not getting good sleep. I figured this could help a lot of people.” 


Ng wishes to help people feel more relaxed with her small business (Photo: ZeroGravity)

Plaza Damas, D-2-12 Jalan Sri Hartamas 1, Desa Sri Hartamas, KL. Tues to Sun, 10am to 7pm. Closed on Mon. By appointment only. WhatsApp (010) 209 6565 to book.


Healing + stimulation with hydrogen

When you are at a resort surrounded by nature at every turn, leaving your sand-dusted slippers at the door of a hydrogen spa centre is akin to taking a first step towards new technology that promises much. Not knowing what to expect for the next 40 minutes adds to the excitement.

Natural light flooding in and greenery outside the spa’s glass doors add to the welcome. The attendant’s instructions are simple: Spend 10 minutes in the infrared sauna, then immerse yourself for 15 minutes in the hot pool infused with hydrogen molecules. Next, take a five-minute dip in the cold pool and finish with a shower.

It is easy to forget the minutes when you have the whole space to yourself and are mulling what a hydrogen bath can do for the body. Literature provided by the Beacon Resort Spa in Kerling, Selangor, says it can rejuvenate the skin and revitalise its elasticity; speed up scar tissue healing, reduce and lighten wrinkles, and reduce allergies and free radicals.

Don’t be surprised if the tan that you are so proud of suddenly looks a shade lighter. On the plus side again, hydrogen spa treatments can boost blood circulation and strengthen immunity, besides stimulating hair growth.

What happens is that hydrogen — odourless, tasteless molecules in the form of nanobubbles — easily penetrates the blood vessel wall and is distributed throughout the body by systemic circulation. It dilates the capillaries and increases blood flow while its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties work on sore muscles and wounds, and soften skin.


Natural light and greenery add to the ambience as guests soak in the hydrogen pools (Photo: Beacon Resort Spa)

Beacon’s spa uses technology from Japan, whose people have long touted the benefits of hydrogen water. They drink it and bathe in it, thirsty for its healing and anti-ageing properties. Studies reportedly show that bathing in hydrogen-infused water for three months reduces neck wrinkles! Also, sun-damaged cells responsible for producing skin collagen are able to increase collagen production after being soaked in such water for three days.

Going by the latter, at the very least, one soak is hardly enough to expect results. But something was clearly happening, based on the prickling sensation in my limbs after I moved from the hot to the cold pool. It was strong and almost uncomfortable, and the water was freezing. No pain, no gain?

If water is not your thing, the spa also offers aroma touch hand therapy using natural essential oils, and functional relaxation therapy with a Chinese herbal pillow to soothe nerves, dispel wind and bloating, relieve aches and promote quality sleep.

For those who would rather de-stress outdoors, there is ample opportunity for that at the resort. Spend a fowl morning at the mini farm or go trekking. The jungle paths are not punishing but you are bound to work up a sweat. Better still, soak your cares away at the five natural hot springs that go from cold to warm as you walk up a slope. Or, jump into the river that skirts the resort perimeter. There are many spots deep enough for a long, cool dip.


Hydrogen spa treatments can boost blood circulation and strengthen immunity, besides stimulating hair growth (Photo: Beacon Resort Spa)

PT 4049, Mukim Sungai Gumut,, Kampung Gumut Tambahan, Kerling, Selangor. 10am-10pm. For more info, call (019) 833 3378 or see here.


Home spa

The joy of having spa treatments at home is truly indescribable, more so for new mums. Imagine not having to leave your baby and where the familiar comforts of home merge seamlessly with the indulgence of a satisfying spa experience. This is where Best Home Mobile Spa lives up to its name.

Since its establishment in November 2018 with only two masseuses, the business has flourished significantly. It now proudly employs a team of 20 skilled professionals committed to delivering exceptional in-home spa experiences, with a particular emphasis on traditional Malay massage for women.

While the core services have remained consistent, the team continually refines and enhances the age-old massage techniques to ensure clients receive the utmost relaxation and pampering. The spa menu is a comprehensive range of services tailored to meet the diverse needs of their clientele.

From head-to-toe massages to specialised treatments such as prenatal and postnatal massages, as well as slimming massages, the spa caters to every aspect of wellness and relaxation.

What sets Best Home Mobile Spa apart is its commitment to convenience and comfort. Unlike traditional spa visits, its in-home service brings the spa experience directly to your doorstep and allows you to unwind in familiar surroundings while eliminating the stress of travel and maximising relaxation.


Hot compress massage or tungku helps the uterus contract and improves blood circulation (Photo: Best Home Mobile Spa)

The reviews have been consistently high, thanks to its use of luxurious massage oils and effective techniques for an ultimate spa experience. Every aspect of the treatment is carefully curated to promote tranquillity, rejuvenation and well-being.

To create a calm ambience within the home setting, Best Home Mobile Spa pays special attention to detail. Soft lighting, soothing music and aromatherapy are incorporated into each session to enhance relaxation and create a peaceful atmosphere conducive to healing.

“In the light of recent health concerns, clients don’t have to worry. We implement stringent safety measures to uphold hygiene and sanitation standards. To ensure the safety and well-being of both clients and therapists, we practise daily temperature checks, mandatory mask-wearing for staff and thorough sanitisation procedures before and after each appointment. We also do weekly Covid-19 testing,” assures Best Home Mobile Spa director Natasha Yeo.

Among the spa’s popular treatments, its postnatal massage stands out as a recipient of the prestigious BabyTalk MamaPapa Awards in 2023. “This specialised service is designed to provide new mothers with nurturing care and support during the postpartum period. The treatment relaxes muscles, increases circulation and lowers stress hormones, bringing both physical and emotional relief.” 


Postnatal massage can do wonders to heal the body (Photo: Best Home Mobile Spa)

See here for more info.


This article first appeared on Feb 19, 2024 in The Edge Malaysia.

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