There are lots of ways to de-stress and detox your body, but one of the newest trends in Switzerland is a wellness ritual which has been in practice for centuries on the island paradise, Java: the Lulur treatment. What was once restricted to Javanese brides-to-be is now available to women (and men) of all marital statuses. A personal account of a truly royal treatment.
"Oh, YOU don't know what it is to manage a house, three kids, a husband and a job. I just feel and look so dead all the time!" A regular one-liner that a friend uses each time we meet. "This job and responsibilities of being a father takes the life out of me," says her husband. "Don't ever ask me on any morning how I feel today," forewarns a colleague.
It's stress. It has become a part of our daily lives and what matters today is not whether we have it, but of how much of it we have. It seems there aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done that "needs" the doing, let alone find enough time for yourself to relax and unwind. So it was after weekends on end of failing to get that extra fifteen minutes of sleep in the name of household chores, cleaning and grocery shopping that I set out to make my wellbeing an absolute priority. I decided to treat myself to a wellness program and was overwhelmed with the abundance of choices in Switzerland--until I saw a picture of a woman bathing in a tub filled with rose petals. The Lulur ritual: this ancient Javanese technique of toxic release is rather new and exclusive here and is available in only three places in Switzerland. Luckily for me, one of those places happens to be Baden--that wellness oasis of hot springs and world-class spas, just a hop, skip and jump away from Zurich.
Exotic wellness programs with names like Lulur sound great, but do they really improve your wellbeing? And Mandi Lulur, meaning "Lulur bath," might have a rich tradition in Java and Bali, but how effective is it here in the West? I was soon to find out.
"An Aromatic Experience"
The Lulur experience at the Novum Spa at the Limmathof Hotel in Baden really begins when you enter the lobby, the lingering fragrance of essential oils putting you "in the mood" the minute you walk through the door.
My chaperone is Katja Stoll--a Lulur specialist who has been working in the field of wellness since the beginning of 2001. First, an explanation of Lulur: Katja cheerfully takes me back in time to the origins of this art of purification. "Lulur is a technique for...