SPA DOCTOR: How New York fixed my phone addiction
With research showing that the average Briton checks their smartphone every 12 minutes, it’s no wonder that many of us find it so hard to relax.
As a freelance professional, I often find myself caught in the vicious cycle of checking emails and social media apps and find it near impossible to disengage in the evening.
Worryingly, there is a growing body of research that suggests that technology can be increasingly harmful to both our physical and mental health.
With this in mind, I decided to unplug and unwind by dropping into the Mandarin Oriental Spa, New York, to try a programme specially designed for the tech-addled mind and body.
Worryingly, there is a growing body of research that suggests that technology can be increasingly harmful to both our physical and mental health (stock image)
Where’s the solution?
New York as a location for a digital detox is certainly not an obvious choice. But the hotel, which sits on the 34th floor and upward of the Time Warner skyscraper at Columbus Circle, feels a million miles from the hubbub down below.
What’s the treatment?
The Digital Wellness Escape (50mins, £200; 1hr 20mins, £270) is one of the spa’s most popular offerings, designed in conjunction with the world-renowned Mayo Clinic.
My treatment begins with my therapist coaxing my phone away to be cleaned as I’m guided to a candlelit therapy room with its own hot tub, shower and relaxation area.
I immerse myself in a steaming bath infused with shungite, a carbon-rich mineral found only in Russia and said to help cleanse the body of radiation absorbed from mobile phones.
I sip a delightful shungite-charged water as I contemplate whether The Trump Hotel across the street offered treatments with such a Russian flavour.
Suitably relaxed, I settle down for a luxury 50-minute massage.
New York (pictured) as a location for a digital detox is certainly not an obvious choice. But the hotel, which sits on the 34th floor and upward of the Time Warner skyscraper at Columbus Circle, feels a million miles from the hubbub down below
These are tailored to those parts of the body left tense and twisted by our tech addiction. This means the neck and shoulders for those who spend their days sitting at a desk, the hand and wrist for non-stop texters, or even the facial muscles for those who concentrate hard while surfing the web.
Post-treatment, you can relax in the spa’s heat and wet area that overlooks the city’s magnificent skyline.
As you gaze out over this spectacular vista, the last thing you’ll want to focus on is your phone screen.
TRY THIS: Bounce a ball to ease pain of sore shoulders
Giving the arms a good workout protects us against the risk of dislocated shoulder. Given the arm’s remarkable range of motion, it doesn’t have much stability.
With the right training to strengthen the shoulder muscles, you can reduce the chances of the shoulder slipping out of its joint. Try this workout every other day.
Stand facing a wall about three inches away holding a tennis ball in one hand raised above your head. With your elbow slightly bent, throw the ball against the wall and catch it with the same hand
- Stand facing a wall about three inches away holding a tennis ball in one hand raised above your head
- With your elbow slightly bent, throw the ball against the wall and catch it with the same hand
- Keep doing this as you slowly move your arm – still outstretched – down in a circular motion until level with your shoulder
- Gradually bring the arm up to the raised position, still bouncing the ball off the wall
- Do this eight times, rest for a couple of minutes, and repeat with the other arm. Stretch afterwards.
By Mariam Al Roubi, personal trainer
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