One of the most interesting pampering experience I had in Oman is being buried in the sand. That may come out as a surprise and quite unorthodox but I haven’t had any other experience that can match it not only in the level of eccentricity and originality but the calming effects it has on me afterwards. This special service is only available in the country on specific months. Summer is definitely a no go — the sun by then would be too hot to handle and it will definitely burn you.
I came to know about the said service from a friend who is into wellness. In theory, it didn’t make any sense but talking to the holistic wellness guru who does it opens one’s eyes into the research and science that goes behind it. The spa centre is named Uru and it can be found at the Dunes, hidden somewhere in the heart of the Barkan desert. For 15 minutes, they make you lie down in this pit — a hole made in the ground — and cover you with sand up to your chest. You are totally submerged with only your face showing and even your face is soaked in specially made liniment or lotion concocted from different herbs with your eyes covered with cucumber.
While you are lying there, you can hear the desert moving. At least, in my experience, it felt like it. Eyes closed and left in my own thoughts, I can hear the sand walking, driven by the wind. Fifteen minutes of not moving feels like forever, truth be told. It made me feel like I was a mummy.
After the 15 minutes was over, an assessment was made. The wellness doctor identified the problems. I have a problem with my knee bones, has an injury sustained in my femur when I was young, sweaty on the palms — possible deficit in some vitamins, sugar problem, thyroid problem and she went on and on and the whole time, left me wondering how could the wellness doctor have known it. I felt like I was being duped but if I was not hearing it for myself and knew that what she was saying was accurate, I would have said it was all baloney.
The pampering experience was followed by a cold bath and a massage with focus in areas that are problematic. This holistic healing has driven hundreds if not thousands of guests from the Middle East and Europe to Oman and they all went home convinced that it was one of the best experiences they ever had.
What I’ve come to learn is that the sand of the desert have healing qualities. That heated with the suns UV light, it can become a force of good — to heal the body.
Why am I sharing this experience? Every year, hundreds of people go somewhere else so that they can experience holistic healing. Some go to Thailand, others to Bali while others prefer the Himalayas or some other exotic places to get the best experiences.
We actually have something more intriguing right here in Oman. The Omanis have their traditional methods of healing — something that I am hoping to investigate and experience for myself in the days to come. But if you are looking for first world quality — it sometimes has to take a lot of research to uncover the country’s best-kept secrets.
Everyone deserves pampering and everyone deserves good health. So every once in a while, invest in your body by providing it with little luxuries. Take in more vitamins, eat more healthy food. Listen to what it says. When you invest in it, you yourself with reap the reward.
Do you want a spa with a view? How about a spa in the mountains overlooking Oman’s Grand Canyon? With a little bit of reading, you’ll find them here and as I always say, the joy is always in the find. I do wish one day, the tourism sector will come out with a list to make it easier for wellness loving folks.