Your insider’s guide to Hong Kong

Escape Plan

Free yourself from the shackles of technology and social media, for the sake of your physical and mental health

Words: Vivienne Tang
Photos: Nic Gaunt

Research indicates that discontentment virtually goes hand in hand with our screen time, and that excessive time spent online can correlate with a growing sense of inadequacy, isolation and unhappiness, rather than real connections. Many of us know that spending longer periods away from our phones and computers is good for our health, yet we often find it hard to pull ourselves away from our devices.

“The problem with technology is not that it is bad, it’s that it is too good,” says Jeremy McCarthy, Group Director of Spa & Wellness for Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. “We love technology so much that we don’t often realise the sacrifices we make for it,” he cautions, adding: “we make sacrifices in physical movement, relationships, sleep, attention, safety, connection to nature, etc. Our bodies have not had a chance to adapt to the modern lifestyle and so overusage of technology has a negative impact on our health.”

At The Oriental Spa at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, mental and emotional wellness is taken seriously, with dedicated treatments complementing those that address physical wellbeing.

One of these treatments is Inner Strength, which can be supportive for those experiencing emotional stress, whether at home or at work. It incorporates a special breathing technique, as well as a full body massage, using Aromatherapy Associates’ Inner Strength oil, which is a blend of essential oils, created to boost courage and a positive mindset to embrace the path to wellness during a stressful period.

As the name suggests, the Digital Wellness Escape is a soothing tech detox. The treatment focuses on the upper body, releasing tension that is held within the head, eyes, neck, shoulders and hands. Overthinking and spending too many hours behind the computer or on a laptop can have its toll on one’s posture and can easily lead to headaches.

This restorative massage treatment is created to ease stresses and strains resulting from the increased use of digital devices and to release these knots, while a heavenly scalp massage helps to block out mind chatter. The treatment uses Mandarin Oriental’s signature oil, a blend that embodies the five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water, and it makes use of tourmaline, a crystal that is said to calm, heal and dissolve fear.

In the blissful surrounds of the spa, outfitted with some of the best heat and water facilities in Asia, guests are encouraged to escape from the digital and outside world, even if it is just for 90 minutes, though you should stay for longer, if you can.

“The spa is one of the last places in modern society where we can go to escape technology for a brief period,” says McCarthy. “Our minds need a chance to disengage and to recover from the incessant stream of information that comes at us. Having a place to go to practice mindfulness, meditation, or quiet rest and reflection can be very beneficial.”

McCarthy also stresses that in the years to come, the impact of technology will only continue to grow and that the digital detox concept will cater to the longer-term needs of guests. The Oriental Spa offers separation from technology, silence and touch, which are all modern-day luxuries. Mindfulness and digital wellness will only become more essential as our relationship with technology intensifies.

For reservations, please email or call +852 2132 0011


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