This new trend is giving a whole new meaning to the phrase “taking a roll in the hay.” It’s called Hay Baths, and it’s pretty much what it sounds like. I think a better name would be Hay-Lay, but I won’t make a big deal about it.
This, dare I say, spa-like treatment, which originated 200 years ago in Austria, requires you to lie for 20 minutes submersed in a pile of single–use, nutrient–soaked hay. Once this uncomfortable–sounding treatment is done, you are permitted to brush off any hay, but you’re not allowed to not shower, as that would defeat the purpose. Finally, you are wrapped in a linen sheet for a cool–down period.
Now, they don’t use just any hay, but, rather, special alpine–fermented hay that’s mixed with herbs, essential oils, flowers and grasses, and pre–soaked in hot water prior to the treatment. The hay contains health benefits as do the essential oils and herbs mixed with it, and as you lie there in the hot, damp hay, they seep into your skin and penetrate your body. Sure, it sounds extremely itchy and unpleasant, but is it worth it? Anecdotal evidence says yes, and well, maybe. If you find that you are suffering from joint or muscle pain, sciatic pain or obesity, the hay bath may right up your alley. So, go buy your plane ticket, book a hotel room and treat yourself to a hay bath! Yes, it seems that Europe is the hot spot for this treatment; specifically, the Heubad Spa, in Italy, which claims to be the “original hay bath” provider. However, many spas in other European countries have jumped on this trend and are offering their own variations of this treatment. So, perhaps if you and your group of best girlfriends feel like an adventure, a play date with hay may be just the ticket.