Shadowed by the mystical relics of the ancient world, Egypt is an underrated wellness destination. Alternative wellness and medicine has been a defining part of Egyptian culture since primeval times, with the use of practices like aromatherapy and reflexology dating back millenia. As one of the oldest civilizations on earth, ancient Egyptians dedicated a great deal of time to health and wellbeing practices. They viewed ailments and illnesses as a fight between good and evil, and used magicians and prayer alongside trained physicians. In fact, most alternative health practices can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians, making the country one of the most unique places to experience immersive and traditional wellness. Follow our spa and wellness guide to Egypt to have a rejuvenating experience on your next visit.
Take a dip in the healing Red Sea
Famous worldwide for its crystal clear water and colorful coral, the Red Sea also boasts a plethora of wellness benefits due to its high saline concentration, which is around 35% higher than most other seas. The age-old Red Sea is home to reefs dating back 7,000 years, and is guarded by the mountains of the Sinai desert. The mountainous barrier ensures the air around the Red Sea is pure, lacking any harmful airborne grime caused by sandstorms or pollution, making it the perfect natural wellness hub.
Boasting amazing healing and exfoliating properties, the Red Sea helps ailments like skin inflammation and blood circulation issues. The sand also contains unique radioactive elements and trace minerals said to help patients with rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory problems.
Regardless of the time of year, the sea boasts lukewarm, delightful water, making a dip here one of the best ways to boost your health and wellness in Egypt.
Sink into a traditional sand bath at Siwa Oasis
Recognized in 2017 as one of the best global destinations for medical and environmental tourism, Siwa Oasis is home to a number of wellness opportunities. Located on the tip of the Sahara desert right near Libya, Siwa is the perfect place for rejuvenation and one of the top destinations for those seeking experiences in spa and wellness in Egypt.
The most famous wellness treatment in Siwa is the traditional sand bathing, open seasonally from mid-June to mid-September. Capturing the heat of the hot summer months, the sand is said to enhance overall health and wellbeing. Benefits from bathing include detoxification, boosted immunity, and improvements in blood circulation, fertility, heart function, and cholesterol levels.
To begin with, the entire body up to the neck is buried in the steaming sand for 10-15 minutes, triggering a cold sensation that is said to catalyze rejuvenation. After bathing, the patient is made to dress in winter clothing and rest. Oil massages, cupping, and warm, herbal tonics complete the treatment, leaving the patient feeling restored and renewed. The healing properties of sand bathing lured many ancient leaders to Siwa, including Cleopatra and Alexander the Great.
A trip to Siwa offers an amazing opportunity to truly indulge and renew; with the nearest town being hundreds of kilometers away, there’s no distractions from attaining peak wellness.
Indulge in one of Cairo’s famous wellness spas
There are many opportunities to unwind in Egypt’s capital city. If you’re after a luxurious spa and wellness experience in Egypt, look no further than Four Seasons Hotel Nile Plaza Spa. As one of Cairo’s largest wellness centers, it offers a huge list of alternative and traditional treatments including the Pharaonic massage, jet lag recovery, and the illustrious Nile Journey massage. The treatments are infused with traditional Egyptian rituals including herbal steam baths and loofah scrubs, making it one of the most relaxing ways to escape the hustle and bustle of Cairo. If you’re after a more immersive experience, you can also opt to stay at the hotel and receive a treatment from the comfort of your room.
Delve into traditional Sinai herbs with Dr. Ahmed
As one of the last remaining traditional herbal growers and doctors in the Sinai region, a visit to Dr. Ahmed at his wondrous desert garden is a must for all alternative wellness lovers. Known throughout Egypt and into Israel for his extensive knowledge on the traditional use of Sinai herbs, he also has an amazing ability to diagnose the holistic health issues often missed by modern medicine.
As a descendant of the Jabaleyya tribe, who guarded St. Catherine’s Monastery for over 1,600 years, Dr. Ahmed is also working hard to ensure his knowledge isn’t lost to future generations; He runs a small school for the local Bedouin children out of his garden. Whether you require a diagnosis or are simply interested in delving deeper into ancient Egyptian herbal medicine, a trip into the Sinai desert isn’t complete without stopping by Dr. Ahmed’s garden.
Loosen your shoulders with cupping
While the origin of cupping remains a controversy, there’s no doubt that the ancient Egyptians used the treatment for a number of purposes, as it has even been found inscribed in hieroglyphics. Cupping works by creating suction that draws out toxins and foreign matters from the body. Utilized for pain management, blood flow, and deep tissue treatment, Egypt is one of the most authentic destinations to experience the benefits of cupping. In Cairo and looking to experience an amazing cupping treatment? Try out Cura Clinic or Osana Family Wellness.