by Dee McMath
Okkaido is the name given to a special cleansing and revitalising therapy, which combines an individual vapour sauna bath, together with the direct intake of oxygen.
I have only seen this therapy offered in one health and beauty salon in Andalucia - in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol. The Beauty Centre is run by a German couple who speak little English or Spanish, but seem to manage without much verbal communication at all.
The so-called Okkaido is offered in single or multiple sessions. For full benefit, 10 sessions are recommended, within the space of around 3 weeks. An individual steam bath is preheated. It is like a large steam box, inside which you are enclosed, with just your head outside. The temperature is regulated higher or lower, depending on how much you feel comfortable with and during the half hour session, a small tube is placed around your head allowing you to inhale oxygen through your nose, which flows in from an oxygen cylinder. It is quite comfortable and relaxing. After the half hour, the step out of your box and are wrapped in a towel and left to relax on a massage table for about 10 minutes.
The benefit of vapour and oxygen helps to detox your system and leaves you feeling calm and yet energised. One session makes you feel especially clean and fresh and after five or more, there is a noticeable improvement in complexion. These outward signs reflect the improvement to the body's defences.
Oxygen treatments are known to be beneficial and this combination works very well.
This treatment may not be suitable if you suffer from claustrophobia, since you are enclosed for the half hour session. Although you can push the lid and step out of the steam box at any time, the aim is to relax and remain still for the half hour.