Around the World

Wellness Practices In Russia

Many countries around the world including Russia have had a significant impact on what we know about health & wellness. As most of the western countries are much younger they have learned, adapted and taken holistic practices from some of the oldest regions in the world. Years of scientific research have proven their techniques.

Wellness Around the World was created to learn about how other countries incorporate health and wellness and to understand where we get some of our most common wellness practices.

Welcome To Russia 

Wellness in Russia

Located in Northern Asia, this country occupies one-tenth of all land on earth. Spanning 11 time zones it shares shores with three oceans. Surprisingly, 75% of Russian citizens occupy large urban cities such as Moscow, St, Petersburg, and Novosibirsk.

Life expectancy is almost 10 years shorter for both males and females in comparison to North America. Currently, Russian males live to 64 and females to 76. With 120 ethnic groups in Russia, there are more than 100 languages but about 80% of the population’s ancestry can be traced to Slavs who settled almost 1500 years ago.

Healthcare in Russia is provided by the state through the Federal Compulsory Medical Insurance Fund and regulated through the Ministry of Health. The Constitution of the Russian Federation has provided all citizens the right to free healthcare since 1996. But many Russians do not seek the help of doctors in hospitals as readily as we do here in North America. Only 44% of the population actually go to the hospital when someone in the family is ill. Most prefer the use of alternative healers, people who use traditional healing techniques. Below are the 4 most common practices.

Banya or Bathhouse

Bathhouse in Russia

This is a favorite among locals. The bathhouse is looked at as a place of rest and relaxation. Meant to increase blood circulation and help to detoxify the body, particularly in difficult areas like teeth, bone, and sinuses. The steam opens your pores and promotes cleansing for cleaner, healthier skin. It revitalizes the body from head to toe as it draws out toxins. It also stimulates circulation and promotes cell regeneration. Mental health can be improved by closing your eyes and allowing your senses to take over.  Using birch, oak wood, or eucalyptus oils bathhouses you are sure to get an awesome sensory experience. Bathhouses are great mood boosters as you will experience a very appealing atmosphere. It is important that you feel comfortable so choose a comfortable bathing suit because you’ll be spending a lot of time in it. Do not bring any swimsuit that has metal details that could heat up and burn you in hot sauna temps. With Russia’s cold winters the local bathhouses can help you feel warm and cozy.   

Salty Atmospheres

Salt mines, like the one in Yekaterinburg, are beautifully decorated and offer an array of health benefits. Sitting among the salty air is said to create a tranquil, calming atmosphere. Salt therapy is a 100% natural alternative. Stimulating your senses, these places also alleviate respiratory issues and clear up sinus problems. Sitting in salt mines has even been linked to the healing of skin ailments like eczema and psoriasis as the salty air has anti-inflammatory properties that also reduce redness, provide moisture and purify the body.

Garlic & Mustard Flour

Garlic in Russia

Both are major herbal remedies that Russia practices. The strong antibacterial and antiseptic properties in both fight against bacterial infection, while also easing the pain caused by the nasty infection. Garlic is said to help heal many illnesses and strengthen the immune system. Parents in Russia would place a piece of garlic into the sick person’s pocket in order to help them get better. Mustard flour is said to help coughing-fits or heavy chest congestion. A paste created with water and mustard flour is put onto a cloth and laid onto the chest for 15 minutes. Remove and wash the area with warm water. 

Beryozovy Sok (Birch Juice) 

Mainly drank by locals, birch juice is a sweet drink very common in Russia. First popularized in the USSR post-war, when nutritious food was hard to come by. Birch juice is a good source of vitamin B6 and B12 giving those who drink it regularly shiny and healthy hair and nails. It also contains medicinal ingredients that help maintain a strong metabolism. Birch sap is loaded with a number of amino acids, minerals, enzymes, proteins, antioxidants, and vitamins. It even has detoxifying properties, making birch water an effective solution for that headache you acquired during your previous night out. Like water, It flushes and cleanses the body from toxins. It can lower cholesterol and has also been linked to weight loss.  

Did you know?

Some of Russia’s best beauty recipes are homemade? explains “Basically because throughout the pre-revolution ages cosmetics were not widely available, and all through the 20th century, there was little or no access to modern cosmetic products. Women still wanted to look beautiful and naturally like a little pampering. There are a number of time-tested recipes. One for the summertime is a strawberry mask: just pick a strawberry from the garden, bite the tip-off and rub the rest around the face. Perhaps not the most attractive look, so it’s better to do these procedures in private.”

Another homemade recipe is the face scrub. All you need is your ordinary household salt (or sea salt if available) grated into small particles. Then add a little olive oil to the concoction and use it as any other scrub, rubbing the skin with a little bit of pressure. Make sure to avoid cuts and grazes as it may cause a bit of discomfort.

Like and share this content with friends and family to show everyone how the beautiful people of Russia practice health and wellness. Do you know of other practices? Comment below and let us know any other health and wellness practices you know!

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