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Arctic Cocooning Experience in Finland

Megan Wilkins

Contributor

If you are looking for a wellness experience unlike any other, then look no further than Arctic Cocooning in Finland. Gone are the days of the traditional spa, as saunas are replaced with snow and inner tranquillity can be found in your very own comfort bubble. Set deep in the forests of Lapland, this exclusive experience is tailor-made to keep you in utter bliss, as you sway gently to sleep between two trees. Connect with nature and find comfort unlike ever before when you emerge reborn from your Arctic Cocoon.

Start with a guided walk through a centuries-old private forest

Nestled deep in the HaliPuu Forest in Lapland is the home and land of the Raekallio family. This remarkable family has opened its private forests to visitors, so that they may experience the majesty and beauty of the Arctic. As part of the “spa-cation”, you begin by making your way through the trees, hearing tales and anecdotes from the owners themselves. The air in Lapland is some of the cleanest in the world, making it the perfect location for anyone looking to detox and unwind.

As part of your guided walk, you may be lucky enough to happen upon some of the native wildlife, including the gorgeous reindeer that call these forests home. The Raekallio family believes that it is important for guests to truly connect with nature before entering their cocoon, as this will give them a deeper understanding of the experience.  

Learn about sensory relaxation exercises and their benefits

Once you reach the campsite, you will be briefed on how the cocooning will work, and what to expect. Many people find it difficult to “shut off” from the outside world, so you will be taught various breathing and muscle relaxation exercises to ensure that you can relax in your cocoon. Sensory deprivation has been proven to help the brain reach a state of total relaxation, which it is otherwise unable to do with modern levels of stimulation.

Steady breathing, along with targeted muscle contraction and release, enables you to force your brain to focus on one element at a time, so as to allow the other areas of the brain to calm down. Apart from the obvious, this technique assists in reaching a deeper level of relaxation. Once the exercises are done, you should be able to drift off to sleep or remain in a meditative state. If at any point you feel as though you are not relaxed, you can return to the breathing and movements.

Choose your cocoon and start the experience

The cocoons themselves are heavy canvas hammocks, designed specifically to fit the human body and provide the needed support. These hammocks are hung between two old and beautiful pine trees, offering you a steady and rooted structure. They are lined with blankets and pillows to keep you warm and comfortable, whilst maintaining the feeling of gentle floating and swaying.

The experience is inspired by Finnish babies, who have daily naps outside, both in winter and summer, and are wrapped in warm blankets whilst being rocked in their prams. The cold air keeps your mind and body focused, while the warm blankets keep out the cold. The entire relaxation session can last anywhere from 20-45 minutes, depending on the outside temperature. The feeling itself is indescribable. Your body knows that it is exposed to freezing air, but you are safe and warm inside of your cocoon, which adds to the sense of comfort and security. 

Emerge from your cocoon and be greeted with a warm fire and traditional treats

Once you have been woken gently from your session, you can sit near the warm fire and roast local lingonberry marshmallows, with a hot cup of traditional blueberry soup. The warmth from the fire brings life back into your bones and helps deepen the feeling of relaxation. Blueberry soup is served in the winter, as it contains excellent nutrients and antioxidants, helping to keep the body strong. The roaring fire is sure to have you nice and toasty while you contemplate the experience as a whole.

If lingonberries and blueberries are not to your taste, guests are welcome to request tea and coffee, which will be served alongside homemade cookies. 

Take your knowledge through to your everyday life

The entire experience lasts approximately two hours, but the effects last much longer. You are encouraged to take what you have learned about relaxation through to your daily life. From the breathing and muscle exercises to the cold sleeping temperatures, the Raekallio family suggests that, when you sleep, you should remove any stimulus from the room. Keep the temperature low and use warm blankets and pillows to keep your body snug. This will allow for a deeper, more relaxing sleep. As you drift off, you are reminded of the gentle sway of the trees, and the depth of the cold forest.

After your cocooning session, you are also welcome to take part in the Raekallio family’s “adopt a tree” program, which offers the chance to buy one of the trees in their forest. This allows you to keep the connection you found on your walk and look back on fond memories of your Arctic Cocoon.   

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