When I was told that going for a seaweed bath would suit me, I laughed in my family member's face.
I find it very hard to sit still if I don't have a piece of technology or a pint in front of me so the idea of going all the way to Connemara to sit in a bath by myself for an hour was something that I thought was daftness.
But, I said 2018 and all that, I'd give it a go. New year, I'll try to be a new me that 2017 me would have laughed at.
I got to the Connemara Seaweed Baths which are right beside the Leenane Hotel and immediately I was in a happy mood.
You can't take the roads past Clifden and Connemara and that side of the west of Ireland without being a small bit proud to be Irish.
The views are fantastic.
Hopped out of the car and into the hotel and the receptionist could smell the newness of me with my shuffling and don't-know-where-to-look stares
She was very helpful though and explained to me that once I had one, I'd be back for more soon. I didn't know it then but she was dead right.
Into a steam room I go for five minutes in the hallway to open up my pours and in here I just tell myself, 'keep an open mind, you might enjoy it'.
Then, that's when the fear hit me. What if I do enjoy it? I'm not supposed to like pampering myself, I'm a man.
BREAKING NEWS: Men can enjoy being lavish and luxurious too, just don't say it out loud too much.
The receptionist leads me to a single room and warns me not to jump into the bath until I feel the water is at the right temperature for me.
It's a good thing she said that because idiot me would have jumped straight in and scalded the skin off myself.
Now this may look like an ordinary bath with a bit of seaweed thrown on top of it - and you'd be dead right to think so.
However, fresh seaweed is sourced each and every day and is fresh with essential nutrients and minerals.
The saltwater seaweed baths provide a natural cure for skin ailments as well as relaxing tired and aching muscles.
It's so relaxing that you will end up falling asleep if you're by yourself as it releases all the tension and knots in your skin.
The bath is supposed to help fight against:
- Arthritis & Rheumatism
- Eczema & Psoriasis
- Fungal Infections
- General wellbeing and relaxation
I can vouch for one of those. Since I was a teenager, I've suffered from a form of eczema on my right hand and acne on my face.
While I was in the bath, I made sure to rub some of the seaweed on my hands and arms as well as ducking my face under water every once in a while.
You know the rest, a week later for the first time in ten years, my skin cleared up fully.
A jug of water is left beside you on the floor and you'll need it because you'll have a lip on you like someone in the Sahara.
But the hour does fly and it's so relaxing and rejuvenating that you're not left thinking, 'how am I going to pass this hour?', it just happens and when it does, you end up wishing you had another one ahead of you.
You get a knock on the door to signal that your hour is up and then you must pull a lever over the top of your bath which releases cold water to close your pours.
There is single rooms and there is twin rooms so you can bring along a partner or a friend on your visit too.
It's €50 a pop but it's well worth it and if you book five baths, you get a complimentary bath for free.
Here's some dos that they list on their website if you choose to visit:
- Immerse your head or place seaweed on your hair – it is a wonderful conditioner
- Take some seaweed and use it as a cushion behind your neck for extra comfort
- Drink lots of water during and after treatment
- Take your used seaweed home – it is an excellent fertiliser and nutrients still remain even after bathing – Do not though place it directly near plants as it can be too strong.
- Sit back, relax and take in the wonderful views of Killary Harbour or take a selection of magazines from reception to browse while bathing
- If at any time you feel lightheaded from the heat – drink water and pull the ice cold spring water lever over the bath to cool.
I'll be making a few trips back there before the year is out anyway, that is for sure.