Six Portland Spa Treatments You’ve Never Heard Of (But Might Need)

Check out these local wellness centers for the latest in self-care.

By Michelle Harris

Couple massage in salt cave at Zama Massage Therapeutic Spa

Look, the classic back massage is a tough one to beat—but that isn’t stopping the ever-evolving wellness industry in Portland from trying. A CBD medicinal soak or an hour in a salt cave won’t fix everything that’s wrong with the world, but at least it can clear some space in your head for solving the next big problem.

Here are six cutting-edge places around the city offering up the next wave in wellness treatments.  

Goat Happy Hour, Oregon City 

You may have heard of goat yoga, but what about goat happy hour? Yes, it’s a thing. Another wellness treatment (of the furry kind) from the Original Goat Yoga studio, goat happy hour is designed for those who aren’t fans of yoga but still want to chill out with some cuddly animals. Of note: Goat happy hour also follows every goat session in case you need a double whammy of cuteness. But if you want to skip the stretching, you can visit the website to book a private happy hour. While there aren't any drinks included, you are free to bring along your own. 17531 South Henrici Rd, Oregon City

Lux Cryo, Pearl District 

Oftentimes when we seek wellness and comfort, we look to heated soaking pools and saunas. But cold therapy? Yes, it’s actually a thing (in small doses). Cryotherapy, where you sit in a booth set to extremely low temperatures using liquid nitrogen vapor for 2 to 3 minutes, is described by Lux Cryo, a wellness clinic in the Pearl District, as “the modern take on traditional ice baths.” It touts benefits including pain relief and reduced inflammation. And if full-body cryotherapy a just a bit too intense for you, Lux also offers localized sessions to treat specific areas on your body, plus cryotherapy facials. 1128 NW 13th Ave

Nikki Caballero Sound Healing, Various locations 

Music is the window into the soul, or so it’s said, which may explain why sound healing— an ancient technique used by Tibetan monks—has caught on in recent years, making waves both literal and figurative. Sound healing creates vibrational frequencies using props like gongs and quartz crystal bowls to relax your body and mind; it's also reputed to reduce anxiety and insomnia. Local sound healing guide Nikki Caballero offers one-on-one sounds healing sessions and private sound baths, in addition to hosting group sound baths at various yoga studios in Portland. You can book with her directly or check her Instagram for the latest group sessions. nikkixcaballero.com 

A hydrotherapy tub at Root Whole Body

Root Whole Body, Slabtown 

There are soaks, and then there are hydrotherapy soaks. Book your soak sesh at this wellness center founded in 2005 by Pat Johnson, who at the time was battling cancer and opened the center to provide a place for preventive healthcare. 

Hydrotherapy, which involves submerging yourself in a tub of water treated with herbs and minerals for detox and pain relief, might just become your new bestie. Think of it as an elevated Epsom salt bath. (If you’d like to take it up another notch, the spa also offers CBD salt baths.) The wellness center slings plenty of next-wave treatments that have nothing to do with soaking, too, including LED therapy—a skin treatment which uses low-level light energy to improve collagen production—and a private infrared sauna. While you’re there, grab a bite at the center’s adjoining vegan café Blossoming Lotus, which has everything from power-packed bowls and salads to juices and tonics, or relax and enjoy a pot of medicinal herbal tea in the center’s Tea Room. 2122 NW Quimby St

SkinSense Spa, Lake Oswego 

If you have a hot date or big life event coming up (it is wedding season, after all) and are hoping to get that special Mrs. Jennifer Lynn Affleck glow, Debbie Kho—a licensed aesthetician and self-professed “skin care nerd”—offers oxygen facials at her Lake Oswego spa, SkinSense. She says the procedure helps to nourish and moisturize the skin and boost collagen production by spraying high concentrations of oxygen onto your skin. Now you too are ready for your Paris honeymoon, post-quickie Vegas marriage of course. 15450 Boones Ferry Rd #7, Lake Oswego

Zama Massage Therapeutic SpaIrvington 

If you’ve ever noticed those pretty bottles of pink Himalayan sea salt on display at Whole Foods, know this: in the health and wellness world, the stuff serves another purpose entirely. Halotherapy is the therapeutic inhalation of salt particles while basking inside a glowing salt cave. The pitch: it helps relieve allergies, asthma, and stress. (Turns out, Portland is home to the only salt caves in Oregon.) Northeast Portland massage spot Zama also offers other services that use salt as therapy, including a salted chocolate massage and a Himalayan salt facial-slash-foot soak. 2149 NE Broadway

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