An Afternoon at a Spa

imageAlthough I enjoy the odd day at a spa I wouldn’t have said I’m particularly a ‘spa person’. In theory I like the idea of being pampered but in reality I find it hard to be still for that long plus I find spas very, very expensive and sometimes not that good. I do though take the opportunity when on holiday to visit a hotel spa if possible and get a ‘local’ treatment if I can: an Indian head massage in India, a Thai massage in Thailand for example.

Yesterday though, being somewhere with a spa which I had visited previously, which I know to be good, thinking it was going to rain all day and all the alternative options being outside I booked myself into the spa for a treatment and use of the facilities.

The facilities included a vitality pool, rainforest/arctic shower, sauna and steam room.

It was only while I was lounging in the vitality pool that I realised how tight my shoulder muscles were and how hard I was finding it to relax in the warm water that I began paying attention to my body and the messages it was sending me. I switched on the fierce jet that pounded shoulder muscles and sat under it letting it pummel me until it felt enough. To be fair it wasn’t painful, quite pleasurable really, it was more that I’d had enough. I then put on the softer jets and laid back into them letting them play against my back, shoulders and legs. Laying there in the warm water I gradually felt the muscles beginning to let go.

Soon after this while I was getting a drink of cucumber water another client of the spa came in and we got talking. She told me that a friend had told her to use the water room before her massage as the heat helped to relax muscles so the treatment was better afterwards. Thinking this made at least some sense, I then used the sauna, steam room, the arctic shower to cool down in between and the rainforest shower to warm my muscles back up. Feeling surprisingly relaxed after this I dried off and went into the relaxation room to await my treatment.

Writing this now I can see how much my mind affects what I do. Before the conversation I saw the water room as just something to use before my treatment. By using it I I felt it meant that I got my money’s worth from the spa, afterwards I felt I was doing my body some good and so found it easy to settle down to enjoy the whole experience.

My treatment was a Balinese massage. I’d booked this because I had never had one before and liked the sound of it, but talking to the therapist about what I wanted to get out of it I realised how appropriate it was for me. Although my stress levels are low, my body has taken a battering recently due to the adverse reaction to anti malaria tablets. For days it had fought to rid itself of the medication and to right itself and so my energy levels were low and my body had suffered greatly.

The massage was described as a continuous flow and so it was. I was given a choice of aromatherapy oils, chosen by fragrance in fact, thus allowing my body to make the decision and not my mind. Long sweeping strokes, over my whole body relaxed both my body and my mind, so much that by the end I was almost asleep.

I had gone armed with my glasses and kindle so I could read in the relaxation room afterwards but once there I just closed my eyes and dozed for about an hour and a half. So unlike me!

I realised afterwards that the whole experience was exactly what my body and mind needed and I was lucky to get a good and very experienced therapist. I do though have an excellent massage therapist and an excellent shiatsu therapist plus have many ex students I can call on for energy work so usually I would prefer to go to one of them depending on my needs. On this occasion though the total time out, chance to chill out and relax afterwards was completely perfect.