Life, universe and everything

My spa adventure

For my birthday, early last month, D got me a gift certificate for half a day at a local spa. Hooray! So I made an appointment and prepared myself for four hours of bliss. It was actually my first time ever getting a facial, a massage or setting foot in a hammam (Turkish steam bath) – I was, for lack of a better phrase a spa virgin.

The day I chose for my appointment turned out to be one of those Arctic-like days in Montreal (-30°C, plus wind chill) and while braving the gusts all that was giving me strength was the idea of being bathing in 60°C steam. Sweating profusely was very appealing.

The hammam was divine – to say my expectations of the whole experience were exceeded is an understatement. As I stepped out after 15 minutes, I didn’t think I could be more relaxed than that and still awake. Well, it turns out I was wrong. Next in my schedule was the facial which I also loved. But God bless technology, because you know what I liked the most (perhaps because it really took me by surprise)? Pressure booties. They put these huge boots that go up to your thighs on you, and they (boots, not thighs) are connected to a vacuum system which makes the boots become super tight on your legs. They’re very good for circulation and they’re oh so relaxing! My relaxo-meter was going up-up-up.

Next, the massage. On the sheet I had to fill out before starting, I wrote down the parts of my body that give me pain (mostly shoulders and lumbar zone, compliments of thesis writing) and that I wanted a relaxation massage (mostly because I had no idea what a Swedish or Chinese massage was – silly me, not checking Wikipedia before). Also, I was hoping I would not have a male therapist because I am such a prude and would not have enjoyed it very much (this comes to mind). Thankfully the therapist was this sweet little Asian lady.

She told me right off the bat she would not give me a relaxation massage because she herself would not pay for one. “I have a husband, why pay somebody else to do that?” is what she said. It made me chuckle and I liked her immediately. She massaged every inch of my muscles, and probably every mm of my neck with a Hulk-esque force in her fingers. It hurt so bad, but I loved it! When she got to my feet, oh boy! I am very ticklish and I had to grab the sheet really tight to not laugh or kick her horse-style. But we both got through it unharmed. Well, I was a bit frazzled and would be very sore the next day, but overall unharmed.

Final part – the wrap treatment. I chose green algae. The way it worked was that I got mushed algae spread over me and I laid on a bed wrapped in a plastic sheet and an electric blanket from head to toe. Like a mummy in a hot and sticky sarcophagus, I had to lie there for half an hour. About 5 minutes in, my claustrophobia kicked in and I had to wiggle to free my arms lest I lost my mind. The heat also kicked in and I started sweating. I was sticky, sweaty and confined. Who’d actually like that? A snail maybe. Not me. So, wrap treatments? Never again.

Concluding remarks: I loved it (almost all of it) and can’t wait to be pampered like that again. (Hint, hint, D!)

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