When I got up at six this morning, I began going about my day like a full-grown adult. By two this afternoon, I was feeling like a newborn baby. That’s because I spent a day at the spa — or should I say, spaaaaah.
A while back, two great women I know, whose birthdays fall at the end of May, launched a tradition that I’ve had the privilege of partaking in for the past three years. They, along with any friends that care to tag along, spend a morning immersed in the therapeutic waters at Body Blitz Spa in the east end of Toronto, before transforming themselves into ladies that lunch.
Yeah, I know. A day at the spa followed by a ladies’ luncheon sounds like pretty grown-up stuff, but stay with me here. I’ll get to the newborn baby bit soon enough.
Never indulged in a restorative water circuit before?
To give you a sense of what you’ve been missing, let me take you through it. The Body Blitz circuit begins with a leisurely float in their warm, Dead Sea salt pool. From there, it’s into the eucalyptus steam room and then … wait for it … a dip in the cold plunge pool.
Eek! Baby, it’s cold in there!
Seriously. It’s frigid. I entered with relative grace but trust me, on the inside, I was screaming. Very. Very. Loudly. Just when you think you couldn’t possibly feel any colder, you move the arms you’ve involuntarily glued to your sides in the interest of self-preservation and BAM, your armpits reach temperatures I’m betting even polar bears would struggle to withstand.
But there is a bright side to this sub-zero plunge. You feel absolutely fabulous when you step out. And I’m not just talking about the obvious relief akin to how you might feel if you were to finally put down the hammer after using it to repeatedly hit yourself over the head. I mean fabulous in the sense that every cell in your body is tingling and you just feel incredibly alive.
The circuit continues with a few minutes in the infrared sauna followed by another dip in the cold plunge pool. And then, a soak in their hot Epsom Salt pool followed by another dip in the cold plunge pool.
Rinse and repeat as desired!
Of course, no day at the spa is complete without a little pampering.
My friend Sue had suggested I call Body Blitz a few days prior to our day at the spa in order to book a massage. I forgot, so I had to wing it when I got there. Let me tell you — a little spontaneity can pay off bigtime.
I signed up for a 25-minute treatment. Although I’d read the description before committing, I had no idea what was in store.
Here’s what I expected:
“An invigorating body wash and scrub using one of our signature scrubs from the scrub bar. Every last inch of your body is exfoliated, from the front, the back, the sides, between your toes and under your arms. Aged skin cells are sloughed away as the skin is cleansed, exfoliated and stimulated.”
Here’s what I got:
All of the above, PLUS a level of tender care that I surely haven’t experienced since I was a newborn baby.
Think about it. As infants, we are completely dependent on our mothers to bathe us. Unable to support ourselves, we surrender to gravity, lying back, heavy head in the palm of one hand. Warm water streams over us and gentle fingers cleanse us before we are wrapped, slowly and lovingly, into freshly cleaned towels.
Before my treatment began, as I lay belly down, Marisa explained the process to me.
“First, I will rinse your body with warm water. Then I will cleanse your skin with a mint lime salt scrub. I will rinse you again when I have finished and then wrap you in towels. Do you have any questions?”
Only one. Will you be my mother?
All I could think of as she began the treatment was that until now, nobody other than my mom has ever nurtured me in this way. Of course, I’ve had massages, I’ve been held by family and friends, and I’ve made love to people I’ve loved. But this, this pure and innocent ritual, was truly something else.
I was moved. Deeply moved. It’s been a wonderful day. Tonight, I will sleep like a newborn baby. I hope you do, too.
Viv for today xo
(Originally published in August 2017)
A day at the spa is a wonderful thing, but if you’re looking for a deeper way to nurture yourself, check out this post on the importance of self-love.
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