Spa, finding your oasis

Story by Richelle Barger | Photographs by Gabe Green | Published: May 29, 2015

spa rub

Near the table you lay languidly, like a mermaid (or merman). You’ve been whirl-pooled, scrubbed with sea salt, dipped in lavender wax and wrapped in seaweed. You’ve been steamed, soaked and sauna-ed. Now, it is time to be tenderized.

Quinault2008_1538 smallThere is something so wonderful about laying completely naked — or clothed to the level of your choosing — on a warm bed with the promise of your worries disappearing. The day-to-day, built-up list of to-dos can be overwhelming but a few hours of being pampered, can go a long way.

The very sound of the word is relaxing: spa. In my mind the three letters stand for Serenity and Pampering that makes you exhale, “Ahh.” Surprisingly, it might actually be an acronym for the Latin words “Salus Per Aquam.”

Water has been used for centuries for its purifying qualities — probably from the beginning of time. Steam baths and saunas are popular hydrotherapies. Warmth feels good. In addition, many spas offer a multitude of add-ons such as wraps, scrubs, facials and paraffin dips, extending the massage into an afternoon of blissful relaxation.

The masseuse continues to gently — yet firmly — roll your cares away. While you might fight off sleep, take heed. Masseuse Jamie Lowe at Oceana Spa in Aberdeen says relaxation to the point of falling asleep allows the maximum benefit. “The more you let go, the more you benefit,” she says.

When getting your massage, think about adding soothing hot oil to your hair. The Quinault Beach Resort and Spa at Ocean Shores makes their own secret mixture of oil from natural oils like sunflower, jojoba, almond and avocado, with various essential oils, such as rosemary, sandlewood, neroli, bergamot, myrrh, petit granin, clary sage or ylang ylang, all natural and nurturing scents.

Spa couchWhen looking for a spa, feel free to shop around. Your body will thank you for your effort. Quinault Beach Resort offers a sauna and a steam bath, which help hydrate the skin and relax your body before and after your massage. Many spas also have tanning beds that may be added to your day for a small amount, adding an extra glow of sunshine to both your skin and your attitude during the dreary damp winter months.

Ambiance Massage and Spa in Aberdeen also offers add-ons to their very popular massages, such as hand and foot paraffin dips which seal in warmth to those overworked hands during your massage. The best part: the easy removal of the wax during the hand or foot massage. “Massage is the single best thing you can do for yourself,” says Krystal Shope, who has been a masseuse for 14 years and receives weekly therapeutic massages for shoulder injuries as well.

relax roomIt may be the health benefits of the massage that bring you into the spa, but the added pampering to your face, head, hands and feet may be the reminder for you to come back regularly.