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Air and Space at the Spa

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Air and Space at the Spa

After five months of driving all over town to be tested by specialists in the field of holistic health, working out at the gym and at home, trying new foods and supplements, and saying farewell to old habits, Toni and Rob experience some well-deserved pampering at the spa. Along the way, they learn about the ancient healing system of Ayurveda.

After five months of driving all over town to be tested by specialists in the field of holistic health, working out at the gym and at home, trying new foods and supplements, and saying farewell to old habits, Toni and Rob experience some well-deserved pampering at the spa. Along the way, they learn about the ancient healing system of Ayurveda.

Off to the spa! After six months of hard work reshaping my fitness levels and my daily diet, my wellness experience this month was an Ayurvedic treatment. Ayurveda is the ancient Indian science dating back 5,000 years. The Ayurvedic holistic approach to healing and wellness addresses physical, intellectual, and spiritual health.

I must admit I had been feeling quite apprehensive about this spa treatment as I’ve never had a massage before and wasn’t too sure what to expect. When I arrived at the spa, I changed into the robe and slippers they supplied and was given some lemon water to drink.

I filled out a questionnaire that would determine my dosha, my basic constitution.

Warming Up

Laura, the massage therapist, evaluated my questionnaire and escorted me to the treatment room. Here I removed the robe and slippers and slid under the sheet, waiting for what would come next. One concern I had was my history of migraines that are often triggered by strong aromas. Fortunately, the oils and herbs had subtle smells that combined with the muted lighting and soft music, creating a restful atmosphere.

During this treatment I was given cucumber water–another new experience for me–which proved to be a very pleasant, refreshing drink.

Pampering and Purifying

After the hot oil massage, I was taken to a cedar steam cabinet, to which aromatic herbs (camomile, fennel, and ginger) had been added to enhance my dosha. I stayed in the steam cabinet for the maximum 12 minutes while the herbs and steam detoxified and cleansed my system.

I then returned to the treatment room, where my skin was given a dry-flour brushing. The flour, made from chickpeas (garbanzo beans), is dusted onto the skin and firmly but gently brushed using a natural-bristle brush to exfoliate the skin and prevent the re-entry of toxins. These brushes aren’t reused but are given to spa clients to keep. This will be perfect for me to use for the dry-brush lymphatic cleanses recommended last month by the herbalist.

Rejuvenation

Lastly, I had a facial that also included a massage of my hands, feet, neck, and scalp, and it made me feel like a million dollars. This was an incredible experience; I felt wonderful afterward.

One result of the entire makeover process has been the enhanced quality of my skin, which was very dry at the start. The improvement over the last six months has been quite dramatic, but after the Ayurvedic swedana, it was softer, smoother, and silkier than I can ever remember.

The Doshas

In Ayurvedic healing science, there are three doshas or universal forces. They are known as vata, pitta, and kapha. The doshas, which govern the temperament and constitution of each individual, are a combination of the five elements (air, space, fire, water, and earth) and are present in all of us. Vata is made up of the elements of air and space; pitta is made of fire and water; and kapha of water and earth.

Toni’s dosha was determined to be predominantly vata, air, and space.

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