Big travel lies – and the the truth: I have an Ayurveda massage :)

I could tell you a great big lie about why I have massages when I’m travelling.  I could say it’s for research, or I could say it so I can write a blog, but neither of them would be true.

Sure, I may write an article or blog about a massage – and I confess I have one everywhere I go – but nearly always the main reason is pure pleasure and relaxation.  Of course, sometimes I  have tight muscles or a sore back and massages are my go-to treatment for them too.

About 18 months ago, while staying at the Kannur Beach House in Kerala, I gave myself an early Christmas present – the day before Christmas – and had an Ayurvedic massage, here in what must be the Ayurvedic capital of the world (Kerala) – the first time I’ve had one.

So, what is Ayurveda?  Firstly, the word is evidently Sanskrit and translates as the knowledge of life or life science. It’s a holistic way of living that combines meditation, yoga, diet, herbal remedies and massage.  Its beliefs include: everything in the universe is made up of elements, including ear fire and water.  It is the balance of these bodily energies, which governs our physical and emotional health.  According to a book I read at the beach house.  These were written in the ancient Hindu scriptures, The Vedas, which describes health as balance and illness, as an imbalance.  Imbalance can be set right through eating foods based on body type, proper digestions, physical exercise and yoga or meditation.

Enough of my research, what about the massage?

I arrived by Auto (a 3-wheeled, Tuk-tuk type vehicle) and was first interviewed about my health history.

She started with a head massage, which was lovely, and finished with my face being massaged at the end. It felt luxurious having very warm oil poured over me.  No oil on her hands but poured directly onto my body in copious amounts.

The massage included long dramatic, two-handed swirls and strokes from my foot to my fingertips.  Smooth figure-eight movements travelled all over the front of my body and included long sweeps over my arms and torso.  This certainly was a different sort of massage and not at all like a Thai massage or Swedish.

With great care,

I climbed off the oil-covered massage table – fearing I would slip right off. I thought that was the end of it, but no, I was then put in a steam box and wish I had a photo of the box with my head poking out.  I found it very claustrophobic and quite scary and asked to be let out after about 5 minutes, which she did gracefully.  A shower followed – with shampoo and body wash provided.

So, I’m not sure if the herb-infused oil used in the massage purified me, detoxed, cleansed or removed any toxins, but I can say it was a great massage and next time I’m back in Kerala I will return for another!

However, like all massage therapists each one differs: that first one was magic, it felt authentic, but then I had another one further south, which seemed more tourist orientated, and more like a regular massage> I’m pleased I was able to ask a local where to go, who they could recommend,  when I was at the Kunnar Beach House 😊

 

Relaxing Spa: beach, alps or Wellington, New Zealand!

 

Once used to describe a healthy environment in the European Alps where sickly people were bought for clean mountain air, the word spa now has wider use.

Whether it’s a relaxing massage on a beach to mediation, fasting, facials, scrubs, body wraps or a colonic irrigation – whatever you want, or need, there will be a place to suit you.

Sometimes, in a busy life, indulgence at a spa seems hard to justify. However it’s a rejuvenating pleasure and your mind can drop its concerns as you sink into an awareness of only the touch of the masseuse and the sounds of silence or meditative music.

Recently I indulged in an hour at an inner-city, Wellington, spa for such a relaxing, and reviving, time.

Bodyhaven, inside the James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor provided me, and a friend, a great start to an enjoyable weekend here in our city – after all, you don’t need to leave town to have a holiday: we stayed at the James Cook for our holiday.

We chose different treats at Bodyhaven. By candle-light, I soaked in a copper tub, full of milky tropical smells, before an hour of massage. Wonderful! My companion had a facial and hand massage which she said was really relaxing. ‘The hand massage cream was really thick, like beautiful body butter.’

So if you want a holiday in Wellington,( New Zealand’s ‘capital of cool’) whether you live here or not, or want a spa treat, I can recommend Ana Marie’s Bodyhaven. (147 The Terrace, Wellington. Open from 10am daily)

Marinique Truter, Executive Manager, World Luxury Spa Awards said: “The World Luxury Spa Awards is the highest accolade a spa can ever hope to receive. For participants the World Luxury Spa Awards challenge service excellence and highlight the importance of constant improvement. The World Luxury Spa Awards truly puts a winner/finalist spa ahead of its peers from a marketing perspective.”

http://www.luxuryhotelawards.com/spa-winners-2011.asp

Ana Marie said “we are very honoured with the awards it’s a great recognition to our constant delivery standards and the up market quality of what a boutique spa experience is some times consumers become confused in evaluating a luxurious infrastructure does not make a spa great.”