Sunday, December 11, 2011

Eden's Scrubs and Wraps

After canceling once already, I finally went for my "chocolate scrub" session at the Spa. For convenience sake I'm calling it the "Eden Spa" since everyone usually goes gaga over the mention of spas - as if it was some heavenly place where cherubs wait on you hand and foot and you are served manna from heaven. Yes, Spas are really good for relaxation; but I never seem to be able to relax enough to let down my guard. From the not-warm-enough-rooms, to the jittery feeling I get when I lie face down and my shoulder blades painfully convulse one second before the therapist's hands land on my back; it's just not the perfect place for me. But I admit that the massages relieve the pain in my shoulders and neck, and that's why I keep going.

Going through the usual awkwardness of changing clothes and getting on the table, I imagine the scrub as something which will feel warm and smooth. But then I realize, a second after the pain has started that I am about to be sandpapered in what is referred to as "exfoliation". Please note that I voluntarily paid big money to be flayed alive, folks. Legs, then back, then arms, and then... arm pits! At that point I realize that no one had ever rubbed my arm pits before - ever! At the same instant, I also realize that being rubbed with sand is not so painful on the arm pits as it is on legs and arms - go figure!

Exfoliation done, I'm helped to sit up, then the therapist finally applies what I had come for - chocolate. I can actually smell it as it is applied, and it is quite an interesting feeling getting all covered with one of my favorite things in the world. Once my back is done, she asks me to lie back down on the plastic sheet. I cringe as I lie down and feel the chocolate slither under me. An instinctive "Ew!" escapes my lips, soliciting a "Hehe, yeah" from the therapist who probably hears that everyday. And then after all of my body is covered with chocolate, the next bizarre phase of the ritual commences. She wraps me up in the plastic sheet, like I am a chicken in tin foil ready to be popped into the oven, and to reinforce that image, a warm electric blanket completes the ensemble. I am then left to bake for 15 minutes, in which I try very very hard not to think of all the itchy sand/goo combo on my body. Try to relax, try to enjoy it, I keep telling myself.

Finally, my savior comes in and removing the electric blanket, she helps me into the shower, then with a subtle twist of her wrist pulls the plastic off me, while closing the shower door, preserving my privacy. She's so good at this! I do a quick shower to rid myself of the opaque brown goo which is supposed to be chocolate, as well as the sand she flayed me with, and the tons of dead skin (some probably still alive) she had exfoliated. 

Toweled dry and lying on my face again for a warm back and shoulder massage, I am finally back on familiar territory and I try really really hard to achieve the impossible - fall asleep. I've tried to do this for years; at different spas, with different therapists, and have always failed. Yep, no luck this time either. What is wrong with me?! Why can't I just switch off and let someone massage me without paying attention to what they are doing. I am always fascinated by how they work. How do they find the balance between treating our body as an object to be manipulated and the fact that this is the body of a customer and therefore a human being?! How can she pick up my head and move it from side to side without thinking she is working with a bowling ball, or a water melon?! And what kind of muscles are required to do this work several times a day, 6 days a week? Do they get a bonus of one massage for themselves at the end of the week? It sure would be nice.


Marcia said...

Because if you switched off and enjoyed, you wouldn't have noticed all the details and written this hilarious commentary. :-)

Noura Al Noman said...

LOL, yes but once, just once, I want to fall asleep! Thanks for dropping by, Marcia.

Fatima said...

Spas aren't for you. You shouldn't be left alone with your thoughts. I'd take you to a loud place with so many people you can't hear your own thoughts. What do you say? Some time this week?? ;)

Noura Al Noman said...

You're on!