The Mud sessions are my favorite sessions to perform. At least right now. I had a very pleasant session with a woman visiting the spa for the first time last week. It is a great illustration for what I am hoping to accomplish in my work at the Little Red Day Spa.
In these sessions, I usually start out getting my guest comfortable in the space and into a robe. Perhaps sipping tea or nibbling chocolate. I proceed with washing and massaging her feet in a Rosemary foot bath. The soap makes a great massage lubricant. There is a sweet woman at a local open air market who makes soap in all different flavors. Right now I am using the one she calls the Good Karma Bar with Red Clay, Shea Butter and essential oils.
After drying her feet, we move to the massage table for a Roman Body Brushing. The brushes are soft, natural fibers and it feels like the gentlest back-scratching, soothing and enlivening at the same time. I leave her covered with a silk cloth while the shower warms up. (A rinsing in the shower is mandatory before entering the hot tub. State law and common sense.)
Before we start the Watsu, she enjoys the jets that encrust the "throne" while I massage her hands and wrists. This seat has jets that direct streams of water at the base of the neck, top of shoulders, all down the back, arms, lower legs and feet. When you sit in it, you immediately understand why we call it the throne. I describe how the Watsu is performed with the use of the floats on her lower legs, to help maintain buoyancy and balance, while I cradle her in my arms. It's always so difficult to capture such a sensory rich experience in words. Luckily, within minutes of starting to float her, her body let go of all the unnoticed tension that we all hold in our daily life, and began to move in the water like seaweed; anchored by my hands and arms yet still moving gently and easily with the movements of the water.
Ending the Watsu portion of the session is often a little sad. The prospect of a full body mud mask is usually tempting and intriguing enough for most people not to dwell on the end of the Watsu, though. We use a fine potter's clay with essential oils and water mixed in to give it a thick, soupy consistency for application. I use my hands to massage it into her skin, the fine grain of the clay providing texture. Once she is thoroughly coated in clay and it is starting to dry, making her look a bit like a statue, I warm the shower again so that she can take full advantage of the dual shower heads to rinse all the clay off.
While applying the warm, scented oil to complete the treatment, she murmured, "You could single handedly create world peace doing this," and let out a long, happy sigh. It was quite difficult for me not to bounce around in joy. (As that would hardly be relaxing.) I am putting this down in memory as one of the highest compliments I have ever received in massage or spa work.