Every year, my birthday celebration involves some element of pampering, but whatever it is — it’s always something I haven’t done before. I love experimenting.
This year was no exception, as I headed to The Spa at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto. Upon my arrival, I checked in my belongings at the locker and after being greeted by staff, walked straight into my special treat — the 60-minute aromatherapy massage.
At this particular Spa, massages are performed using aromatherapy oils from head to toe, something that I was eager to try. A natural, botanical blend of four vegan oils provides a deeply hydrating treatment. It is certainly welcomed in Toronto’s freezing (and dry) winter weather.
I picked the Relaxing Aromatherapy Massage because its description sounded particularly inviting: “This ancient healing therapy combines the nurturing powers of touch with blends of aromatic essential oils that feature natural fragrances that respond to each individual’s needs. The massage combines light to medium pressure and long gliding strokes to reduce tension, soothe sore muscles and increase circulation.”
I have a rather “static” lifestyle — despite my constant meetings and travel, I tend to sit most of the time: at my work desk, on a train, in a conference. I also don’t like very intense massages because I have a sensitive back. Not to mention that thanks to years of wearing heels, I have many sore muscles on a regular basis.
My massage therapist Jason was exceptionally polite and listened carefully to everything I said about my personal preferences and health history. I was able to choose the aromatherapy oil for the massage too. This meant closing my eyes and sniffing the oils that were placed in colourful bottles, and that Jason carefully put under my nose. The options were: Zen Fusion, Energy Release, Soothing Tropical and Rejuvenating. The scents of each oil ranged from very sweet, to mildly spicy to peppermint overtones. I selected Zen Fusion as it had a light and summery scent.
One of the highlights of the massage was the fully heated bed. This is a splendid experience in winter because it makes you feel relaxed within minutes.
The room is dark and the spa guest can choose the type of music that is playing in the background. Since the massage is an hour-long experience, it isn’t rushed and you get the full advantage of having your entire body massaged. Face, head, feet, palms of your hands — it’s all covered. Jason was a great massage therapist; I didn’t have to provide him with any feedback throughout the hour, as he found the perfect amount of pressure, especially for my “always-stiff” back.
The oil was massaged into the skin, and made me walk out from the room feeling rejuvenated. My arms and legs were spectacularly silky, as smooth as a baby’s skin.
Throughout the massage, a soft and heated pillow was placed under my feet to keep them extra warm and I had the option to request a blanket in case I felt chilly. At the very end, Jason also wrapped each of my hands in a hot, wet towel for about a minute.
As we walked out, I opted for some green tea and just sat in the lounge, with a pleased smile on my face. I’ve had massages in many countries and this was, without exaggeration, the most relaxing and pleasant experience to-date. I’m planning to go back next week!