I’ve never been to a “Spa” before.
The thought of it makes me shiver because my instant thoughts are “I have to be naked” swiftly followed by “I don’t want to do that”.
Friends I know – and my Mom especially – love being massaged and having ‘spa treatments’ done on them. I’ve heard about how relaxing and wonderful it is, but remained unconvinced. Relaxing for me is reading or watching a movie – both fully clothed. The thought of having someone touch my naked body who I’m not married to…well, it didn’t sit well with me. Mostly because I’m insecure about my body. I’m fat, flabby and generally pretty gross. I don’t want anyone to have to touch me – let alone a complete stranger. Also, having sweaty hands/feet and suffering from a lot of hot flashes has made me prefer not being touched if I can avoid it, really. It’s just super unpleasant for those who do.
So when I opened my birthday card and found Jay and Kate’s gift voucher for a ‘cocoon spa treatment’ inside, I instantly felt disappointed.
“Oh. It’s…uhh…lovely” I lied
Jay and Kate smiled excitedly “We got Mom one, too – so you can go together”
So I have to be naked with my Mom. Wow. Thanks, you guys.
So I’ve put off booking it in since April. I’ve tried to get Mom to go on her own, but she wanted to go with me.
Last week, Mom wasn’t taking ‘no’ for an answer so I had to finally book us in.
Our appointment was yesterday.
I looked at my voucher. “A cocoon experience at our Spa” it read along the top.
What is a cocoon?
Are they going to put me in a shell and shut the lid on me? I don’t think I’d like that.
Turns out…It was absolutely wonderful.
Mom and I were shown into a beautiful room with a huge tub/spa in the back corner. There were 2 ‘beds’ with rolled-up towels on them and beautiful bathrobes. I think the robes were made from teddy bear fur – they were so soft and lovely. Whoever made them had made them wonderfully large so that instead of feeling disgusted that I couldn’t close it on myself (as usual), it wrapped around me so nicely and the belt was long enough that I could tie a pretty bow with it at the front and felt wonderful. There was music playing that was soothing and relaxing. No words, just beautiful melodies from a piano.
Mom and I had a masseuse each. Mine was called “Alex” – both were female. I was thankful for this.
“Please disrobe (aarggghhh!!!) and put on the disposable underwear under your bathrobes. Then sit in our massage chair and put your feet into the footbath we have prepared for you – we will be back in a moment” Alex instructed. Her voice was as sweet as honey and as light and soft as a sunbeam. I wonder if they’re trained to speak like that?
Mom was naked in seconds.
I was very hesitant.
I looked at the ‘disposable underwear’. It was a G-string made from the most see-through, fragile tissue paper I’d ever laid eyes on. What was the point in wearing this? I pressed my lips together.
“Do it for Mom…she’s so excited” I urged myself.
So there I was, sat in a comfortable leather chair with my feet in hot, soapy water that smelled divine. The scent reminded me of honey, lemon grass and vanilla. Sooo nice.
Alex and whoever Mom’s masseuse was came back in.
Alex gave me a foot scrub with what felt like sand. But it was nice. I felt uncomfortable having someone at my feet, so I think I was very tense.
“Relax” Alex smiled up at me. “Lean back and just enjoy”
We were then lead to our ‘beds’ and asked to take off our robes (Aarggghhh) and lay face down. There was a hole you could put your face through. Alex held up a towel to ‘shield me’ as I took my robe off (thank you, God) and once I laid down, she covered me with it.
“We’ll now do a full dry body scrub on you” Alex said.
Here we go.
This beautiful girl who I’ve never met is going to dry scrub my naked body.
I remembered how George (my psych) and I have talked about being mindful. Mindfulness is where you force yourself to be aware of your surroundings, your feelings, sights, smells, sounds and sensations. I find this very hard as my mind is always racing forward “I’d better get the clothes off the line when I get home” “will I be able to fit in a quick gym session after this and before Alun gets home?” “what shall I have for lunch?”
So I forced myself to shut off thoughts of the future and to concentrate on the now.
The scents in the room were amazing. Lemon grass, spices, honey, vanilla..and maybe a bit of patchouli? I really love scents and these were incredible. The towel on me was heated so it was soft and warm. I liked the feel of the fibres and the gentle weight of it on my back. Alex folded it in half on my body and gently rubbed – again what felt like tiny sand grains – up and down the left side of my body. As she rubbed the grains in, she massaged gently…going over every muscle, fibre and part of me – even all the flabby bits. I tried not to think “omg she’s touching my fat” but forced my mind instead to think of how nice it felt to be gently massaged like this. It was wonderful.
When she’d completed the left side of my body, she covered my body again with the towel. As she moved to the other side of me, she placed her hands gently but firmly on the middle of my back.
It was so lovely.
I could hear her move to the other side of me and lift and fold the towel in half to expose the right side of my body. As she lifted the towel, she patted it down and paused at my hand to gently squeeze it. She went on to massage my hand – right up to the very fingertips.
I loved it.
I was instantly aware of how very soft and small her hands were. I think God made them out of silk. When she rubbed and pushed at my hands…I felt like crying for some reason. I liked it so much. How odd that the gentle squeeze of a hand meant so much.
Once the other side of my body had been ‘scrubbed’ (again…fantastic), Alex sprayed a mist over me.
As the tiny droplets settled all over my body…I felt such a wonderful sense of wellbeing. The spray mist smelled amazing, too. It was so odd because I felt it land all over me like a beautiful soft cloud.
Alex held the towel up again. “Please turn over onto your back so I can body scrub the front of you” she instructed gently. When I did so, she covered me again with the warm towel and placed an ‘eye beanbag’ over my eyes. I had no choice but to keep them closed. This helped with my feeling of awkwardness so much.
And the process of body scrubbing one half of my body at a time began again. I was so worried about someone ‘touching my bits’ – especially my chest. I was so afraid to hear a gasp or a giggle at how saggy my boobs are… and how my stomach is a huge apron of fat that hangs down so much I can barely see my private parts. I was…ashamed.
Again, I remembered the words of George my psych “be in the moment, Janet”
So I literally took deep breaths and forced myself to dwell on the now. The warm air, the beautiful scents that floated around the room, the beautiful calming music wafting around the room, the warmth and gentleness of Alex’s hands as she pressed and pushed on my body and how lovely it was to just be.
After both sides of my body had been massaged, Alex again covered me with the warm towel. I felt amazing. Alex stood at the top of the bed where my head was…and gently pressed both her hands down onto the centre of my chest. As she did so, she breathed deeply.
This was so good. I don’t know why I liked it, but I did.
The entire process over all my body was repeated once again – but this time, with scented hot oil. The first time Alex squeezed the oil onto my back, I couldn’t help myself. I groaned in happiness. It was incredible.
Alex giggled “It’s good, isn’t it?”
“Mmm” I replied.
OMG IT WAS AMAZING.
“I will now cocoon you” Alex’s gentle voice over me.
This part was my favourite.
Alex walked away, came back and placed something heavy all over me. A warmed, heavy blanket. Again, I struggled not to cry…because this warm blanket over me – felt like a warm hug. It felt just like the times Alun holds me close when I’m upset. It felt like being small again and being held in my Mom’s arms as we fell asleep. It felt like making a new friend and smiling across at them in the classroom. It felt like having a wonderfully thick hot chocolate.
Alex then walked around the ‘bed’ I was on and as she did, she tucked this new thick blanket around me.
I could feel the oils on my body seeping and permeating and could smell the glorious scent of them inside my ‘cocoon’.
What struck me was how much I loved the feeling of ‘being tucked in’. It was glorious. I felt like a little kid. My parents never tucked me in as a child and I think I missed out on something very special because when Alex did it…my fear left. With every gentle tuck as she moved around me, I felt safer than I have in my whole life.
Nothing can hurt me, I am so safe in my little cocoon – and so very, very comfortable.
Again, as Alex was finished ‘tucking me in’, she pressed both her hands onto my chest and breathe deeply. Also, as Alex walked around me tucking the blanket in around me, she would intermittently gently touch me; touching my leg or arm or again, giving my hand a gentle squeeze. I absolutely loved this. No idea why she did it, but I’m so glad she did.
“Now, a scalp massage” Alex soothed.
OMG. WHAT?!? I LOVE THOSE!!!
“I uhh…I have extensions in” I said quietly
“That’s okay” I could hear the smile in Alex’s voice as she spoke “I’ll work around them”
And she massaged my head. It was BLISS. To have someone play with my hair is one of my favourite things. To have someone professional at head massages took pleasure to a whole new level. It was insane how wonderful it felt.
My favourite part of the head massage was having Alex massage my ears. Yep. You heard right (haha). I loved having my ears and especially my earlobes rubbed gently. OMG it was incredible. I honestly think the sex trade is going the wrong way. Touching the wrong parts. I would definitely hire someone to come over and just stroke my ears.
I am so weird.
The music played on and I intermittently checked on Mom “Are you still awake?” because I know how easily she falls asleep. Mom was awake and was loving every moment. Bless her.
Eventually, we were ‘unwrapped’ from our cocoons 😦
Again, Alex sprayed a fine mist that enveloped me gently in a sort of bittersweet ‘goodbye’
“We will step outside while you both get dressed again at your leisure. You are free to leave once you feel up to it” Alex said and she and the other masseuse quietly padded out from the room.
Mom’s happy voice broke the spell of relaxation I was in.
“Can we jump in the tub now?” she asked, attempting to climb in.
No Mom, We can’t.
Oh Lord. The sight of my fully naked Mom in a white G-string, trying to climb into a spa bath that I assumed was not part of our gift voucher or cocoon experience.
I love my Mom.
I think I’ll go back one day soon for another ‘spa treatment’ xx