An hour and a half long massage sounds like just what the doctor ordered, doesn’t it? How about if it includes melted shae butter drizzled over your skin, sea salts from the dead sea scrolls of Israel rubbed into the shae butter, then hot wet towels wrapped tightly around the sea salted and buttered body parts, all while really loud new age music plays?
It’s summer time, and everyone is packing the car and wandering about the country in hopes of relaxation. We fell into the same yearly routine as families with children, and headed for less populated areas of the US. We landed in eastern Oklahoma. Although not the Rockies, it’s quite beautiful and an easy drive from the city. Other than pickup trucks and rednecks, deer and bass are the only things moving around.
So where would you get an awesome massage in a place like this? The ONLY massage place around, the Body Harmony Day Spa, is the answer. I found the brochure in a taxidermy shop that included a wildlife museum. The brochure was sitting on the counter where we actually paid money to look at carcasses. It was screaming “I never left the 70’s”, covered in rainbows, so I couldn’t resist.
After getting past all the fur, claws, teeth and rednecks, I was able to concentrate on the brochure. I reviewed the statements inside the swirly rainbows and immediately called, hoping to experience civility while in the Ouachita mountains. The person who answered the phone, the owner, was overly excited that we were coming. Before I knew it, my boyfriend and I were driving through a sketchy RV park to God knows where for who knows what.
The “spa” is just a regular three bedroom home on a nice piece of property hidden out of site of the RV park. A Christmas tree is the first thing you see when you walk in the front door. Once you get past the Christmas tree and the fireplace, you find cozy, cool massage rooms. Aaahhhhh. It wasn’t the Four Seasons, but it was definitely nice. Somewhere in the house was a couple’s massage room that we booked. We were escorted to the garage? This is the largest room in the house. It is a converted carport with an added bonus area that has a private bathroom, small dining section and a fireplace with one wall full of windows. It was so bright, I thought we were going to be expected to change someone’s tire in the middle of our massage.
Before we could settle in for our massage, we had to learn about the special beds that play music in the bed to vibrate through your body. Then we had to pick the music. The massage is choreographed to the music which is recorded over wild animal and nature sounds. The music vibrates through the bed, which is supposed to provide some sort of benefit, I think. So now, after seeing dead animals, we were going to suffer through what the animals sounded like when they were alive, and feel guilty for 90 minutes.
After you get situated in your massage bed, you are treated to a few teaser drizzles of hot, melted shae butter so the masseuse can test your reaction to the burn. Then you’re treated with some burn cream (just kidding!). An extremely brief massage ensues after the first drizzle, again, all in time with the music. This is followed by mud being applied to your face. You are blind folded, and your face and head are wrapped with warm towels, as if you are in the 1950’s episode of the Twilight Zone where everyone had a pig nose, and the doctors decided to do plastic surgery on everyone to make them look human.
The shae butter is not enough, though. Once your eyes are covered and your head and face are immobilized, your limbs are massaged with hot wax (they refer to it as shae butter), and then rubbed with sea salt as a scrub. So if you have a tiny cut, it now feels huge and on fire. Then, after each limb is buttered and salted like a fresh turkey, it is completely wrapped with warm towels.
While your face is melting under hot mud, your hair and scalp are massaged with more shae butter, because lord knows you are not going to be smooth enough unless your hair is really greasy. As the masseuse works her way down your body from your head, she exfoliates each limb with the butter and sea salt and finishes it off with a mummifying like wrap. My hands were shaped into towel-covered wolverine claws. I felt like a queen being prepared for a sacrificial roast to save the village from the evil Gods.
My thoughts behind the face wrappings kept returning to how I would escape if a piece of hot shae butter dripped onto the carpeting and started a fire. How the hell would it look if someone with a wrapped head, four wrapped limbs wearing only underwear run into the RV park for help? How would I run out if every limb was casted? And how would I get the door open with a wrapped claw?
After your entire body, front and back, is about to be roasted, you get to take a little nap, all the while listening to owls, birds, and whales, all blended together, which I’m not sure is as relaxing as I thought it would be. If you are scared of birds or whales, I don’t recommend being left alone. Eventually your time runs out and you are unwrapped and unveiled. Then you are robed and slippered with some kind of crazy animal slippers that look like leftover shag carpeting. You are fed decadent deserts while lounging by the fireplace. Now I was really suspicious because my skin was perfect for a sacrifice and my last meal was every woman’s dream meal, death by chocolate.
All-in-all, it was an incredibly relaxing experience, and we were still able to walk out with all of our skin and hair. I highly recommend the entire experience. One tip for the men, the only way to feel more out-of-place is to go ahead and wear the Turbie Twist (www.turbietwist.com) when the massage is over.