I got the fourth massage of my life yesterday – my second in as many weeks.
I used to never be about them – I avoided them in fact. I thought they were too expensive (mine was $130), especially if you’re the type to fall asleep.
Ah, another mistake made by a younger version of myself.
Pride to the side – I’ll admit when I’m wrong, and damn was I wrong.
Every spa is different, but here (at Barcelo Los Cabos) you start in an area of the spa that has a bunch of spots to unwind: a hot tub, plunge pools (warm and cold), steam room (complete with a peppermint smell), sauna, a juice station, lounge chairs.
I sat in the sauna and chatted with a couple from Tulsa, and I told them about my travels to Cherokee Nation. They were nice people, young and enthusiastic, and it reminded me of my rant earlier concerning resorts.
They told me all about the great time they were having – how once a year they take off to a resort and do absolutely nothing but eat, drink, and relax for a week.
Travel writers don’t want to talk about it, but most people are vacationers, not explorers – I’m telling you.
But back to the spa – we spent about a half hour in this area, changing our body temperatures and loosening up our muscles. I looked around, impressed by the peaceful aura of the room, the sounds of running water and soft music.
Then the masseuse came to get me and led me upstairs. It was quiet, calm, dim, and tranquil. There were people resting in the relaxation room (where you go after your massage), and I tiptoed through the beautiful spa, following my masseuse into the treatment room. She told me to take off my clothes, that she’d be back in a few.
Okay, I’ll be honest again. I’m not sure if you sleep naked or how often you do laundry, but the first thought I had when I undressed and got under the covers was a reminder: It feels so good to lay naked in freshly washed sheets.
I exhaled deeply, allowing my body to melt into the comfort and feel the sheets on my skin. When I had a massage in Punta Cana, it was 25 minutes. This one was 50, and I would recommend paying the extra for the longer session. As my friend nicely put it, you’re just getting into it by the 25-minute mark.
The massage is not sexual, but it is intimate and – in a way – romantic. That feeling we get when we hold hands: skin on skin, another’s touch, energy flowing between two people. The massage brought those same feelings out, feeling her hand massaging my palms and fingers.
A woman I traveled with in the past told me she likes to picture her masseuse in a sexual way during the massage, but I’m not getting into all that.
My favorite part was when my masseuse stood at my head and worked down the spine. It added another point of contact – the top of my head on her midsection – and when her fingers and the sides of her hands ran down the spinal column, I could feel a connection between my whole body – and also how fragile it all is, that someone was navigating my lifeline.
After finishing the work on my back, she rested a hot towel from my shoulders to the end of my lower back. While the warming sensation took over, she went to work on my legs – the biggest muscles in the body (an ex-girlfriend used to tell me I have “thunder thighs” – yet another story for another day).
By this time, as my quads were being treated, I began to fall into a state somewhere between being awake and asleep. As if she could sense it, she tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to flip over.
That same young man who thought massages weren’t worth his time would have probably been concerned about lying on his back while a woman massaged his upper and inner thighs. As I said, though, it’s not sexual – only intimate – and I think my favorite part of being on my back was the scalp massage.
To say I was purring like a kitten is a little overboard and very cliche, but you get the idea.